‘Sister Wives’: Is This Another Sign That Meri Brown is Stepping Away From the Family?

TLC star Meri Brown has seemed to distance herself from the rest of her Sister Wives for several years now. The first wife of Sister Wives polygamist patriarch Kody Brown’s four wives (Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn), Meri legally divorced Kody several years ago so that he could adopt Robyn’s three children from a previous marriage. 

Around that time, Meri was also allegedly catfished by a female Internet scammer who posed as a man to flirt with her and exposed the scandal online. Since then, Meri and Kody Brown have admitted to having troubles in their marriage. 

Most recently, the first Sister Wives wife hosted a family reunion for a number of relatives at her Utah country inn. Noticeably absent were Meri’s husband and three sister wives, sparking fan speculation about trouble in the family.

Meri recently hosted a family reunion at Lizzie’s Heritage Inn

Meri Brown recently opened Lizzie’s Heritage Inn, a restored bed and breakfast, on her great-grandmother’s property in Utah. Due to lack of family support for the new business prospect, Meri bought and opened it alone. It has since become a successful destination, winning accolades and receiving community honors.

On Nov. 3, the Sister Wives star posted a photo of many of her relatives in front of the remote Utah inn. “Just coming off a crazy, insane, busy, fun filled week, all culminating in generations coming together at my bed and breakfast,” she wrote.

Meri continued the post with a tribute to her ancestry. “Although I named it Lizzie’s after my great-grandmother who raised my sweet grandmother in the home (see her beautiful photo in a previous post) we can’t forget the original strong pioneer woman who, with her husband, built the home and raised 9 children here,” she added next to the photo.

The Sister Wives mom concluded her post by paying homage to her great-grandparents, who inspired her idea for the inn.

“How fascinating it would be to know more of the posterity of Charles and Sarah Adams, and how many of us there are out there,” Meri wrote. “But for now here’s a very small sampling of us, from one of their great-granddaughters (my sweet mom) to their 4 times great-grandchildren (my niece’s kids). What a week, and what a legacy!”

Neither Kody Brown nor Meri’s three sister wives could be seen in the photos from the weeklong event.

Meanwhile, the other ‘Sister Wives’ spent time with husband Kody

The first Brown wife has not posted any pictures with Kody since January 2019, leaving some Sister Wives viewers to wonder about the status of their admittedly rocky marriage.

Meanwhile, second wife Janelle Brown shared a photo of Kody in the last week of October, eating ice cream with two of their children. Third wife Christine Brown posted a photo of herself with Kody as recently as August. 

Fourth wife Robyn Brown stays mostly off social media in between seasons of Sister Wives, so fans don’t have much to go off of with her accounts.

Some fans wonder if a divorce is imminent

Fans on Instagram and Twitter wondered if the latest example of Meri’s distance from the rest of the Brown family could mean a divorce in the works.

Under the Sister Wives star’s post about the family reunion, one Twitter user wrote, “Where is your brown family??”

Another wrote similarly, “Calls it a family get together with zero people from her very large brown family. Very telling.”

Yet another asked simply, “No Kody?”

The Browns’ religious beliefs could make a divorce unlikely

Fans have noticed many signs of a potential rift between Meri, her husband, and the other Sister Wives

Meri frequently travels for work with LuLaRoe and only rarely posts photos with her sister wives.

Recently, Meri rented a large house of her own outside Flagstaff, while Robyn and Kody purchased a home together, as did Christine and Kody. Janelle Brown, whose daughter Maddie Brown Brush recently moved to North Carolina and had her second child, is also renting. 

Still, fans’ speculations about a potential divorce could simply be rumors. Meri still lives near Flagstaff, along with the other family members, and recently posted two photos with Robyn’s young children with Kody. 

And Meri and Kody Brown only share one adult child together, Mariah, who is now engaged to Audrey Kriss and attending graduate school in Chicago. Meri’s “empty nester” status may simply mean that she’s seeking more freedom as she moves into a new stage in her life. 

Members of the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB), the fundamentalist Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or LDS) sect to which the Browns belong, believe that marriage is eternal, extending even beyond death. Legal marriages do not have spiritual weight in their eyes. So Meri’s legal divorce from Kody could potentially signify nothing to her, given the family’s belief system. 

Fans believe the new ‘Sister Wives’ season will begin next year

Whatever the case, it’s likely to play out on the rumored next season of Sister Wives on TLC. Fans have spotted the Brown family filming in Arizona and Chicago, and Christine Brown recently posted a photo with the show’s Director of Photography. 

Although TLC has not yet announced an official season premiere date, some fans believe the nearly 10-year-old show will have new episodes in early 2020.