‘Sister Wives’: Kody, Meri, and Robyn Brown Open Up About ‘Playing Favorites’ Within Polygamy

One of the major questions Sister Wives fans often have for the Brown family is, “Which wife is the favorite?”

While Kody Brown has always maintained that he doesn’t favor any of his wives (Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn Brown) over the others, many viewers don’t seem to agree. Fans have long suspected that Kody prefers his fourth wife, Robyn. Meanwhile, Kody’s first wife, Meri, is often perceived as his least favorite.

On the Mar. 8 episode of TLC’s Sister Wives, “A Breaking Point,” Kody, Meri, and Robyn all offered their perspective on what it means to think of “favorites” in polygamy, or “plural marriage.”

Kody, Meri, Janelle, and Christine Brown
Kody, Meri, Janelle, and Christine Brown | Ida Mae Astute/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Meri and Robyn said there were times that their needs were ‘not met’ as plural wives

On an earlier episode, Robyn and Meri bickered over their conversations with Kody. Each of the two sister wives claimed he told them that they had “last pick” when it came to the land they would be living on at Coyote Pass, the Brown family’s Arizona property. Each one admitted they felt “voiceless” and unheard within the family.

After Robyn and Meri hashed out their miscommunication and made amends, they revealed that it was sometimes hard to sort out the issue of equality within polygamy. Robyn explained that, in an ideal world, the husband and each of the wives would want equality for everyone within the marriage. But, after all, someone always had to be last.

“It won’t always be you first,” Robyn explained of the issue of inequality within plural marriage. “There definitely are times when you are a plural wife that your needs are not met, and it’s hard.”

Meri explained that making each wife feel heard and loved was a challenge, but it was worth it. “I think we all need to feel like we got first choice,” the Sister Wives star said. “That’s when the magic happens, when we all have what we want and what we need.”

Kody pushed back against the idea that he could make every wife feel special all the time

Meanwhile, Kody had a different perspective about “favorites” than his wives. The Brown patriarch has opened up this season about feeling doubtful about the value of polygamy. He even admitted his faith, a fundamentalist Mormon religion that endorses polygamy, had been shaken by the recent troubles in his marriages.

Given his recent doubts, it’s no wonder that Kody’s frustration with trying to meet the emotional, physical, financial, and spiritual needs of four women bubbled to the surface in his statements about “favorite wives.”

“There’s no way to make all my wives feel like the favorite,” Kody said, looking somewhat defeated.

In past Sister Wives episodes, Kody has argued that he isn’t responsible for his wives’ emotions, and that they have to be accountable for their own fulfillment. That partially explains why he seemed so frustrated when he complained that his wives often want to “be the first to pick to see a movie, to hear a song with me. I don’t know.”

“To me, it’s delusion,” Kody concluded.

Robyn took to Twitter to elaborate on the idea of ‘favorites’ within polygamy

During the episode, Robyn offered further thoughts on the importance of avoiding favoritism within polygamy.

“It has nothing to do with playing favorites when we all get together and make sure everyone feels like they have a voice and that all the needs are met,” she wrote on Twitter. “That is so important in a plural family.”

Many Sister Wives fans pushed back, arguing that it was clear that Kody was more attentive to and affectionate with Robyn than his other wives. “Your needs are always first,” one Twitter user wrote to Robyn in response. “And Meri is treated like she is invisible.”

Another viewer agreed, arguing that Kody’s favoritism of Robyn was obvious. “Then maybe have Kody stop talking because he’s giving the impression he’s fonder of some over others,” they wrote.