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Meri Brown opened up about a painful incident in her marriage to Kody Brown during the Sister Wives Season 18 tell-all on Dec. 3. The TLC star recounted Kody’s decision to destroy the wedding ring she’d given him as a symbol of their love and commitment. The heartbreaking moment happened years before her notorious catfishing scandal and sheds new light on Meri’s decision to seek friendship outside of her plural marriage. 

Christine Brown spills the tea during the ‘Sister Wives’ tell-all 

During part 2 of the one-on-one special, host Sukanya Krishnan quizzed Christine Brown about an awkward moment between Meri and Kody when she asked him about a new ring he was wearing

“The ring thing is so funny,” Christine said with a laugh. “There’s a back story here. I don’t feel like it’s all the way my place [to tell], but here we are.”

Christine explained that Kody used to wear a wedding ring given to him by Meri, his first wife. But he stopped wearing the ring after he met his fourth wife Robyn. Eventually, he melted down the ring and kept the gold and diamonds. 

“Meri found out,” Christine recalled. “She was like, ‘Where’s my ring? You don’t wear it anymore.’ He was like, ‘I melted it down.’ Just like that. He was like, ‘I didn’t want Meri to have control over me and power over me anymore.’”

Meri Brown lashes out at Christine for sharing her story 

When Meri found out Christine had shared the story of Kody’s original wedding ring, she was visibly upset. 

“I am extremely frustrated right now. Beyond … I found out that story was brought up about me that is not a story I have ever shared publicly,” she shared in a confessional interview. “That is my story to tell, when, where, and how I want to. And somebody else took it upon themselves to tell that story. And now I’m being forced to talk about it. 

“I am not happy about it,” Meri added. “It was not Christine’s business to tell … if I wanted to share that story in the last 13 years, in a public way, I would have done that.”

Meri went on to confirm Christine’s account of the wedding ring incident. She said that around the time Robyn entered the lives of the Brown family, Kody mentioned that he no longer wanted to wear the ring because he didn’t want Meri – who was then Kody’s only legal wife – to have a claim on him. His way of breaking that bond was to melt down the wedding ring. (For her part, Robyn had a slightly different version of the story. She told Krishnan that the ring melting happened before she met Kody.)

The destruction of the ring was “a very, very painful situation,” Meri said. She shared that she even asked Kody if she could keep the ring if he no longer wanted to wear it, but that he refused. 

“That was a symbol. That was a sign of our marriage and our commitment, and he melted it down,” Meri said. “Whose to say that he didn’t just melt down our whole relationship in that moment? Symbolically that’s what he did.”

Meri looked for support outside the ‘Sister Wives’ family after the ring incident

The ring incident turned out to be a watershed moment in Meri and Kody’s marriage. She admitted that it eventually led her to look for a connection with someone outside her marriage.  

Kody’s choice to destroy the ring “happened probably seven years prior to the catfishing,” Meri said, referring to her online relationship with a person she believed to be a man but who turned out to be a female con artist. Kody has said his and Meri’s relationship “dissolved” after he learned she’d been communicating with someone outside the family. But in her eyes, Kody had checked out of their relationship years earlier. A lonely and isolated Meri ultimately looked elsewhere for companionship. 

“I spent those seven years trying to be in this relationship with Kody that he did not want to be in with me,” she said. “Was it things like that that had happened throughout all these years leading up to me just wanting to have a friend? Cause lord knows I didn’t have any in my family.”

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