Explaining The History And Connections Between 'Sister Wives's Kody And His Wives

Ashley Hunte
Two wedding bands connected on top of a lace-covered surface.
Unsplash | Sandy Millar

Even if you've never seen an episode, you probably know the deal with the Brown family, who are the subjects of the TLC show, Sister Wives. After all, the premise is completely mind-boggling.

But there are plenty of facts about the family you might not know, even if you tune into the show every week. In this list, we'll break down how Kody and his wives are connected through more than just marriage.

Let's start with wife number one, Meri Brown.

Meri and Kody met when Meri was 18, though his sister, Chrisy. While Kody's family were newer converts to their faith at the time, Meri grew up with the faith, in a polygamist household.

In fact, she has 27 siblings!

Upon meeting Kody, she could already feel an attraction toward him. In their 2012 book, "Becoming Sister Wives," she wrote about their first encounter: "He was definitely cute, and had a great attitude. He was talkative and engaged me in conversation, and made me feel comfortable around him."

Kody shared similar sentiments.

About Meri, Kody wrote, "Meri was so cute and sweet when I met her that I had a hard time suppressing my hopelessly romantic nature... I had a sneaking suspicion that we were soulmates."

The two have been married since 1990.

The two actually abstained from any kind of physical intimacy until their engagement.

Being from a polygamist family herself, Meri not only had no issue with Kody adding more wives to their family, but was encouraging of that plan.

Next came Janelle Brown, or wife number two.

For the Browns, bringing a new wife into the family was pretty simple. But their existing relationships are actually pretty complicated. For instance, Janelle's first husband is actually Meri's brother.

She even attended Kody and Meri's wedding with her then-husband.

Janelle's ex-husband was not as tied to their faith as she was, and they later divorced. Upon meeting Kody, Janelle wrote, "I felt as if I had forgotten something and suddenly remembered it. It was a feeling of relief and recognition."

To make things more complicated, Janelle has more ties to Kody's family.

Though she wasn't raised in a polygamist household like Meri, Janelle took to the lifestyle pretty easily. Her mother, Sheryl, however, was pretty against it for the longest time.

That is, until she met Kody's father, Winn.

Sheryl married Winn and became his third wife, before Janelle got married to Kody. In other words, the father of Janelle's husband-to-be was also her stepfather. Talk about confusing.

Wife number three, Christine, is also ex-wife number one.

In 2021, Christine announced that she and Kody were splitting up, after over 25 years of marriage. Christine and Kody share 6 kids together.

Even so, looking back on the history of their relationship shows that it wasn't always easy.

Like Meri, Christine grew up in a polygamist household.

When she met Kody and Meri, she had some interest in becoming one of his wives, but backed away when they began courting a girl who was underage at the time.

But they grew back together after Christine's own parents got divorced.

Christine married Kody, becoming his fourth wife, in 1994. They tied the knot after a courtship that only lasted six weeks. In the book, Kody said, "[Christine's] kindness and her positive nature brokered a peace in our household."

For Christine, though, it wasn't love at first sight.

She mentioned in the book that it took a year after their marriage for Kody and herself to fall deeply in love.

Though their marriage in later years had a great deal of strain, the two still hold respect for one another, and are committed as parents to their kids.

Finally, there's the fourth wife, Robyn.

Because there are laws in the United States against having a marriage license with more than one person (of course), Robyn is Kody's only legal wife (whom he legally married after divorcing Meri in 2014). In spite of that, Kody remains "spiritually" married to his other wives.

Robyn was married once before, and had kids from that marriage.

Like Janelle, Robyn's first marriage encountered a lot of difficulties. Kody has since legally adopted all of the kids Robyn had with her ex-husband, David.

Funny enough, David is actually related to Kody.

David is Kody's third cousin. On top of that, he's Christine's first cousin.

Though Robyn's relationship with David did not last long enough to see it come to fruition, they were planning to add more wives.

But when she divorced David and met Kody, it was Meri who encouraged Robyn to pursue a courtship.

Robyn didn't want to act hastily after her divorce. She had a six-month courtship with Kody before marrying in 2010 (and marrying legally in 2014).