Has There Been A ‘Sister Wives’ Divorce Yet? They've Come Pretty Close
To the majority of the monogamous-minded world, it may seem unthinkable that the four wives of Kody Brown on the TLC show Sister Wives would be happy. Sister Wives shows a complicated look at polygamy and how it affects the family unit — and it’s not always pretty. After watching the Brown family drama every week, you have to ask if it ever became too much for someone, and if any of the wives have ever considered divorcing Kody.
In the book written by the Browns, Becoming Sister Wives: The Story of an Unconventional Marriage, Janelle, Kody's second wife, revealed that she left Kody for over two years. That was a temporary separation, but would Janelle or any of the other Brown sister wives ever want to take a permanent break from the multiple-marriages lifestyle?
The Mormon religion does allow divorce, and while according to a tweet from Meri, the Browns self-identify as Fundamentalist Mormons, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (or FLDS) actually broke away from the Mormon Church. There have been instances of divorce in the FLDS, though the Browns are not associated with the sect formerly lead by Warren Jeffs.
Since the Sister Wives don't fit within either of these categories, let's take a look at the specific relationships Kody has with each of the individual wives to see if they could potentially ever leave Kody & co.
Meri and Kody
Meri is Kody's first wife. Now that their only child, Mariah, is off at school, Meri is planning to go back to school at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Kody is not concerned that he may not see Meri as much once she goes back to school — his main worry is how fourth-wife Robyn will handle the news. Meri may start resenting the fact that Kody's go-to reaction was about Robyn, but since Meri was so open to inviting Robyn to join the family in the first place (and ya know, she is a sister wife), she may be cool with it.
Still, Meri was unable to have another child after Mariah and since she's the only sister wife without a biological child in the house, going back to school and getting some independence seems like it could be a step in the divorce direction.
Janelle and Kody
If any of the sister wives were to divorce Kody, it seems that Janelle would be the most likely candidate. She's the only one who has left him in the past and the only one not raised in a polygamist household. But, her family was clearly open to polygamy since her mom ended up marrying Kody's father — who was a polygamist — months before she married Kody. So, yeah. They're stepbrother and stepsister as well as husband and wife. And not in a cute way like Cher and Josh.
Despite the funky family ties, Janelle and Kody have been married since 1993. Yet, she also revealed in Becoming Sister Wives that Kody and her were not in love when they got married. Plus, she's already very independent sister — she's not so keen to "girl party" with them or join in on the polygamist flashmob. Instead of helping with their business My Sisterwife's Closet, she'd rather be working on building up her own real estate business.
It definitely didn't help when Kody named Robyn as the CFO of My Sisterwife's Closet, even though Janelle has the most financial experience. Still, in one episode of Sister Wives, Janelle discussed how committed she is to her marriage.
Just like in any other relationship ... you have to honor the idea that you’re committed to this and you’re going to see it through thick or thin. It always works out . . . at the end of the trouble period, you’re like 'Okay, wow, that was worth it. I’m glad we stuck it out.'
So despite Janelle's independence, she values commitment and that could mean she'll keep sticking it out.
Christine and Kody
It's clear that Christine has issues with Kody devoting too much time to Robyn and not enough to her.
She may have the most reason to divorce Kody based on his nacho-hating talk alone (as well as his other hypocritical tendencies). If the man I was married to for almost 20 years said on national television that it was an "understatement" that he had not been physically attracted to me when we first met, divorcing him may be the kindest thing I'd do to him.
Despite having her share of difficulties with the family dynamic, Christine has also expressed her commitment to her marriage on the show.
We have a beautiful family. And it’s the most important thing ... it would have been awful to give it up.
With family meaning so much to her and her yearning for Kody's attentions, it would probably be hard for her to leave Kody.
Robyn and Kody
As the newest wife, and the only wife who seems likely to have more children (she even offered to be a surrogate for Meri), it doesn't seem that Robyn would have much reason to leave Kody. She was in a (I can't believe I have to specify this) one-wife marriage before marrying Kody, so it's not like she's a stranger to divorce. (In the same vein, Janelle revealed in Becoming Sister Wives that she was married to Meri's brother Adam before marrying Kody. What is up with those two?!)
In the beginning of their marriage, the main issue that faced Robyn and Kody was the integration of her three children from her previous marriage with the rest of the family.
Now that she has a 2-year-old son with Kody and the kids are getting along better, it seems they'll be staying together. Plus, she just got a promotion in the My Sisterwife's Closet company!
So even though Kody says his wives are free to leave him, he doesn’t expect them to divorce him since they all chose to be with him. As unconventional as polygamy can be, it’s nice to be reminded every now and then that all five of the Browns are consenting adults. And though it doesn’t seem that there will be any impending Sister Wives divorces, that it's always an option if they wanted it.
And hey! Do you have your own questions for the Sister Wives crew? TLC encourages viewers to ask the Browns questions, so get to it!
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified the Browns as Mormon. Though on Twitter Meri Brown referred to being Fundamentalist Mormon, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a sect that broke away from the Mormon Church, or Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We regret the error.