Meri Brown revealed on Part 1 of the Sister Wives One-on-One special that airs tonight (Sunday, January 30, 2021) that she has not had a physical relationship with Kody in over 10 years, which is years before the Catfish scandal. Neither Kody nor Meri have gone into detail about why their relationship first broke apart, but they are both adamant that it was before the Catfish situation. In their 2015 book
Meri writes that she and Kody met Robyn during an extremely low point in their marriage, which was 16 years after Kody married Christine. When Meri suggested to Kody that he start dating Robyn, it became a shared secret between the two of them that they did not share with Janelle and Christine. This secret, which Kody also didn’t choose to share with his other two wives, brought him temporarily closer to Meri because they were in a bit of a conspiracy together.
“Kody and I began to talk about her between ourselves,” Meri says about their secret on page 105 of Becoming Sister Wives (affiliate link). “It didn’t seem necessary to bring up the subject of Robyn to the rest of the family until it was more apparent that there might be a potential for courtship–so she became a little connection that Kody and I shared, a sweet special bond in a time of turmoil between us.
“Since things were rocky between Kody and me,” Meri continues. “Tt was a little unusual to consider bringing a new wife into the picture, especially given that I never, ever thought that Robyn would solve my problems with Kody. I just felt drawn to her in a way that satisfied me. I wanted her as a friend and I had a clear vision of her in our lives. Janelle and Christine had not yet met her, so this little relationship between Kody, Robyn, and me felt special.”
However, once Kody’s courtship with Robyn became more real and he told the other wives about it, his relationship with Robyn created an even greater divide between himself and Meri. Suddenly, Kody was taking long road trips so he could date Robyn where she was living, and the blossoming romance engulfed his attention and emotions, even when Robyn wasn’t present with him.
“At first, the three of us had a wonderful friendship,” Meri writes. “But when the time came for Robyn to start exploring her relationship with Kody on a deeper and more personal level, things became difficult for me. I had been instrumental in bringing Robyn and Kody together and now I wasn’t needed anymore. Since Robyn lived so far away, Kody had to spend much more time away from the house in order to court her. At first, he’d take a wife and a couple of kids with him on these trips, as the whole family would need to get to know Robyn and her children. Eventually, it was better for him to not include the wives, as he and Robyn deserved and needed time alone to build their own relationship. Robyn’s presence transformed from something that filled me with joy to something that made me extremely lonely, as well as feeling the love that Kody and I shared was once again being threatened.”
Meri’s attempt to scout a new wife for her husband in order to draw him closer to her backfired, and instead drove him further away. In the second episode of the entire show, Kody admits that he had never felt for a woman the way he feels for Robyn.
“Nobody in the family would ever call me romantic I don’t think,” Kody says while out on a hot chocolate date night with Robyn where he gave her a threaded engagement ring Maddie had made as a cute gesture. “And I just kind of got overcome by this romantic bug. No self-respecting man would admit this stuff, but I really kind of melted. I don’t know what happened to me. It’s still happening.”
Their chemistry is electric on the screen and he immediately starts treating her differently than the other wives. It starts when he kissed her before marriage, something he had not done before with the other wives. This made Christine very upset. One of the pre-marital kisses even happened on-screen while Christine was in labor with Truely.
The wives also filmed a scene with Robyn looking at wedding dresses and thought they were helping her pick out her dress. Instead, Kody sprung on them during a sit-down couch interview that he had secretly picked out Robyn’s dress.
Robyn also had a big wedding reception and an 11-day honeymoon in California with lots of fun outings like surfing and the zoo. Meri had been the wife with the biggest wedding reception before Robyn, and none of the wives had elaborate honeymoons. All three of Kody’s first wives went on a road trip with Kody for a few days. They didn’t have much money at the time, but the fact that he never worked to make this up to the rest of them or carve out two weeks of alone with each of them shows that he never intended to make the marriage equitable.