“Sister Wives” is an American reality television series that follows the lives of the expansive Brown family, documenting the day-to-day activities and drama of a polygamist family. The Browns are made up of Kody Brown, the patriarch of the family, his four wives, Robyn, Meri, Janelle, Christene and their 18 children.
The show debuted in September 2010 and due to a popular reception among TLC network’s audiences, “Sister Wives” continues to air, now entering its 17th season. The series also received praise from numerous critics, all of whom applauded the nature of the show, considering it an honest and modest portrayal of a controversial subject.
While the series intentionally focuses on the dynamics within a polygamist family, most of the camera’s attention centres on the four wives, documenting their relationships and how they get along in a strenuous family environment.
As can be expected, there have been numerous disputes and arguments, all, of course, being exploited by reality television, but as Kody claims, the intent of the show is to educate people on polygamy in an attempt to end the social prejudice surrounding polygamy marriages.
Unfortunately, in recent years the family has slowly fallen apart, and Kody is currently divorced from three of his four wives. As it stands now, Kody and his fourth wife Robyn have remained in a relationship. Meri, Christene, and Janelle have all moved away from Kody and continued on with their personal lives.
Regardless of the separation, the series seems to continue as footage from the eighteenth season was recently leaked, and considering all the changes, the latest season of “Sister Wives” has become one of the most anticipated releases of 2023 – fans can’t wait for the new episodes to air.
While there’s a lot one can possibly discuss about “Sister Wives”, we’ve decided to take a look at the tumultuous relationship between Meri and Janelle, revisiting the two sister wives’ many ups and downs that they experienced over the years.
What To Expect
As we dive into the lives of these former members of the Brown family, we will be taking a look at the tension between Meri and Janelle, discussing the history of their disagreement, and providing an update on how their relationship progressed to the current time.
Bad Blood Between Sister Wives
Throughout the course of “Sister Wives” many seasons on the air, Janelle and Meri have continued in strife with each other, often about the smallest disputes, to at times arguing about bigger issues. Of course, fans and viewers of the show would know all about it, and very likely stuck around for the entertainment behind all the drama.
However, as some might know, Janelle and Meri had ties long before they became sister wives, though even then their relationship was quite rocky. Before Janelle became involved with Kody, she was married to Meri’s brother, Adam Barber, between 1988 until their divorce in 1990.
To further complicate the family dynamic between Janelle and Kody, it’s commonly known that Kody’s father married Janelle’s mother three months before Kody and Janelle became involved, technically making them stepbrother and sister. While that might be odd for some people, according to the history Janelle and Kody shared, their family connections never really affected their relationship.
According to certain sources, Janelle met Kody in 1989, while still married to Adam. It would not have been uncommon for Janelle to have encountered Kody, and his family, as Janelle’s then sister-in-law, Meri was romantically involved with Kody. On top of that, Janelle’s mother became romantically linked with Kody’s father, further bringing the families together.
Janelle would also go on to describe during several candid interviews how she met Kody, stating that she knew his family long before the night she first encountered her future husband. She also mentions attending Kody and Mari’s wedding ceremony in 1990, shortly before divorcing Adam and becoming personally involved with Kody.
As Janelle would describe the moment she first met Kody, saying that it was a magical moment, often referring to it as a singular experience. Although little information can be found concerning Janelle’s first marriage, gossip publications are keen on blaming this magical experience Janelle had with meeting Kody for the dissolution of her marriage to Adam. However, this has never been confirmed as details of her first marriage remain obscure.
While it can be considered that Mari took offense to how Janelle’s relationship ended with her brother, it has never been singled out as the reason for their continued feud on the show. In the book “Becoming Sister Wives”, jointly written by all four of Kody’s wives, better insight is provided into the dynamics that drove Meri and Janelle apart.
According to the testimonials of the book, Meri and Janelle never really got along much, even describing it to such an extent that suggests that they never even formed a substantial relationship. The book also states that Janelle and Kody didn’t share deeply sentimental love when they first got together, but despite the dulled romance between them, the two nonetheless decided to join in what they describe as a ‘spiritual marriage’ in 1993.
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Meri later admitted in the book that Janelle and Kody’s stunted love certainly made it easier to accept Janelle into their marriage, though she believes that the romance she shared with Kody may have caused strain on her relationship with Janelle. Of course, it would only be natural to be jealous, and because of this strain, the initial stages of their co-existence in the same family was riddled with conflict and mistakes.
According to Janelle’s testimonial report in the book, she often felt unwelcome in the marriage, especially during the early stages, and described Meri’s disposition at the time as ‘demanding and overbearing’. According to Janelle, Meri would often make it seem as if all of her contributions to the household were inadequate and stated that their relationship moved from mildly content to cold and distant nearly overnight.
In response to Janelle’s testimony, Meri admitted that she often acted aggressively towards Janelle, even describing her behaviour as harsh, often resulting in terrible arguments. As the years went by, the two sister wives never got along or mended their relationship, creating a feud that the show’s producers obviously exploited for lucrative profits.
Then, as their relationship remained on rocky grounds, Janelle became the first to conceive a child, leaving Mari to feel devastated. Janelle went on to have six children in total, while Meri only conceived one child with Kody. As expected, this placed even further strain on their relationship, and things became quite tense within the Brown household.
However, in recent years, following Christene’s decision to part ways from the Brown polygamous marriage, both Meri and Janelle also decided that this was no longer what they wanted in life. Following Christene, Meri and Janelle divorced from Kody, leaving people wondering about the future of the series, and questioning whether Meri and Janelle might make up and move on with their lives in peace.
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Unfortunately, while Janelle has made several attempts to fix her relationship with Meri now that they are no longer sister wives, Meri remains reluctant. Meri did however give in to Janelle’s advances, though things between them remain tense, and only time will tell whether or not the two women will be able to fix their relationship.
Although “Sister Wives” have continued filming of an all-new season, the Brown family is not quite as tightly knit as they were before, as Christene, Meri, and Janelle have all parted ways with their now ex-husband, Kody, so the future of the series seems in doubt