The popular TLC show, Sister Wives follows the lives the polygamist Brown family. Kody Brown is "married" to four women: Robyn, Christine, Janelle and Meri.
There is one member of the family that isn't like the others: Meri.
Meri has faced heartache, loneliness and has even been involved in an online affair. With emotions ranging from jealousy to feeling as though she is living her life on her own, she is not your typical sister wife.
Ultimately she broke away from the family to pursue things that make her happy.
Meri was actually Kody's first wife, but she legally divorced him so that he could marry his fourth "wife" Robyn. Another reason she did this was so that Kody could legally adopt Robyn's three kids from a previous marriage.
"If ever I'm having an emotional moment about what I've lost, I just think, it's not about me, it's about the kids," Meri said in one episode.
The family's official statement made no mention of the children, though.
"We have chosen to legally restructure our family. We made this decision together as a family. We are grateful to our family, friends and fans for all their love and support."
The decision clearly hurt Meri who said, "It's the end of something that we had had, in a way, for 24 and a half years. But at the same time, I know it's not because I have eternity with him. I have eternity with the family. I know it's not the end."
The family includes a total of 17 children between the four women. Meri and Kody were married for 25 years before their divorce, and have one child together. Kody has been spiritually united to Janelle for 22 years and the couple have six children together. He has also been spiritually united with Christine for 21 years and they also have six children together. Kody has been with Robyn for 5 years and they have two children together, in addition to the three he adopted from her previous marriage. The family also has one grandchild from Kody and Janelle's daughter, Madison.
Looking for love online
In 2015, it came out that Meri had engaged in a relationship online.
"It sounded like a guy with a southern accent. We laughed a lot. It was easy to connect with him, just because there was so much in common.... He was very, very flirty with me. And I have guy friends and I am a little bit flirty too," she said.
While she thought she was speaking to a man named Sam, she was actually being duped and talking to a woman named Jackie Overton.
The scandal nearly tore the family apart.
"I became fearful of the online relationship as I became aware of the deception. I didn't know how to get out of the situation without putting myself, family, and friends at greater risk. It was a very difficult time. I had a lot of anxiety," she admitted.
But it's the relationships between the various members of the family that has Meri backing away.
Feelings of jealousy and loneliness
One of the things that amazes most people about the Brown family is how the women don't get jealous of one another. While people who watch the show think that's the case, that's not exactly true.
Revealing that they have all felt jealous, Meri said: "We all just have different levels of jealousy moments, at different times, depending on where we were within ourselves."
Meri has also revealed that she has felt alone. She has admitted to putting on music to drown out the silence of her house.
"I just feel lonely. I'm just alone, so much [of] the time," she said.
She also said, "I feel like i'm just doing my life by myself. That's not what I signed up for."
Relationship with the other sister wives
It's no secret that Meri and Janelle have not always had the best relationship. Their relationship was so estranged that they needed to speak to a therapist about it.
While in therapy Janelle admitted to Meri that "the thought of going somewhere with you for a couple of days terrifies me...."
She went on to admit that the two women are seldom alone together and that she found that emotionally terrifying. They even took separate cars to the therapy session.
Meri went on to reflect Janelle's thoughts, admitting, "Being in a car together and listening to an audiobook about vulnerability with Janelle, that's like a lot."
In 2016, Meri got a new job as an independent fashion retailer for LuLaRoe and she seems to be loving every minute of it.
"Training is fabulous. I am blessed and so happy to be on this #LuLaRoe journey with @lularoemaile and so many other fabulous women who only want to bless and build others up."
Blessed to have an amazing friend and unofficial mentor who loves and supports me enough to invite me to her team weekend in the amazing Pacific Northwest. Washington is beautiful. People are kind. Training is fabulous. I am blessed and so happy to be on this #LuLaRoe journey with @lularoemaile and so many other fabulous women who only want to bless and build others up. #LivingMyWhy #LuLaLove
Relationship with her daughter
Meri and Kody have only one daughter together, Mariah. In 2017, Mariah revealed to her whole family that she identifies as a lesbian. Knowing that her sexual orientation conflicts with her family's strict fundamental beliefs, it took a lot for her to come out and share this.
"I remember being in church and they talked about how being gay was bad, but none of that came from my parents. It was from the church and the people I was around," Mariah said.
Meri is slowly coming to terms with her daughter's lifestyle, trying to change and adapt to what she previously believed the future would look like.
"I just always expected that she would grow up, meet a guy, get married, have kids..."
What do you think of Meri's decisions to distance herself from the family? Share your comments below.
Source: The List