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Sister Wives stars Kody Brown and his first wife, Meri Brown, were married in 1990, before legally divorcing in 2014 and remaining spiritually married since then. Ever since Kody's ex-wife, Christine Brown, made the shocking announcement she was leaving Kody in November 2021 and Janelle Brown followed suit about a year later, hints and clues pointed to trouble between Kody and Meri.
Are Meri and Kody Brown Still Together?
After 32 years of marriage, Meri and Kody are no longer together. Meri first alluded that her marriage to Kody was over during the December 2022 Sister Wives: One-on-One.
While talking to host Sukanya Krishnan, the TV personality watched a clip of Kody stating that he doesn't consider himself married to his first wife. "If she wanted to move on and marry another, she wouldn't get an argument with me," he said in a confessional.
"It just doesn't make sense to me that he would be so frustrated with Christine and be like, 'She just made this decision. We didn't consult, we didn't talk, she just made the decision and then he says, 'No, I don't consider myself married to Meri,'" Meri said in response to Kody’s comment. "Like, he just made the decision. I've never heard him say that to me."
Despite having problems for years, Meri said that she was having a hard time accepting the end of their marriage.
"Even since being in Flagstaff, he has led me to believe that he was trying," she said. "You know, our first anniversary that we had here in Flagstaff, it was cheers to a new beginning as opposed to this last anniversary he's like, 'I don't even know why you called me Meri.' He's like, 'We're not married. We're not acting as married.'"
Meri added, "I said to him, 'Then if that's where we are, don't you think that we should address that publicly?' And he said, 'No I don't want to address it. I don't want that to be out there publicly because I don't want that judgment.'"
When asked where she stood with Kody, the mother of one replied, "Well, he's already made the decision. You just saw him say that."
While Kody felt that their marriage was over, Meri said she was willing to work on fixing things. However, she didn't think Kody was “interested” in making things work.
The following month, the couple shared a joint social media post announcing the official end of their spiritual union.
“In light of a recent unapproved press release, we feel compelled to share our own truth, in our own way and in our own timing,” the statement shared via Instagram on January 10, 2023, began. “After more than a decade of working on our relationship in our own unique ways, we have made the decision to permanently terminate our marriage relationship.”
The former couple added that they are “committed to kindness and respect toward each other and to all the members of our family.”
“We are also committed to the continued healing of any and all relationships within the family so that we can move forward with forgiveness, grace and love,” they concluded.
Fans got to see more of the exes' split play out during season 18 of Sister Wives, with Kody and Meri finally sitting down with one another to discuss their decision to part ways during the November 19, 2023 episode.
As Kody and Robyn Brown sat down to discuss their "division of property," Meri shared that she had felt "emotionally abandoned" by Kody, and that she was "drawn" to her bed and breakfast property in Parowan, Utah. The conversation that ensued resulted in Kody admitting that "romance" would "never be in the picture" for him and Meri again, prompting Meri to tell her husband that he was "not giving me what we promised each other."
In light of their schism, Meri told Kody that she did not want to be a "duty" to him, and they decided to officially split. "We’ve agreed now, and I hope she finds peace,” Kody admitted of Meri. “Because I will.”
Why Did Kody and Meri Split?
Years prior to their departure, Kody and Meri hit a rough patch after it was revealed that Meri had been catfished after entering into a relationship with a person named “Sam.”
The mother of one met “Sam” on Twitter in March 2015, shortly after she and Kody legally divorced. After six months of online communication, Meri’s romance with “Sam” ended suddenly when it was discovered that “Sam” was actually a woman named Jackie Overton.
Jackie ultimately exposed the reality star’s sexts and private voicemails via “his” blog. “Sam” went so far as to write a book titled Almost Meri’ed. The catfish scandal plagued Meri and Kody’s relationship for years, until their 2022 split.
They were unable to rekindle their romance and in December 2021, Meri opened up about the platonic state of their marriage.
"Kody and I — we had a conversation recently, that kind of came down to, ‘We’re friends.’ Which I guess is a good thing. I guess I just have hope for more than that," she said. “Kody has said some things to me more recently that leads me to believe that there’s no repairing our relationship. … If I quit and I walk away, then it's not going to get better. I'm not going anywhere."
Following the split, Meri admitted to feeling “jealous” of her former husband’s other marriages, saying, “Anytime that you expand your family, there’s going to be a shift.”
“You’ve got just the logistical things, but then you’ve also got the emotional things,” she continued, adding that she was “not grown up enough” at the time to realize her emotions.
“You think you are, but you’re really not grown up enough sometimes,” Meri explained ahead of the season 18 premiere. “Or maybe it’s more not that you’re grown up enough, but more that you just don’t have the tools in your tool belt to know how to deal with some of these issues. We’re taught in our church structure that jealousy is a thing that you just need to deal with and you just need to hide it, and you need to be a good person. Now, I understand that jealousy is OK. It actually can be used as a guide. And before, it was like, ‘Oh, it’s wrong. I’m a bad person.’”
During an October 2023 episode of Sister Wives, Meri explained to Robyn that she wanted to downsize her home in Flagstaff, Arizona, so that she could travel to Utah more for work. While she insisted she didn’t plan to leave the family, Robyn worried that Meri would eventually end her spiritual marriage to Kody.
Later on in the episode, Meri stated she heard that Kody said “not very kind” things about her. However, she was seemingly hopeful and said she was willing to continue working on their relationship.
Since their split, Meri has seemingly hinted that she doesn't hold her ex in a negative regard, and even recalled some of their happier times together. “I know the person that he was when we got married. I know that the couple that we were,” she said ahead of a November 2023 episode.
Have Kody and Meri Moved on Following Their Split?
While Kody remains wed to his last remaining wife, Robyn, Meri has been living it up as a single woman, as she’s often seen traveling to exotic destinations.
“This year has been a season of change for me,” Meri shared in August 2023. “A time to look inward, decide what is me now, what is not anymore. A time to cherish the past and the memories it holds, while also letting go and reaching for my future. It’s been a time to part ways with all the ‘stuff’ holding me back, holding me down and what is holding on to me. That stuff that doesn’t serve me anymore. Physical stuff, emotional stuff, all the unneeded stuff. A time to shed resentment, pain, hurt, even those same emotions of others that I’ve been carrying, that are not mine to carry.”
Rumors about Meri's love life after her split from Kody began to pick up steam in August 2023 when she posted a photo on Instagram with a mystery man, writing, "This guy is kind, genuine, and authentic, a true friend." The man was identified as JD Crawford. “If you don’t have one of these humans in your life, one that has your back, one that no matter what time passes, it’s like no time passed at all, you should get yourself one!” Meri concluded.
Meanwhile, other fans thought that there was something romantic developing between Meri and her best friend, Jenn Sullivan, but Jenn herself confirmed that there is actually an ongoing search for a new man in Meri's life. “I’m dating my husband but that’s it. He’s trying to set Meri up then we shall double date," Jenn said in November 2023.