The True Story Of How Kody And Meri Brown Met

Out of all the famous reality TV families, the Brown family of "Sister Wives" is arguably one of the most complicated — if not the most. As one can imagine, a plural marriage comprised of one head of household, four wives, 18 children, and six grandchildren (and counting) is pretty much a recipe for drama. True enough, there has been no shortage of it since the show began airing.

The Browns are hardly ever harmonious, but there was once a time when all seemed well, way before they grew to be polygamous. It was the time Kody Brown and his first wife, Meri Brown, got together. Unbeknownst to everyone not all of Kody's unions are merely "spiritual." He was previously legally married to Meri, long before the catfishing incident (more on this later) and the long list of controversies that plagued the family over the years.

But how did the Brown family come about anyway? And how did Kody and Meri cross paths?

Kody and Meri Brown met when they were teenagers

Kody and Meri Brown's love story started when they were in their teens. The two met in church when Meri was 18  through Kody's sister, Christy, and suffice to say, sparks flew from the get-go. "I was a little taken with Kody right off the bat," Meri wrote in the book "Becoming Sister Wives" (via Entertainment Tonight). "He was definitely cute, and had a great attitude. He was talkative and engaged me in conversation, and made me feel comfortable around him."

In her bio on the TLC website, Meri detailed how she was initially unsure if Kody felt equally attracted to her, but he soon dropped signs that he felt the same way, too. Two months after they met, he got down on one knee and proposed. Apparently, Kody thought they were soulmates. "Meri was so cute and sweet when I met her that I had a hard time suppressing my hopelessly romantic nature," he said in the book. "She had a remarkable purity about her. I had a sneaking suspicion that we were soulmates."

The couple welcomed their first and only child, Mariah, in 1995, and unfortunately, it was around the same time that their supposed happily ever after ended. Multiple issues plagued their marriage, chief of which was the difficulty to conceive more children and lack of intimacy.

Inside Kody and Meri Brown's relationship today

Kody and Meri Brown's relationship evolved over the years, but not for the better. They had struggled to have more kids despite years of trying, and in 2012, by the time Meri had gotten pregnant, she experienced a miscarriage. "I completely assumed that after I had Mariah, it would be very easy for me to conceive again," Meri said in an episode of "Sister Wives" (via Us Weekly). "And that just didn't happen. So, after years of a rollercoaster, we had finally backed off."

The couple's problems continued stacking up. It reached a fever pitch in 2015 when Meri agreed to legally divorce Kody so he could marry his fourth wife, Robyn, and adopt her children. It was the same year that she met someone online, whom she thought was a man and later found out was only catfishing her. "During an emotional and vulnerable time earlier this year, I began speaking with someone online who turned out to be not who they said they were," she told People at the time. The incident served as a breaking point for Kody, who later admitted it was what ultimately "ended" their marriage. "From that experience, Meri and I sort of saw our marriage just dissolve," he divulged (via Us Weekly).

Fast forward to 2022, it seems like Kody and Meri are over, but not for Meri's lack of trying. "He's like, 'We're not married. We're not acting as married,'" she said in the Season 17 season finale. "And I said to him then, 'If that's where we are, don't you think that we should address that publicly?'"