Why Did 3 Out of 4 Sister Wives Leave Kody Brown?

By: Alyssa Miller | Published: Jan 02, 2024

“Sister Wives” has been one of the biggest shows on the The Learning Channel since it premiered in September 2010. The show followed the lives of Kody Brown and his four wives: Robyn, Christine, Janelle, and Meri. Together, Kody and his four wives had 18 children.

While the show focused on Kody’s unconventional family structure, the polyamorous relationship didn’t work for everyone. Three of the four sisters have left the family, but why? Let’s learn more.

Three Sister Wives Have Left the Family

Three sister wives have decided to leave Kody Brown for various reasons. Christine was the first wife to leave, which shocked fans in November 2021. Christine was the third wife of Kody, and they have six children and three grandchildren together.

Robyn, Christine, Janelle, and Meri standing next to Kody Brown

Source: Robyn Brown Nest/Instagram

After 27 years of “spiritual marriage,” Christine decided to leave after feeling neglected and unsupported by Kody.

Why Did Christine Leave Kody Brown?

After Kody chose to not be there for Ysabel’s surgery to correct her scoliosis, Christine revealed that she had to leave Kody and live on her own, according to People. This decision came after Christine felt an increasing neglect coming from Kody, who spent more time with Robyn and her children.

Christine Brown taking a selfie

Source: Christine Brown/Instagram

Christine also decided that she no longer wanted to be in a polygamous marriage, and desired a monogamous relationship where she and her children would be valued.

Meri Was the Last Wife to Leave Kody Brown

Meri was the first wife of Kody. The two were legally married on April 21, 1990, and only had one child together, Leon Brown. Meri was the only wife to be legally married to Kody until they divorced in 2014, so Kody could legally marry Robyn and adopt her three children.

Meri and Kody Brown taking a selfie together

Source: Meri Brown/Instagram

While they were legally divorced, Meri didn’t announce that she was leaving Kody until January 2023, citing Kody’s approach to marriage as “disturbing.”

Why Did Meri Leave Kody Brown?

“It’s interesting hearing him talking about this and the parallels that [are] happening with him and Christine and me and him,” Meri said in a confessional interview (via Today). “It’s kind of disturbing because some of the things that he’s frustrated about with Christine, he did to me. He wants to work on it with Christine but not me.”

Meri Brown posing with her dogs

Source: Meri Brown/Instagram

The emotional distance and unfulfilled desires for children left Meri longing for more. When she realized this wasn’t possible with Kody, she chose to leave.

Janelle Was the Second Wife to Leave Kody Brown

Janelle and Kody Brown had a spiritual marriage in 1993, making Janelle his second wife. Janelle was never legally married to Kody, but they did share six children: Logan, Madison, Hunter, Garrison, Gabriel, and Savannah.

Christine and Janelle in an interview

Source: ET/YouTube

After 20 years together, Janelle announced their separation in December 2022. Kody said in his interview on a special episode of “Sister Wives,” “Janelle has made it pretty clear to me that she’s enjoying her life without me.”


Why Did Janelle Leave Kody Brown? 

Janelle decided to leave Kody after the ongoing tensions and conflicts within the family became too much for her and her children. It also didn’t help that Janelle felt that she was being overshadowed by Robyn’s position as the “favorite” wife.

Janelle Brown and her family during graduation

Source: Janelle Brown/Instagram

At 53 years old, Janelle is ready to begin a new chapter of her life, one that focuses on her happiness and goals that extend beyond the boundaries of the Brown family.


Are Robyn and Kody Still Together? 

Robyn has remained with Kody, but is there a relationship on the rocks? As of right now, Robyn is Kody’s fourth spiritual wife, and his only legal and spiritual wife. However, Kody admitted that he had contemplated leaving Robyn and their two youngest biological children in one episode of “Sister Wives.”

Robyn Brown crying

Source: Sister Wives/Facebook

It seems that this thought did not materialize into action, as Robyn and Kody are still together.


Robyn and Kody Are Recovering from the Divorce

The aftermath of Christine, Janelle, and Meri leaving in 14 months left Kody feeling strange about his monogamous relationship with Robyn. Kody opened up about the profound impact of the experience, stating, “We are not recovering from this. I mean, it’s not clinical depression, but we’ve been a bit depressed about what the experience did.”

Kody Brown in an interview

Source: ET/YouTube

Robyn also said that she has been struggling with depression, mourning, loss, and grief in the face of the dramatic changes in their family dynamic.


When Did Robyn Join the Sister Wives? 

The self-proclaimed “soul mates” are the only two members of the Brown family who are still together. The 45-year-old mother of five joined the family in 2010, which was documented in the pilot episode of the family’s TLC reality series.

Robyn Brown and Kody Brown sitting on a couch

Source: Sister Wives/Facebook

In the show’s “One-on-One” special, Robyn and Kody discussed the possibility of having a monogamous relationship.


Will Kody Brown Find Another Wife? 

When asked about bringing new wives into the family, Robyn said she was interested in the idea. However, she does note feeling “scared of it because of how badly this has gone. I really, really struggle with it because it feels like, ‘Oh well, those didn’t work so onto the new!’ That’s hard for me. That’s really, really hard for me. It feels disrespectful” (via People).

Husband and wife exchange rings during their wedding vows

Source: Freepik

Kody says that he is not ready to bring any other wives into the family at this time.


Robyn Doesn’t Want a Monogamous Relationship? 

The issue with Kody not wanting to bring another wife into the family dynamic is causing Robyn to have an identity crisis. Robyn said that she never intended to be the last wife standing. “It’s not the future I wanted. I want that house with us on the porch in the rocking chairs with our grandkids and our kids around us — the grandparent ranch,” Robyn said (via People).

Kody Brown promo photo for "Sister Wives"

Source: Sister Wives/Facebook

“That’s what I want. And I don’t know how to let it go,” Robyn punctuated the statement. The future is uncertain for Robyn and Kody. Time will tell what the future holds.