If you’ve been a long-time fan of the hit TLC series “Sister Wives,” which first aired in 2010, then you might know your fair share of eye-widening details about the beloved polygamist family. However, those who are not as familiar with the backstory of Kody Brown and his four sister wives -- Meri, Janelle, Christine and Roby -- recently discovered an interesting fact about the reality family: Kody’s second sister wife, Janelle, was previously married to the brother of Kody’s first wife, Meri.
Radar Online reported the complicated history of the family, which was previously exposed in an earlier installment of “Sister Wives,” according to fans, as well the Brown’s family book, “Becoming Sister Wives: The Story of an Unconventional Marriage.” In addition to recanting the complex romance, the outlet also released documents obtained from Utah’s Salt Lake Country court that confirmed Janelle and Meri’s brother, Adam Clark Barber, had divorced on June, 8, 1990.
Loyal fans of “Sister Wives” took to the comments section to state that the Brown’s intricate history came as no surprise to them seeing as though the family previously addressed the scandal on several different outlets. But despite how dated the news was, the twisted family history of the Browns still caught the eye of the show’s newest viewers.
What makes the date of Janelle’s divorce from Meri’s brother significant is that it took place one year after the blond-haired sister wife met Kody. In Janelle’s TLC bio, Meri’s former sister-in-law admitted to first meeting Kody in 1989.
“Meri had brought him to a gathering to introduce him to her friends. When he walked into the room I looked at him and had that feeling of remembering something I had forgotten. It was a singular experience,” she stated, before unveiling that she had known Meri’s family “for several years” before meeting Kody.
Although Janelle notes in her bio that “something sparked” between the two after having “several conversations,” the patriarch of the polygamist clan divulged in “Becoming Sister Wives” that is was Janelle who approached him with romantic interest.
"It felt proper that Janelle should make the official opening move. In many ways, it's more appropriate. After all, I was a married man. I should not be making moves on women. That would defile my relationship with Meri,” Kody, who married Meri in 1990, states in a passage of the book.
Janelle and Kody were spiritually married in 1993. However, Janelle recalls in “Becoming Sister Wives” that she felt a bit excluded in the relationship due to Meri and Kody being unsure how to incorporate her into their family. Could this be what led to the rift in Meri and Janelle’s relationship? In Season 6 of “Sister Wives,” Janelle asks Meri to partake in therapy with her so the two can work on their broken relationship -- something Meri admitted she had wanted to do for years.
After taking Janelle’s proposal into considering, Meri agrees to “move forward” with therapy. With tears streaming down her face, Janelle revealed she was surprised, adding that she was looking forward to finally discussing the “turbulence” in their relationship.
“So what was the problem all these years? I don’t know,” Janelle asked in the Season 6 episode.
Will Kody’s sister wives discuss Janelle’s previous marriage to Meri’s brother during their therapy sessions in Season 6? Find out when “Sister Wives” airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. EDT on TLC.