Meri Brown has no plans to leave her husband Kody, even though Kody has previously said their relationship is "not functional."
The "Sister Wives" star opens up about the reason she sticks around in the latest episode of the TLC reality series, explaining that she has hopes for a reconciliation one day.
Meri, 51, reflects on her strained relationship with Kody in a confessional interview while talking about her sister wife Christine's decision to divorce Kody and move to Utah.
“I don’t feel jealous of Christine that she’s leaving and I can’t because I can. I can do whatever I want. My strength is sticking around and seeing if Kody would be willing to work on a relationship. So I leave that door open, but I’m not pining away for it," she says.
Meri married Kody in 1990 and is the first of his four wives. Christine, Kody's third wife, announced her intention to divorce Kody in 2019.
Meri and Kody haven't lived together in several years. Kody previously said that their marriage “dissolved” after Meri’s catfishing scandal in 2015, during which she entered into an online relationship with a person she thought was a man, but was in fact a female fan of the show.
On the Season 17 episode entitled "A Polygamist Divorce," Meri offers a status update on where their marriage stands.
“We’re not legally married," she says. Meri and Kody divorced so Kody could marry Robyn, and adopt her kids, in 2014. "I want to work on the relationship, but Kody has basically said that he doesn’t. Does that mean we’re just not married anymore? That’s not how I consider it. I feel like we’re still married."
Kody has a different perspective, which she shares in the episode.
“I don’t really consider myself married to Meri. If she wanted to move on and marry another, she wouldn’t get an argument with me. I don’t believe that we can ever be functional and I don’t believe that I will ever be emotionally safe with her,” he says.
Kody then elaborates on why his relationship (or lack thereof) with Christine and Meri is very different.
“The difference between me and Christine and me and Meri is that Meri and I have been unraveling our relationship for years," he says. “Christine found out that she would never be happy married to me but her leaving was so sudden that it wasn’t unraveled for me. It was like I was being kicked to the curb, and that was the difference.”
In a recent episode, Meri said that Kody got "very distant" after her 2015 catfishing scandal. Meri asked if they could take a short break amid the turmoil, and said the request backfired.
“I said, ‘Can we just get through some of this stuff? Can we just take a break?” she said. “He has interpreted that as I kicked him out and he’s never come back.”