Meri says she was raised in a polygamist family and always knew that's what she wanted when she got married. "When we were talking about marriage and stuff, at that point, [Kody] and I both knew that eventually we would take another wife or wives into the family," Meri says.
Unlike Meri, Janelle grew up in the mainstream Mormon Church, which does not practice or promote polygamy. But, after getting to know Meri and Kody, Janelle adopted a new belief system. "I met Meri's family when I was 19," she says. "I actually met Kody a few years after that. I think I was 22 when I finally thought: 'Wow, Kody's a great guy. Maybe I'm okay with this plural marriage thing.'"
See the Brown family tree.
The third woman to join the family, Christine, grew up in a polygamist family and wanted that lifestyle for herself as well. "I never wanted to just be married to a man," she says. "I honestly wanted sister wives more than a husband. I wanted the whole family. I didn't just want Kody."
For 16 years, Kody, Meri, Janelle, Christine and their 13 children lived together as one big polygamist family. Then, in 2010, they added Robyn, Kody's fourth wife, and her three children to the mix.
"I just fell in love, and then I fell in love again," Kody says. "And then I fell in love again."