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‘Sister Wives’ Scoop: Why Janelle Separated From Kody Brown Before Show Aired

Janelle Brown once moved away from Kody and her sister wives for two years to live with her mother. Here's why and what happened.

Viewers of the popular TLC reality show “Sister Wives” get a front row seat to the lives of Kody Brown and his four wives Janelle, Meri, Christine, and Robyn. Most of us can’t imagine being in a plural marriage but this motley crew airs their personal business to the world. And it’s not always marital bliss.

Kody Brown’s Relationship With The Sister Wives

Viewers have seen Kody’s sometimes turbulent relationship with Meri, Christine, and Robyn. At times, it seemed one of them would be leaving.

There doesn’t appear to be drama between Janelle and Kody. The irony of that is that Janelle is the only wife who has ever left the family. 

When Janelle did return two years later, everything changed for the family. 

This occurred before the cameras started rolling on this polygamist family. It was also long before COVID-19 separated them temporarily.

Janelle Brown had five babies in seven years. She was depressed and under a tremendous amount of stress. Her relationship with Kody’s first wife Meri was at a boiling point. They lived in tight quarters and had financial stress. 

Sister Wives Fight Sent Janelle Packing

A fight with Meri sent Janelle packing. She took off for her mom’s house.

Kody originally thought it would just be for the night but that wasn’t even close to being accurate. 

She Didn’t Leave Kody, Janelle Brown Left Her ‘Sister Wives’ Family

Janelle insists she didn’t leave Kody, but rather she separated from the family. The strain from her living and family situation was too much to bear and she needed a very extended break from it. She continued seeing Kody during her time away. 

Before she returned, Kody made a big change by purchasing home converted for a polygamist family. 

The 6,000 square foot home in Lehigh, Utah has three separate apartment like living spaces. Each unit is self contained with its own kitchen, laundry room, and living space.

They all have a door to the outside but unlike traditional apartments, they have doors to the interior as well. This made visiting each other accessible but with boundaries. 

This home is often discussed on the show, particularly how the older Brown children were able to easily visit each other. 

Even though Janelle returned, her relationship with Meri has never healed. The sister wives have even mentioned that it is difficult for them to even ride in a car together. 

Janelle Brown Was Once Married To Meri’s Brother

Meri and Janelle knew each other before becoming sister wives. Janelle was previously married to Meri’s brother.

Even though Meri was the only wife at the time, she and Kody discussed their plans for plural marriage in front of Janelle. It is reported the relationship soured when Janelle and Kody planned to marry on Meri’s birthday. 

RELATED: Robyn Brown Of ‘Sister Wives’ Prays ‘Every Day’ That Her Husband Kody And His First Wife Repair Their Relationship

Despite the sometimes frosty relationship between wife number one and two, Janelle is cheering for Meri and Kody. The couple has both described their relationship on rocky ground. Meri even called it “dead.”

Still, Janelle wants Meri and Kody to remain together. 

RELATED: ‘Sister Wives’ Star Kody Brown Reveals Why He Doesn’t Want Intimacy With First Wife Meri

Janelle and Kody Brown have a very untraditional love story even by polygamist standards.

In the video below, they discuss how they came to be married. 

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