Sister Wives: Kody and Meri Brown Open Up About Their 'Distant' Marriage — 'It's Dead, It's Over'
"If Meri and I really wanted to be together, we would," said Kody Brown
The future of Kody and Meri Brown's marriage remains unknown.
On Sunday night's episode of Sister Wives, the TLC stars opened up about the status of their rocky 30-year relationship, with Kody, 52, calling it "amicable" and Meri, 50, saying "it's dead, it's over."
The subject came up after Christine Brown revealed during a family meeting that her Las Vegas house had finally sold, which raised the question of when Kody would begin building homes for him and his four wives — Christine, Janelle, Meri and Robyn — on the Coyote Pass property.
As seen in the season premiere, each of the women were living in their own homes in Flagstaff, Arizona, and Kody was going between houses. But Christine's Arizona abode being sold made the sister wives wonder about the future of when and where their individual lots would come to fruition.
Last spring, the family "got into a squabble," according to Kody "because it turned out that there was a bunch of confusion." He explained to cameras: "I got in trouble for being the one that manipulated everybody into places and I did not do that. That made me look like an ass---- and an idiot."
Among the "confusion" was where Meri's property would be. "Last year, the five of us had come out. There was definitely some misunderstandings," Meri said in a confessional.
In short, Meri said she didn't want her house to be built among the trees. After learning that, Kody placed her on a different part of the property that Meri didn't choose or want.
From Kody's perspective, he had "bent over backwards for Meri to keep Meri happy about our location, about her location, about getting there," he explained to viewers. But although Kody had good intentions, things were miscommunicated, and Meri left the family property visit, which took place four months earlier, "mad at Kody," she said.
Following Christine's news about her house sale, Robyn, 42, asked Meri and Kody to go out and look at Coyote Pass with her, where they had a conversation and discussed the "misunderstanding" with Meri's house positioning.
"Kody and Meri don't need more kind of like, misunderstandings or even like, issues in their relationship," Robyn —who Kody dubbed "the family peacemaker" — confessed to cameras. "They're already struggling right now."
Meri herself admitted that she and Kody's marriage was in a rocky spot.
"We ended up going back to Las Vegas to see our therapist, Nancy, and just kind of like, work through our relationship," she said in a confessional.
Then, flashback footage from two months prior played, showing Kody and Meri sitting down with their marriage counselor.
"When we were at Nancy's, I kind of lidded off," Kody recalled to cameras.
While in the session, Kody told the therapist, "We're family, but we're not acting married."
For Meri, "the relationship between he and I is gone — it's dead, it's over," she told Nancy.
As to where his marriage stands with Meri? "My relationship with Meri is at best just distant and amicable," Kody told cameras. "You know, I could buck up ... be tough about it, but I'm not interested in it."
He continued: "For all my marriage with Meri, I've felt like she unloads her emotions into a burden that I am supposed to carry. I'm not carrying this burden. 'Cause there's no reason that I should."
Furthermore, he admitted, "I haven't put relationship effort into that relationship specifically because I have three other relationships that are rewarding and wholesome and with children that need me, need to see me." (Kody and the women have a combined 18 children. He and Meri share adult daughter Mariah.)
Expanding on the status of their relationship, Meri said that she is "really careful about pushing Kody because I don't want him to feel like I'm being demanding or pushy or anything like that," she told viewers. "So I feel like I've made it known to him enough, you know, where I want the relationship to go as far as even like, just moving forward and just starting to figure things out."
She added that "it's best to like, leave the ball in his court."
The pair's marriage has had friction for years. In 2015, Meri dropped the shocking bombshell that she'd been "catfished" after having an online relationship with someone she thought was a man, but was actually a woman. Attempting to repair their relationship, Kody and Meri entered therapy to deal with the emotional fallout from the scandal.
A few years after the drama, in 2018, Kody admitted that he didn't desire to be intimate with Meri.
Speaking for both himself and Meri, Kody told cameras on Sunday's episode that "neither of us see real value in the relationship. Because if Meri and I really wanted to be together, we would."
Back on the Coyote Pass property, the trio all discussed the "huge misunderstanding," as described by Robyn, about Meri's house placement.
Ultimately, Kody was "really willing to sort it out," he told his two wives.
"I get what he was doing. He was trying to give me what he thought that I wanted. But I never said I wanted it," Meri told cameras.
Moving forward, she still remained uncertain about what she wanted. "I love the trees. I don't know that I want to have a house in the trees," she said in a confessional.
Observing Kody and Meri's relationship, Robyn called it "really sad and hard to see."
"I love them both," said Robyn. "I'll do what I can to help them. Their relationship really does have an effect on the rest of the family."
Sister Wives airs Sundays (10 p.m. ET) on TLC.