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Posted Mon, October 4, 2010 5:23pm EDT

How The 4 ‘Sister Wives’ Each Met Kody Brown!

Kody Brown, the husband of three women, Meri, Janelle and Christine and soon to be fourth wife Robyn have just opened up their polygamist lives to the world on TLC’s new realty series Sister Wives.

I am a huge fan of HBO’s Big Love so the idea of watching a real polygamist family in action is understandably fascinating.

The most interesting part isn’t even how they live together now but how this whole situation came to be. How did they meet? How were they raised? How does courting another wife, while you’re married, work? Some of these questions have been answered now on TLC’s website detailing the history of these relationships from their first meetings to their growing romances to marriage.

First wife Meri, who has been married to Kody for 20 years, met him on October 20, 1989 when a friend came to visit her home and then introduced Meri to her brother. During the weekend of her visit the three hung out and had fun together shopping and going to the movies. Meri thought it would be the last time she saw Kody, but instead he kept  in touch. She was a few months short of 19-years-old and he was 22 however, he soon made his intentions known and two months he proposed on Christmas Eve,  with both their families consenting. The couple married on April 21, 1990.

Wife number two, Janelle, met Kody through Meri in the fall of 1989 when Meri brought him to a gathering to introduce him to friends. Janelle was not raised as a Mormon and so she didn’t even consider him as a possible prospect. Janelle had been friends with Meri’s family for years but the friendship between Kody and Janelle began to grow. In 1992 she became enthralled with Native American culture and ended up staying in a tipi (which only lasted a week) on Kody’s parents ranch. The couple came to visit and asked Janelle to visit them in Montana for a few days. That visit sparked the initial conversation about a relationship and Kody and Janelle were married a year later, in 1993.

Kody’s third wife, Christine, who is currently pregnant with her sixth child, met Kody through her sister in 1990 – the summer after she finished high school. She was on a youth wilderness trip and Kody and Meri were her chaperones. After that, the families became close friends and in the winter of 1994 when Kody, Meri and Janelle were living in Wyoming, they invited a few friends including Christine for a surprise party. That weekend Christine told Kody “Out of all the guys I know, you are the one I want to marry.” This started to “get the ball rolling.” Christine went home and told her dad, who had wanted her to be with Kody for years and he fully approved.

On Valentines Day, Kody and second wife Janelle came into town and took Christine on their first date. That night Kody proposed. One month later the couple was married on March 25, 1994.

It is absolutely fascinating to me, a woman of  this time who is constantly being told to wait to get married, have a career and make sure you only marry  the right man, so you don’t get divorced — that these three, soon to be four couples — have managed to maintain a marriage of 20 years, 17 years and 16 years. Especially since they only had really known each other for a short time before they took the marriage plunge!

-Jennifer Murray