“Christine’s decision to leave comes with a great deal of sadness,” the Brown family patriarch wrote via Instagram after his third wife broke the news. “We enjoyed many years together and I have a large amount of respect and admiration for her. Although we are moving forward on different paths, we will always remain committed parents.”
The duo, who tied the knot in March 1994, share six children: Aspyn (born March 1995), Mykelti (born June 1996), Paedon (born August 1998), Gwendlyn (born October 2001), Ysabel (born June 2003) and Truely (born April 2010).
When Christine joined the polygamous family, Kody already had two other wives. He wed his first, Meri Brown, in April 1990. Janelle Brown became his second wife in January 1993. (Polygamy is illegal in the United States, so Kody and Meri’s union was the only one recognized by law.)
Christine, who was raised in a polygamous family, has said that she realized she wanted to be part of a plural marriage when she was just 19 years old.
“I honestly wanted sister wives more than a husband for a good time of my life,” she explained in the Sister Wives series premiere, which aired in September 2010. “I want the whole family. I didn’t just want Kody. No, I wanted everything.”
She also knew that she specifically wanted to become someone’s third wife, because she believed that was the “easiest” position available in a polygamous family. “I never wanted to be a first at all because I didn’t want to be married to a guy by myself,” she explained. “And then, I didn’t want to be a second because I felt like they were a little wedge in the relationship, and I didn’t want to be the wedge. I only ever wanted to be the third.”
When Kody brought a fourth wife into the family, however, Christine wasn’t shy about expressing her skepticism. Kody began courting Robyn Brown in 2010, and the pair wed in May of that year. He later divorced Meri so he could officially marry Robyn and legally adopt her three children from a previous relationship.
In March 2021, Christine admitted that she didn’t always feel like an “equal partner” in her relationship with Kody and the other wives. “The thing that I struggled with most is when I feel like I don’t have a say or when I feel like I’m not as important or things like that,” she told Us Weekly at the time. “Anytime we’ve had major decisions, I go through a time where I’m like, ‘Does my opinion really even matter here?’ That’s when we struggle the most.”
Keep scrolling for a look back at Christine and Kody’s relationship:
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