The comments on these from all of us will be added soon.
Season 6 Finale
Meri: So I guess I should bring something up. That I need to talk about.
I needed to have a conversation with Kody and my Sister Wives for a while. So now that we are sitting here at dinner maybe I should do it now. Maybe I should start talking.
I hate bringing it up because we are talking about happy things. We are talking about the kids. We’re talking about Madison we’re talking about this fabulous trip that we’ve been on. Yeah this is really that bad. And I don’t know how to do it when I know that all eyes are on me and they have been for a while because they know that something is going on.
I don’t think, you guys, okay. So ya’ll know, it’s no surprise that I’ve been struggling with stuff, lately. I mean you guys all know, I don’t know if it has anything to do with the fact that when Mariah left to college, I don’t know if that just kind of set me in this weird place.
Usually when people go through empty nest it’s a couple doing it together. But in a plural situation that’s not the case. I’m in this place where I just feel alone. Isolated. Lonely. I don’t feel like anybody else in the family can even relate.
I’m feeling at a place of limbo right now. I don’t know what I need to do is what I’m saying. I’m going to be doing something but I don’t know what it is that I need to do.
I wake up in the mornings and I turn the music on in my house so that I can have some noise. Because it’s just quiet. It’s lonely. I just feel lonely. I’m just alone so much of the time. I got into this place where I was talking to different people on social media and making friends and I got into this situation talking to one person who really made me trust him. He was just saying all the right things. Being very kind and very compassionate and understanding and I trusted him. We kind of just started talking online and I laughed.
I just don’t know what it’s going to be. And I don’t know where I’m going to go or what I’m. I just don’t know what I’m going to do right now. So don’t be surprised if I just up and am gone.
Christine: You’ve got to at least give us a warning.
Robyn: Or let us know where you are at at least, we won’t bother you but I mean we want to know you are safe, we want to know you are okay.
Christine: We all know that Meri has had a rough couple of months just from watching her behavior. She will come to family things as little as she can. And even when we work together she’s very detached and is on her phone a lot. So I don’t know what to do.
Christine: We will be there for you, alright?
Christine: I do think she needs to tell us what she is going to do. For her to decide to just be up and gone someday, we are more of a support system than that. Just doing that isn’t fair.
Janelle: Meri at one point said don’t be surprised if one day you see me gone. And my first gut reaction was What you are just going to run away? We may have our issues but I still very much care about what’s happening with her.
Robyn: Meri has been very different. When I first started noticing that something was up with Meri I just tried to talk to her. She has talked to me before about I don’t know where I fit in the family. It’s very confusing. The answer to this situation with Meri is screaming at us. This is your family, we love you, the kids love you. This is where you belong, this is where you shine. Can I just be done? I’m a mess now.
Meri: I think that for a while now some of my family has been concerned of what I’m doing, what’s going on with me. Do I want to stay here in the family? I do see the more I pull away the more they wonder why are you pulling away? I do feel isolated. And so I started talking to this person online. And we laughed. He was cracking jokes and just making funny comments and I was making funny comments back. It was like I felt this release. And it just felt really good to laugh. It started out as a friendship and I loved the friendship. I loved the friendship. We were talking on the phone and he was expressing love for me. And attraction to me. He was saying really, really kind things. Very flattering things. And I felt flattered. It was really sweet. And he was really making me start to feel love for who he was portraying himself to be. This is really, really confusing because I was really caring about him too. It was probably one of the most confusing situations I’ve ever been in because I’m sitting here, married. And I’m feeling these other emotions directed towards somebody else. I don’t think there is only one person in the world that somebody could love. It’s how you act on it. And I had chosen to not act on it. And I told him that.
And he then started really, really pushing the issue. He started expressing these things very early on as we were starting to talk. And I remember thinking that’s kind of weird you don’t really know me. And I even told him that you don’t even know me. And he was like I know what you look like I know a lot about you. And
Director: Did you want to meet him?
Meri. Yeah. I wanted to meet him. I didn’t see any problem with meeting him. He never would meet me. And then there were other things that kind of started making me wonder what was going on there were these little cracks in the story.
There were times early on that I was talking to him that I knew that he was just feeding me a line of bullshit. I knew it. And I knew this within the first week of talking to him. And I chose to ignore it because I enjoyed just talking to somebody.
I’ve been pulling away from the family because I’ve been trying to protect them and I don’t know how.
Meri: I don’t know what to do is what I’m saying. I’m going to be doing something but I don’t know what it is that I need to do.
Christine: Something like what?
Meri: I’ll figure, I don’t know.
Christine: What do you need from us?
Robyn: Yeah what do you need from us?
Meri: I don’t know.
Christine: She hasn’t known what to do and she has been lost for a long time. For 6 months at least she has been lost. And she hasn’t know she hasn’t had any direction.
Meri: I don’t know if it’s something that I just need to just go back to work and start working with kids again.
Christine: What about school?
Meri: I don’t know if I just need to just dive head first into school and forget everything else.
Christine: I’m frustrated. I’m like Mariah has been gone for 2 years. And you still don’t know what you are doing. And it’s just getting worse. You can always try things. If it doesn’t work it doesn’t mean you failed. It just means that it didn’t work. Start something else. If she goes away for a week and decides it doesn’t work then come back and do something else. Come on. Come on. Stop being scared. And let’s move.
Meri: I don’t know if I need to go away for a week on a camping trip out by myself. I don’t know.
Janelle: You are sitting here with all of these possibilities you don’t know what to choose. Meri you could choose them all. You could choose them all.
Janelle: You know I’m really all about supporting Meri going off and figuring out who she is or figuring out what she needs to do and whatever I can do to help her. But it’s really important that Meri’s back at Thanksgiving. Because it’s very, very important to me for the sake of the children that we hold a continuity. And holidsays have always been a really big marking point in our world as far as everything is fine with the family we are all together, all is well.
Robyn: Well I want you to know that we are going to miss you if you do take some time away and we support what it is you want to do. So don’t take anything of us being supportive of you as like we don’t want you around.
Robyn: Look Meri, if you don’t want to do this anymore we are going to love you we are going to support you tell us what we can do to support you tell us what we can do to be there for you. We are here for you and we love you and our kids love you and whatever we can do to support you as women. What can we do for you? The thing that would make me the happiest is if Kody and Meri were to married. In my happiest part of my life Meri is my sister wife and she’s married to Kody.
Meri: You know Janelle and I haven’t had a great relationship for most of the time that we’ve been in this family together and I see her really just trying to be supportive of me and Christine is doing the same thing. I mean they are just supportive and Robyn doesn’t know what to do with me. And I have given them every reason to be scared of what I’m going to do but I have only done it because I’ve been trying in my weird crazy way that I didn’t know how to handle it. Just trying to protect them. Trying to protect the family and the kids. I mean I love that they are sitting here wanting to support me but they don’t know what’s going on. They have no idea how bad it is. They don’t know what I brought into the family.
So I started figuring this stuff out. I started looking into him or who he said he was and there was way too many, way too many holes, way too many questions that he couldn’t answer. And then when I would ask him about it he would flip out. He would become almost verbally abusive with me. And all this time he still would never meet me. He used to make comments about his friend who was technologically sauve. That she could do damage. And he would make comments like you never want to mess with her.
I thought I was talking to a man online and on the phone. And I think it wasn’t a man. It wasn’t a man. I believe that it was a woman pretending to be a man. It was a woman who had been watching me online. And I feel like I have been targeted. And I feel like my family has been targeted.
I made the conscious decision to start pushing people away because I felt like I needed to protect them. I was afraid of what they could do to the family. The biggest concern that I have through all of this is what my family is going to think of me and feel about me and what they are going to want to do with me. Kody is not saying anything. He doesn’t know what’s going on with me. This is not the time to tell my family. We are having such a good trip.
I don’t know how to fix this. It’s one of the reasons why I’m so confused. I don’t know how to fix this.
Kody: So now Meri is saying she’s really struggling it seems like she has lost her identity. It seems like she is struggling with what she should do where she wants to go. It’s weird some of the words she is saying sounds like she’s leaving or something. It’s just, I don’t know what to make of this.
It seems like Meri, I don’t know. I’m gathering from this that what she’s sort of saying maybe is that she doesn’t want to be married to me anymore but she does want to be in the family.
I’m afraid to ask her. I’m afraid she is going to just get right in my face and say this is you.
I feel like the only thing that can fix this is just being in a prayerful state. And I just hope we can all do that. I hope that I can do that.
Season 6 Tell All Transcript
Tamron Hall: Meri opens up about the shocking story that’s made headlines around the world.
Meri: You all know it’s not surprise that I have been struggling with stuff.
I don’t know if it has anything to do with the fact that when Mariah left to college I don’t know if that just kind of set me in this weird place.
I need to figure out how to define myself. And I don’t know exactly what that’s going to mean.
I don’t know if I just need to dive head first into school and forget everything else. I don’t know if I need to go away for a week on a camping trip out by myself.
Don’t be surprised if I just up and leave and gone.
Anyway so I guess I’m just telling you guys to not be surprised when I do some really weird off the wall thing. Because you never know what I’m going to do.
Tamron Hall: Robyn what were you thinking during that exchange? What did you think Meri was talking about?
Robyn: Meri hasn’t been herself for a long time.
Tamron Hall: Janelle?
Janelle: You know it just seems Meri has seemed to be a little more distant from the family and we keep trying to, we are anxious to help her in anyway we can. And I think we are all just trying to figure out how that is best done at this point.
Tamron Hall: Kody take me back to that conversation, what did you think when you heard what Meri was saying?
Kody: I didn’t know what to think. I’m waiting for her just to express something to me. And at the time it just seemed so vague. I don’t even know. And I don’t want to push her. She hasn’t felt well for a long time. She hasn’t felt or she hasn’t seemed like herself for a long time. And
Tamron Hall: You say a long time, give me, in the last few year or since Mariah left? What?
Kody: To me in my head its like 6 months. I don’t remember exactly. I just, I’m actually afraid to push too hard because I’ve been asking that question a lot What’s wrong Meri? What’s going on? And she’s like, I don’t want to talk about it I don’t, I can’t talk about it.
Tamron Hall: Just a few days before I was to sit down with the Browns shocking news broke. Meri had been catfished unbeknownst to Kody and her sister wives. She had engaged in an online relationship. Meri believed it was with a man named Sam. But now it appears Sam may not exist. And the person behind him may actually be a woman.
Tamron Hall: Meri I want to talk to you about something that I know is difficult. Your eyes are already tearing up. It’s been revealed that you had an online connection with someone, who may not have been who you thought. Tell me what happened?
Meri: How much time do you have?
Tamron Hall: I’ve got as much as you need.
Meri: Um, last time we were here, it was about that time the legal divorce between Kody and I had been made public. And throughout that month all of us were getting bombarded with questions of what’s going on, you know did Meri divorce Kody? Why did Meri divorce Kody? and lots and lots and lots of comments to me cheering me on. That I had finally left him.
Tamron Hall: This, online?
Meri: Online, yeah. It was all social media. And I guess I just kind of got into this vulnerable state where I was open to friendships and relationships outside of my family. Outside of my safety zone. And people started reaching out to me and there was this one particular person who did reach out to me and he and I started talking online through social media and then we started talking on the phone and I really enjoyed the friendship and the laughter. He started saying all the right things. He started saying very flattering comments and expressing affection and love to me. And I fell for it. I started to love who he was portraying himself to be.
Tamron Hall: Looking back at how this all started you pointed out, you know the laughter, the compliments was that something missing in your relationship with Kody?
Meri: I think that was something when I first started talking to this person, I was open to the friendship and the laughter.
Tamron Hall: What can you tell me about the voicemails and the letters between you and this person? Are you able to tell me anything about them?
Meri: You know through the course of our phone conversations he would tell me things like I want you to call me and leave me messages and tell me how you feel or tell me all these certain things and he was specific about things that he wanted me to say.
Tamron Hall: He wanted you to say on the voicemail that you were in love?
Meri: He wanted me to express how much I loved him and how much I cared for him.
Tamron Hall: How long did this go on?
Meri: I talked to him for 6, I talked to him for quite a while but it was early on that I started seeing cracks in his story and things were not making sense. And he started pushing more and more for a more serious relationship at the same time as subtle threats of a friend of his and what she could do and as far as being a self proclaimed hacker. Being very technologically sauve.
Tamron Hall: What were the threats Meri?
Meri: He would say things about his friend that you don’t ever want to cross her. I eventually met her in real life. I never did meet him. But I met her. And she would do things like placing her phone on my phone and say that she could get all of the information from my phone. And I made the decision to distance myself from my friends and even my family. Because I felt like I had to protect them until I could get to a place that I could safely get out of the situation.
Tamron Hall: So you were not telling any of the family, in a sense all alone, and you were receiving threats from these people.
Tamron Hall: And you believed they would destroy your family?
Meri: I was scared of what they could do because they were showing it.
Tamron Hall: So you felt these were not idle threats? These people could act on them?
Meri: I felt very threatened by them and then there was times that I would be at a store and he would call me and start talking to me and just say are you at such and such store? And I’m like Yeah, how do you know that?
Tamron Hall: You are very emotional I think you wear your feelings on your sleeve to live with that fear how did you mange to conceal it?
Meri: I felt like I had to. So I just kept pushing them away because I didn’t know what else to do because I was scared of what these other people could do.
Tamron Hall: Did anyone else know that this, did you have an inkling that something like this was going on?
Janelle: She was so distant. She would show up at family gatherings and she would sit in the background and then she would disappear as soon as the main event was over. I mean she was just so distant.
Tamron Hall: So whe did you find out Kody?
Kody: Not until 3 weeks ago. But I, there was this situation that was going on and these people where. So I was seeing some of it. Had people reaching out to me, this is a little weird. And I’m like Meri look these people are creepy can you get, can you cut them off? And she would just give me blank stares.
Tamron Hall: So you thought these were just friends she had made online that were creepy? It was kind of bugging you.
Kody: Yeah the thing is the whole time that I’m saying that to her she was concerned that her house was bugged. And frankly there were some mistakes that I made very specifically in our relationship and it was almost like a perfect storm. So she’s in a lonely and vulnerable spot. And the couple of times I went to talk to her, one times she’s just in tears, when I’m saying Hey Meri you need to stop this with these people.
Tamron Hall: When you said stop this with these people, what did you think was going happening?
Kody: I thought it was just phone conversations and email and texting.
Meri: It was just phone conversations.
Kody: Yeah that’s all I was, I actually at the time, some of it was just what was online I was like hey you got to stop this.
Tamron Hall: Help me again, I’m trying to…
Kody: I was reading a flirt.
Tamron Hall: Okay.
Tamron Hall: Let me take a step back here. Obviously, this is your wife, you see a flirtation. Let me hear your response as her husband when you discover this.
Kody: Yeah, right. Well, okay. So I’m well aware that Meri and I haven’t been taking care of our relationship at this time so if we move back a little bit I just remember one night after one of our episodes airs Meri is looking at what’s going on on social media and she goes Don’t these people understand that I am married? And I’m like hey listen you know for the sake of our family will you just stop talking with these people? And one time she was kind of like staring at me like deer in the headlights, like now I remember it and I go oh I should have read that better. That read was I’m in a very bad situation and I can’t say nothing. And the other time that I talked to her about it, it was just flowing tears. But I wasn’t sure if she was done with me? And I was in a spot myself where I was just kind of patiently waiting for her to say do you want to rekindle our relationship do you want to go back and do some more counselling do you want to work on this or something like that. I was trying to be hands off so I wasn’t being controlling but I realized something was up but I didn’t even know what. And so I’m kind of in a fog while these people are terrorizing her.
Tamron Hall: Obviously people will make assumptions and only you know the truth. Tell me what was it that you were missing that this person was able to infultrate your heart?
Meri: I don’t know what I was missing necessarily so much as when we started talking online, I laughed. And the laughter felt good to me in my, I guess vulnerable state.
Tamron Hall: To set the record straight Meri, was there any physical relationsihp with this person?
Meri: Big giant pause, no. I never met this person. I’ve never met this person, I’ve never seen him, I’ve never seen. You know the pictures that he sent to me were of an actor. And said that they were him.
Tamron Hall: You did meet the friend?
Meri: I met the female friend. And she’s the one who I would talk to, there would be times that I would be talking to him on the phone and he would have a temper tantrum of sorts and hang up the phone. And then I’d get calls from her saying you better fix this, you better call, you better call and tell him how much you love him. You better fix this situation and so I’d have to. I felt in a place that I had to just do whatever it was that they said.
Tamron Hall: How did you find the courage to tell these 4 people the truth?
Meri: It took a lot.
Robyn: I made her.
Tamron Hall: How did you make her? How did you know?
Robyn: I’d been begging her for months to talk to me. I knew something wasn’t right. I was begging her and begging her to talk to me.
Tamron Hall: What made you decide to finally talk to them and tell them the truth?
Meri: I just knew I had to I knew I couldn’t keep doing that. They would ruin my life. That was said to me many times. I believe that that was the goal was in this was to break up this family.
Tamron Hall: How did you get out Meri?
Meri: I don’t feel like I am out yet. I mean I’ve told them.
Tamron Hall: But you felt enough to tell them
Meri: I’ve told them.
Tamron Hall: When did you tell them? How did you tell them?
Meri: We were in Colorado seeing Hunter at the Air Force academy and I just went into Robyn’s hotel room one night and we just started talking and I just knew I needed to tell her. There was so many times that she even came over, there was one time I called her over and this was months ago. I called her over to my house and she just laid there on my bed with me while I cried because I couldn’t say anything. I just felt so unsafe. I was just so scared.
Tamron Hall: What was that like telling Kody?
Meri: Horrible. I feel like I’ve, I go between this conflicting place in my head where I feel so much guilt for bringing this into the family. And being at such a place that I invited it in. I feel a lot of guilt for that.
Tamron Hall: When she says that Kody what’s going through your mind?
Kody: This is somebody who I started to see was trying to exploit her in a way to literally harm our family and find some way to damage our children. And so nothing but forgiveness in this case. It was, I see it, others may see it a different way but I see it as a flirt. So what.
Tamron Hall: So this is not emotional infidelity?
Kody: I don’t even know what that is. What I see is somebody she had made friends with, somebody that she felt safe with but that she was just having a communication.
Tamron Hall: She felt she was in love. Or she thought she was in love.
Meri: I felt a love for a person who was not even real.
Tamron Hall: I understand.
Kody: I need a second, I don’t get that because I need to see somebody to love them do you know what I mean. It sounds like…
Tamron Hall: But it may speak to what she talked about, just that yearning and all of these things that were happening.
Meri: Well he, he made me. He said all the right things to make me feel like I could trust him.
Tamron Hall: Janelle how are you processing all of this?
Janelle: My first reaction was to put on armour and go to war. I wasn’t going to let these creeps or these freaky people or whoever the heck they are. I was ready to go to war. I was ready to go to war. I visualized us all like honestly suiting up in armour, I don’t know how else to say it just circling around her and just. That’s what I felt. We were going to go to war to protect her.
Christine: Our job is to keep everybody safe.
Kody: Yeah. Solidarity. This is, we support Meri. We find out what we can do to protect her, to protect us. To keep our family together. To keep the relationship to go to those places that we neglected.
Tamron Hall: Meri have you told them everything?
Tamron Hall: Everything? So all of the cards are on the table. They, the Brown adults know it all.
Meri: Nods yes
Tamron Hall: What about your children?
Meri: A couple of hours ago I was in and pulled the kids together, Logan, Aspyn, Mariah, Madison, Mykelti and I just said I wanted to let you guys know no matter what you’ve heard, no matter what’s out there I was never going to leave you guys. I love my family I’m not ever going to leave.
Tamron Hall: Just for clarification in those exchanges there was talk of you leaving.
Meri: Social media buzz was that I was leaving. Because what they were seeing was me making comments about flying free, finding myself, you know doing my own thing, that kind of stuff. And this was stuff that was guided and this was also stuff that was meant in my mind against this person I want to fly free from this person.
Tamron Hall: Did you ever
Meri: And people took that as I was wanting to fly free from the family.
Tamron Hall: For clarification did you tell that man that you wanted to leave and be with him?
Meri: Yeah. This person pushed that on me.
Tamron Hall: You didn’t mean it?
Meri: He, no. There was not a person to leave with. And I always knew that I was never going to leave with him.
Tamron Hall: Why did you say it?
Meri: He was always pushing it on me. You don’t want to be in that family. I want you with me. He was always pushing it on me.
Tamron Hall: You will obviously have people who watch this show and who have watched it for many seasons, who believe that you were the person ultimately who did say you wanted or could leave the Brown family. That that’s what you meant. Even if the other person on the other end of that phone was fake.
Meri: It doesn’t matter what I say or what we say, people are always going to believe what they want to believe. But the one thing that I can say is I feel like that this person or these people or whoever it is started focusing on us for whatever reason I don’t know why and targeted us and wanted to tear our family apart. And that’s not happening on my watch.
Season 7 Ep 1 Transcript
Meri: Earlier this year I started talking to somebody online and then eventually on the phone. Who I thought was becoming a good friend. He said all the right things and did all the right things to make me feel trust for him. And he was making me really start to feel love for who he was portraying himself to be. I started suspecting that some of the things that he was saying were far from the truth. I thought I was talking to a man online and on the phone. And it wasn’t a man. It wasn’t a man. It was a woman pretending to be a man. It was a woman who had been watching me online. And I feel like I have been targeted. And I was keeping it all to myself. I wasn’t sharing anything with my family at all.
Then a couple months ago when we went to Alaska I had already decided that I didn’t know how or when but I needed to get out of this situation. And at one point I tried talking to my family about it and once I started talking to them I realized it just was not the time or place to do it.
After we got back from Alaska I did finally tell my family. I know it shocked and surprised them. There are very many aspects about it that were shocking.
Robyn: Her pulling back from the family was very difficult for us. Nobody could quite understand what was happening. It was difficult for me. I felt like I lost my friend. She would come late to family gatherings, she would leave early. She was on her phone the whole entire time. She was distant, she was cold, she’d move away from us she didn’t want to spend time with us. It was really difficult.
Meri: You know we’re still trying to figure out how to deal with it. We just need to process the whole thing. We’ve got our family therapist Nancy coming over so we just have a lot to discuss. A lot to figure out about it.
Meri: This year I’ve had quite a bit of stress in my life. And I finally talked to my family about it and now we are trying to deal with it. Almost on a daily basis I fight with myself in my head about this situation because I let it in. And I feel a lot of guilt for that. I always have just a little bit of anxiety when we discuss this subject.
Sure there’s things that we are going to have to work through and deal with because of the whole situation but being completely open and honest and transparent and vulnerable to the family is the best situation.
So today we are having Nancy our therapist come over and we’re just going to spend as much time as we need to with her talking about it and dealing with it and just processing it. I know it’s going to be a long, a long process. It’s not going to be resolved just in one day. But today will be a start.
Meri: Not quite as I had hoped but I was kind of in a jumble in my head.
Once I started talking to them I’m like wait a second. We’ve got one day left here and I just didn’t want this amazing trip to end on such a horrible note. So by not saying it, it only ended it on a sort of horrible note.
I don’t think, you guys, okay. So you all know it’s no surprise that I’ve been struggling with stuff. Lately. I don’t know what I need to do is what I’m saying I’m going to be doing something but I don’t know what it is I need to do.
Kody: In Alaska I didn’t even know what to think or do because it’s just like you needed a break. I didn’t understand from what.
Meri: And I don’t know where I’m going to go and what I’m. I just don’t know what I’m going to do, right now. So don’t be surprised if I just up and am gone.
Kody: It seemed like you were talking about a break from us as a family and a break from our situation.
Meri: I could tell during that conversation at dinner, it was just not going how I wanted. But I didn’t know how exactly how I wanted it to go and I didn’t know what to do.
Meri: The weekend that we went to go see Hunter for parents weekend in Colorado I ended up in Robyn’s hotel room one night and I just finally told her what was going on.
Robyn: Meri was very nervous but she finally told me. So the last 6 to 8 months I’ve been having like this major war within myself about Meri. It was a constant struggle to know whether or not I believed that Meri was actually having an affair or she just wasn’t and something else was going on. It’s like this isn’t like Meri to do this. I mean Meri would sit and call me over and she would just cry and want me to hold her.
Meri: We sat there for a couple hours just talking.
Robyn: I just kept saying what can I do for you, what can I do for you. She finally told me basically that she started talking to a guy online and I already knew that just because it was kind of public. I could tell that she was really embarrassed. She was worried that I was going to judge her and she sat there and told me some pretty horrifying things about what had happened with her. That she was still dealing with it. She said I don’t even think that this man is real. She said I think it was a woman trying to impersonate and make her voice sound like a man’s voice.
You know Meri was basically telling me that she was being emotionally blackmailed. She was telling me that she felt her house was bugged. She was telling me that they were tracking her every move. All of these things that never made sense to me all of a sudden made sense to me because she was telling me that she couldn’t spend time with the family without them getting upset. She just sat there and cried and cried and cried and finally told me everything. And I was beside myself just so sad for her that she has been going through this alone but at the same time so relieved that she wasn’t, she wasn’t leaving us.
I mean I know that’s not like it’s a good thing but I mean for me when it was like at least this is something we can figure out together.
Oh my gosh she’s not leaving us, she didn’t have an affair she got herself into this mess and these people took advantage of her.
I know from this experienced I’ve looked really internal and gone what have I done, what did we do, how did this happen? That’s where I’m just like how in the heck did this happen. How were you in the place that you were at emotionally? How did we not see it? How was this where you didn’t feel like you could talk to us? How did we not see this a mile away the burning bush over here. I don’t know. It’s like I’m sitting here like okay this should never happen to us.
Meri: I don’t even remember exactly how I said it or what I said.
Robyn really talked to me about the importance of just talking to the whole family or the adults you know and just letting them know. And I even at that point I didn’t know how or when or if I was going to tell the rest of the family. You know part of me just wanted to be like okay well I’ll tell Kody because he deserves to know, he needs to know, but we don’t need to tell everybody else we can just, you know I was still like trying to keep it in my own little circle because it was just. It was just humiliating.
I was just like, I need to say something but I can’t I’m too scared I don’t want to say anything.
Kody: About a week after Meri told Robyn the struggle she was having in her life she told me and the other wives. And we didn’t have a lot of information in depth on it. You know I’ve known for a long time that something was wrong that something was going on something she was struggling with. Her nuiances were all I’m trapped I’m trapped I’m trapped and I literally was like what are you trapped with me? I mean I’m not doing that to you.
She would just kind of go blank and cry.
Meri: Anyways so I finally told them what was going on. I had been talking to this person. It started out as a friendship you know we were laughing it felt good because leading up to that point I was just kind of in a weird place personally just trying to figure out I guess my own peace and my own happiness and just figuring stuff out. So when I started talking to this guy on social media and then eventually on the phone you know talking on the phone you know we were becoming friends and we were laughing. He was saying all the right things to make me trust him and make me think he was this real person that really cared. He started into you know expressing love for me and I did start caring about him or who I thought that he was.
Kody: Meri and I have struggled for a very long time. There was a point where I was trying to say hey you know some of these online friendships are not really safe can you cut them off and because she wasn’t trusting me at the time because we had struggled so much it left her vulnerable but not to me. It’s like well no I’m not going to stop having friends just because you say.
I wish that I would have tried harder to have regained her trust enough to have then been able to say hey you know what these aren’t good friends. Stay away from them.
I feel culpable in the sense that I could have actually tried to stay closer to her when she was trying to shut me out. That was a mistake on my part.
Janelle: So what I’ve understood from what you’ve said it’s like you were emotionally compromised like he started love and you were like Uhh no, not love but…
Meri: No when he started saying love it was flattering.
Kody: To be fair when people tell me that they love me I’m flattered you know. Maybe I’m just being naive, maybe this is new enough that I don’t really know what’s going on. I don’t know. Here’s the thing I refuse to live in a world of rumor and innuendo.
Meri: I’m sorry, I’m sorry. It was flattering.
Janelle: I get that. I get that I think that would be for anybody. I think that would be for anybody. That is not an unhuman that is not a polygamist thing that’s just, you know that’s normal to feel flattered.
Do you know I mean for me this whole experience I mean I still am very naive. I mean I really am naive. And we are generally very trusting, we are. And this has been a huge wakeup call. I always heard about these kinds of things. You know I’d read stories in my magazines or whatever about these kinds of people and I’m like okay that exists in some world, not mine.
Then he introduced me to his female friend and I met her and she would say how much he cared about me and all the while they were saying it was kind of these little threats.
Kody: The person you met, that woman is him? Is that right?
Meri: That is the person who was making herself look as him. Anyways so
Christine: How much of this plotting and planning does he have to write down how far in advanced does he have to plan before he can really mess with someone’s life appropriately.
Meri: Well here’s the kicker. We can really stop referring to him as a he because there really is no he. There is no he.
Christine: So Meri is telling us this story and how she thinks that there’s really one person behind several identities. It’s just evil to create all these identities setup just to deceive people.
Meri: Okay it seems kind of real but there’s kind of some holes in the story and I actually started doing some research myself you know just kind of looking into businesses and the house that he said that he owned here in Las Vegas and it wasn’t of course when I bring that up to him, serious like verbal abuse.
Robyn: Sorry it’s really, really weird to think of someone treating you like this and getting away with it because the Meri that I know wouldn’t put up with that. You know what I’m saying?
Kody: You never put up with it from me.
Meri: You didn’t threaten me, you’ve never threatened me the way these people threatened me.
Janelle: You know from an outside perspective I see the manipulation all over it and it just it really does surprise me that Meri fell for that. I’m just, when I’m listening to the facts I’m just like wow, how? How? How did you not say take a flying leap when this person said that to you. Because the Meri I know says those things.
Meri: These were actual words that she said to me. I will ruin your life. I will ruin your family. You don’t want to mess with me.
Christine: People will sit there behind their computer and create all this fake stuff and not be accountable for anything they say. They’re a coward. They are just sitting there behind a computer. That’s all they are doing. They are just a coward. And they are just bullying and bullying because they are just a coward.
Meri: I was on the phone once I was sitting in my bedroom and I was on the phone once to my friend then all of a sudden I started getting texts from him having to do with the conversation I was having with her on the phone and it really scared me.
Kody: Did you think you were being bugged?
Meri: I didn’t know if I was being bugged. I didn’t know if she had something on my phone and she was listening to everything. I didn’t even know so I got up and I went outside and I stood back out in the far corner of the yard.
Christine: How did they know what you were talking about?
Meri: I don’t know. But I was so scared she had put something in my house to listen to conversations or to see stuff.
Kody: What kind of low life digs into your life and manipulates this way?
Meri: I get so angry. I get so angry at myself when I still get emotional or feel anxiety about it because this stupid person still just has this much control over me and it just pisses me off because I’m not a weak person. God it just pisses me off at myself.
Meri: So there were times throughout talking to these characters that they really started pushing that I was not happy here in the family and that I wasn’t being treated right. They started talking a lot about like our religion and our beliefs and why do we believe this way and where does it stem from and like he was just questioning me on why are you even there? You’re not treated right you know you don’t have sole focus on you. I mean you are just kind of one in a group of you know.
Kody: You hear that a lot the one of the many.
Meri: And then he started like really bashing our belief system you know Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and how we are who we are and why we do what we do you know and it caused me to really think about and evaluate like what it was that I wanted. He would bring up these points about our religion and it caused me to start reading and start praying more and start really evaluating it and kind of bring a connection with God back into my life that I hadn’t had for a while.
And so it caused me to realize what I really want. And I spent a lot of time connecting with God and I spent a lot of time just asking him questions and just saying help me get out of this.
Robyn: This horrible person was able to weasel her way into our lives. I don’t ever want anyone in this family ever to feel that vulnerable, alone. We have to be proactive in making sure that kind of stuff doesn’t happen.
Robyn: I didn’t realize we have this big of a crack. It’s like bizarre to me that this person could isolate Meri so drastically that she wouldn’t sit and talk to us. Wouldn’t talk to Kody, wouldn’t talk to me, wouldn’t, wouldn’t reach out for help.
Janelle: You and Kody, you’ve made no bones that you were in a place where things were not at all connecting.
Meri: Well it was kind of like a whole lot of things. It was me being home alone all of the time. And you guys having all these kids that I wasn’t involved in.
Christine: It’s really humiliating to think that somebody got through to one of us. I thought that we were tighter than that. But I mean, I guess we’re not. We definitely have some work to do still.
Kody: The struggle I think that I have with it is that I got shut out because of them. I understand through your story….
Meri: That’s a valid struggle. I understand that.
Kody: The explanations that you have for it, but it is…
Robyn: It might be the first step that you guys get to take is making a deal that you don’t get to shut each other out.
Janelle: I’ve wondered who we do that all the way around. You know one thing about living in the separate houses it has allowed us to be more separate when we lived in one house together you had to interact. The kids were little, we needed each other we had to interact. You couldn’t just disappear for days at a time. Because I know Meri you sit here at your house and there’s been a couple nights when my kids have all been gone off somewhere and I’ve thought wow this is really weird but that’s how your house is all the time.
This fear and the intimidation all happening, next door to me. To somebody that I’m seeing several times a week. It’s not just my friend who I’ve had a few years I mean it’s someone I’ve known 20 plus years. And she lives right there next to me and I see her physically several times a week and talk to her more than that and this is happening and she’s not saying anything. She’s just becoming more and more secluded.
Robyn: I need you to realize it gets lonely at my house too in a different way not because you know I have the kids there and everything like that but I’m lonely for female companionship and someone to hang out with and its hard to get away from the kids. I feel like you have this freedom that you could do that and I crave it.
Meri: For me personally sometimes I feel like that I’ve been hurt or rejected or whatever the emotion is you know throughout the years that I’ve kind of built a wall and I don’t want to become vulnerable.
Meri: I often feel like I just want to hole up in my house and not be around anybody. And so I’ve had to really make an effort and force myself to just enjoy you know the families company and you know and I feel like I need to just start there.
I don’t want to go over to somebody’s house to visit and they have something else going on and that’s going to feel like a little bit of a rejection to me you know.
I don’t know how to do that because I don’t want to intrude, I don’t want to overstep bounds. If Kody’s there I don’t want to come and interrupt, I don’t want to interrupt your time with…
Robyn: Listen your fucking place is here, okay?
Meri: I know that now.
Christine: Robyn’s mad because she feels betrayed. I’m sure. Robyn is mad she was betrayed by the whole thing. Her and Meri were very, very, very close.
Kody: I want to add though that’s just one dimension of this situation. Because I was right here. I was in the house when you were taking calls from these people. And when those calls became more important than us and when those calls started to interrupt our life and I don’t know why you asked me to stop coming around. Is that because you thought we were bugged and you didn’t want them to hear anything between you and I? So I didn’t understand what was going on but I, my biggest struggle in this entire thing Meri is that while I was sitting here I felt like I had been kicked to the curb while you made friends and then enemies with these bad people. And I was never included in it, I never understood what it was. I just felt like, you know can’t stop her from having friends but all of that became so much more important than anything between us or any communication with us and then when it all went bad you kept it quiet from me. I understand embarrased or afraid of what I would do or how I would be about it, but I was right here. So it’s deeper than just the fact that we have our friends and our family right here with us. It was much deeper than that. My, here’s my thing Meri is and I’m not trying to be gacentric, I’m just I was just interpreting this, this way. That you didn’t want to be out of the family you just wanted out of your relationship with me. Is that right? Because that’s how I feel.
Kody: Here’s my thing Meri is I’m not trying to be gacentric, I’m just I was just interpreting this, this way. That you didn’t want to be out of the family you just wanted out of your relationship with me. Is that right? Because that’s how I feel.
Meri: Kody this person got so far into my head that I didn’t know what end was up sometimes. And I’m still trying to get her out of there.
Kody: You seem so angry I didn’t feel like I could get to you. I didn’t feel like we could even talk.
Meri: There were times that I was angry at you Kody I’m not going to lie. I’m, I was angry at you. Because if you and I had been taking better care of our relationship than I wouldn’t have been in such a vulnerable place that I would have been open to other friendships that would lead to this kind of deception and evil. So I was angry at you for not being there for me. So I was angry at you I had those moments but I was so angry at him and her and them and it and whatever the hell it is. So angry.
Director: What’s going on here between Kody and Meri? I mean does she have a point?
Christine: Oh it’s not my, the thing is as a sister wife I would never ever comment on a situation like that that’s breaking the sister wife code. That’s a private thing between Meri and Kody. There’s no way. None of us are going to comment on that.
Meri: All the all the deception it was like every single bit of it was a lie and I get angry at myself for getting so upset about it like I cared. Like I don’t care she messed with the wrong person and I want to use really bad words but she messed with the wrong person.
Kody: It’s weird. It’s just a tough place to be. I can only imagine how vulnerable how abused she feels. Who would you ever trust again?
Chrstine: How did you end it with her? How did you stop? Just…
Meri: Well there was no way that he could back out of all the how do I say this…
Kody: All the lies?
Meri: There was so much that he could cover up somehow…
I started taking my power back. But I had to do it very carefully and I would, I would push a little bit. And then I would see what they were doing and it would scare me so I’d back off. These predators know how to play in your head and they know how to find people who are vulnerable. And that’s exactly what she did. I’m scared as all get out because I don’t know what she could do but I know I have to do something.
I said okay you’ve been lying to me for all this time and if you want to keep talking to me you have to meet me. So we set up a place and a time and he kept saying well can we keep talking or texting until then? And I said no. I mean this has gone on for way too long if you are a real person we’re going to meet or we are not ever going to talk again. He never showed and he kept trying to say well let’s talk, let’s text whatever. And I said we will continue that after we meet and so yeah that was it. Never talked again.
This person doesn’t exist. There is no proof of any guy. But the only thing that I can stick with is I’m a real person I’m here I did not have an affair and I will do all I can to help anybody else that’s ever in this situation because unfortunately there are a lot.
Robyn: I know now that what Meri was doing was trying to protect the family from this person. That was victimizing her. But her pulling back from the family was very difficult for us.
Meri: I was really afraid of saying anything to you guys because I felt really guilty for bringing it in and inviting it into the family.
Janelle: Do you know I feel like the family is kind of standing at a crossroads. We can continue to do things the way that we have been and just try to include Meri more or we can choose to go to this next level and the only reason I’m even thinking of it in these terms is because I’ve realized in my own relationship with Meri there’s a whole deeper level of conversation that we never have. And so it is a choice we will have to make as a family and it’s a really scary choice. Being emotionally vulnerable to somebody is probably the scariest thing I think. The scariest thing, ever.
Christine: You know Meri is alone. Janelle is expressing that she sees that she’s going to be alone too there has to be a change in our regular cycles and it’s hard to think where to put that in.
Meri: So I was afraid of how you guys would react knowing that I brought this in because I invited it in. And I’m really sorry for that.
This is not over. There’s a lot of stuff to figure out. And we still have this person doing things and causing problems for us. I know it’s going to be a lot of work I know this is not a let’s talk about it this one day and everything is going to be perfect and happy and we’ll be back to normal. I know there is a lot of work to do.
Kody: I’m sorry Meri. I’m sorry that all this happened.
Meri: Me too.
Kody: We’ll be here for you. We’ll take care of you. Okay? Alright?
It will be okay.
Meri: I know.
Season 7 Ep 2 Transcript
Meri: About 3 weeks ago we had Nancy our family therapist come over to our house to meet with the 5 adults.
Kody: There has been a very vulnerable thing that’s happened with Meri and she’s, she’s just found herself in this place where she’s just so unsure. As far as I can tell you know she was being catfished. A new term to me about this online manipulation. I want to give her confidence I want her to know that we’ll work these things out but I don’t know how to do it. The therapy session with Nancy I think went pretty well I, oh golly, but you know it’s just one of those things you just don’t know. You don’t know about the future. I still feel like there’s just so much more to say. And I don’t know what it is. I don’t even know where I am on it other than you know hey we’ve got to work this out. Let’s be very kind to each other as we do it. And that’s all I’ve got. You know I don’t know what else to think.
Meri: We are just working on processing it and figuring out how to get through it and come back together as a strong family unit.
Janelle: Do you know I think that probably one of the best things that came out of the whole discussion was everybody really understanding that you know Meri has felt sort of like a square peg with Mariah moving out and everything the struggle is how do I fit in here and that’s where Meri is. And I think that’s the real work. She’s going to have to do a lot of it herself. But I think I for one am aware now of the differance between telling her she belongs telling her we want her but also than helping her feel like she fits in.
Kody: So Meri and I will, and can, and need to work all these things out.
Meri: You know during the time that I was losing all that weight and I was having stomach issues I was deep into the whole catfish situation you know talking to this person who was not real. I was stressing out a lot. I cried a lot. I couldn’t eat. I was keeping it all in. When you have that much stress and have that much being thrown at you and you don’t let it out it literally eats away at your stomach.
I do at times still feel lonely. I’m taking steps to feel those lonely spots so we’re working through it.
Season 7 Ep 3 Transcript
Meri: Can I make these tables go right together so we have less tables because they are butted right next to each other.
Kody: I’m sorry why are we switching that why don’t we keep the space and make it so everyone can get around the table easier.
Meri: Because this is more like one big table rather than a banquet room that have all these separate little things going on.
Kody: Meri I
Meri: Christine told me to.
Sometimes it’s easier for me to not have Kody mad at me. So I’ll do anything to make him not mad at me.
Christine: So I just owned that it was my decision as well.
Janelle: You were backing up your sister wife.
Christine: Yes I was.
Meri: Christine really does handle Kody’s disagreement with something much better than I do. I take things way too serious and Christine will just throw it right back in his face and they can do that well together. He and I don’t do that well together.
Season 7 Ep 4 Transcript
In my darkest spot last year when I knew that something was wrong but I didn’t know what and I didn’t know how to get out of it the thing that I felt like that really anchored me was the kids. Didn’t matter how crappy I felt like my relationship was with Kody at the time. It didn’t matter how big of a wall I was putting up with my sister wives it was the kids that I was looking at and holding on to.
It’s always been the kids. It always will be.
In the past year it got even worse. As I went through the whole process of like being an empty nester, I don’t know it really just kind of got to be this really confusing time of like where was my place and in doing that I pulled myself away. It left me very vulnerable and wide open to be targeted. I ended up talking to people online and creating friendships that way.
One of the friendships that I thought was a friendship ended up really bad. So this person I will refer to as a he because at the time I thought that it was a male. What’s it going to hurt? I have a friend that I can just talk to. I finally talked to my family and I told them what was really going on and they I think were completely blown away. That’s why I just wanted to hide under a rock. I just wanted to go away I wanted the situation to go away.
Before I even started talking to her person I felt like I was in a place where I needed to heal my relationships and then I got into that situation and I need to heal them even more. I need to figure out.
I broke trust with a lot of people. Bites her bottom lip Lol Just because I handled things so poorly. And now I need to heal my relationships and try to build that trust back.
I feel like I need to tread just a little bit lightly with Mariah right now. There’s kind of a little bit of a distance between us. Mariah is still pretty upset about last summer. It was a bad situation and Mariah is very upset with me about that. I understand why Mariah’s upset. I do. And I really want to be able to just spend some time and explain to her everything that happened. Mariah really loves Solomon and with this little bit of a distance I think if he was there with me it might be a little bit less awkward between Mariah and I.
I miss Mariah. I miss having her home. You know she’s just so angry and I get it. I understand I just, I hope that she will take the time and listen to me you know. I hope that she’ll want to talk to me.
I know Mariah is upset. I’m sure she feels like that I betrayed her and the family somehow I just don’t think that she understands everything that happened and why it happened. And that’s the big thing that I really want to get through to her. What I want is to be on a level of trust with her so that she will listen to me and know my part of the story because that’s the part that counts.
You know I don’t want to do or say anything that will upset her. I just want to tread lightly and make it a fun weekend.
Mariah: Yeah my mom and I aren’t on super great terms right now, but it’s something that I’m kind of working on with myself to talk to her I guess.
Yeah I know she wants to talk she’s expressed to me yeah I hope some time we can talk about this.
It’s not something I really want to talk about. Um I’m not at a place yet where I feel comfortable even talking to her.
5 or so years later all the kids are growing up, Mariah has moved out I have a hard time seeing what importance I am like what kind of influence I am on some of my family.
Mariah: She’s struggling to find her place in the family she feels like I’m that only place and so with our relationship being as strained as it is right now I wonder if she feels like well I guess I’m really not part of this family, you know.
I don’t think my mom and I have had a decent conversation in probably about a year.
I do want a relationship with her and I want us to get to a place where I can trust her and feel comfortable with her again. But it has to be on my terms. I know saying this and thinking it I know it hurts her. I know my actions and responses right now are hurting her but it’s like I can’t handle it.
I have been avoiding conversation, deep conversation with my mom for quite some time now. And her saying let’s go take a walk with just the two of us where I have you alone and we’re going to talk I guess I don’t want to really have that conversation.
Meri: Earlier this year I thought that I was making friends with somebody online who turned out to be a very deceitful woman. And Mariah is still very upset about that situation. And the way that I handled the situation because I knew that it was a dangerous situation and I was very fearful and the way that I handled it was not wise.
I think that’s why she’s mad at me. I do. I think that’s why she’s upset. And I think it caused Mariah to lose trust and faith in me. I lost that trust with her and I want to get it back.
Mariah: My mom and I haven’t had a good conversation in forever.
So I know that mom really wants to talk to me about our situation from last summer and I don’t really even know how to respond to her about that right now.
Meri: I just kind of wanted to, I don’t know come see you and come hang out and see how you were and see how we were and see what’s going on with us and what you want to do about it and if you even wanted to talk about anything.
Mariah: I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m like ready to talk about it.
I feel really selfish. Because I just don’t care.
Because I feel like this whole things she did it to me. I know she’s wanting sympathy from me. She broke my trust.
Meri: I’m up here in Utah visiting Mariah and we have decided to go out on a walk. I’m hoping that we can use this time to just kind of talk about some of the things that are going on.
Mariah: I’m not ready. I’m not ready for any of it and she just thinks she can apologize and everything is hunky dory again and it’s not.
Meri: Is there anything that can be done to get you get ready to talk about it?
Mariah: I don’t know. I think it’s just a matter of like me I don’t know. Like I guess making that decision.
Meri: What can I do to help you with that?
Mariah: I don’t really think it’s a you thing I think it’s like I need to figure it out.
When she had a relationship that from the very beginning I told her not to have and she broke my trust and she ruined that. She ruined our relationship and she wants me to fix it.
I don’t know we just have to wait I guess.
I don’t care that that relationship wasn’t real and it wasn’t physical and that it was a lie. It doesn’t change the fact that she still had that relationship. It doesn’t change the fact that she totally disregarded me and my feelings through the whole thing.
I didn’t do anything wrong in this. I didn’t do anything wrong this is not my fault that this happened and she’s trying to get me to fix it she’s trying to get me to be the one to forgive her and I don’t forgive her at least not yet.
Meri: I’ll just keep being here.
Mariah: I know. Its just a lot of stuff I have to work through by myself kind of thing right now you know.
Meri: Is it?
Mariah: Before I can talk to you about it. yeah. And that’s probably not what you want to hear but it’s just like where I am.
Meri: I, okay. I would just say just because of my personality let’s just talk about it and just get the stuff out in the open I mean even if it’s just like you know you just feel I don’t know frustrated with me as a mom. I don’t even know what your emotions are really with me except for I’ve just have felt a lot of anger and stuff from you.
Mariah: I don’t feel comfortable enough to talk about it without getting really upset and I feel like I need to get to a place where I can talk about it calmly and a healthy way before I can talk about and I’m just not there yet.
Meri: Yeah that makes sense.
Would you be interested in setting up an appointment with Nancy next time you come down?
Mariah: Not yet.
I definately would see Nancy by myself. I know I’m still not ready to talk to her. Whether by ourselves or with Nancy.
Mariah: I’m sorry. That’s really not what you wanted to hear but I know I have a lot of anger. And I need to work on that, first.
Meri: You know with everything that I dealt with last year that whole situation I handled so wrong.
Mariah was home when a lot of this was going on. I thought that I was protecting my family. I thought I was protecting Mariah. I think that she thought that I was planning on running away with a guy. I was never going to run off with another guy. But there was enough question in Mariah’s mind I think that, I think that that’s what she thought.
I’m hopeful that she will really continue trying to figure things out. I’m cautious because I’m feeling insecure about it and I’m scared.
Sometimes I just get scared that she’s just going to be so angry with me it will just hold on for a really long time. And I don’t want that to happen.
Mariah: I do feel bad about her situation. She went through a lot of shit this summer she put me through a lot of shit this summer and I haven’t forgiven her for it and so I think on top of everything that happened not forgiving her for that is hard. I can understand that. But she has put me in a place where I can’t talk to her. But it doesn’t change the fact that I love her.