10 Super-Awkward Things About Kody Brown And Meri Brown's 'Sister Wives' Relationship, Including Meri's Catfish Photos

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Kody Brown, Meri Brown

The catfishing scandal is just the tip of the iceberg.

With Sister Wives being such a sensational TLC reality show, it can sometimes be hard to know what's fact and fiction, real or staged. With cameras everywhere all day we're sure to miss out on some of the more mundane parts of the Brown family life, but there's even more happening when the cameras aren't rolling. And there's even more that happened before TLC came knocking on their doors, asking them to share their plural, polygamous family life with the entire world. 

From money problems to marriage, divorce to debt, there's a lot you may not know when it comes to the smiling Kody and his wives: Meri, Christine, Janelle, and Robyn —but specifically his first wife, Meri. If you're only watching the show, here are some things you probably didn't know — and need to know — about Kody Brown and Meri Brown's relationship and polygamist lifestyle.

1. Meri had an affair. 

She thought the online affair was with a man named Samuel, but Samuel was actually a woman named Jackie Overton. Even worse than being catfished, Overton took all the secrets Meri shared with her and put it into a tell-all book and her scandalous photos were exposed on the Internet.

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2. They filed for bankruptcy. 

In June 2005, the Utah family said they had $10 in their bank account and $5 in five joint checking accounts. With almost $230,000 in debt between a mortgage, credit cards, and cars, they were lucky to have the case close in 2007. Their life must be drastically different now with TLC paychecks rolling in.

3. Kody wanted more kids. 

Unfortunately, Meri wasn't able to have any more children on her own and she was denied any medical assistance. What's a polygamist husband to do except start looking somewhere else? Kody's three other wives didn't have the same trouble as Meri, producing 17 offspring (3 of which Kody adopted) between them.

4. They got divorced.

Kody can only be legally married to one wife, so he and Meri got divorced so he could legally marry Robyn and adopt her children as his own. While they were still "spiritually" married, no longer having a legal bond seems to have taken its toll on her. 

5. She opened up a B&B in Utah. 

Despite her constant insistence that her and Kody are doing okay, she is the only sister wife without kids keeping her with the rest of the family. Maybe she wants to put the catfishing debacle and the drama behind her.

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6. He only sleeps with Robyn. 

Of course she's the only wife he's legally married to, but he still has three other spiritual wives including Meri. Surely they're all going to get jealous that he's not giving them the same amount of attention.

7. Janelle and Meri were once in-laws.

It can't get much messier than that. Janelle was married to Meri's brother before divorcing him and marrying Kody instead. It's hard for us to keep it all straight but that had to have made for some awkward dinner conversation.

8. Meri's scandal got them kicked out of their church. 

Sources say it had been a long time coming, but between her catfish scandal and daughter Mariah announcing she was gay, the church felt like they had gone too far and told Kody the family was no longer welcome back at the church. 

9. Meri was fired because of her relationship. 

It's hard to imagine the Brown family having a life before the TLC show, but Meri had an office job just like everyone else when the cameras started rolling. It turns out her boss couldn't handle the relationship, though, and fired her. 

10. Kody has a temper.

It's rumored that Kody is a bit of a hot head and demands he has to be king of his castle, so to speak. The happy-go-lucky guy you see on the screen? It turns out he's actually always on the brink of freaking out, which will make any relationship tense. 

RELATED: What Being In A Polygamous Marriage Is REALLY Like

Toni Hammer is a freelance writer, comedian, and author of Is it Bedtime Yet? Stories from a Mom Who Never Wanted the Job. She's married to Luke, her college sweetheart, and is the tired mom of Lily and Levi. You can find more from her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.