'Sister Wives': Meri Brown's Travel Plans Reportedly Mark 'Beginning' of Separation From Kody

Meri Brown's recent solo travels seem to mark the end of her marriage to husband Kody, one of the Sister Wives star's family members revealed to Radar Online in a new interview. Kristyn Decker, the aunt of Kody's third wife Christine and author of Fifty Years in Polygamy: Big Secrets and Little White Lies, told the outlet that from her own experience in a polygamous marriage and research on the topic, Meri's vacations with friends and co-workers appear to be her taking more steps toward being completely independent apart from her husband and sister wives.

“That’s the beginning of her leaving,” Decker told the outlet. “That’s what I did. I had to start taking care of me. I started going to plays, parties and movies, I would find friends.”

Fans of the TLC show have watched since 2014 as Brown and Kody have struggled in their marriage as he divorced her in order to marry fourth wife Robyn. In the aftermath, Brown became involved with someone online portraying themselves as a man, only to learn that she had been catfished by a woman. It's still an issue to this day, with Brown admitting during the most recent season that she feels like an outsider in her own family.

“If you don’t behave, you will be treated badly,” Decker said of the situation Brown faces now. “Like Kody with how he’s treated Meri. He’s a polygamist, he has the say and power. He’s the God of his kingdom.”

“I was so sad it was a catfish,” she continued of the catfishing scandal. “I wish it were someone who loved her and would’ve given her what she deserves. He treated her like crap for that. ... It's OK for him! He can have all these other women and flaunt them and be absent. It breaks my heart for them. This is my family and loved ones.”

Decker continued that she doesn't think the Brown family is happy, comparing their family structure and religious tie-ins to that of a cult.

“It’s a miserable-happy life,” she explained. “The Browns are miserable-happy. They’re miserable on the inside. I don’t think any of them know what genuine happiness and freedom is. I thought I was happy. I thought life was great and I was serving God. I was happy serving God, but miserable doing it. The more you sacrifice, the better your blessings will be in heaven.”

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“Polygamy is a system of abuse overall,” she added. “Mental, emotional, and spiritual. The groups believe their leaders are the right ones and the others are wrong. Overall, polygamy is a system that’s harmful to men, women, children and society. You will live in polygamy and the women will be submissive. The women must let the men have other wives or they’ll go to hell.”

Photo credit: TLC