Advanced search

Sister Wives. So many questions

(36 Posts)
EvaHoffman Mon 17-Aug-20 19:53:38

I keep getting clips from Sister Wives on my FB feed. I've watched lots of them but I can't piece together their whole story, I don't think I can get the channel TLC and there doesn't really seem to be another way of watching whole episodes or finding out who they all are and the background to it all. It's fascinating though!

This is a reality series about a mormon man and his four wives in the US. As a feminist British woman and totally non religious I clicked on it expecting to find a dysfunctional shit show. The husband is odd, no doubt about it. He has starey eyes and speaks in a really intense way as if he is under enormous pressure to demonstrate his religious zeal and potent masculinity. However, the women just seem smart, relaxed, likeable and to be bringing up their kids in a 'normal' way in a really convivial, communal atmosphere together with the other wives. In recent episodes it seems that one or two of the kids have come out as gay which has been absolutely fine for the mothers. I'm wondering, what's not to like? But surely there's something wrong? I feel a bit weird about it all. Can anyone answer these questions?

1. What is the background to this all? What were each of the women doing before they met this man? Why did they agree to this arrangement?
2. What is the history of their arrangement? It seems to be that they all lived together, then they lived in separate homes in the same cul de sac and then they moved to Flagstaff where they are quite separate. Why did this happen?
3. Where on earth does the money come from? Does anybody work? Do the women work? Why do they keep on moving and where does the money come from to buy and build the houses?
4. What are the tensions and conflicts between them? How much time does the husband spend with each woman?
5. Why does it all look so benign, even enviable? I find myself thinking how nice it is to live in a group of women with a shared burden of childcare and on tap confidants. This can't be right though. Talk me out of it!

OP’s posts: |
GisAFag Mon 17-Aug-20 20:19:32

All wives from poly families.
1st was Mari legally married, then 2 more, then Robyn. Mari divorced Kody so he could marry Robyn so he could adopt her 2 kids from previous marriage. When asked wht he didnt divorce Robyn after adoption he saidnits because marriage is in poly relationship, marriage is just what society wants. He's only legally married to Robyn.

Meri is a moody bitch, who is living more and more separated from the wives and Kody.

Robyn is apparently the favourite wife. Jealousy is rife.

Kody wants them all to live together but wife 3 is like fuck off its never happening.

Kody doesnt have a home of his oen, he stays with each wife on a rota basis.

Moved from Utah (poly was illegal, then not, then was so they left), went to vegas, all loved the cul de sac (first 3 wives and Kody lived in a caravan previously and it was shit).

Vegas too hot and Kody bought land in Flagstaff and is trying to convince all the wives to live together and he also wants a home on the same grounds for him to have time out.. The wives hate this as it goea against Poly living

As you can tell i hardly watch it myself😂😂😂

Theres also a programme called My 5 wives... Wow they make sister wives look like angels... The jealously is so bad on that show.. Know its on Sky cant remember the channel

GisAFag Mon 17-Aug-20 20:22:08

The wives work i know meri sells cloyhes online.

Meri was catfished. Was chatting to a man online, got on really well, turna really nasty, threatening..her and Kodys relationship is not in a good place

EvaHoffman Mon 17-Aug-20 20:27:12

ooh interesting thank you! How/ where do you watch it?

OP’s posts: |
angelofthelight Mon 17-Aug-20 20:32:30

Meri's catfish turned out to be a woman.

angelofthelight Mon 17-Aug-20 20:33:07

It's on TLC. I stream it from America when it airs there.

chitofftheshovel Mon 17-Aug-20 20:47:32

It is strangely compulsive viewing.
I think they get paid pretty well per episode.
Robyn cries....a lot!!!

Drinkingallthewine Mon 17-Aug-20 20:57:13

Gisafag I read your post in the voice of Lauren Catherine Tate's character. grin

Mrsemcgregor Mon 17-Aug-20 21:08:13

This is clearly something I should have been watching!

Off to google dodgy streaming sites.

nightcapers Mon 17-Aug-20 21:12:18

There's a series on Netflix at the moment about this kind of set-up. They've built their homes out of rock it's interesting! It's called Three Wives,One Husband

fartyface Mon 17-Aug-20 21:16:12

I used to love the big love series which is about poly marriage. Not sure if it is still on somewhere.

MrsHuntGeneNotJeremyObviously Mon 17-Aug-20 21:22:55

From what I remember of it, Cody seems to only be interested in Robyn physically. Jenelle seems almost like a grandmother figure since her DC is older. She is very bright and career focussed and I think this system works for her as a support network. I don't think she has much to do with Cody outside of the kids. Meri, I think would like more of a relationship with Cody but he's opted out. She appears very much on the outside of things. The other wives don't seem fond of her and she seems excluded. They were all present when one of the adult kids had a baby but no one invited Meri. She has pursues her own business interests, which the others seem to resent while not wanting to include her fully. The other wife, whose name escapes me, seems to want more of Cody but he doesn't strike me as that interested. Imo she is jealous of the relationship he has with Robyn.
The kids are all lovely, so they must be doing something right, but it seems unsatisfactory to me. Each woman only sees her husband for a few days at a time - I think that's a lot of pressure on Cody to fulfill everyone's needs. The wives could do with more support imo, since they do a lot of the donkey work of raising kids alone.
Just my view on it - I could be talking total bollocks smile

GisAFag Mon 17-Aug-20 21:29:40


ooh interesting thank you! How/ where do you watch it?

On TLC its on in the afternoons

GisAFag Mon 17-Aug-20 21:30:33


Gisafag I read your post in the voice of Lauren Catherine Tate's character. grin


EvaHoffman Mon 17-Aug-20 21:59:02

Thanks for all the info!

I don't know how to get TLC but will try and work that out by myself.

Christine seems really smart, on the ball and likeable. Not at all a surrendered wife. So what is she doing in this set up?

And, how on earth can Kody afford all those children, land and houses? I've never seen him doing a job.

OP’s posts: |
Natsel84 Mon 17-Aug-20 22:12:59

I love this program , it's so bad it's good!
Meri runs a clothing business , they also run a jewellery business . One is in real estate and I think Janelle has a really good job , but not sure what it is .

He wants everyone to live together as one big family , it wont happen .

Meri got catfished by a women .

I don't think kody and meri really have a marriage now , they did divorce so Robyn could marry him so he could adopt her kids from a previous marriage.
All of the wives come from some sort of poly family , so are used to it .

Some of the older kids are married but dont want plural marriage. Meri has one child with kody she's a lesbien

And apart from that everyone is having a good time 😂

Natsel84 Mon 17-Aug-20 22:14:07

Kody is a salesman , but what in I dont know

ChunkyKnit Mon 17-Aug-20 22:52:13

Christine came from a polygamist family. She was always determined to be the third wife in a plural marriage because the second wife is too big of an upset for the first one, then the third one comes along and smoothes it all over.

They don’t focus on some aspects of their backgrounds. Like how Janelle used to be married to Meri’s brother, that’s how she met Kody.

Kody used to be in software sales but seems to have left that when the TLC money started coming in.

Meri used to work but she was asked after the show started airing as her employers didn’t want the publicity.

Janelle used to specialise in Tupperware. (I hope I have the details here right)- Mormons keep three months supply of food on hand so that when Jesus comes, they’re prepared and can help their neighbours, so food storage is a very lucrative business in Utah.
She moved in to real estate when they moved to Las Vegas.

Christine was always the SAHM of the group, and looked after all the children while the rest worked.

I don’t know if Robyn worked before she met Kody.

Meri is astonishingly bitter. She sells LuLaRoe leggings which is basically an MLM and has used her fame to recruit more sellers to her team so seems to be taking in the money. She’s completely checked out of her marriage. She was speaking with a guy online but it turned out to be a female catfish.

She has a major chip on her shoulder about the fact that the other wives were able to have more children than her and has always resisted having a smaller house when it’s just her, compared to the size of house another wife with 6 children at home will have.

Her daughter, Mariah, is gay. She reacted very strongly to her mother being catfishes and felt very betrayed. The wives seem very accepting of her sexuality, I get the feeling Kody wouldn’t be as open on the topic of cameras weren’t rolling. I remember on a very old episode, Janelle sailed they had to many children that, statistically, one or two would be gay, and Kody was quite dismissive.

On a recent series where they were all renting, Meri had an absolutely huge house with a lift and a roof-top river feature, just for her.

Kody sometimes wears a tiny little ponytail and that’s when we get the ick.

ChunkyKnit Mon 17-Aug-20 22:59:38

^Should day that Meri was sacked, not “asked”.

Pipandmum Mon 17-Aug-20 23:34:58

You guys seem to be watching a different show. They are not Mormons, who do not practise polygamy, but a fundamentalist group called Apostolic United Brethren.
Meri (one child), Janelle (six kids), Christine (six kids) Robyn (three previous kids, two with Kody).
They are all well adjusted people who grew up in polygamous families and actively decided to continue this lifestyle. They all lived in one big house, then fled to Las Vegas when they thought they might be arrested for polygamy and built four houses in a cul de sac there. Kody, the head of the family, never felt settled and has moved them all to Flagstaff, minus some kids who are grown and either married or at university elsewhere. He would like them all to have separate apartments in one huge house with a communal kitchen/family room (as well as their individual kitchens), but Christine in particular is reluctant.
They are generally united, but do not like the physical aspect between each wife and Kody openly displayed - they are modest people in their dress and language and behaviour. The children tend to consider all the women their moms.
How they earn their money has been speculated upon. Janelle has always worked outside the home, they collectively have or had a jewelry business, Meri her clothing and B and B run by her mother, and I believe they do some real estate. They must get a considerable amount for doing the show.
They all, (bar perhaps Meri who is having a difficult time within the marriage and larger family), enjoy a sexual relationship with Kody. This is addressed on several occasions. You see him hug and cuddle individual wives, and he regularly goes away with each of them.
You cannot separate these people from their religion as it forms the basis of their lifestyle. It may appear foreign to many, but they have embraced it and all believe they are doing what god wants. That their children have decided differently yet are wholeheartedly accepted in their individual choices is testament to the health of the family and how they have managed to raise 18 children to fulfill their own ambitions.

ChunkyKnit Mon 17-Aug-20 23:50:14

You guys seem to be watching a different show. They are not Mormons

I don’t think anyone mentioned what religion they were, except the OP who was asking for more info about the family in general.

PloptheBarnOwl Tue 18-Aug-20 02:16:35

Everything I learned about Sister Wives, I learned from the excellent channel Fundie Fridays: Never watched Sister Wives but curious about it now!

81Byerley Tue 18-Aug-20 03:13:16

@EvaHoffman Look up Sister Wives full episodes on You Tube.

alwayscrashinginthesamecar1 Tue 18-Aug-20 03:35:05

I've read a lot of books on Fundamentalist Polygamy, of which this is just one sect, its a fascinating subject. I've just finished one called 'Fifty Years in Polygamy, which is written by a woman from this same sect, who left the church and her polygamous marriage. She is a cousin of one of the Sister Wives, and now runs some kind of group helping women and families who leave. Her book paints a much less glamorous picture of living in abject poverty, and with rampant sexual , physical and financial abuse. She has approached the show producers to consider airing a show that reflects the actual reality of the lifestyle, rather than the glitzy tv funded lifestyle we see on Sister Wives. If anyone finds the subject interesting there are many fascinating books, especially the stories around their leader Warren Jeffs, who is thankfully in jail for a very long time. A lot of them still worship him though!

Onesailwait Tue 18-Aug-20 03:37:36

Its fascinating, I think merri is actually sore about the divorce. She used to be the only one legally married to kody but he divorced her so he could marry Robin that way he could be legal guardian to her kids because her 3 eldest are from her previous marriage. They started up a clothing & jewellery line called my sister's closet, not sure if its still going. Janelle is in real estate. The older kids all seem pretty well adjusted and close they all grew up together but the family seem to have come unstuck after the move to Vegas. The impression I get is the women seem to like being part of a family with the other wives as much as they like being with kody.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in