Polygamist reality show family say husband met fourth wife through his first wife


A couple of weeks ago, we covered the news that another family with too many kids was coming to TLC’s reality lineup. Except in this family several women have those kids and it’s not a case of extreme IVF or a cultish adherence to having children whenever it’s physically possible. Sister Wives, about a polygamist family in Utah with one dad, four wives, 13 biological kids and three step kids, premieres this Sunday. The show chronicles the daily life of the Brown family, who all live in the same home with separate apartment-type units for each wife. The dad has a kind of schedule he uses to rotate through the women, who say they occasionally get jealous but they get over it.

Kody and his four wives were on The Today Show yesterday (videos below) and I have to say they seem like really nice people. As I said in my first story on this, however they want to live is up to them. It’s technically not illegal as Kody is only married in name to his first wife and not to all the other women he’s having kids with. If they all want to live together to raise their children among one guy more power to them. They said on the Today show that they manage to make ends meet because most of them work.

The thing that bothers me is that they’re really potentially hurting their children by both going public with the way they live and by making a reality show out of it. I understand that they hope to increase awareness and acceptance of polygamy but they’re opening their family up to so much and I doubt they realize what they’re in for. The say they’re prepared for it, though, and that they work hard to give their kids a normal life.

One interesting thing I learned on The Today Show is that Kody’s first wife is the one who introduced him to his fourth. A viewer asked how he had time to meet the fourth wife with three wives at home and they explained that he didn’t do it at all. Meri, 39, Kody’s first wife, explained “Robyn and I found each other actually… we weren’t looking, it just happened.”

Robyn, 31, explained that “at that point I was a single mom and was open to it [polygamy]

Christine, Kody’s third wife, 37, gave their reasoning for starring in a reality show. “Polygamy is a hidden culture. We really don’t want to be hidden anymore. We really would like it to be more open. We’d like our children to have the benefits of living in an open society. I was raised in this lifestyle and really kind of fear-based and I’d rather not have that for my children.”

As to whether they’re worried that a reality show will hurt their family and/or their children, Janelle, Kody’s second wife, 40, says “I think we have doubled our efforts to make sure they maintain a normal life… we are protective of them.”

Kody added that having four mothers makes their family that much more stable. Yeah, they don’t know what they’re getting into.

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80 Responses to “Polygamist reality show family say husband met fourth wife through his first wife”

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  1. dre says:

    Hmmm…will definately watch to see?

  2. Obvious says:

    hey more power to them. If everyone is over 18 and willing then I have no beef with them-as long as their children understand it’s not the only way. The children deserve the right to make informed choices about their lives when they reach that age.

  3. Jeri says:

    Poor kids.

  4. Roma says:

    I’m way too jealous of a woman to share a husband. Hell, sometimes I won’t even let my best friend eat my fries let alone my husband’s penis.

  5. Leticia says:

    Poor kids is right, and I don’t understand why women would willingly enter into a polygamist relationship. It has an incestuous vibe to it, even though it is not incestuous.

    He probably feels like a king cause he has his own little harem at home.

  6. tiki says:

    the concern for the children regarding possible fall-out from going public with the lifestyle is no different from the concern that was once expressed regarding same sex parents.

  7. kelbear says:

    Looks like they come on all sizes.

  8. Johnny Depp's Girl says:

    I would be Johnny Depp’s second wife in a heart beat…

  9. kelli says:

    I lived in Utah and saw the effects of polygamy first hand. I’m really surprised that TLC is promoting that culture. Most women and children have few, if any, rights. Check-out the documentary “Banking on Heaven” on youtube…it tells a very different story of the life most polygamists lead.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkKlPoyqv-g&feature=related

  10. mary jane says:

    I just can NOT imagine watching my husband grab someone else’s shoulders and waist and everything else!!

    It takes a different kind of woman. A needy one!

  11. mary jane says:

    @Roma lol!! Exactly!!!

  12. hanh says:

    If this is what they’re into, then fine. But it sounds like a recipe for disaster. What if one of the wives wants another husband? Think that the current man of the house would go for it?

    I think this is alot more restrictive than they let on.

    I would be too jealous to share my husband with anyone and vice versa. Besides, one husband/wife is complex enough. Can you imagine more than that?

  13. Megan says:

    i don’t see how this could be enjoyable for the women… and how come you never see a woman w/ multiple husbands?

  14. tiki says:

    in this system, polygamy is not a two-way street. the man may take multiple wives. women are not permitted multiple husbands.

  15. TG says:

    @tiki – You are so right and why do women keep joining religions, cults, sects, etc. where the rules aren’t equal? We as women and society as a whole have come so far and these backwards religions are a big setback for us and idiots who follow them.

  16. skibunny says:

    I wonder if he could be a “fourth” husband? Why is it always a man with multiple wives and it involves religion? I’m probably going to start something here by saying this is a pile of crap. The guy just needs his ego stroked by having numerous wives and the wives must have low self esteem to buy into this BS. This is just so wrong.

  17. texasmom says:

    What *I* really wanna know: why does he have a prince valiant hair-do?

  18. Karen says:

    I live in Salt Lake City, and while these folks might seem like the real life version of “Big Love”, this isn’t in reality how polygamy in Fundamentalist Mormon sects plays out 99% of the time. In reality most polygamist in Utah and Arizona live in large rural compounds; young girls are married off to older men, and the girls are often underage. There is little opportunity for contact with the outside world and education. Physical and sexual abuse is rampant and often young boys who become unnecessary (if you have too many men, there won’t be multiple women for the men that are there) are kicked out of the communities to fend for themselves with no life skills. It is shows like this that try to make Polygamist groups look all shiny and happy, that prevents the public from concerning themselves with these incredibly abusive and backwards communities that are in fact breaking many laws.

  19. tiki says:

    @karen, amen, sister. the reality of polygamy is horrific. pretty, shiny, middle class polygamy is not what’s lived by most women and children who are in the system. the abuse and pedophilia are rampant. the discarding of in-the-way and seen-as-competition adolescent boys is heartbreaking. tlc ought to be ashamed of themselves for airing this show.

  20. Kolby says:

    Oh, so they’re RICH polygamists. Don’t ask me why that’s surprising to me, it just is.

  21. nj says:

    Do some reading. Polygamy usually results in the families living in poverty and the wives working themselves to death while the husband flits around and doles out money and sex at his own discretion. And they just CHURN OUT kids one after another. The kids are sheltered and grow up thinking this way of life is normal because they don’t see anything else.
    Polygamy was designed BY men FOR men to benefit only themselves.

  22. Alicia says:

    All of those women except for one look pretty overweight and dumpy; my guess is that they couldn’t find any other man who would want them…

  23. AMS511 says:

    texas mom! omg! lol for real…

  24. Just a Poster says:

    Is it just me or is this guy a combo of california surfer boy meshed with polygamy thrown in?

    I saw them on some show doing an interview and I kept expecting him to day “duuuuuuuuuuuude”

  25. Tazina says:

    Hell would have to freeze over before I’d watch this sexist garbage. I can’t believe these women are stupid enough to share this douchebag.

  26. original kate says:

    i don’t think i’ll be watching these folks with their litters and their sex schedules. i’ll be too busy having sex with mr. original kate, because i have unlimited access to him whenever i choose.

  27. Ms_Fu says:

    If they’re happy, that’s fine. I’m just wondering if it’s smart to go on television openly living a life that is illegal in Utah (and the US).

  28. Rita says:

    I’m hesitant to speak for all women in saying that the wives are crazy but I think most men would agree with me that he is.

  29. juliana says:

    I see this, and think what low self-esteem these women have.
    They are no different than a woman who stays with an abusive husband.

  30. MSMLNP says:

    I am pregnant, and a mother of two preschoolers.

    I could really use another wife about now.

  31. JustBe says:

    From her comment, it seems like the fourth wife is in it hoping for a better standard of living and/or easier life. If the total responsibility is not just on you to keep a roof over your kids head, then maybe sharing a man doesn’t seem like that much of a trade-off. I guess for her it’s in line with marrying/shacking up with a guy who has a good job and/or a house so that you and your kids have some place to live.
    If that’s the case, then it’s sad all around that her financial outlook is so bleak that she’s willing to compromise on being in a loving, monogamous relationship so that her family’s life doesn’t have to be so hard.

    Also, what type of example are these women showing for their children, especially their daughters.

  32. sharylmj says:

    I love how the “original wife” hardly speaks and neither does the husband. The fatest wife does all the talking.. she is the Alpha female of the group.. the “fiance” acts like she is still trying to talk herself into the whole program… very strange group dynamics. They act like they are trying so hard to make everyone think they are O.K.

  33. California Surfer says:

    Um, the dude looks way majorly fatter than all his wives except for the pregnant one, and doesn’t look like he does too much surfing, so I really don’t get this show.

  34. Allie says:

    Funny how you never hear about there’s a wife with 4 husbands. No man would ever go for that. These woman are freakin’ idiots!

  35. Lauri says:

    This is just so wrong on so many different levels – very disturbing that it would be a show to promote a lifestlye that is illegal I lived in Utah for over 18 years and it is not a happy sunny healthy type of relationship they are portraying, as a few people on this thread have commented. The low self esteem for everyone is evident and the sad thing is, that the kids will inherit it as well without counseling.

  36. Chickadees4me says:

    @ nj agree 100%

    @ Alicia what a nasty comment, bitter much?

  37. wonderful says:

    Email the discovery channel, that’s what I did.

  38. Rosanna says:

    They sound way more together than Jon and Kate LOL

  39. Mistral says:

    Disgusting. They are promoting a disgusting and sexist “culture”. This lifestyle sees men in complete control of the women and children in their lives, and is really all about guys getting to f#@k and control as many women as they can. That’s what it boils down to. And dirty old perverts marrying and raping (I doubt a young girl is happy to sleep with a dirty old goat) young girls. It is sad what happens to the boys in many of these polygamist “communities”; they are often forced out because they are “competition” for the nasty old pervs/pedos/abusers/misogynist “patriarchs”. TLC is dead to me.

  40. Maritza says:

    Polygamists would be so lucky to live their life as represented in “Big Love”(I love the show by the way)because there each woman has their own home and have money.The reality is that most woman and children are living on welfare. The poor boys are kicked from their homes at the age of 14 so they won’t be attracted to their women. There is a lot of incest cases too.

  41. Catfish says:

    Note that I think this is a sick and perverted way to live, but someone answer my questions:

    1) How is this illegal when he is only (by governmental standards) married to the first wife? He is only living with the others. People shack up all the time nowadays.

    2) How is this any different from someone male or female committing adultery? Adultery is not illegal in US, is it?

    3) On the note of #2, how is this any different from a single person having sex with 100s of people before (and after) they get married?

    4) Isn’t this actually LESS kinky than people having three-somes, four-somes, etc, because he is only with one at a time? Both male and females do this nowadays, so some of the above posters asking about women with multiple “husbands” is just ridiculous.

    My above questions only apply to this family and not to those that are marrying child brides and incest. Those groups need to be punished to the fullest extent of the law and neutered.

  42. Andrea-2 says:

    I think the reason one woman isn’t with many men is because if she got pregnant, how would you know whose baby it was?

    Of course, nowadays we have DNA testing…

  43. Ms_Fu says:

    Bless you, Catfish, for your insight.

  44. Rita says:

    @Catfish

    Your comments/questions are very appropriate. Should society put boundaries on “adult” living choices. Our society is in the process of expanding those choices for gays so what about polygamy? When an adult or any number of adults without children make a choice, when does society have the right to limit that choice. In today’s society with government assistance, healthcare, STD’s, insurance cost, ect. we are all affected by each other choice and there in lies the rub. I have no answers or suggestions, but we are a society interconnected by every individual’s choice.

  45. PsychicEyes says:

    I choked and gaged on my coffee when I started reading this article. I thought I had died perhaps went straight to Hell. Nope, I pinched myself and I am still alive.

    Would someone please explain to me the logic of promoting polygamy? Who exactly is secretly funding these shows that somehow are getting the “green light”.

    I had become a bit leary about the Duggars and now my nagging feeling of a hidden agenda to promote women as subservient to their husband is not so farfetched.

    In the stone ages women were viewed as chattle — still are in many countries, and it was the stone ages where people did posses limited knowledge. Survial was another factor.

    I am afraid by irresponsibly pushing this type of culture to the mainstream and legitimizing it is not good for women’s health or emotional well being.

    It is a Pandora’s box that I don’t care to open, ever.

    BTW, my perception of the “Polygamy Stud Muffin” (sarcasm, folks) is a total Crackhead. Yup, TLC was really going for the sexy look here. Idiots, F-d Up idiots.

  46. gg says:

    This guy is an egomaniac that wants to have his cake and eat it too. Note, when the last wife gets heavy, he gets a new, younger, thinner one. What kind of message is this sending out?

    There is a certain amount of respect it takes for a one-on-one, two person relationship to work. They’ve thrown all their individual needs out the window, which is fine for them IF they’re not just doing it for a roof over their head or money and babysitting benefits.

    Sorry, but this pig shows a huge amount of disrespect to all those women in denying them a special bond with one person that they don’t have to share.

    Just think if everybody in their neighborhood in Utah did this. Birth defects out the wazoo in the next generation. Polydactylism and brain developmental problems. Read up on this, it’s a deadly practice eventually.

  47. jemshoes says:

    UGH. PASS!

  48. Whatever says:

    I had become a bit leary about the Duggars and now my nagging feeling of a hidden agenda to promote women as subservient to their husband is not so farfetched.
    ***********

    We have an aunt who gives The Feminine Mystique to every female family member for exactly this reason. She gave one to me several years ago and there is a line in there about teaching our daughters to recognize how the media and advertising promote this agenda, so when it rears its ugly head again, they will recognize it.

    Usually I’m a live and let live person and really don’t care what adults do in their own homes because it’s none of my business and they are not hurting anyone. But that is not the case with polygamy. Women and children are hurt. I can’t believe they are putting this mess on television. The subjugation of women isn’t appropriate entertainment and it is shocking that the idea is gaining acceptance.

    Not to mention the affect on the poor kids. Imagine seeing dad go bang a different “wife” every night. Disgusting. What are they teaching girls about normal relationships/self respect and what are they teaching boys about the value of women?

  49. cantbelievethis says:

    “and there is a line in there about teaching our daughters to recognize how the media and advertising promote this agenda, so when it rears its ugly head again, they will recognize it. ”

    I studied this during college and it really opened my eyes to alot of things. I’m hate letting my girls watch things that diminish women.

    However, with 4 kids there are days that I tell DH he should get a 2nd wife. That wife can do all the cooking, cleaning and laundry. Then I can just work, shop and play with the kids:)

  50. eternalcanadian says:

    “Imagine seeing dad go bang a different “wife” every night. Disgusting. What are they teaching girls about normal relationships/self respect and what are they teaching boys about the value of women?”

    Amen to that! Or should I say Awomym to that?

  51. Madison says:

    There is nothing right or normal about the way these people choose to live, it’s digusting that TLC would choose to show these freaks on TV to promote their way of life as “normal”, it’s not, it’s a cult where women are controlled by men. I bet a lot of these women had screwed up childhoods, which explains the I want a man, any man will do attitude they seem to have. Kody grew up in a polygimist family, so I’m not surprised she’s screwed up.

  52. truthzbetta says:

    Thanks t.v. Male producers found another way to promote a sexist, scum bag and a harem.

    Flava Flav and harem, Brett Michaels and harem, Hugh Hefner and harem, now this no name scum.

    No relationship where one guy gets four low rent, no self worth chicks can make the woman equal. I really question the producers who seek out these things and make them part of the mainstream viewing.

    I mean, they don’t even try to find something where four subservient male idiots prostrate themselves before one queen bee. And in Hollywood I’m betting there is such a thing somewhere.

    Sexist trash. This is demeaning to women everywhere, and something that belongs with slavery and feeding people to lions … in the trash heap of history. I wouldn’t watch a show about modern slavery and how wonderful it is. Why would any woman not fight this on behalf of all women? Free your minds, ladies.

  53. britania says:

    What annoys me is that they cannot articulate their “faith” and what it means to them. Every answer is just them muttering “oh it’s our faith.” Multiple wives is our faith; Multiple husbands is not even a consideration because of our faith. WHY is it their faith? Nothing going on upstairs as to that question, why they think God would bless such a practice, just a fixation on “being comfortable with themselves and their choices.” Yes, if you have inner strength or “confidence” you can probably endure anything. But that doesn’t mean your life choices aren’t stupid. That ache of jealousy that goes on between them is not a problem to be resolved — it is instinct that what they are putting up with is majorly effed up.

    I might empathize with the two wives who grew up in polygamy and just don’t know better, but I’m disgusted by the two twits who somehow decided as adults that polygamy was a good idea. That they are fine with “waiting their turn” to be with their spouse shows me nothing but piss-poor self-esteem.

  54. ME says:

    Arizona/Utah has spent years prosecuting Warren Jeffs and the people in Colorado City. Very disfunctional (and sick) culture. I agree, TLC is bringing awareness to this, but it’s a bad idea based on what has been going on in Colorado City.

  55. Amelia says:

    Seriously, what happened to TLC? It should be named TEC, The Exploitive Channel.

  56. DoMaJoReMc says:

    It is official:

    I am now going to block that channel from my line-up. WHAT THE HELL………..?

  57. wonderful says:

    How about instead of “jokingly” saying your hustand should get a second wife to do all the cleaning washing and cooking, you should “jokingly” suggest he help you out.

  58. JM says:

    Ok ladies, I’m starting a new religion. God says each woman gets her pick of up to 4 young studs to breed with. They will do all the cleaning, cooking, working and when the babies come, all diaper changes and midnight feedings. We get to play with the babies, until we tire of it of course and we’ll choose which night to visit which husband, if any. What do you say girls?

  59. California Surfer says:

    @ wonderful Grandma says amen :)

  60. Anti-icon says:

    I am mixed on this. I have seen “hints” of this in a cool little community of mostly liberal progressives who lived traditional two-parent homes. No one said the word pologamy, but in fact, the mother of the kids lived under the same roof with the father and the new husband, and they all got along great, and there was no dysfunction with the girls understanding who was who. Home schooled, but they all ran a successful restaurant business, so they were an “open family” and had good boundaries (no talk about sex), good attitudes, values of independence.

    So, I say, let’s all watch and judge. er, I mean discuss.

  61. lio says:

    Their story is so much like “big love” (the first wife who introduce the fourth wife to the husband who is not even aware of what is going on, the husband schedule to rotate through his women, the discourse about going public so the children don’t have to hide…) that it makes me very sceptical that this family really exists. Probably just a plot to be on TV.

  62. PsychicEyes says:

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    Amazon link is: http://www.amazon.ca/How-Talk-So-Kids-Listen/dp/0380811960/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1285432653&sr=1-1

  63. Kiska says:

    Again, this guy must be wacked. One wife would be trouble enough and believe me, there has to be issues there. A hormonal soup of dysfunction. Jesus, can you imagine them all going through PMS at the same time. I’m surprised the guy would still have his balls intact.

  64. db8ng1 says:

    @britania: Exactly.
    Sounds like brainwashing instead of religion. If you can’t explain the basis of your faith other than to call it faith, you should probably examine your (personal) “faith”.

  65. Ms_Fu says:

    @53, I love how, in listing televised harems, you have conveniently forgotten The Bachelorette, New York’s reality dating show (VH1), and Omarosa had one recently as well. They all involve one woman with a lot of men for her to choose from. I find all these shows to be despicable (one man with many women or one woman with many men), but the fact is, as with this polygamist family, these are the situations that the women and men choose to become a part of.

    Regarding all the shows you mentioned, obviously a lot of women have no problem demeaning themselves, so why should you worry?

  66. Raven says:

    Thank you Kelli, Karen and others who are telling it like it is. I’m also shocked that TLC would be putting this on the air. Increased exposure to polygamy on tv makes it seem increasingly OK to marginalize women. Young girls grow up expecting to be used and manipulated, with low self esteem. We have enough of this already.

    I find the Duggars disgusting for the same reason. The girls are used as slave labor and given little chance of a future other than as a breeding machine. Looks like TLC will score another hit.

  67. cantbelievethis says:

    @wonderful ‘How about instead of “jokingly” saying your hustand should get a second wife to do all the cleaning washing and cooking, you should “jokingly” suggest he help you out. ‘

    Relax, I was kidding. My DH does just as much around the house as I do.

  68. mrsodie2 says:

    Polygamist cults that exploit and abuse underaged girls need to be shut down. AKA, all of them. Adult women and men who want to live an openly polygamist lifestyle? Live and let live, I say. It’s not for me, but it’s none of my business.

  69. Aspie says:

    I will definitely be watching this and think this will be interesting to watch from a sociological standpoint. At least it’s something new and different, instead of all of the other tons of crappy reality dating shows.

    Polygamy is not for everyone but it appears to be working for this family. Good luck to them and I hope their kids don’t end up psychologically harmed somehow from their parent’s lifestyle choice.

  70. sunnyjyl says:

    I’ll probably watch a couple of episodes out of morbid curiosity.

  71. jzhz says:

    That dude is no prize, I’m shocked he could find one woman to marry him, let alone FOUR.

    I’m surprised by a couple of the commenters who said they could use more help at home. Maybe if men contributed more, there’d be less need for another “wife”?

  72. gulfstreamgal says:

    UGH!!! Lap band anyone???? Sexist, stupid, lame blah blah blah…….Does anyone see the stupidity of this network??? I can’t take it anymore….

  73. EMV says:

    A faith belief? That is insane

  74. Judy says:

    Robyn is 31? She looks 45.

  75. california angel says:

    Most of the women who are sister-wives are traded like crop and bound to their husbands by family obligation, sometimes love too, but not usually. Not to mention that this family is an older example, but most women in that culture are married by 15 – 18 (the husbands being much older). I’m not really one to judge, but I lived in Utah and worked with sister-wives and while some of them told me they were very happy and that they would always be provided for, most would ask me what is was like to be 20 and have the freedom to do what I pleased and not be married or not have kids. To them, I was an old maid. lol. It seems they were a bit stuck in their situations…

  76. Anti-icon says:

    I really do have a BIG problem with TLC in general and their OBVIOUS EXPLOITATION of women in their programming.

    Are their not any women exe’s at TLC? It doesn’t appear so. That’s a bigger shame than these dumb ass polygamists.

  77. Bapril says:

    I watched the first episode last night and during family prayers the dad would usually have one of the boys lead everyone in prayer. Each time I half-expected each one to say,”…and Lord? Please send me alot of wives to have sex with when I’m older. Amen.”

  78. jujubear says:

    I can understand why the women would want help with raising the kids, but I keep wondering…What happens when all the kids grow up?

  79. Melena says:

    I agree with jujubear…is this why he keeps insisting upon the wives popping rout kid after kid? I mean the older they get the higher the risk, seems pretty selfish to me. He isn’t that much of a prize catch. And according to the united states law, divorce is no reason to separate ANY woman from their children. Our laws over trump religious “rights” band for the most part that is for the best, IMHO.

  80. krickett says:

    In a world where everyone is screaming that they want to be able to marry anyone they choose, I find it interesting that some of you are saying this is not OK! I may not agree with what they do, but that is not by business. They are not marrying off their children, they have expressed that this lifestyle is not for everyone and they are doing what they feel is right for them. I do not understand the world…we want people to not judge others for who they love and to allow people to marry who they want. Don’t you find that interesting that this is not acceptable? They have married who they love, they are not hurting anyone, they are not abusing their kids, they are not a burden on society, they take care of their own bills, they are not abusing the system by using medicaid/medicare, they have never asked anything of the government…interesting that the liberal sect finds this wrong, but homosexuality and same sex marriage is OKAY! interesting…