OK…as I’ve mentioned before, I’m pretty open minded. If it makes you happy, and doesn’t hurt anyone else, then go for it. I won’t judge. But I do have questions. Many questions. On my list of “curiosity TV viewing” is Sister Wives. I’ve seen it a handful of times, and each time I’m more intrigued. I’m sure there’s a “reality” to the real lives of these people, and a whole different “reality” shown to us on television. (Don’t get me started on “reality” shows!) But based on what they’re showing us, I have several concerns and questions.
Here’s what I’m seeing. A fairly young guy who doesn’t seem to work, but seems to have a lot of money. He’s not particularly handsome, nor is his personality the type that would necessarily draw women to him. He seems to spend most of his time driving around in a sporty, expensive car, flitting between his various homes. I’m not sure if he’s paid for these homes, or if his wives have paid for them on their own. I’m leaning towards the latter, but perhaps with some support from him. From the few episodes I have seen, I have gathered that they previously lived in a big house together (or wanted to), and ended up moving to a new state because they were sort of forced out, or didn’t like the rules. Now, in their new state, they have built 5 brand new, rather large homes, on a cul de sac, so they can all be near each other. So the women seem to run the households, take care of the children (of which there are many), and deal with all of the parenting and financial issues that arise. The guy seems to travel around, visiting each family, but not really doing any of the parenting or problem-solving. And I’d venture a guess that the children are growing up in a very different situation than most of their friends. Sharing a “dad” with 4 other families, having siblings and step-siblings in 4 other households…it must get very complicated for them. Some of the women seem to work, and others don’t. Three of them appear to have started some sort of online jewelry business, but I’m not sure what that’s all about. Nowhere in this quintaplex of households do I see much income, and yet they live better than most.
My questions begin with how this all started. Did this guy have one wife to start with? Did he one day say, “Hey, honey, I’ve met the girl of my dreams and I want to marry her…but I want to stay married to you, too,” or did his first wife come on board with the understanding that she was getting into a deal with multiple wives? How long did it take him to find, court and marry these 5 wives? Is he finished with the finding and marrying, or will he continue to accumulate wives indefinitely? Will any of these wives divorce him?
Then there’s the issue of jealousy. I don’t know too many people who can handle infidelity in their relationships, let alone taking a second, third, fourth, or fifth wife along the way. Are these wives insecure in their relationship with this guy? Are they friends with each other? Do they get upset at how much time he spends with the others? Is there a competition to see who can have the most children?
And there’s those children. Do they get a say in all this? Do they have jealousy issues about their dad spending time with the other families? He must miss out on quite a lot of milestones in their lives. Do they have trouble explaining their situations to their friends? Do they call the other wives “mom”, too? And when they start dating, will they be looking to be in polygamous relationships, too? Or will they be sick of it and say no way?
And we never hear of a woman taking on several husbands, do we? Can you imagine five men competing for the attention of one woman? Them doing all the child-rearing, while the wife bounces from house to house? And that wife would be pregnant almost all the time, in order to have children with all of the husbands. Brother Husbands…what a concept?!