‘Sister Wives’: The One Thing The Brown Family Has Taught Fans About Polygamy

Kody Brown and his four wives once claimed they signed up for reality TV so the world could better understand polygamy. Meri Brown, Christine Brown, Janelle Brown, and Robyn Brown all once claimed that they wanted people to realize that their alternative lifestyle was a happy one. Throughout several seasons of Sister Wives, fans have learned that the Brown family is anything but happy together. The Browns have effectively taught their viewers that polygamy is more about sacrifice than collaborative living, insist fans.

The Brown family has shown the world that jealousy is a serious problem

Kody has been married to his first three wives for 30, 27, and 26 years, respectively. He married his fourth wife, Robyn, in 2010. Meri, Janelle, and Christine, in particular, should have had a lot of practice when it came to plural living, but both Christine and Meri seemed to struggle mightily with feelings of jealousy. Robyn has seemingly struggled with the same emotion.

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Janelle and Robyn have both suggested polygamy is all about sacrifice, and Janelle admitted, in a tell-all episode, that the first 20 years of her marriage were not particularly happy ones. If the Brown family was hoping to show viewers that their union was collaborative and comfortable, they managed to do the exact opposite.

There is a serious power imbalance in polygamist families

The Browns once insisted that all decisions must be made as a family, but in the last two seasons of the show, fans have noticed that the Browns might not operate that way. The family’s move from Las Vegas to Flagstaff, Arizona, and all that has transpired since the move, appears to highlight a severe imbalance of power.

Fans strongly believe Kody bullied at least two of his wives into making a move to appease his fourth, and now legal wife. Flagstaff, where the family currently resides, fits in perfectly with Robyn’s plans for her eldest child, Dayton Brown, but seemed to impact the others negatively. Why did they move then? Seemingly, because Kody wanted to.

Meri Brown, Janelle Brown, Kody Brown, Christine Brown and Robyn Brown
Meri Brown, Janelle Brown, Kody Brown, Christine Brown and Robyn Brown | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

RELATED: ‘Sister Wives’: Fans Think Robyn is the Reason the Family Moved to Flagstaff

Kristyn Decker, who is directly related to Christine, has spoken out against polygamy, stating that the entire practice is rife with abuse and is built on a complete imbalance of power. Decker, herself, left polygamy. She has now spent years speaking out against the practice and has dropped some tidbits about the Brown family, in specific, to Radar Online.

The wives are absolutely not friends

During the first season of Sister Wives, the Browns repeatedly stated that they worked as one, large, happy family. The wives even suggested that their friendship with one another was just as important as their individual relationships with their shared husband. Many seasons later, and it’s clear that is not the case.

The family’s book, Becoming Sister Wives, even highlighted the tension that exists within the family. Janelle and Meri could barely stand to be in the same room together, and Christine has suggested Meri makes her uncomfortable. Christine and Robyn also appeared to start off with a frosty relationship, and little has been done to strengthen that friendship. The idea of sharing a large house again almost sent Christine into an epic meltdown.

RELATED: ‘Sister Wives’: Were Christine, Meri, Janelle, and Robyn Brown Ever Friends?

Decker has suggested that the Brown wives were never actually friends, and friendship between sister wives is incredibly uncommon within sects that practice plural marriage. At best, it seems some of the wives have a lukewarm understanding. At worst, they can’t stand each other.