sister wives pt. I

11Oct10

This will be a somewhat short post, but I definitely want to expand on this subject more (later). I recently caught an episode of a new tv show on TLC called Sister Wives. This show is a documentary-style, unscripted reality show that follows a polygamous family. Not knowing much about polygamy, I decided to do a little research on the history, purpose and practice of it. First of all I want to clarify something that I myself didn’t know, and that is that Mormons in general no longer follow, nor do they believe in polygamous/plural marriages. Only Mormon Fundamentalists, people who believe and follow select fundamentals from early Mormonism still practice polygamy, and not even all of them. The Church of Latter Day Saints and mainstream Mormons no-longer follow or condone plural marriages. So to clarify, it’s a pretty small number of people who do. I will get more into the history and beliefs of Mormonism in my next post.

What I wanted to write about is what I observed and how I felt when watching this show. Kody Brown has 4 wives, in the episode I saw he had 3 wives (he’s been married to them for 20, 17 and 16 years) and was courting a woman who was his fiancee in the episode, but recently married Kody. Kody has had children with 3 of his wives and the wives have brought children into the family from previous marriages, etc. From what they communicate on the show, a big part of why they chose this lifestyle is to have a big family and lot’s of children. I think that’s great and exciting, I just don’t see how it can be healthy to go about in the context of polygamy (technically polyginy,which is a man having more than 1 wife).

Just in the 20-something minute episode I saw, I noticed both the wives and children lacking attention from Kody. I know it’s a television show, so I’m sure it’s not a 100% accurate view of them. It was really sad though, because his first wife of 20 years told Kody when they went out to dinner for their 20th anniversary that she still deals with feelings of jealousy and lack of love due to Kody’s other marriages/wives.

Kody later in the discussion discusses how she was on board with this lifestyle and that she was the one who was excited for him to start courting his most recent wife and that it’s unfair and a bit of a double-standard that she now feels jealous every time he kisses her. (I’m sorry that I don’t know the wive’s names, I will learn them for my next post.) Hearing this woman tell her husband of 20 years this was heart-breaking. And then to watch Kody throw it right back in her face! And I’m sure that Kody was less bothered by it because he receives value and self-worth through his other marriages.

I’ve been happily married for just over three years now, and it’s hard enough for me to give Loran the love, quality-time and appreciation that she deserves, and most the time I don’t. I just can’t understand how one man can (i.e. thinks he can) be a loving and supporting husband to 4 wives at the same time – he has to be emotionally spread soo thin.

I’ve been thinking about all this since I watched the show yesterday, I’ll write more and if you have any opinions or have any knowledge about polygamy, please share – otherwise stay-tuned.

peace, kevin.

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