Confession time. I watch Sister Wives on TLC. If you aren't familiar with this controversial reality series, it's about Kody Brown, his wives Meri, Janelle, and Christine, and their thirteen children among them. In the first season the show also televised Brown's courting and eventual marriage to a fourth wife, Robyn who herself has three children. Robyn was the first new wife to enter the family in 16 years. The only legal marriage is between Kody and his first wife, Meri, while the others' marriages are considered spiritual unions. As of the September 2010 debut, Kody has been married to Meri for 21 years, Janelle for 18 years, and Christine, who is the homemaker, for 17 years.
Disclaimer: I don't agree with their lifestyle but I enjoy seeing how they manage to make it work (at least in front of the cameras). I don't think that Kody should be prosecuted for having 4 wives. He is legally married only to Meri, and the other marriages are what they call spiritual unions. I see it as a husband who cheats with multiple women with his wife's permission. As wrong as that is, it's not illegal. If cheating with multiple women with your wives permission is illegal, then cheating with multiple women without your wife knowing should be illegal. So when are they going to arrest my ex-husband? End of Disclaimer. :-)
When Kody took Robyn as his 4th wife after so many years had past since "marrying" the first 3, I predicted trouble on the home front. There's not that much age difference in the wives. Robyn is 31, Meri 39, Janelle 40, and Christine 37. Robyn looks much younger to me, making it look like a classic case of trading in the old, used up ones for a younger model. She still has a slim, trim body but when she appeared on the scene she only had three children from her monogamous first marriage. I'd like to see what she would look like after having as many children as Christine and Janelle. (She and Kody recently had a son). Janelle and Christine have each given Kody six children. Sadly, Meri and Kody have only a daughter due to her infertility problems.
Christine is my favorite with Meri coming in a close second. I think the reason I like Christine so much is she has the heart of a homemaker, caring for her home and family. Like me, I think she sees that as more important than having a career. She's the one who loves creating a loving home for all the children. Christine's the one who's home with all the children nurturing them all as if they were her own, while Kody and the other wives work. How she manages grocery shopping and maintaining the huge pantry they have is beyond me! I admire how she makes it look easy.
It breaks my heart to see how Christine is hurting because of trouble in her and Kody's marriage. I see Kody bringing Robin in to the family as a slap in the face to Meri, Janelle and Christine. I know that this situation is not something logical at all but I have to wonder what kind of logic Kody was using when he started courting another wife when things weren't good with one of the ones he already had. Yep, let's bring in younger, thinner wife. That should solve the problem of Christine already feeling left out.
Let's spend hours driving to where Robyn lives and stay several days and cheat the three wives at home out of their time with him. Let's do everything about the courtship completely different than the first three and let them know that Robyn got things from Kody that the other three wanted but didn't get. Let's make the wedding a bigger deal than any of the other three and expect the wives to help her pick out her dress. (And then let it slip that he's already picked out Robyn's dress.) To finish it all up let's take the new younger, thinner wife on an expensive honeymoon to Mexico when the other three didn't even get a trip to the next town over.
Is there any wonder that Christine is jealous of Robyn? Janelle seems to be jealous as well but not as much as Christine. I see Janelle is a strong woman who just needed Kody around so she could have children. Meri seems to be the only one happy with Robyn joining the family but I have to wonder if things went the way she thought they would. I think it's a huge possibility that Meri is as close to Robyn as she seems to be because Meri feels guilty for suggesting to Kody that he consider courting Robyn. I look forward to next season and seeing how it all works out.
I have to admit that I gained a whole new respect for Robin after finally watching the episode where she gave birth to a 10 lb baby with a 15 inch head - at home with no pain killers. Then she offered to be a surrogate for Meri and Cody since Meri can't conceive immediately after having that 10 lb baby boy. Even if it "was for the cameras" which were rolling, there wouldn't be enough money in the world for those words to come out of my mouth. I'd be too afraid that Meri might think I was serious. Or since most people think the wives are crazy for living that lifestyle, the men in the white coats would come take me away.
I don't understand women who are able to be surrogates. I think that it is so awesome that there are people who are willing to help couples have biological children when they have no other way to accomplish that. What a gift to give to someone. I could never do it even for strangers where I would never see the child again. To give my child to someone whom I would see raising my child every day would push me into a world where I couldn't function. It will be interesting to see what Meri's answer is. I suspect that Meri will turn Robyn down. As much as I know that Meri would love to have another child, I think she has the good sense to know that they can't handle another child in the family. Even the older kids realized that when they announce that Solomon was on his way. At some point, you have to stop having children. (Don't get me started on the Duggars and the Quiverfull movement.)
So, what do you think?