I’ve been watching Sister Wives from the beginning. If you’ve been living under a rock, it’s a reality show about a polygamous family in Utah, and then fleeing to Las Vegas to avoid bigamy charges.
The good news and quite likable aspect of the show is that they really don’t seem to be playing for the cameras. It seems like normal, everyday life as much as possible. It’s something sex related and that is always good for pulling my attention.
The bad news is that it’s absolutely killing any residual fantasy of having multiple women in my life. The husband Kody seems like he is on an endless treadmill of running from one wife to the other. There’s half a trillion kids and not a moment’s peace from someone interrupting him. The only person more exhausted than Kody from dealing with the opposite sex is Smurfette.
The other thing that strikes me is that the wives aren’t happy. Oh sure they say they are happy, and that they love having sister wives and they don’t mind sharing a husband, but every single episode at least one of them bubbles up with some kind of teary outburst in the private interviews. For sure Jennifer and I have days that are better than others, and we’ve had a handful of very bad days together, but I simply can’t imagine her weeping into a camera and saying she doesn’t feel special anymore.
I really do get the concept of having a close personal relationship between sister wives, but couldn’t you also get that from having…. well… friends?
The preselection effect is constant. Four women, one man, it’s like four ducks fighting for a single slice of bread. They all get some, but it’s not really enough. He has their constant attention and half the drama the wives unleash is simply to get him to give them his undivided attention.
The thing that most interests me most though is the addition of a fourth wife, and to be perfectly blunt, a younger, hotter wife. The three original wives are all late 30s, and therefore heading into the end of their fertile lifespan. So surprise(!), Kody just ends up just magically falling in love with Robyn the younger, hotter one. That’s a pretty standard Sex Rank effect at work.
Because the other three wives are committed to the whole polygamy thing, they are intellectually defenseless against the threat of the younger woman. A regular monogamous wife watching her husband blatantly wooing a younger woman gets extremely angry and seeks to block the change or end the relationship with her husband. As it is, the sister wives do get very jealous and anxious, but ultimately fold up and decide that the new wife is welcome. The core of their problem is the polygamous relationship allows extra wives, so they can’t complain about the addition of a new wife on any moral principle without intellectually backtracking on everything they stand for. They can only complain on the basis that she’s a bitch… but she isn’t, so they have to accept her. Checkmated by their own Rationalization Hamsters.
Plus they fold up and just accept less attention and less sex because they can’t actually leave him anyway. It’s not like they can get either child support or alimony from him, because if they run to Family Court it’s a legal quagmire at best and at worst he gets jailed and they get nothing from a jailed husband. Having a mess of kids, no money and not much hope of a replacement husband/lover doesn’t give a girl a lot of options.
The broke thing is the kicker. If you’re filthy rich, say like Hugh Hefner, you can have a bunch of women in a little harem. But Kody isn’t rich, in fact he’s fairly broke, or soon will be trying to support four houses and seventeen kids when no one has a job. Unless the show is a mega success and they start Getting Paid(TM), it’s going to be a train wreck disaster. No money means he has to endlessly finesse moods and drama like a master of Game and for the most part he’s pretty good at it. But Game doesn’t feed children…
My point is, if you want to choose an alternate sexual lifestyle, I don’t have a moral high horse I want to climb on and say you’re immoral. But I will say that simply wishing the rules of Sex Rank and attraction to change or be easy, doesn’t mean they change in reality.
So here’s my predictions of the drama ahead…
The first wife Meri is the only legally married wife, and only has one kid with Kody and she’s one of the older children. If anyone can afford to leave, it’s her. If she meets someone else, she will be pulled emotionally just the same as any other neglected wife is.
The second and third wives Janelle and Christine are going to remain the work horses of the family. Janelle is going to return to working outside the home and bring in valuable income. Christine is going to be the domestic queen and have a harder and harder time of running the home.
The fourth wife Robyn will take over the family. The long story arc ahead will be her slowly beginning to assert dominance over the other wives. The showdown between her and Meri will be nasty. Once Meri leaves, Robyn takes over. Kody will end up sleeping with Robyn twice as often as Janelle and Christine.
Kody is going to be genuinely devastated when Meri leaves. So naturally he’ll take a fifth wife. The other wives will be utterly horrified by this.
And always remember this when you hear Kody say, “there are no limits to love”. He means no limits to his love. He expects everyone else to limit their love to him.