Sister Wives Family
Although Mormon polygamy is illegal in many states, it has not stopped several splinter sects from breaking off from the main church and forming their own religious congregations in order to keep living under this practice. As a result, these sects are shut off from the rest of the church and are forced to live their lives shrouded in secrecy from other Mormons and the public at large. In the face of this shunning, women who are part and parcel of the polygamy movement have developed a bond amongst themselves, coming together in a family of sister wives to support each other and their fellow peers.
What exactly is a sister wife?
Except amongst those already involved in this type of lifestyle, the concept of sister wives is not common knowledge. Sister wives are generally considered those women who are all married to the same man, each having her respective group of children with the husband. Sister wives might all live in the same house, raising all of their children together, or if the husband has the means, each wife is given her own home in which to raise the children. Regardless of the actual living situation, the husband of the group divides his time between the wives, giving each wife and their children together an allotment of time.
Who are the Browns?
The Brown family, famous for their controversial TLC reality show "Sister Wives," is one such polygamist family. Kody Brown has four wives, Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn. These women openly refer to themselves as "sister wives," and between the four of them they care for their combined 16 children. Recently, the Browns were forced to flee their hometown of Utah due to charges that were filed against them for their unique living arrangements. The show documents the trials that Kody undergoes with having four wives, as well as the jealousy and hardship experienced by his spouses.
Mormon polygamy, although largely condemned by society and the Mormon church, still exists within small sects and clusters of believers who prefer to follow the early teachings of John Smith, Jr and Brigham Young, both of whom were church leaders back in the 1850s. As depicted on the TLC show "Sister Wives," members of these sects go to great lengths to keep their lifestyles secret from other Mormons and the world at large.