The children of Sister Wives aren’t following in their parents’ footsteps. ET’s Deidre Behar spoke to Kody, Meri, Christine, Janelle and Robyn Brown ahead of the 10th season premiere of their TLC show, and the reality stars revealed their children aren’t interested in having plural marriages themselves.
While Janelle said that her oldest daughter, 25-year-old Madison, loves how she grew up, she does not see a plural marriage in any of her kids’ future. Janelle is also mom to Logan, 26, Hunter, 24, Garrison, 22, Gabriel, 20, and Savanah, 16.
“I think we can acknowledge they love [having a] big family and brothers and sisters. [They] haven’t expressed interest in plural marriage, but [they] love family, so they’ve separated how family was growing up and how they wanna live their life,” Janelle said. “… We’ve always been pro find your own relationship with God and make your own choices. Just because we’re doing it doesn’t mean necessarily it’s for you. We’re pretty open with that choice.”
Meanwhile, Christine noted that her six children — Aspyn, 25, Mykelti, 24, Paedon, 22, Gwendlyn, 19, Ysabel, 17, and Truely, 10 — “aren’t open to plural” at all.
“We’ve talked and none of my kids are gonna live our lifestyle,” she told ET.
As for Robyn’s five kids — Dayton, 20, Aurora, 17, Breanna, 15, Solomon, 9, and Ariella, 5 — she said “they’re not really thinking” about dating, much less marriage, right now.
“Whatever makes them happy is most important. Four of us chose this, went through a process of deciding individually if we wanted this. We all gave our own testimony,” Robyn said. “… We would never take that away from our children. [They] need to find their own path and belief to live their fullest life.”
“… Sometimes it’s not something you decide right off the bat… [It’s] something you grow into and decide with your spouse,” she added. “… So far [it] doesn’t seem like [they’ll have plural marriages, but] you never know.”
Meri, who’s mom to 25-year-old Mariah, said “it doesn’t surprise” her that the family’s kids aren’t interested in a plural marriage.
“It proves to me and everybody that we don’t force our family to do what we think we should do,” she said. “… What we’ve tried to do with our family [is] allow that space for each child to grow up and embrace what they wanna embrace.”
Kody, meanwhile, said he tries “not to meddle” in his kids’ dating lives. “I don’t really advocate [for them to] be in plural or not,” he said. “I see it as something they’d work out with their spouse.”
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The 10th season of Sister Wives, which premiered Feb. 14, will show marital problems between Kody and Meri, who, according to Kody, have been estranged for four years.
“Meri and I are in an amicable relationship… but we’ve had a real struggle. This year we have some very difficult conversations,” Kody said, adding that “there’s no doubt in my mind that we can survive this.”
“I haven’t lived at her house for four years,” he continued. “… We’ve been trying to basically work out our relationship so we can save it.. It’s an estranged marriage. It’s a marriage that needs to work out some stuff.”
While Meri admitted that the couple has had its “ups and downs,” she, like Kody, believes they will persevere.
“It’s just a matter of what your commitment level is… You just keep working… at the relationships and doing all the things and you just keep improving yourself,” she said. “… You work for it and you get to a point [where] it’s good.”
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While each relationship has its ups and downs, the women and Kody all said that they don’t foresee adding another wife to the mix.
“There’s been a talk about that since basically season one,” Meri said. “… I don’t know about you ladies, but I don’t see it happening.” Kody agreed, telling ET that “there will never be a fifth wife.”
And while Robyn noted that the family’s religious belief is to “bring as many children to the Earth as possible” and that having more kids is “always something we consider,” Kody said, “I don’t think I’m having any more kids.”
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Even without the addition of more wives or children, Kody has a lot to balance as it is, and makes sure to spend time with each member of the family on a “rotational schedule.”
“How he spends his time is always flexible and adjustable. So generally, in a non COVID year when there’s no concerns, he’s pretty much just moving every day or two to a different house,” Janelle said. “That’s of course adjusted if there are birthdays… [It’s] not set days or number of days. He tries to keep it pretty fair.”
Sharing with the world how they work to be a cohesive unit is something that each family member is passionate about.
“It’s been really amazing to make a difference in so many lives. There’s been a lot of our friends and family who live secretly and we have been able to really give them options as far as being open. That’s been pretty gratifying,” Janelle said. “This year, our friends finally succeeded in decriminalizing polygamy in Utah. That was… a huge milestone for why we did the show, to make it so it was no longer so destructive to be open about your family.”
“We have so many people… who are always reaching out to me who are saying, ‘Thank you so much for showing a family just full of love, full of regular trials, regular ups and downs. You just keep plugging away. You just keep doing it and you’re committed. You love each other. Thank you for just being an example of that,'” Meri added. “So it’s kind of cool… I feel very grateful.”
As for how long Sister Wives will go on, Janelle hopes the show will stay on air “as long as we continue to do good,” while Kody said he’ll keep doing it as long as “Americans don’t say, ‘You’re grossing us out so bad.'”
Despite their best efforts, some people still don’t understand their family dynamic. For Robyn, though, she wants viewers to know that she and the other wives “chose” this life.
“We’re not broken. Our biggest and most important thing is the love in our family,” Robyn said. “Even though we have issues in our family, we are always working towards working it out and becoming stronger as a family, however that looks.”
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Season 10 of Sister Wives airs Sundays on TLC.
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