People have been watching the sister wives lives unfold for years. Kody Brown adamantly believes that he’s doing the Lord’s work by sharing his lifestyle on national television, but many of us are simply tuning in to see what juicy details we can get out of them this week. Most viewers are simply fascinated by the family of 23. The average modern-day woman has no interest in the idea of having 3 other women married to their husband at the same time, and the show is going to change that.

Say what you will about the Brown family, but the women chose this life. Most women wouldn’t agree to this lifestyle. It’s certainly not for everybody. But if they’re happy, that’s all that matters. Kody does not force them to stay married to him, and as we know, they’re more than welcome to leave and do their own thing if they so choose. These women have chosen this life, and that, in essence, is what feminism is all about. They don’t fit the mold of what is considered “normal” or “empowered,” but they seem completely content. To each their own!

Nonetheless, it’s interesting to look into their lives a little deeper. What rules are in place to keep the family running smoothly, and what are Kody’s expectations from his wives? Let’s take a look.

19 No Treating The Kids Differently

None of the wives are permitted to treat the other wives’ children differently than there own. It makes perfect sense, really. As unconventional as their lives are, they’re all family after all. Treating the kids unfairly would not be okay, especially when they consider themselves religious and loving.

Most people might not agree with their choice, but it’s theirs to make. The kids all seem equally loved, and though the love a mother has for her own child cannot be matched, they can certainly make sure the kids never feel it as if they’re being treated differently. I suppose it works for them.

18 Can’t Let Their Emotions Come Before Their Husband’s Happiness

If any of the women are feeling jealous or insecure, they’re not expected to keep their mouths shut about it, but it best not interfere with their husband unless it starts to get out of control. Kody is a busy man, and he doesn’t have a lot of free time. He’d rather not spend it bickering with one or more of his wives.

Of course, jealousy is bound to happen, and he’s dealt with it nonetheless. Typically it seems that the wives will keep it to themselves and suppress it until they no longer can take it. Then they unload on him, and he’s never too happy about it.

17 The Group Decides All

Everything concerns everybody. If one of the wives wants to make a change, no matter how insignificant it may seem, they must all get together and talk about it. Any ideas need to be discussed and cleared with all of the wives as well as Kody before action takes place.

If someone’s interested in moving, changing the schedule slightly, trying a new dish, etc, it requires some talking first. Imagine how hard that must be! Most people just have one spouse to convince, this family has four other people to run their ideas by! Sounds like a nightmare if you ask me!

16 They Cannot Date Anyone Else

While Kody is allowed to pursue other women (only with the intention of marrying) the sister wives are not allowed to do this at all. In fact, Kody has stated that the idea of his wives dating other men makes him “sick.” He went so far as to say that it sounds like something God wouldn’t approve of, and he certainly wouldn’t allow it.

We can say what we want about the family, but the women are all willing participants. They agreed one hundred percent to this lifestyle, and if they’re okay with this double standard, then so be it. They’re absolutely allowed to leave the family if they choose.

15 Rotations

As you would imagine, Kody is spread pretty thin. He has to carefully divide his time up equally among the wives, and it seems like someone is always upset with him at any given point. The wives are extremely forgiving, open, and honest. Sometimes they’ll sit and let their feelings stew for a bit before “bothering” their husband with their thoughts, but they’re almost always cool and collected.

To minimize feelings of jealousy and keep things fair, Kody rotates dates with the wives, as well as sleeping arrangements. Obviously feelings still get hurt, but it’s the best he can do, given the circumstances.

14 Dress Modestly

The sister wives are expected to dress modestly. We’re not even sure what Kody’s reaction would be if they tried to wear something provocative out, but we don’t imagine he would be happy about it. Besides the obvious fact that the wives tend to live their lives to please Kody, they probably don’t have any interest in wearing anything that shows too much skin. It’s not exactly in line with their religion or lifestyle. Plus, again, they have a herd of children to look after. They want to set a good example and be seen as loving, doting housewives.

13 No Fighting Over Kody

That’s not to say it doesn’t happen. Feelings do get hurt, and tensions rise. It seems like every few episodes one of the wives is hurt and upset about their share of Kody. If they feel neglected or left out, you better believe there will be tears and a big long sit-down talk with everyone involved.

You got to give them props, they handle things maturely, given the circumstances. Many couples have bouts of jealousy, and most people don’t handle it well. The sister wives are sensitive and will cry a little bit, but they rarely yell or make a huge, embarrassing scene. They get together, and work things out as a unified family.

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12 No Sharing A Kitchen

The wives never share a kitchen. That’s the one thing that seems to be sacred to them. One time the family visited another polygamist family, and they were shocked to discover that they all lived in one house, with the wives sharing a kitchen. They all have their own separate houses next door to each other, and Kody goes from house to house for his rotations. Naturally, the children are allowed to go from house to house freely, but the women feel they need their own space, rightfully so! Kody once said on the show,

“They would sacrifice their identity if they shared a kitchen. Their kitchen needs to be their domain. They need to express their own personalities.”

He believes that they already give up so much of themselves by sharing a husband, and sharing a kitchen is just too far.

11 Anniversary Celebrations

The most sacred time of the year for each wife is their anniversary. They make a big whole deal of it, possibly because it’s one of the main times each year that they get their husband all to themselves. They’ve been known to take trips together and really spend some quality time together. If one of the wives is feeling insecure around the same time as an upcoming anniversary, they don’t dare say anything. They don’t want to ruffle any feathers or create an argument right before another wife’s big day. It’s actually kind of sweet when you think about it.

10 Kody Is The King Of The Castle

The sister wives are treated well from what we can see on the show, and I honestly believe they’re treated well when the cameras aren’t rolling. Their dynamic is different than the average American family, but it seems everyone is fairly happy with the arrangement.

That being said, it is expected that the wives take on the household duties while Kody works to pay for the bills. That isn’t inherently sexist at all. What concerns most viewers is the overall tone of the arrangement. While watching the show, you kind of get this vibe that the wives live to please their husband, and their lives tend to revolve around pleasing him and making sure his needs are met and exceeded, with very little care or concern placed on them. While Kody typically handles arguments with his wives very gently and usually very lovingly, the wives put themselves last, time after time.

9 They Must All Hang Out Once A Week

The wives all get together once a week to foster friendships. They’re family, but they’re not technically related other than through marriage, so to ensure that they continue to grow closer, they need to take time out of their busy lives to hang out.

Their outings typically have a “girls day” feel to them. It’s a few hours that they can spend on self-care and promoting a healthy balance in their lives. It’s obvious that things are still tense at times, and the women battle with insecurity and jealousy, but at least they’re all good at putting up a front and making an effort to bond.

8 Embrace The Complications

This is true for any family, really, but there’s no doubt that it’s necessary for the Brown family. They have so much going on at all times, there’s no way to keep your sanity without embracing the complications.

It’s a phrase we’ve heard Kody use before, and it’s something he wants his family to live by. If there’s one thing Kody is right about, it’s this. Their lifestyle is frowned down upon, not to mention illegal. People are constantly judging them and wondering what’s going on in their lives. They have to stay strong, focused, and willing to embrace the chaos that is their lives, or else everything will fall apart.

7 No Room For Selfishness

There is no room for selfishness in the Brown house(s). Kody is supporting their huge family practically by himself, at least financially speaking. The wives main concern is the home and their children.

Not only does Kody feel that sharing their resources with each other is practical (and pretty much necessary), he believes that it brings the wives closer together and creates a deeper bond between the ladies. Their desires are to come after everyone else’s needs. As I previously mentioned, the women usually put themselves last, which is typical for most mothers. It’s even more prominent in the Brown house, though.

6 They Must Support Each Other

Above all else, every family member must be supportive of one another. They don’t always see eye-to-eye, but they try their hardest to not let their disagreements come between them. Kody wrote a book called, Becoming Sister Wives: The Story of An Unconventional Marriage, and in it, Meri wrote,

“It’s not a hard and fast rule, but I believe one of the key factors in being a good sister wife is having the ability to see the needs of another sister wife and consider her needs more important than your own.”

It’s probably the only thing they can do to keep each other from jumping at the others’ throats.

5 They Must “Pass It Down”

Along with sharing things between families and wives, the Browns have a strict “pass it down” rule in place. Unless Kody was raking in some serious cash, there’s no possible way he’d be able to provide for all eighteen of their children, which is how to rule came to be. There’s no room for waste in their family. They pass down baby and children’s clothes, maternity clothes, really any and everything. They get the most out of everything they buy, that’s for sure. It makes me kind of sad for the sister wives in a different way. I can’t imagine not having anything to really ever call my own, and I certainly can’t imagine having to part with every newborn outfit my son wore because another wife is expecting.

4 They Must Be Religious

The Brown family belongs to the Apostolic United Brethren, a sect of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Religion is a must for them. Kody is picky about who he marries, and he wouldn’t subject his wives to a new lady that they feel has loose morals or questionable religious views. It’s funny, I know. Kody likes to say,

“Love should be multiplied, not divided.”

It’s very hypocritical if you ask me, since he also claims that the thought of his wives so much as dating another man makes him feel sick and that it’s absolutely disgraceful. If their justification lies in the fact that men can impregnate more than one woman at a time, while a woman can only be pregnant with one man’s child at a time, it’s just ludicrous. Many people agree that this doesn’t seem like the lifestyle God is okay with, but no one will ever truly know. The Browns are set in their ways, and they believe wholeheartedly that they’re doing His work.

3 Only One Ring

Since polygamy is illegal, Kody can only be legally married to one wife. He was originally married to Meri, but he divorced her to marry the youngest wife, Robyn, so he could legally adopt her three children from a previous marriage. His relationship with Meri took a huge blow. They’ve been having marital issues for years, and getting a divorce, even with the understanding that they’re still married (just not legally) really hurt her. During a TLC special, Meri addressed her feelings on getting a divorce.

“It’s the end of something that we had had, in a way, for 24 and a half years.

But at the same time, I know I have eternity with the family. I know it’s not the end.”

2 No Listening To Critics

Kody feels strongly that the wives should drown out the critics and online haters. I want to believe he has good intentions, but at the same time, a part of me wonders if he’s worried his wives will stop being interested in their lifestyle if they allow outside influences in.

People online say nasty things, so of course the sister wives should ignore hateful comments about their appearance, their choices, etc. But deep down, is Kody afraid that hearing other women speak up about how these ladies deserve to be treated will affect their relationships? Women are more outspoken than ever, and no one knows what the wives think about while laying awake a night. But the media sure gives them plenty to consider.

1 Take Care Of The Kids And The Home

Ultimately, above all else, the sister wives are expected to take care of the home and the kids. This isn’t always a bad setup, but watching his interactions with his wives is enough to make you want to throw your lunch. You can just tell he thinks he’s the King of the castle. He runs things, he’s the big strong man who goes out to work while his wives (plural) stay home and tend to his herd of offspring. There’s nothing wrong with stroking a man’s ego sometimes, but at a certain point, it’s pretty cringe-worthy. The ladies don’t seem to mind for the most part, so if they’re happy, that’s all there is to it. The rest of us will just watch from the sidelines, wondering why in the world these ladies let his head get so big.


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