I see in Kody Brown’s eyes a kind of zealous stare to which I am not a stranger. Perhaps he—and I am not saying that he doesn’t believe in every aspect of the Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saint religion—feels a drive to display their lives to the public, a drive which clearly the wives share, to one extent or another.
Possibly they believe that by doing this, they will be able to alter the state of polygamous families, to bring on a lawsuit that will validate their lifestyle.
One more word: one constantly feels, watching Sister Wives, that the three other wives, despite Kody’s rather hyper assurance that he loves them, are clearly insecure. They talk a great deal about the time they will spend with him, the substance of their own personal relationship with him. But is it a bit like having a relationship with Jesus? Is the reality of their marriages with them still a reality? Robyn has to insist that he call them while they are on their honeymoon together. The reality of marriage to many men is simply that youth and beauty are the bottom line of romance. Does Kody Brown love his other wives still as lovers, or more as security-figures, mothers of his children, now? (I appreciate that the Browns say that the children have the right to do whatever they want when they grow up, and not to be forced to marry anyone they don’t wish to marry. This makes them a lot more palatable, certainly to me.)
Do the other wives simply sense that their relationship with him is not the same as his relationship with Robyn? Meri, wife #1, tells him bluntly over the phone that they are unhappy with the long honeymoon and the entire situation.
Kody wants Robyn to have the experience of being with him alone; he wants to be with her alone, too—and he seems to believe that the tension surrounding his marriage to Robyn is normal, an unavoidable transition that comes with taking a new wife.
I cannot help but feel that real love should include everyone in the relationship, no matter how many that relationship contains. Do Kody’s wives even have a choice about what he does? Could any of them say, “We can’t handle another wife?” It’s unclear what the story is, though Meri, the first wife, apparently suggested Robyn to Kody as a possible fourth wife. The group of Browns has spoken of the marriage as being a “democracy,” but is it really?