The Untold Truth Of Seeking Sister Wife

Seeking Sister Wife debuted in 2018, following the trend of shows centering on polygamous families. And despite polygamy being illegal in all 50 U.S. states, the law hasn't done much to quell the sheer volume of reality TV series focusing on people who flagrantly break that law — and happily allow themselves to be televised while doing it. Curious viewers can't resist taking a peek at the likes of Sister Wives, My Five Wives, and Three Wives, One Husband, which shine the spotlight on plural relationships.

In January 2018, TLC debuted Seeking Sister Wife, but this one offered a unique twist. "Seeking Sister Wife follows three families — the Alldredges, the Brineys and the Snowdens — all of whom are in various phases of seeking, dating or transitioning a new sister wife into their lives," TLC described the show in its announcement. "Viewers will get an unprecedented look at this intimate process as the husbands and wives date online, and in person, and explore the ins and outs of seeking and incorporating a new wife into their family structure."

Despite the show's popularity, even the most ardent viewers have plenty to learn about Seeking Sister Wife and the families who have participated in the show.

Seeking Sister Wife originally featured three polygamous families

In December 2017, TLC introduced the families who would appear in Seeking Sister Wife. Ashley and Dimitri Snowden were described as parents to two young children who were soon expecting a third. They were searching for another woman to bring into their relationship and turn their couple into a "throuple." While many polygamists subscribe to a controversial offshoot of Mormonism — which renounced polygamy in 1890 — the Snowdens are not affiliated with any religious group, and they are not even legally married.

The second family featured on the show were the Alldredges, comprised of husband Jeff and wives Vanessa and Sharis. The three have seven children total. TLC shared that the Alldredges were actively dating other women in search of a third wife.

The Briney family, on the other hand, was comprised of husband Drew and his trio of wives: April, Auralee, and Angela — Angela being the newest member of the family, having joined the Brineys after a brief two-week courtship. First wife April exerted authority over second wife Auralee, with TLC pointing out that "they bump heads and don't always see eye to eye." And while the wives were happy to welcome a third, TLC noted that "they hardly [knew] her." Sounds dramatic.

The unusual reason Seeking Sister Wife's Snowden family practice polygamy

While the Brineys and the Alldredges embrace polygamy for religious reasons, that is not the case for Seeking Sister Wife's Dimitri and Ashley Snowden.

As Dimitri explained in a clip from the series premiere, his desire for a plural family stems from his lifelong goal to have a large family — a really large family. "I don't have a close family myself. My immediate family is all over the place, we're not very tight. We didn't really get to grow up together," he said in the clip. He added, "So I want a noisy house, babies everywhere — I just want an epically big family."

For Ashley, the decision to open up their marriage to a third partner allows Dimitri to have more babies to add to the massive clan he's always envisioned — because she's done with childbearing. "Part of the reason why having a sister wife is attractive to me is because I'm currently pregnant with my third and I think I'm at my capacity with three children," said Ashley, explaining that a sister wife would "fulfill that dream for Dimitri to have more children."

Two of the families on Seeking Sister Wife had known each other for years

The Brineys and the Alldredges were not only Seeking Sister Wife co-stars in Season 1, but they were also longtime friends before becoming involved in the show. 

The FAQ section of the Briney family website answered all manner of questions, including their underlying religious beliefs, how they pay taxes, and why they've decided to flaunt their illegal polygamist lifestyle by appearing on a reality show. In the FAQ, the family also revealed that they're good friends with the Alldredges, as well as with Kody Brown and his family of Sister Wives, one of the worst shows on TLC. In fact, according to the FAQ section, Drew Briney "has long considered Kody [Brown] as one of his heroes for being the first person to stand up to Utah's laws ... despite the risks he and his family took by appearing on Sister Wives. Drew was his attorney before Kody fled Utah."

Prior to filming Seeking Sister Wife, the FAQ stated, "The Brineys and Alldredges used to have family get-togethers on UFC fight nights and it was at the Alldredge house that the Brineys met Angela." 

Seeking Sister Wife star Dimitri Snowden built a robot

Anyone who's watched Seeking Sister Wife has no doubt concluded that Dimitri Snowden has some pretty unconventional views, but what viewers see on the show only scratches the surface. For example, Snowden has described himself as an "ontological architect," and he laid out precisely what that means on his websiteOntology, he explained, "is my way of actualizing the human imagination, intersecting design with human consciousness and co-actively authoring 'mindware' into reality." Acknowledging that "no one knows" what he's talking about, he spelled it out a bit more clearly to state that he "designs epic experiences with an acute focus on human behavior, process engineering and automation technologies."

Snowden is also an inventor. Among the "experience products" he's devised are the Hypervolt, a USB-rechargable AA battery, and the AWSM (a.k.a. Autonomous Working Smart Machine), an 800-pound, seven-foot-tall robot.

"I design experiences that will influence how you interact with the world around you," he continued. "My messes have become my messages — those messages have galvanized a foundation of relentless ambition and pursuit."

Seeking Sister Wife's Ashley Snowden has an unorthodox idea of what constitutes as cheating

The Snowdens' relationship took a dramatic turn early in the first season of Seeking Sister Wife when Dimitri went on a date with a potential sister wife and things got a little steamier than expected. "Joslyn and I had our one-on-one date last night and things went a little further than we had planned," he said in a preview of the episode shared by Us Weekly. "Honestly, I'm a little nervous to tell Ashley about what happened." Later, Dimitri was shown telling Ashley about his date, dancing around the details until she finally asked, "Did anything happen?" He responded, "Yeah, actually," causing her to nearly choke on the tea she was drinking.

Despite what appeared to viewers to be a clear-cut case of cheating, Ashley later revealed she didn't see it that way. "I thought it was interesting, because cheating is when you're not aware that the person is going to have sex," she told Newsweek. "I was completely aware that Dimitri would have sex with this woman, it just happened out of order." It must be difficult to know what to do when you catch your partner cheating... if your definition of cheating is flexible.

Seeking Sister Wife's Drew Briney is a sci-fi author with a passion for juggling

There's a lot about Drew Briney's personal life that didn't make it into Seeking Sister Wife. One thing that viewers didn't see was that the former attorney is also the author of numerous science-fiction/fantasy novels, with titles such as Moon 514 and Unproven.

But Drew has another hidden talent. According to his bio on the Briney family website, he's also an accomplished juggler. "While in law school, Drew focused his OCD tendencies into a juggling addiction," the bio reads. "He was awarded Utah's Best Professional Juggler award in 2001 and retains that title (mostly because they quit having the competition but he likes to brag about it anyway — did we mention he can juggle eight balls? Juggled as a performer at the 2002 Olympics? Competed at the 2006 International Juggler's Association competition?)." 

Drew has actually melded his two passions into something he calls "Story Juggling," in which he regales an audience with a story while simultaneously juggling.

Vanessa had to detox before she could sleep with Seeking Sister Wife star Dimitri

In the first season of Seeking Sister Wife, Dimitri and Ashley Snowden welcomed Vanessa Cobbs into their polygamous relationship. In an interview with Fox News, they addressed an episode in which Vanessa had to "detox" before she'd be able to have sex with Dimitri.

"So detox simply means when you're removing toxins from your body," Ashley explained. "So because we consume a different way than she originally consumed — eating habits — naturally she would be the one to detox ... So because it was her coming into a family that didn't eat certain things she'd have to remove these things from her body in order for our pHs to match."

For Vanessa, this meant completely giving up some of her favorite foods. "I loved meat and pizza and all of that stuff, but I had always wanted to eat more plant-based, vegetarian, pescatarian, so it was perfect when I met them," she said. Sounds like she had to quickly find out what happens to your body when you stop eating meat.

Why this Seeking Sister Wife star left her polygamous relationship

The Snowdens thought they had met their ideal third in Vanessa Cobbs, even tying the knot in a spiritual ceremony during Seeking Sister Wife's Season 1 finale. However, a long-term plural marriage was not to be.

"After some deep soul searching, I have decided to part ways with the Snowdens," she announced in a since-deleted Instagram post, as reported by People"I love Ashley, Dimitri, and the children so much, and will continue to do so always. However, my love and commitment to them overshadowed my love and commitment to myself." She continued, "I was not being truly honest with myself until recently. I was ignoring my inner guidance which was telling me that I do not belong with them in the capacity that they need me to."

Vanessa also insisted that, despite leaving the Snowdens, the "love and life" she experienced with them "was very real," and that her openness to a polygamous lifestyle remained unchanged. "I still believe that polygamy can be, and is, a beautiful thing," she wrote.

Seeking Sister Wife's cast shakeup for Season 2

When Seeking Sister Wife returned for a second season, viewers noticed some changes. While the Snowdens and Alldredges were back, the Brineys were no longer a part of the show. In their place, two new families joined the fray: the McGees and the Winders.

Paige and Bernie McGee had been seeking a sister wife for several years, yet stopped their search due to Paige's jealousy. "After taking a break from the search, they are now ready to dust the cobwebs off their dating profile and put themselves back on the market!" said TLC in its Season 2 announcement. "Their foray into online dating yields a promising candidate named Brandy, and they seem to be on a fast track to plural harmony, until Paige's jealousy returns and threatens their hope of ever expanding the McGee tribe."

The other family was comprised of Colton and Tami Winder, along with their wife of a year, Sophie. The Winders had been keeping their lifestyle a secret but had started "to test the waters of being openly plural."

This father-son conversation on Seeking Sister Wife was super awkward

One of the most memorable moments on Seeking Sister Wife took place when father of five Bernie McGee had a man-to-man talk with his then-14-year-old son, John. While a father sharing wisdom with his teenage son is hardly out of the ordinary, the topic of conversation certainly was — since it involved Bernie's intention of having sex with a woman who was not his son's mom.

Discussing his plans to bring a sister wife into the family, Bernie filled John in on what the proposed sleeping arrangements would be like if prospective sister wife Brandy were to move into the McGee family home. "I'm gonna have to sleep at night, right?" he told John in a clip shared by TheWrap. "Right now, I sleep at night in the same bed with your mother. If I have two wives I'll have to rotate nights between them."

Added Bernie, "Might be a little too much information for ya." Um, you think?

This Seeking Sister Wife star reportedly tried to fake her own death

Seeking a third wife, the Alldredges met Jennifer Linnerth, leading to a date at Niagara Falls. Jennifer cut things short, explaining she had to leave because of a family emergency. Detailing what took place in a lengthy Facebook post, the Alldredges admitted they were skeptical of her excuse, but they later invited her to their home when Jennifer "continued to assure [them] that she was still interested in moving forward."

But Jennifer never showed, claiming she had ruptured her appendix, one of the body parts we no longer need that be deadly. After a little digging, the Seeking Sister Wife family discovered she had lied, and agreed "to walk away and be done." Then things took a weird turn. "It was a short time later that we found out about Jennifer's death," stated the Facebook post. "We didn't believe it for a second but we did wonder why she felt the need to fabricate yet another lie." A little more investigating led to the family's reported discovery that Jennifer "didn't grow up in polygamy and she wasn't a model." They added, "She did however, work as a stripper."

One castmember dropped a cheating bombshell during the Seeking Sister Wife reunion special

During the Seeking Sister Wife Season 2 reunion special, simmering tensions between Bernie and Paige McGee bubbled over when they reunited with their prospective sister wife, Brandy. According to InTouch, Bernie found himself in the hot seat when asked if he and Brandy had ever been intimate off-camera. "Even if we did I don't kiss and tell — but we didn't," he said, with Paige interjecting, "'Cause you told me you didn't, so you'd better not have!"

Brandy, however, told a different story after she was brought onstage, detailing kissing, a hickey, and a claim that Bernie had tried to sleep with her. Paige was livid. "That's a lie. Bernie would never do that — he's never cheated on me and he has dated other women, honey," she told Brandy, who fired back, "I'm not your honey." The two women continued to exchange barbs until they finally both stormed off, with Paige hurling a big insult.

"What kind of person makes out with somebody else's husband — is a wh*re," she said, to which Brandy responded, "Your husband came on to me!"

These Seeking Sister Wife stars were arrested for stalking

Seeking Sister Wife's McGee family appeared to be volatile, given their on-air argument at the Season 2 reunion special (via InTouch), and a subsequent off-camera incident proved they weren't just acting up for the show. That was demonstrated in March 2019 when TMZ reported that Paige and Bernie McGee were arrested for stalking. 

According to TMZ, the two "were arrested on misdemeanor stalking charges ... after Paige's brother, Patrick Marble, accused the couple of flooding his home, cell and work phone with harassing calls." Documents obtained by TMZ indicated that the couple had also been allegedly targeting Patrick's girlfriend, reportedly harassing the couple with a barrage of abuse to the point that both claimed to "fear for their lives." The charge against Paige McGee was later dropped, but she told local Mississippi news outlet WDAM7 she was "seeking a restraining order against her brother for allegedly harassing her on social media" as she exited the courthouse.

This Seeking Sister Wife star passed away

When Seeking Sister Wife's Paige McGee appeared in court in July 2019, she had some sad news to share. "We caught up with McGee as she was leaving the courthouse Wednesday," reported WDAM7. "She was visibly upset, explaining Bernie had passed away last week." According to the news outlet, Hinds County coroner Sharon Grisham-Stewart stated that Bernie had died of natural causes on June 15.

In a statement from TLC, the network confirmed that Bernie McGee had passed away at age 41. As Paige recalled, he had been outside riding his bike on a hot day, and he'd suffered heat stroke and a heart attack.

"Bernie loved the outdoors especially camping, hiking and riding his bike," his obituary read. "He never met a stranger and loved his family and friends very much. Bernie was full of life." Family and friends said goodbye at funeral services held on June 18, 2019, before he was laid to rest at Crossroads Cemetery in Pelahatchie, Miss.