What The Sister Wives Really Think About Having Multiple Husbands

Sister Wives is one of those guilty pleasure reality shows where the emphasis is fully on "guilty" while you're watching, particularly considering the disturbing truth behind the show. For those who've never stumbled across it, the title tells you everything you need to know; the TLC mega-hit follows the polygamous Brown family, Kody and his four wives, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn, as they navigate life as an atypical American family.


As Cheat Sheet advises, their church, Apostolic United Brethren (AUB), is a fundamentalist Mormon sect based predominantly in Utah. It allows for polygyny, a strand of polygamy that gives men the opportunity to have several "sister wives" as part of its religious practice. The opposite, however, known as polyandry, a form of polygamy where a woman holds several "brother husbands," remains curiously underrepresented.

Janelle Brown doesn't judge families with brother husbands

Janelle recently took to Twitter to field fan questions about their family, and one woman asked for her opinion on so-called brother husbands. "Why can't a woman have multiple husbands and be in a plural marriage?" questioned the fan. And, to the surprise of many, Janelle replied that she had no issue with such a setup. "I've met families that are structured that way. It's not our paradigm but consenting adults should be able to choose. As long as there is not abuse or fraud," she tweeted, leading fans to laud her progressive approach. 


The Browns have made it clear over the past few years that they're open-minded when it comes to any kind of relationship, even loudly supporting gay marriage, provided it's between consenting adults and is respectful. Kody and his wives previously discussed polygyny on the show, with Janelle explaining (via Cheat Sheet), "...every religion has rules that they think bring them closer to God. That is how it is for us. We feel like living plural marriage is a commandment designed for our happiness."

Meri Brown would never consider having multiple husbands

Meri further elaborated, "...the way plural marriage is designed for us, and what we believe, what we've accepted, is one man and multiple wives. We just don't do it the other way around." However, she also told the Sister Wives producers, "I would not ever choose to have more than one husband. From a religious standpoint, because I don't believe that that's right, and also from a personal standpoint, I need my me time and I wouldn't get it if I had many guys around. I'm not going there." 


Likewise, Kody himself was totally disgusted by the idea back in season 1, claiming he couldn't even imagine Meri on a date with another man let alone married to him. However, Janelle tweeted in a further response to the original question regarding brother husbands, "Please remember that there is no 'right way' or 'only way' that a plural family should live."