“You’re not a Mormon, are you?”

Hi, I’m Zoe, Joshua & Charlotte’s oldest daughter. Who would have guessed that this would be my maiden blog post? (No pressure, right?) I’ve toyed with the idea of contributing to this blog for a while now, and am finally pulling the trigger, so to speak.

We were in Missouri several weeks ago – my father, my younger brother, and I – to celebrate the Biblical Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles, in the English) as commanded in Leviticus 23:34-43. Most of the time we camped on the property of a lovely family we know out there who are also polygamous. (They have two wives currently.)

Also camping on their property were several other people, all of which knew the family well (including the fact that they are polygamous) except for one man.

We had all sat down to dinner one of the first nights we were there and I was lost in my own thoughts when I suddenly heard that one man say to the father of the host family, “I don’t mind you having two wives, but I’ve never met someone who has before.”

My mind snapped back to the conversation at present – obviously the man had just found out that our friends were polygamous, and his response was revealing.

“Ah,” I thought to myself, “You’re not a Mormon, are you?” (This is most notable because everyone else there was.)

You see, there are two kinds of Mormons – those who think polygamy is acceptable (these are generally Rocky Mountain Saints – those who came West with Brigham Young to Utah – with the notable exception being, of course, the LDS) and those who think polygamy is un-acceptable (generally the Prairie Saints – those who followed leaders other than Brigham Young after the martyrdom of Joseph Smith and stayed in a more easterly location – and also the LDS).

So how could I tell the man was not a Mormon?

He started off by saying that he doesn’t mind polygamy – in other words, he was not LDS or a Prairie Saint – and then he said that he’d never met someone who was polygamous before – in other words, not a non-LDS Rocky Mountain Saint. If he was a part of a branch of Mormonism which did not allow polygamy, he would have most likely had strong feelings against the practice, and if he was in a branch of Mormonism which allowed polygamy, he would have met someone who was polygamous before, I guarantee it. Where polygamy is allowed in Mormonism, it is almost always practiced by at least a small percentage of the population.

It was an interesting moment, and my deduction was confirmed – the man was raised Baptist and later became a Torah-observant Christian, but was not Mormon in the least.

It’s rather funny to me, to be honest, to see how much some Mormons hate polygamy. Any LDS people who have significant (5-6 generations back) Mormon heritage are almost certainly descended from at least some polygamists, and the LDS church never codified scripture which condemned polygamy (yes, of course there is Official Declaration 1 – also known as “the Manifesto” – however, its message is more along the lines of ‘we do not sanction polygamy if the law is against it’ than what most LDS people think it is), yet most of them hate the practice with a passion.

And here was this man, his religion having no recent ties to polygamy, and yet he had no issue taken to the practice.

Perhaps, on second thought, that’s not so strange after all. We humans have a tendency to condemn most, and most vehemently, those faults which we have just recently overcome ourselves. So, if you are are seeing the world through a LDS paradigm, one in which polygamy is considered evil, then being cognizant of the ‘tainted’ past of your church and ancestors could have the effect of galvanizing your rejection of, indeed even repugnance toward, those who are so backward as to be still committing the sins of your own yesteryear.

The Couch – Sister Wives S17E1 reaction

Everything I write is based on the show. I have no inside information as to how it went down otherwise.
I’m going to establish my reality on plural marriage first.

Our family has 2 wives. Joshua sets his own schedule. This is usually every other night barring other events. (Those events include, but are not limited to childbirth, illness, vacation, work trips, and other trips.) He works very hard to be fair with his time. Yes, that’s usually a 50/50 split. My husband makes time for me wherever he is.

On a regular week on my off nights, he either calls me on his way home from work (he has a very long commute), or spends at least 15 minutes in a face-to-face to check in.

We also have a nightly family gathering time that we call “Shofar and Tell”. This is a time that each family member tells a bit about their day. It can be something they learned that they want to share or an interesting experience, or a performance of some kind. I love this time of connection each evening. I don’t like scheduling things in the evenings because even the idea of missing Shofar and Tell makes me sad.

That is my framework. A very connected husband managing 2 households in the same house, with equal time given to his wives, and trying to bring the entire family together nightly.

Ok. Now to episode 1.

In the 5th minute, Kody says he doesn’t want to spend the nights on Christine’s couch.

I’m assuming that if Kody didn’t go to Christine’s, he stayed with Robyn and she welcomed him into her bed.  

He complained about it being a game. I don’t think that not wanting to sleep in the same bed or “throwing him out” is a game. This is a husband-wife relationship and for that relationship to break down to that degree is a very serious thing.  It’s not a game and should not be treated as such. It’s frightening to me that his belief of it being a game makes him not “play” instead of evaluating why the relationship is in the state that it’s in and taking immediate corrective action.

What Robyn told him had no teeth.

Robyn claimed having no power, but she could have had power and supported her sisterwife in refusing to have him in her bed if he was not going to spend equal time with her sisterwife.

My response for Kody not wanting to spend the nights on Christine’s couch would have been “You can spend your nights at Christine’s house on her couch. If you stay here, either you will be on the couch or I will. I will not sleep in the same bed with you on nights you should be at her home. Period.”

My husband was genuinely surprised when I told him of my stance. He didn’t believe that I would actually tell him he could not favor me with his time or that I would push to the degree thr I would plan to.

I’m pretty convicted about this issue and here is why: The only way to protect my own interests is to protect my sisterwife’s interests.

I have to be unequivocally fair in my dealings to expect fairness in return.

I never want to be blamed that I had part in the dissolution of a marriage because I enabled my husband to not have to deal with his other wife when things were hard.

Monogamy has its own difficulties. I don’t want plural marriage to have those difficulties plus the option to strengthen one marriage and sacrifice another if I can at all help it.

My vested interest is in having our family be successful. That means that each marriage is successful on its own and our family is unbreakable. This means I love my sisterwife as myself. There is no room for being a favorite over another (I have to be the best version of myself so I can be a favorite Melissa) or any desire for my husband to be monogamous. That idea is repulsive to me because it does mean failure and there would be a lot of pain and suffering, most of it avoidable.  

Advice for a future/current second wife (from a first wife)

I was chatting with one of my readers who is being courted as a potential second wife. My conversation with her brought up some things I felt I needed to share. Consider it advice if you want to, but I have such a big beam in my own eye that I wouldn’t dare correct anyone. I’m just sharing some thoughts.

First off, I don’t see why it’s ever a good idea to criticize your (potential) husband’s current/first wife. She has made it just fine this far successfully without you, and she doesn’t need you to waltz in to her life and start telling her how she should and shouldn’t behave. The possibility of living plural marriage will bring plenty of things to her awareness that she needs to fix about herself without you pointing them out directly, trust me. If you do see something that you can’t bear to just leave alone, tell your (potential) husband and leave it to him to handle.

The above advice applies to first wives as well. Your (potential) sisterwife is an adult who has long ago moved out of her parents’ home and isn’t looking for another mother. Just focus on improving yourself and your own children. When things come up that need to be addressed, either trust your sisterwife to figure it out on her own or bring things up with your husband.

Come to think of it, this advice applies even more broadly than merely sisterwives.

Think about how difficult it is to change yourself. Consider how often you fail to follow your own sage advice.

If your experience is anything like mine, upon reflection, you’ll realize how overwhelmingly improbable it is that you will ever succeed in changing another person.

The Etiquette of Wedding Invitations

“Are you the groom’s sister?” I am asked by a fellow wedding guest.

“No.”

“Are you a friend of the bride?”

“Nope, not a friend of the bride.”

Cue an awkward silence while she decides whether to keep guessing, and I anticipate my ultimate answer, which will almost certainly be a surprise to her.

“So… Where do you fit in? How do you know the bride and groom?” she presses. It’s such a simple, natural question, so why do I cringe?

I give her a big, friendly smile and answer directly and without hesitation: “You know the groom’s mom? I’m her sisterwife.”

Her “Ohhh” response plus her body language tell me that this answer is, indeed, not what she was expecting. I give my attention back to the two babies I’m in charge of: one mine, the other my sisterwife’s.

The woman’s husband had commented on the little ones a few minutes prior: “Are they both yours? They look too close in age to both be yours.”

He was right, in a way. The babies are too close for both of them to have come from my own body; Melissa got pregnant when I was 6 or 7 months along in my own pregnancy. At their current ages, they’re obviously not twins, but that might change in a few years.

But he was also wrong, in a way, since I claim all 7 of our family’s children as my own. So to answer the question “Are they both yours?” is not so easy for me.

My sisterwife Melissa has 3 grown children from her first marriage. I’m not particularly close to them, unfortunately. Early in Melissa’s and Joshua’s relationship, when her first batch of children were teenagers, I dared to fantasize about being a second mother to them. Alas, it wasn’t in the cards. However, the youngest son is friendly with me, and he invited me to his wedding in southern Utah.

Here’s a question for you: What should be done when a Christmas card, a graduation announcement, or a wedding invitation is being sent to a family with more than one wife?

Melissa and I have cracked the code.

Think about this: After you open the envelope, read the card, mark your calendar, and make a note to yourself to get a gift, where do you put the card?

On your fridge, of course. And you leave it up there until it’s no longer relevant.

That common habit is the basis of our rule of etiquette when mailing things to families with multiple wives.

If the wives live separately, you mail them each their own wedding invitation. If they live together and share a kitchen, just send one invitation. Easy enough.

But if they live at the same address and have their own kitchens (and hence their own refrigerators), here’s what to do: Mail to the household the same number of invitations as there are kitchens. That way, each wife gets to put the card up on her fridge. Go ahead and mail both of them in the same envelope and save yourself a stamp.

Melissa’s son understands this concept, so I got my own copy of the wedding invitation.

I found this sweet and thoughtful. I also realized that if he hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have known for sure whether I was meant to be included in the invitation. His giving two copies of the invitation to our household made it clear that I was, for sure, invited.

Back to the wedding guest who found out I was the sisterwife of the groom’s mother. After she recovered from her initial shock, she approached me. Melissa was getting herself ready for the wedding ceremony, and I was tasked with getting her reluctant preschooler dressed in his handsome ringbearer suit, complete with a bow tie and suspenders.

I was also taking care of Melissa’s infant and my toddler, so my hands were reasonably full. The kind wedding guest helped me, all the while chatting in a friendly manner and showing that she was fine with what I’d told her. Never knowing what to expect when someone finds out about my polygamy, this experience was nice.

The wedding was one I wouldn’t have attended if I wasn’t a polygamist.

“My cousin has two moms (and a dad)”

We live in the house we bought six years ago from Kody Brown. He lived in this house with 3 wives: Christine, Janelle, and Meri. (He married Robyn while the Brown family was living here.)

The house has 3 distinct apartments, which means three kitchens, three laundry rooms, many entrances, a single driveway (with many parking spots), and one huge utility bill, ha ha. Our dream house would also have a large communal area, but all in all, this house is awesome for a plural family.

Our family has only 2 wives. We have courted a potential third wife once or twice, but obviously it’s never worked out; you might be surprised how difficult it is to find a good fit for a well-established family, but those are stories for another time. I hope Joshua will have the opportunity to love 3 wives someday.

When referring to sections of the house, we freely use the word “house” for what might more accurately be called an apartment. But since that can get a little confusing I’ll just call them apartments. I live in the “apartment” formerly occupied by Meri Brown, and my sisterwife Melissa lives where Janelle Brown used to live. In the 3rd apartment (Christine Brown’s) lives some members of our extended family, including two of my nieces. (By the way, the family isn’t polygamous.)

Today, my nieces had a friend over whom I had never met. The 3 little girls were sitting on my porch steps, and I went past them on my way to the driveway. “Hello, girls!” I said. “Eating fudgsicles, eh? Yum!”

The older niece told her friend, “That’s my cousin’s mom.”

She was corrected by my younger niece: “One of her moms.”

Older niece: “Her husband is a polygamist!”

I didn’t hear what their young friend said in response. I just kept walking.

I was charmed by the innocence of the children freely sharing a fact about their aunt with no embarrassment or hesitation.

Later that day we were out in public, and we happened to see that same girl. Once again I thought about how we polygamists often just fit right in: You probably don’t even realize when you’re sharing the children’s museum or the swimming pool with polygamists.

Being introduced as one of my daughter’s moms is something that definitely wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t a polygamist.

A Conversation With a Stranger

I was at the local swimming pool the other day and I noticed a woman reading a book — a real, live book! with a highlighter! Initially, it was the novelty of someone reading a book instead of scrolling on their phone that caught my attention.

But then I recognized the cover of the book she was studying. It was Let’s Talk about Polygamy by Brittany Chapman Nash.

The book being read by the woman at the public pool.

My LDS friend (who, let’s face it, is obsessed with polygamy) recommended this book to me a few months ago. I checked it out from the library but only read a chapter or two before it was due back. I frequently listen to audiobooks, but I’m not very good at finding time to sit still and just read a book, so if I’d found this book in audiobook format, I could have listened to it in no time. Can anyone relate?

Anyway, when I saw the stranger sitting on the pool deck reading and highlighting this book, I decided to go talk to her. I was curious why she was interested in reading it at all, much less studying it so closely. I wondered what she thought of polygamy and whether she knew any polygamists personally.

I didn’t know how she’d respond to me coming up and talking to her out of the blue. Maybe she’d think it was weird or maybe she’d refuse to talk to me, but I also knew I’d regret it if I went home without attempting to strike up a conversation.

So when my baby needed a nursing break from our swim in the cold water, I wrapped him in a fluffy towel and we went and sat near my new bibliophilic friend. Between her AirPods and her concentration on her book, it took me a minute to catch her attention, but I found success.

We had a nice chat. I learned she’s in the mainstream LDS Church and she’s interested in the history of Mormon plural families in the late 1800s running from the law and/or hiding from raids.

I told her a little of my own story.

Yes, we all live together.

I had 3 children at the time Melissa married Joshua; now I have 5 and she has 2 (not to mention her grown children from her first marriage), but I often say simply that I have 7 children. I love saying it: “I have seven children.” It feels a little like cheating, since I only gave birth to 5 of them.

My sisterwife’s preschooler calls me “Mama Charlotte”, which I find very sweet.

I told her briefly about my aunt, who decades ago became convinced that polygamy was required in order to go to the highest degree of heaven. She begged her husband to take another wife. When he refused, she left him and her 4 small children and went and became someone’s second wife. That plural marriage didn’t last, but the trauma it caused her children did; even now, some 35 or 40 years later, when they refer to “Mom” they’re speaking of their stepmother, the heroic woman who stepped in and raised them when their overzealous mother wouldn’t.

The ripping apart of a family by someone too eager to live “The Principle” almost definitely contributed to my aunt’s brother (my father) reacting negatively when he found out his own daughter (me) had decided polygamy was for her as well. The big difference is that in my aunt’s case, her choice led to her children losing a mother, and in my case, it led to my children gaining one.

By the way, I don’t want to mention my father without also mentioning that altho things were rough at first, in time, my parents have really come around. They even consider Melissa and Joshua’s children to be their grandchildren, which is a dream come true for me.

Back to the deck of the pool. Yes, the book-reading stranger has met polygamists before; in fact, she’s friends with one that goes to a certain fundamentalist Mormon sect that meets not too far from here. She was curious whether we’re in that one? But no, we haven’t joined another group, and probably never will.

We aren’t members of a Church? Do we have community? Yes, a wonderful one we’ve built for ourselves. The families we hang out with the most are a mix of polygamists, monogamists, and single people; polygamy is certainly not a prerequisite for being friends with us. The two main things our closest friends share with us are (1) They have Mormonism in their background and (2) They believe in keeping the Torah, which has become a big part of our religion (I would even say a larger part than our Mormonism).

By the way, my husband Joshua was recently invited on to The Mormon Renegade Podcast to do a series of interviews on the topic of Torah, Mormonism, and especially the celebration of Biblical holidays.

I occasionally get emails from readers asking when I’m finally going to write more of my story on my blog. The answer is “In good time” but for those of you who don’t want to wait, go listen to episode #15 of that podcast. In it, Joshua tells the interviewer the story of how we became polygamists.

Which is what I did with the woman at the swimming pool a few days ago, something that never would have happened if I wasn’t a polygamist.

My Amazing Wife

There are a few people at my work who know that I am a polygamist, but the majority do not. It isn’t that I’m secretive, it just doesn’t come up, and I don’t go out of my way to bring it up. I generally prefer to keep my work and home lives separate.

That being said, there are occasions, sprinkled thruout my career, where I have had the opportunity to mention my home life, and I always smile when I am talking to someone who isn’t in the know. Over the years when talking about “my wife” I have let them know that:

She has a bachelor degree in Mathematics Education,

A bachelor degree Animal Science (with an emphasis in Veterinary Technology),

Another bachelor in Nursing, and is a board-certified lactation consultant.

She also has a Master’s Degree in Abstract Algebra.

She has been a high school teacher and a college adjunct professor,

A maternity nurse, and worked full-time while homeschooling our children.

She is a musician, plays the trumpet, piano, and shofar, and teaches our children piano.

She has been a choir member, choir pianist and been involved in community bands.

She knits and bakes, makes amazing bread, brownies, and cookies.

She has had 9 children, with one on the way! The youngest is 4 months and the next is due in the beginning of April!

She has been a sign language interpreter and, speaks a little German, Spanish, Latin, and Hebrew.

She makes wine, cheese, sour kraut, yogurt, and sour dough bread.

She raises chickens, quail, ducks, and sheep.

She gardens, and grows tropical plants in our kitchen.

She is an amateur astronomer, and likes to give lectures on naked-eye astronomy.

She has been a birth doula. Six of her own children have been born at home, all of them unmedicated, and two of them unassisted.

She hosts a never-ending stream of social and religious events at our home.

That is a list that would be impressive even if it were split between two women! Yes, I truly have an amazing wife! And we have accomplished a lot together. We are a great team. I pity my coworker’s wives a bit. I imagine what they must think when they hear stories about my amazing wife. Her children rise up and bless her, and I do as well. Strength and honor are her clothing, and her value is far above rubies.

Kaleh Loves Fiercely

This is a very hard post for me to write. I could not watch the fight, but buried my eyes in my hands while I wept, listened, and re-lived.

Kaleh came to the Clarks extremely damaged.  It doesn’t matter how.  Trauma is trauma. Any perceived slight to her is taken exponentially.  Her baseline is that she is unneeded and unwanted. There is a lifetime of being trashed caught up in the phrase, “bringing the trash home”. Add in the cultural stereotype of being a brainwashed whore/side chick, and the lack of external support for plural marriage. Add in the time, effort, and financial resources needed to support a new wife. She’s well aware that the Clarks don’t need her. They did just fine before she came along; otherwise, there would have been no room for her at all. 

She believes she is not worthy of any sacrifices for her. She doesn’t understand how they could love her, because no one ever has. She has been systematically used and abused with her only value being her fuckability, her labor, and/or her bragability. She’s terrified that the Clarks are going to get rid of her. She is not at this moment able to financially provide for herself; thus the jobs. They are critical to her mental survival. She knows that she needs this family more than they need her. She hates herself for that too.  

She makes herself hard to love. She is trying to get rid of herself before they get rid of her.  That’s all she knows, and that’s the only power she has.  The push/pull of wanting to be with them, and undermining the entire relationship by being hard enough to love that they may give up trying. She has to prove that she’s the trash because that’s what she thinks of herself. It’s not her label, it’s her experience. A throwaway. Number 5 plastic. 

In all of it, it is the family that pays the price for the damage that bad men created.  The men who didn’t and couldn’t love, even though they had someone who loved them fiercely, and was never going to give up on them until they threw her out into the street – like so much garbage.    

She truly believes she is expendable. More than expendable – Dead Weight. A drain. A black hole. A sucking wound. Broken. So broken.

It’s going to take years. Maybe a lifetime.  It’s a rare man who can walk through fire to gather the pieces and to remold the shattered glass.


I hope they can make it. 

Marriage Licenses and Security

In season 3 of Seeking Sister Wife we are introduced to the Merrifields, Garrick and Dannielle. They have found a potential sister wife with complications. Their potential, Roberta, is Brazilian, and the easiest way for them to get her to the states is to bring her with a fiancé visa and have Garrick marry her (thus getting a license from the government that would allow her to legally stay in the country). The down side to this is that it would require Dannielle and Garrick to get a legal divorce first. Even tho this “divorce” would be in the eyes of the court only, the decision to carry out this plan is obviously filled with emotion, and all the more so because the Merrifields have had marital struggles in the past which had led them nearly to the brink of “true” divorce.

Even tho the Merrifields have a more complicated situation than most (given that Roberta is a foreigner), this decision (to divorce on paper), has been faced by many polygamists over the years. Besides obtaining citizenship for a foreign spouse, there are several reasons for contemplating this plan. The reasons may include extending insurance benefits to children or adopting children (as Kody Brown did with Robyn), or extending security or benefits to the new wife.

In any case, there are all sorts of doubts that will begin to play upon the minds of those involved (this is a continuing theme for Dannielle in several of the first episodes of season 3). The wife especially will be worried about being abandoned, and Dannielle is no exception. Of course it doesn’t help matters that her family members are expressing doubts and concerns to her about it (not that they shouldn’t – more about that below).

The concern is that once the marriage license is gone, Danielle will have no protection from all of the difficulties of life that may arise if Garrick decides to abandon her. Of course, this is a nonsensical concern, as Garrick could always end up filing for divorce at any time.

Without making this post too long, I will put it simply to all the women out there, especially those who have not yet chosen a husband yet (and yes, it is primarily the woman that does the choosing):

The best protection is the character of your man.

This advice applies to monogamy or polygamy equally. Do not settle, or be lax, in making your decision. Do not get carried away by money, or attention, or good looks (tho these things have their place in making a decision about marriage – they are secondary), and then trust the government to keep you protected from your poor choices. It is a bad plan, and all too often will lead to misery, legal battles, and wealthy lawyers. A license is no guarantee of protection, financial or otherwise (my wife Melissa can speak to this in great detail based on her previous marriages).

It is a much better plan to be careful about your mate, then stick to your choice thru thick and thin. Choose a man whose character will not cause you to doubt his dedication to you or your children. Choose a man who is worthy of trust and responsibility. Choose a man who will be able to stay with you and love you despite your personal flaws (and visa versa – he will not be perfect either). Choose a man who will remain by your side to lead, protect, and provide even if the county records building burns to the ground (and the “proof” of your marriage with it).

Fortunately for Dannielle, it seems that none of the concerns expressed by her family have anything to do with Garrick’s character. They don’t seem to think that he will leave her, they are only concerned about what would happen if he did, and these are very different things.

As for the opinions of friends and relatives, they cannot make choices for you, nor should you let them. However, there are circumstances where you should eagerly seek their input. You may discover that you are like a particular woman that I work with. She has been married several times previously; all of them ended in disaster. She had a string of husbands that were found to be sexually abusing her daughters (beginning with their biological father). We talked about her life and difficulties for quite a while; mostly I just listened. It turns out that she now identifies as a lesbian, and has a girlfriend, tho this arrangement has not been without problems as well. She told me that her “picker” was broken. In other words, the part of her brain that runs the program for picking a good mate (whatever part that may be) is not functioning well.

Take careful stock of your own thoughts, feelings, and past experiences, and ask yourself if your “picker” is broken (essentially this means you are a poor judge of character). If this describes you, then you should seek input from family and friends, and be sure to take things slow, so that you can gather enough information to make a good decision. You will want to see your potential mate in lots of different situations and interacting with lots of different people including, and perhaps especially, your family and friends. It will be worth it to make a good decision. It will be more protection than a piece of paper ever will.

Reality Is Not a Vacation

None of my children is old enough for dating and courtship, but I’ve still had many important conversations about choosing a spouse, preparing to be a good husband/wife, what to look for in a potential partner, how to really get to know someone, etc.

I have repeatedly talked to them about dating versus real life.

You can go on a planned date with someone, where you’re both dressed up and presentable, you’re on your best behavior, and you get to just have a nice time at a restaurant where someone else is doing all the work. Enjoying one another’s company when the event is low-stress and nothing but fun is a facet of compatibility.

But it’s also important — and arguably more important — to see what someone is like when they’re in a stressful environment or when there’s work to be done. How does he behave when he gets a flat tire on the way to the restaurant? How does she treat you if you forget your wallet? Does he have a sense of humor if you’re spending time with children and he gets messy? Does she pitch in and work hard if you’re doing a difficult project together? Does he step up as a leader if he’s put in charge of motivating a group of children to help clean up after an event? Does she make it into a game and a challenge if she’s asked to help with something unpleasant?

When you are exploring whether a person is a good match for you, it’s essential to see them in situations that are closer to real life, and not just fun. Everyday life is work. Everyday life can be stressful. Everyday life isn’t just pleasant and relaxing, hour after hour, day after day.

My plan for my children when they start dating/courting is for them to invite their date to service projects, the big events we host, our family time, the work days. I want them to have opportunitites to interact with each other around parents, siblings, children, and people who need help. I want them to get to see each other in action when there’s work to be done, tool belts and boots to wear, mud or chicken poop to wade thru, fences to put up that catch on clothes. I want them to see each other at their best but also at their worst, in those kinds of situations that let the person’s character shine thru.

There’s a Kristina Kuzmic video about her as a divorced mother dating a man who wanted all of it, even cleaning up the vomit:

This is the kind of thing I’m talking about. He didn’t just want Kristina when her makeup was done and her children with with a babysitter. He was willing to take on the entire package, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health.

Seeking Sister Wife, S3E2, titled “Irreconcilable Differences”, shows Garrick and Dannielle at dinner with some family. They are planning on yet another trip to Mexico to vacation with Roberta and spend some time her. Their sister-in-law Samantha points out the problem with meeting Roberta only on vacation.

I do have some questions about Roberta ’cause you guys only met her in Mexico because it’s different in a vacation. And then you come out here and it’s reality.

Samantha (Dannielle’s sister-in-law)

I agree with Samantha. Putting aside all the cultural and language differences the Merrifields will have to overcome, I am genuinely concerned that they are in for a reality shock when their relationship with Roberta moves from vacation to real life. I’m happy for them that they enjoy each other so much when the situation is fun and entertaining, but I wish they had the chance to see each other in the more realistic daily life and make sure they’re still compatible.

As Garrick acknowledged in the episode,

Yeah, I think there’s definitely gonna be a huge adjustment.

Garrick Merrifield

Yeah, I definitely agree with that.