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It’s official. Season 17 of Sister Wives will premiere on September 11, 2022 at 10:00 PM on TLC. The final episode of Season 16 premiered on February 20, 2022, which was part three of a multi-episode special where Kody and his four sister wives (Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn) spoke to interviewer Sukanya Krishnan about key family events over the past year.

What’s different in Season 17?

In January of 2022, Meri Brown confirmed Season 17 was in the works. Recently, TLC revealed that the show picks up where Season 16 left off—right after Kody and Christine split. Their 25-year-marriage ended in November 2021 with Christine claiming that the lack of intimacy drove her to make this momentous decision.

In the one-on-one talk session with Sukanya from Season 16, Christine also divulged that Kody changed his attitude towards Christine when she began asserting herself and saying “no” when she would normally acquiesce.

We don’t know the details of Christine and Kody’s conversations, but Christine tells Sukanya that she was surprised to learn of Kody’s grudges during therapy. This, too, may have contributed to their shocking but expected divorce.

Will Season 17 skip through the past year?

Season 16 of Sister Wives culminates in Kody and Christine’s divorce in November 2021, although the last episode premiered in February 2022. With the new seasoning debuting in September 2022, fans are curious to see whether producers will fast-forward to the present-day after featuring the split, given the significant time gap.

Fans are also speculating whether Meri or Janelle will announce a split from Kody before the new season airs. Both sister wives have expressed unhappiness in the marriage for a while, and Christine’s departure may have finally emboldened them to leave the plural marriage. Either way, fans are excited for new Sister Wives content this fall.

Published By: Sister Wives 

Matchmakers Inc

Dating with children seems impossible as a monogamous individual, so how do polygamous parents do it? While polygamy presents huge advantages to parents such as a supportive village to help with childcare, other facets of parenting as a poly parent can be complicated.

In an episode of Seeking Sister Wife, viewers scrutinized how Steve Foley conducted himself during a conversation about polygamy between him, his wife Brenda, and his two teenage children. For poly parents, this exchange may have struck a chord, and we can see why.

Seeking Sister Wife Season 4 Episode 5 and 6

On June 27, 2022, the polygamy tv show about couples courting potential sister wives released its fourth episode of the current season, with episode five airing the following week on July 4, 2022. The episodes chronicle the couples at different stages in their dating lives, but fans held onto a particular interaction between Steve Foley, his now-wife Brenda, and Steve’s two teenage children from his previous marriage.

The cringe-worthy interaction showed us Steve informing his daughter, Jayden, and his son, Preston, about his and Brenda’s plan to look for another sister wife to join their family.

Typical of an outspoken teen, daughter Jayden promptly lets his father know that she disapproves of his lifestyle, calling it “disgusting” and “gross.” However, the painful dialogue doesn’t end there.

Jayden asks her father how she would feel if Brenda, Steve’s wife, were to bring another man into the relationship. In true conflict-avoidant fashion, Steve ignores Jayden’s question.

The problem with Steve’s response

Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and Steve’s daughter has some very strong feelings about his lifestyle. It’s not the decision to seek a sister wife that is the issue here, but rather how he’s communicating it to his children.

Ideally, parents should field children’s questions while respecting their opinion and providing honest, age-appropriate information.

Completely avoiding a relevant and common question about polygamy (I.e., why aren’t they looking for a boyfriend or a husband, and only a sister wife) indicates that Steve - and by extension, Brenda - may not be prepared to talk honestly about their lifestyle to their children beyond a simple “We’re dating other women.”

This exchange between Steve and his children on Seeking Sister Wife had the potential to turn into a mature, age-appropriate conversation about different types of polygamous structures and how couples set up their own boundaries and rules.

In the report about poly parenting What About the Children?! Children in Polyamorous Families: Stigma, Myths, and Realities by Jacki Yovanoff, it’s found that children who grow up in polyamorous households are more likely to develop a higher emotional intelligence, plus invaluable skills like self-confidence, and interpersonal skills.

In cases where parents are not so great with communication, however, children may develop adverse skills. So is Steve Foley a bad parent? While many Seeking Sister Wife fans will gladly crucify Steve for his parenting faux pas, we haven’t reached a guilty verdict yet.

After all, Steve and his family are on national television, and that alone can provoke someone to put their guards up.

How to talk to kids about polygamy

Nevertheless, there’s plenty of advice out there from poly parents with children on how to navigate these types of conversations. We’ve compiled a list of the best advice here to help parents looking for new boyfriends, girlfriends, sister wives, or husbands be more honest with their children.

1. Don’t keep huge secrets

Polygamy and polyamory are not shameful subjects. If your child is old enough to understand that you are dating multiple people, or that you and your partner are dating someone, let them know.

2. Encourage questions

Make sure your children know that they can ask you any question at any time without consequence or derision. A judgment-free, honest environment is an amazing thing not just when talking about polygamy, but about any big, life-related questions. You will be building a lifelong relationship and nurturing great communication skills.

3. Don’t feel the need to eliminate the awkwardness

If you’re keeping your poly lifestyle from your children, and they’re old enough to understand it, try to take a step back and check in with your feelings. Are you avoiding the conversation because you are afraid you will feel awkward? Are you avoiding the conversation because you are afraid that your children will feel awkward?

Know that other people’s discomfort around your life choices is not your responsibility. Yes, parents are responsible for their child’s well-being, but they will not be children forever, and they will be faced with uncomfortable topics throughout their lives.

What you can do is broach the topic and ensure that your children feel comfortable enough to ask you questions about polygamy or polyamory, no matter how uncomfortable the actual questions may be. No need to disclose personal details that happen behind closed doors between you and your partners, but your children deserve candid answers.

4. Bring children to poly events

One of the best parts about living in a poly household is the community you will all benefit from. Children’s idea of what constitutes normal is shaped by what we do and don’t expose them to during childhood.

Allow your children to interact with their peers and other adults in the poly community if possible - this reaffirms the idea that these communities are filled with loving, understanding, and supportive members. As children grow up, they will not feel like they are the odd one out for being in a poly household, but rather feel privileged to grow up in such a diverse environment.

5. Define dating terms in plain language

In most cases, children won’t know what monogamy, polygamy, polygyny, or polyamory means. When they ask, explain to them in age-appropriate language what each means, and what you identify with. Follow up the next day to see if they have any other questions.

6. Avoid disparaging language

Moreover, answer their questions about different relationships without criticizing other people’s choices. When we demonstrate compassion and open-mindedness, we encourage children to live the same way.

What can we expect from the Foleys in future episodes of Seeking Sister Wife?

We hope that Steve can sit down with his children and create a space where they can all talk about polygamy and polyamory in frankness. Witnessing a public figure throw away the chance to educate the younger generation about polygamy feels like a step back in the plight to make polygamy more mainstream.

Again, we must model open-mindedness and honest communication to children, especially around traditionally taboo topics like polygamy, and we can only hope Steve takes a cue from the fans to put more effort into connecting with his children before pursuing a new sister wife.

Published By: Sister Wives 

Matchmakers Inc

Spending money on dates is so ubiquitously expected that it feels reflexive. A high-end gastronomic experience, a luxury weekend getaway, a beautiful jewelry set—all these tokens have come to mean that our interest (and often love, later on) is deeper than it would be in the absence of them.

Finding a sister wife, though, is generally even more expensive than monogamous dating. Poly relationships are unique in that the dating stage may last for a long time—or indefinitely in some cases—so the obligation one feels in providing physical proof and ritzy experiences of our love is doubled compared to monogamy.

However, poly dating on a budget is possible. Not every couple and potential partner will have equal financial status, and the key to avoiding negative feelings and relationship outcomes is to talk about financial expectations openly.

Why is finding a sister wife more expensive than monogamy?

Dating multiple partners is more expensive just from a logistical standpoint. You multiple dating costs by two, or three, and this fact becomes clear. That said, there are other aspects of poly dating that make it more costly than monogamy dating.

Poly dating is not linear

In monogamy, Person 1 meets Person 1. They date for up to a year or two and decide to move in together. Within a few months, though, they become comfortable with each other and share the costs of dating—meals, trips, gifts, etc. When they decide to cohabitate, they share living costs. If they decide to have children, they share childcare costs.

In polygamy, though, the chronology of dating is a bit more nuanced. For solo polyamorists, many relationships can stay in the dating stage forever. This makes it difficult to avoid the costly parts of dating such as eating out, going out, and taking trips together.

Finding a sister wife is a whole another challenge. Not everyone is looking to get into such an arrangement right away, which means the dating stage will last significantly longer than a monogamous courtship.

Even though a couple dating a woman may be more financially stable and are willing to bear the costs of dating, the potential sister wife may experience shame for relying on the couple or fear of relying on the couple should they break up.

On the other hand, the couple might feel resentment over being financially responsible for their new sister wife somewhere down the line, especially during times of financial crisis or if they decide to welcome a child into their home.

Distance is often a factor

One example that comes to mind is a couple from Seeking Sister Wife, Garrick and Dannielle Merrifield, who met a sister wife from Brazil. They applied for her documentation so she could move to America, but before that, several trips were required for meeting and spending time together.

In the show’s current season, newcomers Sidian and Tosha Jones are courting a woman from the Philippines. Sidian has the opportunity to fly to the Philippines to meet Arielle, but not all couples can afford such trips.

In the same vein, not all potential sister wives could afford to fly out to meet new partners. Sure, the possible rewards are great for the costs (i.e., a happily ever after for all), but these dates and trips add up.

Gender roles play a part

Although polyamorous dating breaks many relationship stereotypes, some traditions are so ingrained in human behavior. Even in multiple relationships, the cost of a date typically falls on the man. It’s no problem for husbands who are head of the household and are the main financial caretaker, but for polyamorists males not yet financially established, this can make poly dating inaccessible.

Ways to save money in finding a sister wife

When we focus on experiences, genuine connections, and open communication, money doesn’t have to be a limiting factor in dating—it remains a mere factor.

Sign up for free dating sites and apps

Most dating services, including Sister Wives, offer free versions with options for premium memberships. Sometimes, dating services also offer limited discounts on memberships or limited trials. These are great ways to explore your options with little risk—and money.

Get comfortable with video calling

Nothing beats talking with someone face-to-face, but video calls can be just as intimate. With platforms like Zoom, Skype, and Facetime, you can set up private and secure calls with your partner(s). Utilizing video calling cuts down on transportation costs, too.

Attend free, local events

If you’re lucky enough to live near someone you’re dating, attending community events is a great way to build your relationship without breaking the bank. Community fairs, farmers’ markets, craft events, and other local-sponsored fetes are not only great for supporting your neighbors, but they usually don’t cost as much as going to a commercial establishment or taking a road trip.

Stay in

The ultimate money-saver, however, may be to stay in! You have the option of cooking up a homemade meal together or meeting after dinner and spending a few hours watching a movie, playing board games, hosting a book club, or catching up.

Meet in the middle

If you and your partner are the types to go on “official” dates, it’s best to choose activities that accommodate both partners’ financial resources. This way, one partner is not always treating the other, and you can maintain a sense of equality and respect.

Again, there are endless date ideas that cost little but mean so much. Do you have a hobby you share, such as rock climbing, hiking, car detailing, or gardening? Are you both museum buffs or art lovers? Are you both extroverted, or are you both comfortable just relaxing at home?

Talk about finances openly

Lastly, finding a sister wife on a budget and poly dating on a budget only works when all parties are honest. Personal finance is a difficult topic to bring up for most people because it’s directly connected with other sensitive information like income, debt, and spending habits.

In fact, money is the leading cause of most divorce cases, and 44% of Americans find it difficult to talk about personal finance. When we’re dating, we’d rather focus on the butterfly-inducing sides of relationships like intimacy, hopes, dreams, and shared first experiences. Excluding finance topics during dating, is a mistake, however.

When we’re open with our finances—how much we’re willing to spend on dates/gifts/trips, whether or not we want to merge finances with serious partners, what our financial goals are, what our current financial status is—when poly dating, all parties can make decisions together to ensure the best possible arrangements and outcomes.

Only when we realize that finances don’t have to be kept private or shameful will we realize that spending copious amounts of money on dates doesn’t have to be the norm.

Published By: Sister Wives 

Matchmakers Inc

It’s no secret that Kody Brown and his four wives - Meri, Christine, Janelle, and Robyn - had a lot to say about polygamy at the beginning of their public journey. When their memoir, titled Becoming Sister Wives: The Story of an Unconventional Marriage was published in May 2013, it helped establish their credibility as modern-day polygamists.

In it, each woman recounts her experience with becoming a sister wife to her shared husband Kody Brown. Although Kody dominates much of the discourse (and the chapters) in the book, it’s still a worthwhile read for people who are not familiar with the Brown family, polygamy, or plural marriage.

It’s a book that provides an insider’s view into the family’s struggles with the polygamist lifestyle, namely financial struggles, jealousy, stereotypes, and co-parenting.

Becoming a sister wife

The book kicks off with Meri and Kody’s love story where the family’s story began. Both Meri and Kody were raised as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS).

We find out that it was Kody’s Mom who explained the idea of celestial plural marriage to Kody when he was just 14 years old. Kody also makes a distinction between mainstream LDS and their sect of Mormonism—plural marriage is not possible in the former.

Kody and Meri meet at a Mormon church after Kody’s parents were excommunicated from their LDS church, and the rest is history.

Beyond Meri and Kody, we also get a glimpse into Christine, Janelle, and Robyn’s lives before they become sister wives to Kody. Their chapters introduce us to their love stories and to their personal stories not just as sister wives but as individual women navigating this confusing world.

Breaking stereotypes

Kody and his wives are part of the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB), which is a different sect of FLDS. The show’s success in portraying the process of becoming a sister wife has allowed ethical polygamists to reclaim this title without being called degrading names.

Addressing jealousy

Another beautiful part about this book is that it depicts the wives’ feelings in a genuine way, even if it is limited. Sometimes this authenticity is dulled on screen, but in the book, we get to take in each wife’s experiences without the TV editing.

It seems that jealousy is the main culprit in most of the household spats—a refreshing and comforting fact if you are reading the book as a new sister wife who is coping with the same feelings.

Throughout the show’s many seasons, jealousy constantly drives conflict between Kody and the wives.

It’s caused fights between the wives, between Kody and the wives, and between Kody and the children. Jealousy (to some degree) even brought Kody and Christine’s 25-year-old marriage to an end.

The moral of the story may be to never sweep jealousy and other uncomfortable feelings under the rug. Instead, work through them as a group and as individuals as much as possible; if your plural family is in it for the long run, establishing a healthy line of communication should be a priority.

Pulling back the curtains on the sister wives’ relationships

One surprising aspect of the book is that it lets fans know how little time the families actually spend with one another. Excluding holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions, it seems that the wives and their children are rarely interacting every day.

Hence, it’s difficult to believe the wives when they claim that the advantages of plural marriage clearly outweigh the disadvantages when the wives go into little detail about these benefits. Nevertheless, it’s clear that every wife is committed to being the best mother she can be, and that their children’s well-being is their top priority at all times even when they all butt heads.

No religious or spiritual aspect

Perhaps in an effort not to alienate others or to reduce the risk of being misquoted, the book does not delve deep into the religious or spiritual reasons behind the family’s lifestyle. Sure, we get the same story from Kody about how he instantly felt drawn to the idea of celestial plural marriage because of his upbringing, but that’s about it.

Neither Kody nor any of the sister wives give us a deeper understanding of their motives behind being a husband or becoming a sister wife, respectively.

In my opinion, this omission is where the book misses the mark. If the premise of the book is to do a deep dive about becoming a sister wife and the ins and outs of plural marriage, then the foundation needs to be there—the why behind everything.

Is it a biological desire to father/mother children? Is it an indescribable spiritual calling to be part of a plural family? Is it a religious obligation? I hope that in the future, the Brown family can elaborate in another memoir if they write one.

Moreover, the Brown clan fails to clearly explain their religious sect and why it deviated from FLDS. For people new to the show or to Mormon sects, this ambiguity may be a real turnoff from the memoir.

Lack of personality and details

Another common gripe I share about the book is that the information is a little repetitive and too generic. The wives share their opinion on one thing, and Kody confirms the information or vice versa.

I understand that it would be very difficult to fit everything into one memoir, but it would be amazing to witness candid moments in the household with lots of specific details from each sister wife. I also understand that the book is more of an introduction to the show, which is why my complaints should not be taken to heart.

Final verdict

If you want to hear the (short) story about how Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn became a sister wife, then this book is a nice read. It repeats much of the information from the show with slightly more detail, although it leaves you wanting more personality and more raw emotion from the authors, particularly about the nitty-gritty of living in a plural family and why the sister wives are in the plural marriage.

Frankly, if you’re looking for an in-depth look at a polygamist family and the not-so-pretty details involved in the daily life of a sister wife, this book may not be what you’re looking for.

Be that as it may, it’s an interesting read if you prefer to learn more about the Browns instead of watching the television series in full. My general impression is that the wives do the best they can for their children, despite all the challenges that come with polygamy.

Published By: Sister Wives 

Matchmakers Inc

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