I've just discovered 'Sister Wives' on Discovery+, and am hooked .
It's about a polygamous family of Mormons in Utah, and I definitely had preconceptions before I watched it. I'm not sure what I expected, but the reality is that the women are 'normal', whatever that means. They share a building (a massive house), but each woman and her children live in her own separate part of it, with the husband the only one without his own space - he 'shares himself' between the wives. I'm only on series one (there are lots of them!) and so far there are four wives.
They are not jealous of one another, and when a new wife comes along they all have a say in who she is and can veto her. Wives have suggested other women as potential sister wives.
All the women (up to now in the series) have been brought up in the Mormon faith, and I think they were all in polygamous families. They don't seem overtly religious, in the sense of having family prayer meetings and the things that some 'fringe' American religious families do. Each woman brings up her own children, but the other wives are on hand to babysit and step in when necessary. The husband probably has the last word, but not obviously so - there are a lot of meetings where things are discussed and the wives all have a say in big collective decisions.
At least some of the women work - the programme hasn't yet gone into the financial side of things. I don't know if the family money is pooled, or whether they each keep what they earn - I don't know what the husband does for a living to afford the massive house and something like 19 children between the wives. They wear normal clothes, unlike the Latter Day Saints lot or the Amish, and you wouldn't spot them if they were next to you in Sainsbury's. Their lifestyle is illegal, so there is a threat of the husband being imprisoned and they have to deny the polygamy to the 'outside world'.
There is strictly no sex outside of marriage for the wives, yet they seem very accepting of their husband's relationship with the other wives (he doesn't stray outside of the family), which I suppose is the first thing that springs to mind as it is so different from what most of us are probably used to.
The women do seem like sisters, and on the face of it seem happy enough. They acknowledge that life is not always wonderful, but is it ever. They have one another on hand, and both share a lot yet have their own possessions and homes.
Could you do it? I don't know - it's very alien, and I'm pretty much certain that I would have hated it when I was younger. Now, the idea of effectively living in a commune, with people of different generations yet having my own space doesn't seem so bad. This lot are probably in their 30s - of childbearing age, anyway. They never seem to make these programmes about older families.
Doodledog Fri 03-Nov-23 17:13:33
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