If you’re a reality TV fan, chances are, you’ve watched at least one episode of TLC’s Sister Wives. The show has given viewers a glimpse into the dynamics of polygamist families and their struggles for years now. It’s a fascinating, but also at times intense, look into a lifestyle that isn’t fully legal in the United States. But, what’s it really like to be part of a polygamist family? We talked to some of the cast members to find out more about their experiences living on camera.
The latest season of Sister Wives reveals a seamy underbelly with explosive fights and dashed hopes. The Brown family was once a cohesive unit, but with Christine and Janelle having left Kody, the dynamic is a little more complicated. Robyn has become the new focal point of the family, but she’s dealing with her own issues as well.
The season 18 premiere on Sunday revealed that the family is struggling with their relationships. While Kody tries to mend his relationship with Christine, it seems unlikely that the two will reconcile. He’s also struggling with his exes as his favoritism for Robyn is fueling resentment among her siblings and even his own children. The season also focuses on the rift between Janelle and Kody over her decision to leave the marriage in order to pursue a career.
Unlike most couples, polygamous families don’t have divorce documents to sign when a relationship ends. Rather, the end of a marriage is usually marked by an announcement, such as when Christine and Kody separated in November 2021 or when Janelle and Kody revealed they’d split during the Sister Wives: One on One special last year.
But, even though they’re not legally married to each other, their relationships are still considered “spiritual” marriages. That means the women are still considered sisters and share a close bond despite their different circumstances.
As a result, the sisters’ disagreements and hurt feelings often spill out into real life. That’s why it’s so difficult for fans of the show to watch them go head-to-head. The conflict between Janelle and Kody has been going on for a long time, but the drama is only getting more intense.
Sister Wives airs Sunday at 10 p.m. ET on TLC. Check out the trailer below to see what’s ahead for the Brown family. And, make sure to tune in on Aug. 20 for the season 18 premiere! The first episode of the new season is titled “The Falling Stars.” Check your local listings for broadcast times.