'Sister Wives': Janelle Brown Answers a Question About 'Brother Husbands'

The polygamous Brown family of TLC’s Sister Wives hasalways been forthcoming about their belief system. KodyBrown and his four wives, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn Brown, areall affiliated with the ApostolicUnited Brethren (AUB), a fundamentalistMormon sect based primarily in Utah and other areas of the Western U.S.

The AUB promotes polygyny, a form of polygamy in which oneman has multiple wives, as part of its religious practice. Meanwhile, theBrowns have been open about their support for gay marriage, polyamory, andother nontraditional relationship structures between consentingadults.

In particular, the Browns have been asked on various occasionsabout “brother husbands,” or polyandry, a form of polygamy in which onewoman has multiple husbands. Polyandry is rarer than polygyny, the form ofpolygamy practiced by the Browns, but it’s not unheard of around the world.

During the Feb. 23 episode of Sister Wives, “Doubting Polygamy,” Kody’s second wife Janelle took to Twitter to answer fan questions about the family. She even answered one fan question about her opinions on “brother husbands” and polyandry.

Janelle said she thought multiple husband was fine as long as it was ‘consensual’

While Janelle live tweeted the latest Sister Wives episode,a fan askedher on Twitter, “Why can’t a woman have multiple husbands and be in aplural marriage?”

The mom of six quote tweeted the question and replied thatshe had no problem with polyandry as long as it didn’t involve any coercion ormanipulation. “I’ve met families that are structured that way,” the SisterWives star wrote onTwitter. “It’s not our paradigm but consenting adults should be able tochoose. As long as there is not abuse or fraud.”

Sister Wives fans appreciated Janelle’s transparencyabout the issue. One viewerreplied, “Fair is fair! I love your attitude Janelle!”

Anotherfan agreed, writing, “This is how I feel. Well said Janelle. If it isconsensual leave people alone!”

Yet anotheradded, “100% let adults make their own choices!”

The Browns have been open over the years about their supportfor any relationship paradigms that allow for individual freedom between consentingadults.

It isn’t surprising that Janelle would openly state hersupport for other nontraditional relationship structures, either, consideringthat she converted to Kody’s faith as a young adult. She was the only one ofKody’s wives who was not raisedin polygamy or the AUB herself. Meri, Robyn, and Christine were all raisedby plural wives.

Kody, meanwhile, was a convert like Janelle. Both of them chose an unconventional approach to marriage entirely on their own.

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The ‘Sister Wives’ family opened up in the past about ‘brother husbands’

This isn’t the first time the Browns have addressed the ideaof brother husbands, as many fans are curious about their fundamentalistMormon beliefs, which seem at once highly progressive and very traditional.

In 2011, Kody and his wives discussed the idea on an episodeof Sister Wives. The family appeared on a panel about polygamy at a localuniversity. Kodytold TLC producers that, at the panel, they were asked to address polyandry.“Somebody asked us about, ‘What do you think about the idea of brother husbands?’”he said.

“You know, that’s not a tenet of our faith,” Kody’s firstwife Meri told the audience member.

Janelle jumped in to joke, “Who really wants that? Guys are lotsof work, right?”

To Sister Wives producers, the Brown family furtherelaborated on their belief in religious freedom as it pertains to polygamy.

“When religions have rules and beliefs, it could even be as simpleas conduct in a marriage or food that you can and can’t eat, every religion hasrules that they think bring them closer to God,” Janelle said. “That is how itis for us. We feel like living plural marriage is a commandment designed for ourhappiness.”

Meri agreed, adding, “And the way plural marriage isdesigned for us, and what we believe, what we’ve accepted, is one man andmultiple wives. We just don’t do it the other way around.”

Kody’s first wife continued, saying that polygyny was both a religious and personal preference for her. “I would not ever choose to have more than one husband,” the Sister Wives star said. “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.”


Kody once told one of his wives that the idea of her with another husband was ‘vulgar’

The Browns appear to support all relationship structuresbetween consenting adults politically, but personally, it’s a different matter.During a romanticdinner date with Meri on Sister Wives Season 1, Kody even suggested thatthe idea of one of his wives having brother husbands repulsed him.

In a discussion about jealousy, Meriasked Kody to imagine how he would feel if she was with another man in additionto him.

“That’s just not something I’m comfortable with imagining,” Kodyreplied. He continued, “The vulgarity of the idea of you with two husbands oranother lover sickens me. It seems wrong to God and nature. I understand thisseems somewhat hypocritical, and I don’t know how to get around it.”

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