Starting a business is stressful under any circumstances, but starting one within a family can be even harder. Add to that the factor of four wives and one husband trying to make a business work and you pretty much have the makings of a disaster. At one point, Robyn accused the other wives of being only "half-interested and half-invested" in the jewelry line. It probably didn't help much that Kody told Robyn he only saw her idea as a "hobby." Ouch.
When the wives took their wares to a trade show and only sold 19 pieces of jewelry out of the 100 pieces they hoped to sell, Janelle made her displeasure known as well. "I don't think that it will be profitable enough to support multiple people," she said. "I should be putting this time into my real estate business."
Kody is a baby-making machine and it doesn't look like he's planning to stop anytime soon. First wife, Meri, has struggled with infertility after having her only daughter, but that didn't stop Kody from going on and having a bunch more babies with his other wives.
At one point, Meri seemed uninterested in the idea of looking into having more kids, but it looked like it was Kody who was pushing for more. "In two months, we're going to start choosing the doctor and dropping the cash," he told her. He did finally relent and decided to extend that time to five months so she could think about it a little more, but it didn't look like she was too excited by the idea.
Now that her daughter is older, Meri has been enjoying her independence, which could explain why she didn't want to try and have another baby. All the other wives still have very young children, so there's been some tension as Robyn, Janelle and Christine see the freedom that Meri is enjoying. Now that she and Kody are legally divorced, to make way for Kody to legally marry Robyn, could Meri be ready to leave the nest for good? Her recent posts on Twitter seem to hint that something isn't quite right with her relationship with Kody and the rest of the wives.
In the beginning, Kody and his wives were all living under one roof. Combining the family in one home probably saved a lot on living expenses, but at this point, each wife has her own house and her own mortgage. From what we can see on the show, the family doesn't have a clear source of income (other than their reality show and maybe some jewelry sales). Financial issues are a leading cause of stress among married couples so we can only imagine how badly Kody and the sister wives deal with it. The subject of money has come up a number of times on the show and is always a source of contention, especially given that Kody wants to keep on having more babies.
On the show, Christine made a comment once to Meri that she hoped she and Meri wouldn't ever get pregnant at the same time because, given Meri's difficulties with infertility, it would make it "less special" for Christine. Though Christine did apologize to Meri later, it's hard to believe that Meri could forget something like that.
A strong bond between the family is their faith. That bond was tested when the Browns sought religious counsel at a nearby Presbyterian church during the trauma of fleeing from Utah due to legal issues. The pastor at the Presbyterian church treated them well, leaving some of the wives to consider letting the children go there to take part in after-school activities. Robyn had the hardest time with the idea of the kids going to a church other than the LDS, which is the basis of their faith.
It might be hard to believe, but Kody's father is married to Janelle's mother. Janelle's mother, Sheryl, became interested in the faith after Kody had already married Janelle, so it wasn't like Kody and Janelle were raised together, but still. That must make for some awkward family gatherings. Especially considering that Kody's mom and Janelle's mom didn't get along in the beginning. Genielle, Kody's mom, became jealous when Sheryl first joined the family and began taking up a lot of Winn's time.
When Kody decided to take a fourth wife, Meri, Janelle and Christine all had to adjust and it was Christine who seemed to have the toughest time of all. In fact, during the taping of the group interview after the Season 5 finale, Christine had to get up and compose herself for a few minutes. Christine wasn't just upset that Kody had married another woman, but that he and his new wife, Robyn, were already discussing having another child.
Jealousy over a new wife didn't start with Robyn. There was also some when Janelle joined the family. Meri and Janelle have admitted that they both had a hard time when Kody married Janelle. The two of them fought and Meri admitted to feeling "devastated" when Janelle got pregnant before she did. Janelle said she felt unwelcome in Kody and Meri's home in the beginning. "Meri and I went from cordial to frosty overnight. We sniped at each other over the smallest things. When she was younger, Meri had quite an overbearing personality. It was clear I was unable to do anything right — or rather, in a way that suited Meri. I folded Kody's clothes incorrectly. I bought the wrong dish soap and put away the dishes in the wrong places," Janelle said about that difficult time.
With all of the drama that has already befallen Kody, the four wives and all of their children, it's hard to believe that Kody would even consider getting married again. Religious beliefs aside, if a group of people can't get along well as it is, wouldn't it be a bit insane to think of adding another person to the mix? Luckily, Kody has said that probably won't happen. "I really don't think so, that's not in my stars. It's a fair question, however. I talked earlier about how it is to have all my wives sort of say, 'Hey I miss you, I feel like I'm getting cheated on time.' We are good then, if nobody is really feeling like we have this huge abundance of time, I think we have met our capacity and we are going to stay with it the way it is."
But though Kody has said he's not thinking about it, one has to wonder if the current wives don't think that it could be a possibility. Just that thought alone is bound to cause some stress between them.
Sometimes the biggest battles the family has faced haven't been against each other. At one point, the entire family bonded together to fight the state of Utah over its bigamy legislation. According to Utah law, bigamy isn't just defined by legal marriage but also by cohabitation. At the time, the entire family was living under one roof, which was technically illegal.
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