We already knew that relations were pretty complicated within The Brown Family on TLC’s Sister Wives, but tonight’s bombshell proves that their family tree is more intertwined than we thought.
Last October we learned that Kody’s second wife, Janelle, was once married to his first wife Meri’s brother; making Janelle Kody’s former sister-in-law. But the plot thickens . . .
After Janelle divorced Meri’s brother and married Kody, Janelle’s mother Sheryl became interested in the faith – – – and married Kody’s dad Winn Brown!
So that makes Janelle Kody’s former sister-in-law, and current stepsister and wife. Their kids together are also their nieces and nephews!
Janelle’s mom Sheryl was one of the only people in Janelle’s family who supported Janelle’s decision to join a polygamous lifestyle (and marry her sister-in-law’s husband,) and she became so attached to Kody’s family that she decided to convert and join it! In fact, Sheryl married Kody’s dad three months before Janelle and Kody tied had their own matrimonial ceremony.
Kody’s parents are Mormons but weren’t always polygamous. They converted when Kody was away on a mission because his mother Genielle felt very strongly about the religious belief system behind the polygamous lifestyle.
But what sounds good in theory, doesn’t always go well in practice, especially at first. Kody’s mom and Janelle’s mom didn’t always get along as well as they do now. When Sheryl joined the family, Genielle struggled with jealously. Sheryl was educated and beautiful and took up a great deal of their husband Winn’s attention while Genielle was focused on raising children. The two women went through a rough patch, but now they’re the best of friends! They seem to really enjoy each other’s company and have a very deep, lasting relationship that has grown into a lifetime companionship.
As Kody’s mom Genielle explains it:
“Each wife is a spoke in the wheel. When a new wife joins the wheel, the other spokes have to move to balance out. But the more spokes that are in the wheel, the stronger the wheel is.”
Despite their unconventional and complicated family tree, this family still seems loving, level-headed, and lacking the high levels of anxiety and dysfunction that usually makes for good reality television.