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gilora

Agreed, 4 McMansions is totally over-the-top and unnecessary, especially when Janelle describes their financial situation as "desperate.". As the only legal wife, Meri would be in the best position financially if Kody died prematurely. The trust idea is a good one for long-term assets such as houses, but in the short term there should be an asset allocation based on actual need, not family position and pride. If the show is to be believed, Janelle, Christine and their 12 children (from a baby to a high school senior) get only double the food budget as Meri and Mariah. That's not right.

I also think that Meri really doesn't want the work of another baby at this point in her life. That's fine, just dont use the idea that you're longing for another child in order to obtain additional family resources.

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mrs

That house will represent debt, not an asset. Her name is on the mortgage. Houses take money to operate, aside from paying down the mortgage - you don't pay property taxes, insurance or utilities on a savings bond. If the house is simply replacing what you would be renting, it can be a good deal, but otherwise it's a non-liquid asset that isn't producing income and that actually costs money to maintain.

Sorry, I am not very good at expressing an idea sometimes. I was trying to point out it would not be fair when the houses are paid off, for Meri to have a house worth less. I can see everyone being given the same budget for a home and whatever that wife did not spend, could go into an investment account or savings bond. But since they are financing there homes I doubt that is a realty. Which could be why Meri wants a home the same size.

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mrs

Also, just throwing this crazy idea out there... This is assuming Meri is worried about a housing worth less in 30 years when it is paid off. And Christine/janelle/ Robyn do not care about the worth of the home in 30 years.

Couldn't Meri own a larger house, and Christine own the smaller house, and Meri live in the smaller house owned by Christine, and Christine live in the larger house owned by Meri.

Ok I'm done worrying about the Brown family for now. Just thinking about the problems they must work through is giving me a head ache.

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mrs
Agreed, 4 McMansions is totally over-the-top and unnecessary, especially when Janelle describes their financial situation as "desperate.". As the only legal wife, Meri would be in the best position financially if Kody died prematurely. The trust idea is a good one for long-term assets such as houses, but in the short term there should be an asset allocation based on actual need, not family position and pride. If the show is to be believed, Janelle, Christine and their 12 children (from a baby to a high school senior) get only double the food budget as Meri and Mariah. That's not right.

I also think that Meri really doesn't want the work of another baby at this point in her life. That's fine, just dont use the idea that you're longing for another child in order to obtain additional family resources.

Thanks for pointing out Meri being the legal wife. I completely overlooked that detail. I completely agree the wives with more children should get a larger budget for food,clothing,etc. I think that in the long term they should all be treated equally in reguards to money and property.

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Katydid
I can understand the hesitancy of surrogacy via Robyn, but she's also refused in vitro. Plus, she's contributing to the family dysfunction by insisting on the same size house and budget for one child as Janelle and Christine, who each have six children.

I can't fault her for refusing in vitro. I'm dealing with infertility, and I've priced it out. It's prohibitively expensive, isn't guaranteed to work, and it is extremely unpleasant. I might go down that road, but I'm over a decade younger than she. IVF success rates decline significantly as one ages. Honestly, she might just be realistic about the fact that they don't have 20,000 laying around to spend on something that may not be successful.

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TMS

Kody really gets on my nerves with his long, stringy, balding hair. Just get a haircut already, the beach bum look isn't working! I can't stand looking at him!

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E Street Fan
Kody doesn't drink alcohol for sure. There was an ep where he went to a bar with his brother and sat there drinking water and feeling awkward. If Kody doesn't drink I can't picture Meri drinking either. It's generally frowned upon in the mainstream LDS church and I imagine the FLDS church is similar in that regard.

The Browns are AUB, not FLDS. But Carolyn Jessop, who was FLDS, wrote in her first book that it was common for FLDS people to drink, including while pregnant or nursing. It had something to do with rejecting the mainstream LDS church's doctrines. I'd look up the exact quote for you, but I gave my copy to the library.

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JoanHolloway

That makes sense -- thanks for the info! :)

I come from an area with a lot of mainstream Mormons and a lot of people I know who have chosen to leave the church still choose not to drink, which perhaps explains Kody's teetotaling. If I'm not mistaken, Meri was raised AUB. Assuming the drinking-to-stick-it-to-LDS exists in that community as well, Meri being a drinker would make sense.

RE: the discussion around the homes...they all seem to pine for the setup they had in Utah. Would it not make sense for them to buy the land and build a house with four separate apartments in it? I suppose it might hurt the resale value, but if they're not in a financial place to be buying four McMansions...

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Waffle Time
Mela99

I feel like some of the older kids are looked down upon for NOT wanting to be in the whole polygamy business. Mariah is so gung ho for it. I just don't understand the appeal. Your husband doesn't belong to you. If you want "sisters", how about appreciating the ones God gave you? And make friends.

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valsa
I feel like some of the older kids are looked down upon for NOT wanting to be in the whole polygamy business. Mariah is so gung ho for it. I just don't understand the appeal.

I don't get the impression any of the children are looked down on for not wanting to be polygamists. Some of them are quite vocal about polygamy not being the lifestyle for them and Mariah is the only one I can think of who actually wants to be a polygamist.

I understand the appeal of polygamy and I wouldn't mind being in a polygamist relationship myself, though I support it for both men and women.

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snarkbillie

I don't get the impression any of the children are looked down on for not wanting to be polygamists. Some of them are quite vocal about polygamy not being the lifestyle for them and Mariah is the only one I can think of who actually wants to be a polygamist.

I understand the appeal of polygamy and I wouldn't mind being in a polygamist relationship myself, though I support it for both men and women.

I think when your parent is in tears over the fact that you might not want polygamy then it might feel like you're being "looked down on". Christine in particular gets all weepy and "we raised them wrong" when it comes up that one might want a monogamous marriage. It's hard to hear that your parent thinks you were raised "wrong".

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wendy-sparkles

I think the kids views on polygamy are very much influenced by their place in the family - despite all those siblings, because of the way the finances etc are structured, Mariah is very much an only child - Meri is obviously the best off financially due to this weird resource allocation, she would've gotten lots of attention, plus siblings to play with and to divert mom and dad's attention when she was feeling smothered. So, to her, polygamy seems pretty swell - it's about extra support, "bonus" family etc.

The other older kids (particularly Janelle's kids, who I think are the most vocal about not wanting to be polygamous) see their mums really struggle emotionally and financially with polygamy. If you look back to the first season, the person supporting Janelle is Christine, not Kody. And, I mean, you could say that that was a perk, but those kids seem pretty wise, and often more emotionally mature than their parents, and probably realise that the reality of polygamy is that your partner likely just isn't going to be there for you as much as you need.

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snarkykitty

It broke my heart when the kids said that nothing their parents say ever happens, and that they basically cannot count on them to come through. Kids aren't stupid, they can see the flaws in their particular setup. I understand that everyone has disappointments, but these kids have been uprooted, separated, only get to see their dad on a very limited basis, and see their mothers struggling to provide them all with basic human needs and a sense of security. I feel so sorry for those children. You can't thrive when your parents are literally running from the law (remember Kody's statement that they had to "get out of dodge"?).

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DarkAnts
It broke my heart when the kids said that nothing their parents say ever happens, and that they basically cannot count on them to come through. Kids aren't stupid, they can see the flaws in their particular setup. I understand that everyone has disappointments, but these kids have been uprooted, separated, only get to see their dad on a very limited basis, and see their mothers struggling to provide them all with basic human needs and a sense of security. I feel so sorry for those children. You can't thrive when your parents are literally running from the law (remember Kody's statement that they had to "get out of dodge"?).

I think the Utah drama was in part fabricated by Kody and TLC. Utah refuses to go after polygamists. Utah county had to do some kind of investigation once the Browns waved their ass at the law. But, historically, Utah has done little in recent years to polygamists. It took Texas to get Warren Jeffs prosecuted for having child brides.

I sometimes wonder if the whole persecution thing is used to help bind the communities together. They are fighting a common evil (the government) who wants to break apart their families. I wonder if Kody did what he did to try and bring his family together. You could see that the family was strained emotionally before they moved.

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JenniferJuniper

I think when your parent is in tears over the fact that you might not want polygamy then it might feel like you're being "looked down on". Christine in particular gets all weepy and "we raised them wrong" when it comes up that one might want a monogamous marriage. It's hard to hear that your parent thinks you were raised "wrong".

Even Mariah will probably change her mind once she has a boyfriend.

The ironic thing is that the older kids for the most part seem like regular, nice kids who seem to have a very good handle on what's going on around them. "We raised them wrong?" No, I'll give credit where it's due and it seems - somehow - you've managed to raise them just fine.

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valsa
I think the Utah drama was in part fabricated by Kody and TLC. Utah refuses to go after polygamists.

I agree. The police did investigate the family and sent their findings to the attorney general but a spokesperson for the state attorney general's office said their usual policy was to not prosecute consenting adults involved in polygamy.

I think Kody is an attention whore who wanted to be on television and had to come up with a plausible-sounding reason for doing so (other than “I am a complete and utter attention whoreâ€) I think trying to make polygamy legal and fighting discrimination against his family, etc, etc was just a handy excuse. Having to move is just an extension of that excuse.

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SisiL78

RE: the discussion around the homes...they all seem to pine for the setup they had in Utah. Would it not make sense for them to buy the land and build a house with four separate apartments in it? I suppose it might hurt the resale value, but if they're not in a financial place to be buying four McMansions...

That's exactly What I was thinking. I can't understand why they didn't just rent apartments in the same building rather than entire houses. Or buy condos, for the larger families they could buy condos and combine them to get the 4-6 bedrooms they need.

Even building a generously sized fourplex wouldn't be that tough. Even to sell down the line if they made sure to design it as four separate units off of a main hall.

I think the 4 big houses is a TLC plot point to create drama. The Browns can't be that impractical if they were dealing with their own funds/futures without outside interference.

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GiggleOfGirls

I like the theory about the separate houses being a plot point. Honestly, I can't think of why else they would've gone that route - it's just about the most impractical thing they could have chosen to do.

I do think it's reasonable for Meri to want a house that's a little bigger than one that would just fit her and Mariah, enough space in the living areas for the other kids to come visit and such, but she doesn't need five bedrooms. That's just crazy and wasteful. Maybe three bedrooms in case the other kids want to sleep over sometimes and so any visiting extended family could stay with her, but not five...

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Becket70

What happens to these women when Kody dies? If Meri is his legal wife, she would get his Social Security upon his death but the other wives would not have a claim on it. If he has an IRA, could he have all the women as his beneficiaries? And what about Medicare? How many of them have worked outside of the home enough to have eligibility for Medicare? It's a real concern for these ladies if they want to live a reasonably comfortable life when they are oldsters. I guess that is my argument against this lifestyle. It's all well and good when you are young but the older you get, the more reality sets in and your security becomes a concern. Does anybody know how their religion addresses these issues?

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E Street Fan
What happens to these women when Kody dies? If Meri is his legal wife, she would get his Social Security upon his death but the other wives would not have a claim on it. If he has an IRA, could he have all the women as his beneficiaries? And what about Medicare? How many of them have worked outside of the home enough to have eligibility for Medicare? It's a real concern for these ladies if they want to live a reasonably comfortable life when they are oldsters. I guess that is my argument against this lifestyle. It's all well and good when you are young but the older you get, the more reality sets in and your security becomes a concern. Does anybody know how their religion addresses these issues?

"God will provide"?

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gustava

"God will provide"?

Medicaid and SSI.

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sassyNoz47

I think Merri wanted a baby at one time but now that she's looking back she really doesn't want to start all over. She seems afraid to really tell them though...or maybe she wants the perks of having more kids and holding on to Cody in that way more attention, but in her heart shes accepted not having more kids and is ok with it. They keep pushing her and its driving me nuts. Robyn would hold that over her head forever!!!

I like how they don't seem to push the kids into living exactly like they do. Janelle made a comment about odds are one of the children (since they have so many) would probably end up gay and that they would be accepting of that. To me Cody seems to love Robyn and Merri most...one of them he said he wasn't even attracted to can't remember which Christine maybe?

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thekate
What happens to these women when Kody dies? If Meri is his legal wife, she would get his Social Security upon his death but the other wives would not have a claim on it. If he has an IRA, could he have all the women as his beneficiaries? [snip]

I know when I set up my IRA, I could set up multiple beneficiaries, both primary and contingent (in case the primary dies in the meantime). So they could all inherit from his IRA, but likely the non-legal wives would have to pay taxes.

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Austin

I don't think Meri or anyone deserves a big house when they can't pay for it. None of these women have any business buying or trying to buy five-bedroom McMansions when they can't pay their bills. In Meri's case, she doesn't even have a case for needing that much space, but many families raise three or four or five kids in three and four bedroom homes. Plus many of those kids will be leaving home in the next couple of years, anyway.

These people are nothing short of ridiculous.

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SisiL78

Janelle and Meri have been in the working world. I think Robyn also worked, not sure if she has a higher education.

Christine would be the least able to be out on her own financially. Then again, Cody isn't bringing in all of the income... Christine and Meri are, from what I can tell. I don't think that if Cody was to die that they would suddenly disband. I'm pretty sure that they feel some responsibility towards each other and the kids seem to truly care for all their moms. I'd be shocked if their adult children didn't take over financially for the moms. It seems that most of their kids will aim for monogamist marriages, so they should have the funds to support her. I'd also be surprised if the others don't all chip in to support mom in some way.

I wouldn't want to be a polygamist. But, I can see the appeal. If you are a woman who wants a profession and education and your sister-wife is a SAHM then you can pursue your dreams, have children, and always know that they have another mom to take care of them like her own when you're off at work/school. If you're not the jealous type, not needing cuddles and/or sex from your husband on a regular basis, or the type who likes her alone time then it wouldn't be a bad situation. In some respects this could be a very functional relationship. I know a few women friends who don't want to deal full time with a man's needs. They make it clear that they are single because they want their space and their own time. Some want kids more than a husband. I'd never in a million years suggest polygamy to them, but if it was more mainstream I think that a few of them would be into it. Like a more official version of an open marriage (I know some folks into that, it seems complicated to me with all the different arrangements etc.... but works for them).

What is bothersome is the religious component and the idea of heaven only being completely open to polygamists with 3 or more wives. That's where it seems manipulative because you then really don't have a choice and you do it because your soul depends on it.

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