Polygamy is a practice that ruffles quite a few feathers in modern society, at least in the United States; most people stateside consider one spouse to be enough, let alone five. Enter Brady Williams, a man who converted to a polygamist sect when he was sixteen and hasn't looked back since, landing a deal with TLC and his own show, My Five Wives.
Well, having five wives wasn't as awesome as Brady expected apparently, as the show prominently featured a shell of a man who struggled to navigate a mine field filled with jealous sister wives and children fed up with a household packed to the shingles with siblings.
For a man trying to get his degree and run his own business simultaneously, the future seemed bleak. Apparently TLC thought that Brady and his wives' futures looked equally as dismal, cancelling the show after two seasons.
While fans of the show may have gone up in arms about the William's being taken off the air, there is still a multitude of dark secrets available about the family, even all these years later. From accusations of assault to massive piles of debt, the Williams are hardly the wholesome polygamist family that they tried to portray over two seasons.
So get ready to give up sleep for wedding vows, because here are the 15 Dark Secrets You Didn't Know About My Five Wives.
15 Two Of The Wives Are First Cousins
Polygamy is taboo enough in most states; the mention of it makes the hair on the back of most folks' necks stand up as they get all sorts of offended. With talks of differing family structures in the shadow of a judgmental society, other rumors usually surround those that don't live exactly how the rest of the world wants them to.
In the case of the sister wives on My Five Wives, sometimes the stereotypes and rumors are a bit warranted. Among talks of intimate relations among siblings that accompany polygamists, it isn't the least bit surprising that two of Brady's wives are first cousins.
There is nothing genetically wrong with this-- obviously the cousins aren't engaging with each other (hopefully). However, it must be incredibly awkward and uncomfortable to be sharing your husband with your cousin.
14 The Eldest Children Want Out Of The House ASAP
Growing up in apolygamist household can be challenging, which is why many of the older children want to leave. Honestly, who could blame them? It's hard enough existing in a house with a set of parents and a few siblings, but the thought of 24 brothers and sisters headed by bitter sister moms is nightmare inducing, to say the least.
The eldest son Josh has been quoted multiple times saying that he couldn't wait to get out of the house, which is understandable when walking room to room means stepping on a literal carpet of your siblings.
Josh went on a two year mission trip near the end of the show's second and final season-- with his habit of talking about leaving, it's a surprise that he came back.
13 Rosemary Claims That She Was Assaulted By Her Father
It wouldn't be a TLC show if there wasn't an abuse scandal, and My Five Wives is no exception. Wife Rosemary claims that when she was a young girl, her father took advantage of her in an empty chapel while she was suffering from heat exhaustion.
Her father Lynn Thompson, the head of a polygamy group at the time, rubbed her in an attempt to "make her feel better" after she had played outside in the heat for too long. To make it all worse, it was in the chapel behind a curtain backstage of the altar.
Rosemary apparently kept the abuse secret for most of her life due to being a "well coached victim" who was told by her father and the congregation to keep quiet about it.
12 Brady Claims That He Is A Feminist
Citing the fact that he was a philosophy major and took a course in feminist theory, Brady has mentioned that he identifies as a feminist.
His feminist ideals are so deeply engrained into his being that he even rejects being called head of the household, as he doesn't like the sexist connotation it implies.
We're not trying to say that, just because you have a specific religious lifestyle that allows you to marry multiple wives simultaneously, this means that you can't be a feminist. It's just a bit of a blurry line.
It just seems a little hypocritical to essentially amass a large group of women who are solely devoted to one person, but are themselves unable to marry anyone else.
11 Rhonda Was Assaulted By A Relative
Apparently, My Five Wives really wanted that third season renewed-- that, or the Apostolic United Brethren (a large polygamist sect) is really all about taking advantage of young girls.
Rhonda claims that she was assaulted by a relative at least four times, ending when she was around the age of six. Rhonda came forward about the alleged abuse after two other women reported the same claims about the same individual who took advantage of them in similar situations.
It's extremely disturbing that these abuse scandals seem to be common place in the AUB, and even more so that it seems like victims were coached to take a vow of silence when awful things happened to them.
10 Their 25 Kids Are Fed Up
One of the purposes of having multiple wives, especially from a religious standpoint, is to propagate and spread the religious ideals that the parents hold to their progeny.
In the case of the Williams, they recently announced their 25th child in their continuous pursuit to reach spiritual enlightenment. With a household packed to the brim with children and wives, personal space and privacy is a precious commodity.
With no plans to stop reproducing, Brady and wife Nonie's announcement that they were expecting to add the 25th child to the polygamist brood was met with coldness and annoyance from all of the children-- probably at the thought of having to add another body to the bathroom line in the morning.
9 The Wives Are Sad And Lonely
Relationships and marriage can be trying for a regular couple-- imagine trying to iron out the problems between a husband and his four wives, especially when he jumps beds every night.
According to a slew of interviews and confessionals, more than one of the wives feels a bit lonely in comparison to their fellow sister wives. This is also quite evident from footage of the show itself.
Loneliness can strike in the throes of a normal marriage, underhandedly competing with your fellow sister wives for the attention of the single patriarch must be a seriously trying task for all involved.
The feeling of isolation associated with an empty bed, especially while your husband is canoodling with one of his other wives, must be pretty intense, not to mention depressing.
8 Brady Is Always Exhausted
Look at that man up there; that is a man whose eyes are devoid of feeling and rest, the thousand yard stare of a man who can't afford five divorce lawyers.
To absolutely no one's surprise, the patriarch of the William's family is perpetually pooped from dealing with his multiple wives, not to mention working full time as a construction site manager and trying to keep his massive clan of children under control.
Of course the wives help out, but even then each wife has on average five kids that are "hers," meaning that the family is almost too large to fully control.
When Brady is dead on his feet at the construction site, he has no one to blame but himself-- no one made him get hitched to five ladies and certainly not to pump out his own country worth of kids.
7 The Wives Don't Really Like Each Other
For anyone who watched My Five Wives, it's no secret that the sister wives on the show tend to bicker amongst themselves and even get in downright fights when the situation becomes heated enough.
It's not like that's completely unexpected amongst a gaggle of wives who all share one husband-- jealousy can fester essentially anywhere, especially when it comes to love.
Having to share your "soulmate" with four other people might make the ordinary human being a tad bit jealous, especially when you have to interact with the other four on a daily basis, acting like everything is cool.
It's no surprise then, that most of the wives have openly admitted to not being to keen about their competition on multiple occasions, with some fights between wives lasting the entirety of the show's two seasons.
6 One Of The Eldest Daughters Had A Troubled Birth
In an overwhelmingly unfortunate turn of events, Karlie, one of the eldest daughters in the William's clan, gave birth to a premature baby just twenty five weeks into her pregnancy.
Baby Huck was born at only 2 pounds 1 ounce extremely early into Karlie's pregnancy. The cause is still unknown. It is only known that she had extreme back pains before being rushed to the hospital and delivering her child that night.
While fan theories have ranged from the mundane to the ridiculous, the premature birth will be challenging for the first time parents, as Huck had to undergo a series of surgeries and stay in the intensive care unit, which prohibited most of the family from seeing him.
5 The Show Is Part Of TLC's Plot To Normalize Polygamy
TLC has an interesting line up of programs to say the least-- giant women, people who want to be furniture, and stalkers flying half way around the world to marry girls half their age.
Apparently TLC is really big on polygamy as well, since My Five Wives was the second, and certainly not the last, polygamist show that the network featured.
Although they may have genuinely been raking in some decent dosh, the premise was largely unchanged from their other exploitative polygamist program, Sister Wives.
Though TLC broadcasts the illegal practice of taking multiple spouses, they never take any heat for it. In fact, it's the actual polygamists who have to show up to court. Some fans tend to think that this is due to TLC's hidden agenda to further familiarize and desensitize the country to having multiple spouses.
4 The Show Was Cancelled Due To Infighting And Poor Ratings
For fans of the show, their collective heart broke a few years ago when TLC decided that the William's family would not be returning for another season of My Five Wives.
While the family still maintains a presence on social media and pops up in the tabloids from time to time, the massive family is mostly completely out of the spotlight now.
In the end, they may not have anyone to blame besides themselves-- apparently the infighting between the wives was so bad that TLC decided it had surpassed their high standard of being entertaining and graduated to being toxic.
In addition to the sister wife smackdown that made up 95% of the show, the show's ratings had been poor since its inception, causing TLC to give it the ax.
3 Brady Lives In A "Purgatory" He'd Rather Not Be In
Brady has made several allusions on the show and in interviews about his existence being a "purgatory" that he sometimes wishes he could escape from.
It's not the most unfounded feeling to be sure, but maybe a thought you'd want to have before getting married to five women and having an ungodly amount of children.
He often describes his life-- apart from going to school and running his own business-- as coming home and diffusing whatever drama erupted during the day and trying to keep the peace.
Then, he's off to sleep with one of his five wives, who rightfully wants to talk to her husband. However, this may be something that Brady is usually too tired to do. Throw in all the kids and you're looking at a slow and torturous existence that repeats into infinity.
2 The Wives Feel Taken Advantage Of
It isn't easy being married, no matter what your coworkers' social media accounts say. Add in four other people into your marriage, who are all competing for time and attention, and you may feel that you got the short end of the stick.
The wives of My Five Wives seem to think so at least, with a few of them stating that they feel taken advantage of when referring to their polygamist relationship with Brady.
Wife Rosemary suffered an emotional meltdown when one of the wives interrupted Brady's time with her, prompting her to question her life choices and realize that she feels like she has been taken advantage of for the last nineteen years of her life.
1 Brady Filed For Bankruptcy With $402,000 Worth Of Debt
Having five wives and 25 kids is not cheap. Heck, just paying for your own food and clothing requires personal loans these days.
Running your own business, going to school full time, and trying to be a somewhat present husband and father? It doesn't really make sense how the man can still stand at the end of the day, especially with the crushing weight of debt constantly weighing on his shoulders.
Brady declared bankruptcy in 2014, citing that he had thirty mouths to feed and only $3.61 in his savings account. Apparently his debt was just north of $400k, a figure that doesn't really surprise when you consider the insanely large size of the William's clan.
Can you think of any other interesting secrets about My Five Wives that we forgot to mention? Sound off in the comment section!