What is “Seeking Sister Wife”?
The TLC reality series “Seeking Sister Wife” first aired in January 2018. If the title wasn’t a clue enough, the show focuses on couples or throuples who are actively looking to add new women to their relationship. Most of the show’s participants are Mormons or secular Christians; some are experienced polygamists, but others are new to the unconventional lifestyle, and find it hard to cope with the added strain to their relationships.
Season four of the show aired from June to August 2022, after which there were rumors of “Seeking Sister Wife” being cancelled, but various media outlets have already confirmed that season five will air in 2023.
The main families in the show’s first season were the Snowdens, the Brineys, and the Alldredges. Dimitri and Ashley Snowden, who were spiritually married for almost a decade and had three children named Armonio, Canaria, and Nenufar when they joined the series, came from a secular background and were looking to add another wife to their unorthodox relationship. From seasons one to three, they courted various potential wives named Christeline, Joselyn, Vanessa, Jakira and Tayler, but in the end, none of them became permanent additions to Dimitri and Ashley’s union.
Ashley’s non-negotiable rule was that Dimitri and the sister wife couldn’t be physically intimate until they were spiritually married. In the first few episodes, Dimitri had already broken that rule by hooking up with Joselyn. Ashley was furious when she found out, and feeling that she could no longer trust Joselyn, ended the fledgling courtship. They also tried their luck with Jakira, but found that she wasn’t a good fit.
In season two, things began looking up for the couple when they met Vanessa Cobbs. Despite the courtship, engagement, and spiritual wedding ceremony going smoothly, the throuple came to an abrupt conclusion when Vanessa ended things with Dimitri and Ashley for unknown reasons. In early 2019, Vanessa wrote on Instagram: “I now know that just because you love someone (or a family), doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re meant to be with them. Sometimes their long-established dynamic is not aligned with your own personal growth and path forward.”
Dimitri and Ashley were upset by the turn of events, but returned to “Seeking Sister Wife” for a third season – this time, the potential sister wives were Tayler and Christeline. Both went to visit Dimitri and Ashley’s home in March 2020 alongside Christeline’s two children; coincidentally, the travel restrictions that were implemented in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic forced them together for longer than expected.
Dimitri held a job in a non-essential business, meaning that he couldn’t go to work, so the four adults made a mutual decision to have him and Tayler do odd jobs while Ashley and Christeline stayed at home to take care of the children. Tayler clearly wasn’t happy with this arrangement, as she flew to Dallas to visit her family after a few weeks, and never returned.
'Seeking Sister Wife' Stars Dimitri & Ashley Snowden Accused Of Abusing 3rd 'Wife' Christeline Peterson…
After six weeks of silence, Dimitri and Tayler ended their relationship via a recorded video call that was seen in the show. Tayler didn’t give any clear-cut explanation about why she’d suddenly ended contact with the Snowdens, but viewers soon forgot about her when Dimitri and Christeline became engaged.
Dimitri and Christeline ’married’ shortly afterwards, but in a shock move, he filed for divorce in May 2021; ten months later, both were declared legally single. The current state of their divorce proceedings remains unclear, but two months before Dimitri filed for divorce, Christeline took out a restraining order against him. She also claimed that he had woken her up on at least one occasion by slamming her head into the headboard of the bed they shared, and that he was physically abusive during intercourse.
In the midst of the shocking allegations, Vanessa chimed in and posted about abusers and narcissistic predators on her social media profile. The photo she uploaded was captioned: “Enough. Stop lying to the world and yourselves. Get help. There’s no shame in therapy.” Tayler also came out of the woodwork with vague messages insinuating that she had been abused by Dimitri; although many believed both women, others wondered if they weren’t trying to earn themselves a few more minutes of fame.
Nevertheless, when it rains it pours, and Dimitri began losing more and more fans when another woman named Ariadne Joseph gave an interview discussing her experiences with him and Ashley. Despite never appearing in “Seeking Sister Wife”, Ariadne lived with the couple for an unknown period of time, and claimed to have been shoved and manhandled by Dimitri when she confronted him about text messages he’d received from another woman.
Ariadne also claimed to have told TLC producers the ugly truth about Dimitri, saying: “I came out and I released all that information – and I had text messages and pictures.” Apparently, TLC had ‘scrubbed’ her evidence, and decided to have the couple on the show regardless of the allegations.
In July 2021, Ashley confirmed after months of silence that she and Dimitri had broken up. Both are laying low for now and have, understandably, been booted off “Seeking Sister Wife” due to the negative publicity.
Thankfully, Drew Briney and his three wives were nowhere near as controversial. The fundamentalist Mormon had a vast brood of 15 children, eight of whom were born during his decades-long marriage to his first wife April. Drew, his wives April, Angela and Auralee, and their offspring lived in sleepy Utah, where polygamy is illegal.
Despite not being raised in the Mormon faith, Drew became interested in the religion during his childhood years. After convincing April that it would be a good idea to add more wives to the family unit, he soon met Auralee and became ‘married’ to her after dating for less than eight months. Auralee and Drew had six children, then when he met his future third wife Angela, they married after less than a fortnight, and would welcome Leonardo, her first child and his last.
The Brineys were forced to move to Oregon due to polygamy being illegal in Utah. Although Drew was loving the lifestyle, April hinted several times that she wasn’t as pleased as her husband, and her relationship with Auralee and Angela wasn’t exactly smooth sailing either. During season two of “Seeking Sister Wife”, April returned to Utah with her and Drew’s six underage children, and he filed for divorce.
Ultimately, the show decided that it wouldn’t be necessary for the Brineys to return to the show. Drew, Auralee and Angela retreated from the spotlight, and the Briney family blog and website were both scrubbed. Drew used his small-screen fame to promote his fantasy and science fiction novels, two of which have been number-one bestsellers; meanwhile, April is active on social media, and appears to be much happier since leaving the Brineys.
Jeff Alldredge and his two wives, Vanessa and Sharis, were much more likeable than Drew, but would leave the show in season three as they didn’t like the direction it was taking. During season one, Jeff tried his luck with potential sister wife Melina, and in the second season he courted Jennifer. However, neither worked out, and the potential throuple decided to stay as they were.
Thanks to his warm and unassuming personality, Jeff would become a fan favorite during his time in “Seeking Sister Wife”. Fishing, yoga, and woodworking are just some of the hobbies which he posts about on his active social media profiles. In 2020, he finally found a third wife named Donna, but they split a year later, and he turned to GoFundMe to pay for their expensive child custody battle. Jeff, Vanessa, Shari, and their children currently reside in South Dakota.
Garrick and Dannielle
Garrick and Dannielle Merrifield have been fixtures of “Seeking Sister Wife” since season three. The Colorado natives, who share two sons named Geremiah and Solomon, practiced a monogamous relationship for over a decade, then began living a plural lifestyle in the last four to five years.
In the season four premiere, Garrick explained: “Polygamy is something we felt God really led us to. We believe it’s a reflection of how he is with his church.” Dannielle seemed to be equally on board, adding: “It’s about not limiting love and babies. Having a family, a big family.”
However, in season three the couple found it somewhat challenging to adjust to a polygamist marriage. Things seemed to be looking up in 2019, when they met the Brazil native Roberta on a polygamy dating site. Roberta immediately hit it off with the duo, and the Merrifields made several trips to Brazil to spend time with their potential sister wife.
— Almost there, lazy (@OldieSumit) April 27, 2021
It didn’t take long for Garrick to propose to Roberta and for her to accept, as the Brazilian could only enter the States with a K-1 visa. As TLC fans will know from watching “90 Day Fiancé”, a K-1 visa allows the fiancé of an American citizen to enter the country as long as they become married within three months. If Roberta and Garrick didn’t tie the knot in that time, she would be forced to return to Brazil.
There was just one problem: Garrick and Dannielle were already legally married. In the end, Dannielle agreed to legally divorce Garrick to help Roberta obtain the K-1 visa. Some viewers were scandalized by Dannielle’s perceived naivety, because although she and Garrick were still spiritually married, she had given up all the legal rights she previously held as his wife.
The Merrifields had to overcome yet more hurdles in season four, as Roberta stayed in Brazil due to her mother’s declining health despite her visa being approved. After not seeing the brunette beauty for over a year, Garrick and Dannielle decided to jump the gun and court another sister wife. During that time, they also travelled to Brazil to see Roberta, who was uncomfortable at the idea of a third wife in the family unit.
Roberta told the couple that she felt unprepared for them to court another sister wife before she had settled in with them. Having initially been open to expanding the relationship even more, Roberta nevertheless wanted to establish herself in the US first; when she learned that Garrick had gone on a date with a new woman and even shared a kiss with her, she was upset and felt that boundaries had been crossed.
A tense argument ensued, and when Garrick and Dannielle returned to Colorado, they received an unpleasant surprise in the form of a text message from Roberta – “I can’t feel the same as before,” Roberta said in the message, which was addressed to Dannielle. “Everything that took me by surprise, I was left feeling excluded, feeling like nothing. Maybe for you, it may seem like something easy to go through, but here we have another culture.”
As it happens, the text message was the last communication the Merrifields had with Roberta. Some viewers thought that Roberta was an opportunist and a hypocrite for citing her cultural differences as the reason she couldn’t go through with the open marriage despite initially agreeing to it. The third wife had been Dannielle’s idea, as she felt that it would balance the relationship out better if there were four parties instead of three.
Garrick and Dannielle next met their new potential sister wife, Lea, via social media. Lea, a Californian single mother working as a nurse, was raised in a polygamous family and had plenty of first-hand experience in polygamous relationships, having been in one with her previous partner. Things were looking promising until Garrick and Dannielle flew to California to see Lea, and realized that their lifestyles were totally incompatible.
“I work in the hospital for 8 to 12 hours,” Lea said during an awkward dinner date during which all parties were discussing their expectations. “I don’t feel like I should have to come home and do laundry and cook.” Garrick was clearly concerned by this, and in the end, the communication died out between the three as Lea ended the courtship.
Perhaps it’s for the best that Lea didn’t join Garrick and Dannielle’s complicated relationship, as the latter woman’s jealousy and insecurity have been well-documented in the last couple of seasons of the show. The red flags in the couple’s relationship are too much to ignore, and viewers were begging Dannielle to leave Garrick when he didn’t react to her breaking down in tears after finalizing their divorce.
Despite putting on a brave face, Dannielle was clearly uncomfortable to see Garrick exploring relationships with Roberta and then Lea. The latter shed more light on the couple’s controlling ways during a videocall, saying: “It didn’t really feel like I had any choices in the relationship. It didn’t feel as genuine as I was hoping for. It was kinda really your way or the highway. So you know, it’s just best for us to go our separate ways.”
Nevertheless, it is believed that Garrick and Dannielle will return to the show for its long-awaited fifth season.