• "Seeking Sister Wife" is a TLC reality show that follows polygamous families from secular or Mormon backgrounds since 2018
• Bernie McGee and Paige McGee from season two of the show had their relationship cut short when Bernie died of heatstroke and a heart attack
• Season four featured the Jones, Foley, and Merrifield couples, and the Epps and Davis families
• Fans of the show were horrified by the red flags in Steve and Brenda Foley's relationship, including an age gap and a tumultuous relationship with Steve's two children
• Marcus Epps' relationship was also controversial due to his unsavory past and domestic violence allegations
About “Seeking Sister Wife”
Since January 2018, the TLC reality show “Seeking Sister Wife” has followed polygamous families who are mainly from secular or Mormon backgrounds, as they look for new wives. The series documents the process of finding, courting, and eventually accommodating the sister wife into her new family unit.
As fans of the show have discovered, the polygamist lifestyle is anything but easy. Some couples, such as Dannielle and Garrick Merrifield, have been criticized by viewers for blindly delving into the lifestyle without doing their research first, and suffering as a consequence. Other cast members decided to bow out of the experience after one or two seasons, and naturally, not all relationships survive “Seeking Sister Wife”, which makes viewing that much more interesting.
If you watched season two of “Seeking Sister Wife”, you will be familiar with Bernie and Paige McGee, a middle-aged couple who turned to polygamy after roughly two decades of marriage. It didn’t take long for Bernie and Paige to begin courting potential sister wife Brandy, but Paige soon became jealous and felt alienated, going so far as to argue with Bernie and admit that the polygamist lifestyle wasn’t for her.
Fans were impressed by Paige’s honesty, as the couple’s children weren’t happy about the relationship between Bernie and Brandy either. However, Bernie died in summer 2019 of a heart attack before he and Brandy could take things to the next level, so we’ll never know what could’ve happened between the trio.
Bernie’s death came as a shock to many, as he was just 41 years old at the time. Paige confirmed that her husband passed away of heatstroke and a heart attack while out on a bike ride, but would later point the finger of blame at her estranged brother Patrick, who had sued the couple of stalking him. In various social media rants, Paige accused Patrick of killing her husband due to the stress caused by the lawsuit; as it happens, Bernie and Paige were set to appear in court mere days before Bernie died.
Paige also revealed that the couple had run out of money due to hiring investigators and lawyers and missing out on work. Adding to their bad luck, the McGees had recently lost everything in a house fire, and were having a hard time getting back on their feet, meaning that Bernie’s death came at the worst possible moment.
Although the house fire took place after filming for season two wrapped up, during their time on the show, Bernie and Paige had already shared that they wanted to find four sister wives to buy land and build a house or a cabin for their brood. It would appear that the McGees were far from economically stable, so it’s perhaps for the best that their relationship with Brandy didn’t prosper.
Season four of “Seeking Sister Wife” aired in 2022 and featured the Jones, Foley, and Merrifield couples, and the Epps and Davis families. Sidian and Tosha Jones, who share three children, first joined the controversial show in its third season and have since become one of its most untrustworthy couples, despite being fan favorites at the beginning.
In season three, Sidian and Tosha became interested in opening their relationship, and Sidian began courting Alexandra whom he met online. Ultimately, Alexandra turned down Sidian and Tosha’s offer, as she wasn’t interested in helping raise the couple’s three kids. Undeterred, the couple returned in season four, and began courting Arielle, a Filipina beauty pageant contestant.
— TLC Network (@TLC) June 1, 2021
Sidian and Arielle hit it off immediately, and she said “yes” to his romantic proposal after just a few weeks of courting. It’s been rumored, but not confirmed, that the couple and the beauty queen may switch over to “90 Day Fiancé” as they initiate Arielle’s K1-visa process. If this were to happen, a new family would replace the Joneses for season five of “Seeking Sister Wife”.
With that said, Sidian and Tosha have been lambasted for trying to cover up the numerous skeletons in their closet. For example, Tosha was arrested in 2016 and charged with felony theft, after stealing a laptop worth over $1,000 that belonged to her roommate at the time. Tosha accepted a plea deal and was charged with misdemeanor petty theft and placed on unsupervised probation as well as given a suspended sentence. Although the charges were dismissed when Tosha completed her probation, fans of the show were horrified to learn of the incident.
Tosha and Sidian’s characters were further called into question when his first wife, Jennie, came forward to share details of the strained relationship between them. Sidian previously claimed that after being together for over a decade, Jennie gave him her blessing to switch to a polygamous relationship. The couple then introduced Tosha – who was Sidian’s co-worker at the time – to their family unit, which is when things turned ugly.
Jennie previously claimed to have been mistreated, threatened, manipulated and abused by Tosha and Sidian. She also denied her ex-husband’s version of events, in which he claimed that she was on board with the polygamous relationship. To make things messier, Sidian and Jennie share two children named Liliam and Tyrion, so let’s hope that all parties involved can work through the situation and put their differences aside.
Next up are Nick, Jennifer, and April Davis, who are the only inter-racial trio on the show for now. There’s no friction between Jennifer and April, as they are legally married to each other and share a tight-knit bond; shrewd viewers have noted that their being married absolves Nick of any legal responsibilities.
Some netizens have also accused Nick of displaying predatory behavior. The seasoned polygamist met April when she was in college, and soon moved in with her and her child from a previous relationship; nine years later, April agreed to open the relationship, and Nick wasted no time in courting then 19-year-old Jennifer. Some viewers, upon learning of the age gap between Nick and Jennifer, were somewhat disbelieving, and thought that he had perhaps groomed her.
Season four was an important time for the Davises, as they added a third sister wife, Danielle, to the fold. Nick proposed to Danielle shortly after meeting her, and she underwent a commitment ceremony with the other two wives. Concurrently, Jennifer also dropped the bombshell news that she was pregnant, and expecting Nick’s first biological child. “It’s going to be a huge step,” Jennifer said at the time. “Just so she [Danielle] knows she’s solid and that we want her to fully experience this and feel just as a mother, just as a part of this as April and myself.”
Jennifer and Nick’s daughter, Vera, was born in June 2022. In the same month, the Davises sold their 1,000-square-foot property in Colorado for almost $400,000, and purchased a new home for $600,000 to accommodate their growing family of six. The new house is more than double the size of the old one; Nick, April, and Jennifer are the legal owners, whereas the old house was solely in April’s name.
Garrick and Dannielle Merrifield returned from season three, which they spent courting and accommodating potential sister wife Roberta into their relationship. From the beginning, this couple was controversial because viewers thought that Dannielle wasn’t wholly convinced by the polygamist lifestyle, but wanted to keep her husband happy.
Their worst fears were seemingly confirmed, as the relationship between Garrick and Roberta became more serious. Roberta, who is from Brazil, couldn’t enter the US without a K-1 visa, which is when Garrick suggested divorcing Dannielle and becoming engaged to Roberta so she could live with them. Dannielle reluctantly agreed, and fans of “Seeking Sister Wife” were shocked and horrified to see her burst into tears when signing the divorce papers while Garrick looked on impassively.
Many viewers urged Dannielle to leave Garrick, who has been branded manipulating and cold-hearted on social media. Roberta also became disillusioned with the relationship when she learned that Garrick was already courting another, new sister wife, Lea, without waiting for her to arrive in the US and settle in with them. Ultimately, Roberta cut off all contact with the couple, and Lea also broke up with them as their lifestyles were incompatible. Only time will tell if Dannielle and Garrick will find the right sister wife for them.
Steve and Brenda Foley were new to the show but not polygamy, as they had already dabbled in the practice shortly after beginning their relationship. This couple is also rife with red flags, as Brenda appeared to be feeling insecure and left out when Steve began courting potential sister wife April. While Brenda worried about becoming insignificant in her husband’s life, he was already professing his love to April mere weeks after meeting her.
Unsurprisingly, Steve also has a few skeletons in his closet. Before becoming involved with Brenda, he married and had two children with his anonymous high school sweetheart. The now TV star claims that the two were in a monogamous marriage for over a decade, until he fell in love with Brenda in 2014; then he and his first wife decided to open the relationship and become polygamous. Steve and Brenda have said that the first wife filed for divorce after receiving intense backlash from their nearest and dearest, but netizens believe that there’s more to the story than either are willing to admit.
TLC cameras also recorded the awkward relationship between Steve, Brenda, and his two children Preston and Jaylen, who were aged 18 and 16 at the time of filming. In a particularly compelling episode of season four, Steve and Brenda went to visit the adolescents in Dallas, and he informed them about his fledgling relationship with April. However, the siblings were anything but pleased.
Jaylen was slightly more diplomatic, saying that it was “weird” for her father to date multiple people, whereas Preston said: “That’s a decision he should’ve thought of before he had two kids. I genuinely think his lifestyle is disgusting. It’s gross.” Preston’s confession opened a can of worms, as many viewers believed that Steve had lied about the relationship between himself, Brenda and his first wife. After all, if he and his first wife became polygamists when Preston and Jaylen had already been born, why would his children be so appalled by their father’s unconventional relationship?
The third red flag was the age gap between Steve, Brenda and April, a 21-year-old student. Steve was twice April’s age, and Brenda was 38 years old at the time of filming. It became clear to spectators that April was new on the polygamy scene, and inexperienced in relationships.
Last but certainly not least are the Epps family, who have made a big impression on fans of the series. Marcus and his two wives, India Rosser and Taryn Lindsey, were looking to add a third woman to their relationship, and began courting Janae. Things took a turn for the worse when Janae decided to remain single, and Marcus soon became known as one of the worst husbands on the show, thanks to his unsavory past and disturbing domestic violence allegations.
Marcus, India, and Taryn currently live in Miami, however, Marcus was once the City Councilman of Euclid, Ohio, during which time several news outlets reported Marcus’s connection to an illegal after-hours club with a bad reputation in the area. Tragedy struck in 2020 while Marcus was hosting a birthday party for Taryn in the same venue; during an unexpected gunfight, one person was killed and three were injured. Marcus was later seen carrying one of the victims out of the club – he was later forced to deny having anything to do with the shooting.
Marcus and Taryn were happily married and monogamous for a decade before adding India to their relationship, but Marcus’s motives for wanting to be a polygamist were questioned when the truth was revealed. Taryn initially broke up with Marcus after discovering that he’d been cheating on her, but a year later took him back… by then, Marcus was already engaged to India. Both women were understandably upset and confused by the situation, but Marcus somehow convinced them that a polygamist relationship would be the best thing for them. With time, Taryn and India developed a close bond, making Marcus’s life much easier.
Finally, court records show that Marcus was arrested and charged with misdemeanor domestic violence in April 2008. The two charges he faced were 1st and 4th-degree misdemeanor domestic violence; eventually, he accepted a plea deal and pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct, with the two domestic violence charges being dropped. The plot thickens, as in summer 2022, Marcus was linked to “Seeking Sister Wife” candidate Christeline Petersen, who was previously in a polygamist relationship with fellow cast members Ashley and Dimitri Snowden, until she broke up with them and accused Dimitri of domestic violence.
Although no official date has been set for the season five premiere of “Seeking Sister Wife”, it has been rumored that new faces will be joining the still popular show, as old couples and families are unsurprisingly slowly phased out.