Monday, September 26, 2011

The Dargers Come Out

I’ve been busy lately, and hadn’t yet gotten to the flurry of media coverage of the Dargers. Along with the coverage of the Browns as the new season of “Sister Wives” arrives, the Dargers, who inspired the fictional “Big Love” series, have come out of the shadows to promote a book, Love Times Three: Our True Story of a Polygamous Marriage.

To Joe Darger, his three wives, Alina, twins Vicki and Valerie, and their 24 children, they are just like any American family -- except for a different family structure.

There are many other families like that.

"It's very much part of our culture. It goes back six generations for me. I had a very positive experience growing up," Joe Darger said today on "Good Morning America."


More than 20 years ago, Joe married wives Alina and Vicki on the same day. Joe and Alina had seven children and at the same time, Joe and Vicki had another eight. A third wife joined the family when in 2000 Joe married Vicki's twin sister, Valerie, and they had another four children – not to mention the five kids Valerie already had from a previous marriage. Between them, this blended family of one husband and three wives shares responsibility for 11 boys and 13 girls.

Sounds like quite a family.

Independent Fundamentalist Mormons, the four parents detail their lives with three spouses, three master bedrooms, two dozen children, how they keep it all together, and the relationship challenges that ensue.

The women admit that jealousy is part of human nature and they can't help but feel pangs at times, but they lean on one another for support and dig deeper into their faith.

Each of their individual relationships with Joe is a private one.

In other words, the women are not married to each other. Each one is married to Joe. Shouldn’t they be able to legally marry and live like this without the threat of prosecution?

There were come comments on the article.

From one…

Wait... he married two sisters? So their kids are siblings AND cousins.

What’s the problem with that? This has happened with monogamists, too, when one siblings dies and the other sibling marries the widow or widower. Or it happens through affairs. I don't think this is illegal anywhere.

From another…

This family is clearly more happy and stable than many monogamous relationships with 24 children it still works. Who are we to judge them? Last I checked this country was about freedom, including freedom to disagree. Not to impose our personal beliefs on others. The question is, is anyone being harmed. No.

Thank you!

And finally…

I am in a plural relationship that I never intended to be in. My wife and I were very happy and were not looking to change. We became friends with our partner and it just grew into love and now we can not see our lives any other way. We prefer the word Polyamory, because it focuses on the love. The relationship is not about sex (as my fantasies may have hoped) it is about love and a commitment to suporting those that you love. There are struggles and things we constantly work on, but when we work on them together, we usually can't figure out why they were a struggle in the first place.

There have been many more articles on the Dargers, and maybe I’ll be going through some of them here. An adult should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with any consenting adults. Perhaps the Browns and the Dargers will help bring about full marriage equality sooner rather than later. It would be great to see a polyandrous family make the same impact, and a married same-sex couple wanting to legally add a third person.
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