Polygamous Marriage: Love Times Three

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Joe DargerAlina Darger, and Valerie Darger, Independent Fundamentalist Mormons and co-authors, with Vicki Darger and Brooke Adams, of Love Times Three: Our True Story of A Polygamous Marriage, talk about life in a plural marriage and their advocacy work on behalf of polygamists.


Alina Darger, Joe Darger and Valerie Darger

Comments [46]

Cassie gueye from Usa

When u have sexual relations is all 4 together or is it onr on one? A friend of mine said he wantef me and my kids and his kids mother to be together in one house. Of course I said no but, if u love someone that much ur gonna do it, I thought about it but my problem is sharing my man. He said we all can love each other and do it to each other. What would u do?

Sep. 26 2011 11:11 AM

I love what they are doing and support this completely. To much misunderstandings and its nice to see the truth is being brought at. Im not part of this religious insight and do not plan on becoming a part of it. I know these people and they are very good people along with most others from their group.

Sep. 17 2011 04:32 AM
Penny from Ut

I also know the Darger family, they are amazing people. They take very good care of the children and each other. They are up lifting, positive, and great company to be around.
Joe i think very highly of, the strength he has to run a house hold his size, and to have a one on one relationship with all of them not just the wives but the children as well is outstanding... I respect the women as well they treat each other with respect and love, how well they work together, the way they treat the children. This religion isnt about me you or I, its about the whole family.

Sep. 14 2011 06:05 PM
Sara from Utah

I have been acquainted with this family for almost 10 years. Even though I am not a polygamist, I can really respect their life style. They are truly some of the most kind, loving, intelligent people I have ever met. I have watched very close and have never seen any signs of abuse. They do not force or expect their children the follow after their lifestyle. They do not allow their children to marry under the age of 18. They encourage them to go to college and wait until they are older to get married. They are not on any Government assistant of any kind nor do they ever plan to be. As far as the comment about one wife being the built in baby sitter. You have it all wrong. They work together as a team. Each wife has their times when they leave or stay home. There are also plenty of days when all three ladies are at home caring for the family needs. I encourage everyone to read the book. It is very informative and well written. It is an AMAZING story. They truly have a very kind, loving, beautiful family where they all love and care for each other!

Sep. 14 2011 12:36 PM
Rachel from Utah

The Darger Family is a wonderful, loving family who supports and provides for their children both emotionally and financially... and there are so many families living plural marriage that do the same. I picked up the book in Costco yesterday -- what an eye opening book!

Sep. 14 2011 09:54 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Polygamy won't work with one woman and many men - because it has to be known for sure which man is responsible for the welfare of a child.

Sep. 14 2011 08:11 AM
Yvonne from Park Slope, Brooklyn

It seems to me that polygamy with one husband and multiple wives made sense when child and wife mortality were high; now that both 1.) children and mothers have a better survival rate and 2.) the world is having a population and resource problem, it seems that polyandry with one wife and multiple husbands makes more sense ... besides being a better hedge against inflation.

Sep. 14 2011 02:10 AM
shelbel from utah

I also know this family quite well. They are truly incredible and I consider the parents and the children to be great examples of the way a family should work, whether in a polygamous situation or not. I think the world could learn a lot from them. As for everyone making comments about it being wrong or gross, read the book. Once you are educated on the subject, then feel free to criticize.

Sep. 14 2011 12:48 AM
Gary B. from Salt Lake City, UT

I happen to know this family pretty well. I have known the adults and
children for several years. I am not a polygamist, but I can tell you
that this family is completely normal and completely successful. The
women are intelligent and very much a part of family decisions. Family
gatherings bring hundreds of friends and relatives. The family is not
rich, but they work hard at their jobs, and the children are happy and
well educated. Not all polygamist families are this exemplary, but the
govt has no business trying to criminalize them or prosecute them.

Sep. 14 2011 12:18 AM
Ed from Larchmont

I didn't mean to be too hard on the Mormons, polygamy was permitted in Sacred History for a time. But for a
Christian, marriage mirrors the relation of Christ and his Church, bridegroom and bride, so polygamy isn't permitted. There are a lot more destructive things around today.

Sep. 13 2011 01:17 PM
Peg from Southern Tier NY

This polygamous family has 24 children and the mother of nine of them has started her own business. How has she managed this??? Built in Babysitters, by gosh!

As an older daughter in a family with 8 children, my parents also nominated the older sibs for that "built in" role. Perhaps the parents appreciate the extra help needed to sustain that "Big Happy Family" but I assure you, the children didn't. I did not want to be assigned teen mother role and my younger siblings did not like it either.

Parents who decide to have huge families should make sure that they have the time and resources to allow their children to be children and not to be raised by children.

Sep. 13 2011 11:57 AM
Kit from UK

@MichaelB from Morningside Heights

"Kit from UK: One major difference is (was) that if there were more than one male, they couldn't be sure of who the father was of any child.

They're usually pretty sure of who the mother is...."

What century are you living in? It's called DNA testing.

Regardless there would have to be some legalities straightened out re the children regardless of the biological father, probably similar to stepfathers/mothers/adoptive parents.

Sep. 13 2011 11:49 AM
Susan Burger from Upper West Side

I lived for two years in a culture that had polygamy when I was in Peace Corps. I actually felt honored during my field trip when I was training when the first wife of the chief said I was a good enough worker for her to want me as the 14th wife. It meant she liked me. In the area I lived in, the women made money running the market place. Often the women would gang up on their husband and tell him what to do. They would often divvy up the household tasks and have an easier time, especially with child care. One woman ran a shop (a step above the slot in the market) and made enough money to support her Belgian husband's first wife and kids who were in Belgium. He was a total loser. She was a very good business woman. As with all relationships, jealousy can make for complicated negotiations. The more people involved the more complications. I would have liked to have heard from many difference cultures that practice polygamy rather than just one example.

Sep. 13 2011 11:48 AM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

@jgarbuz from Queens

Ha, ha, ha!

Sep. 13 2011 11:46 AM

.. are the women bisexual?

Sep. 13 2011 11:46 AM
Kate from Queens

“Built in babysitters?”
The wives who are not working outside the home are the built in babysitters for the wife who wishes to work?
Is there a serious awareness of what messages these men and women are sending to their sons and daughters?
Kate from Queens

Sep. 13 2011 11:45 AM
William from Manhattan

Tilda Swinton has openly discussed her successful polyamorous household with two men.

Sep. 13 2011 11:45 AM
Smokey from LES

We are so vocal about how we love our freedom and personal liberty - why do we have so many laws and as so contentious about how we pair up?

Sep. 13 2011 11:45 AM
William Limratana

It's clearly sexist as it is only one way.

Sep. 13 2011 11:45 AM
Mary Henderson from riverside ct

I am less concerned about the number of spouses in a family than the number of children being there any thought given by this family to the impact on our planet of extremely large families?

Sep. 13 2011 11:44 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Yes, adopting polygamy and polyandry alongside with gay marriage should finally put a nail into the "institution" of marriage once and for all.

All marriage is a relic of the past, and should be outlawed. As in Brave New World, children should be produced in hatcheries run by corporations or the state. The "family" today is a parody that makes fun of itself.

Orphanages as just as good.

Sep. 13 2011 11:44 AM
Sherry from Manhattan

How do they fill out the marriage status on their tax returns?

Sep. 13 2011 11:43 AM
The Truth from Becky

This lifestyle is unfair to children. If you want to live in an organized orgy, you all should not be having children!

Sep. 13 2011 11:42 AM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

This sounds awfully expensive.

Might be good for end-of-life care though, especially the way healthcare is going.

Sep. 13 2011 11:41 AM
roxie from Brooklyn

I would want multiple hubbies.

If you get one or two who earn less then you, go out and upgrade. Let a few underperforming hubbies sit on the couch & watch football, etc.

Also, need a couple of younger husbands who are not yet bald & paunchy -- just for sex appeal conjugal fun.

Sep. 13 2011 11:41 AM

How do the progeny get paid for??

Sep. 13 2011 11:41 AM
Janine from NYC

How convenient for the men. I propose multiple husbands instead. Only ones with domestic skills and handy need apply.

Sep. 13 2011 11:40 AM
The Truth from Becky

Right there...that is the problem the government has with it all..."has to be sorted out" "under my social".."legally I am the only one" all of those statements are why it is illegal.

Sep. 13 2011 11:39 AM

Okay, I'll ask...

How does the sex work??

Sep. 13 2011 11:38 AM
john from office

This sounds like a nightmare, there will always be one boss wife and the nagging would be horrible. The honey do list is endless.

Sep. 13 2011 11:38 AM
elaine from li

Can the wives take another husband?

Sep. 13 2011 11:37 AM
LM from New York

There are Muslims who also practice polygeny. This is never addressed. It is relevant in terms of the kinds of marriages one finds in the US, right?

Sep. 13 2011 11:37 AM
David from UWS

Have you read THE LONELY POLYGAMIST by Brady Udall? A fantastic novel about polygamist life that came out last year.

Sep. 13 2011 11:37 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Kit from UK: One major difference is (was) that if there were more than one male, they couldn't be sure of who the father was of any child.

They're usually pretty sure of who the mother is....

Sep. 13 2011 11:36 AM
smarterthanthis from NYC

I just turned off my radio. This story is a waste of air time. These people are way out of any mainstream interest.
I was recently asked to re-up my automatic contribution to NPR - due to my credit card being hacked - but that is doubtful.
Cover the news. Cover relevant issues. Not tabloid foder.

Sep. 13 2011 11:36 AM
peter from brooklyn

In this society, how do some of the logistics in a plural marriage work? Who gets paid in a life insurance policy? Who is covered by a health insurance plan? Who has legal custody of any children?

Sep. 13 2011 11:35 AM

In an world where resources are already over taxed, why is it O.K. to procreate in the double digits???


Sep. 13 2011 11:35 AM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

I remember hearing not long ago on a BBC radio segment about African women (don't remember which country) who take on a couple of husbands.

Imagine having one to mow the lawn, the other to fix the roof and the other to put up the shed! Heaven! ;~)

Sep. 13 2011 11:01 AM

@Evan. Ha.

Well on a recent dating stint when I realised multiple men brought different things to the table, the conundrum ensuing did prompt a 'why can't I date them ALL' line of thinking...

Sep. 13 2011 10:47 AM
Henry from Manhattan

Ed from Larchmont said:
“Or you could have on the psychiatrists who are currently promoting pedaphilia as a valid adult choice.”

Are these psychiatrists employed by the Catholic Church?


Sep. 13 2011 10:43 AM
Henry from Manhattan

We already have scores of defenders of traditional marriage. Most of the Republican candidates publically espouse this view, it’s not like it is some underreported topic. There are plenty of monogamous heterosexual couples around; WNYC doesn’t need to do a piece on the “phenomenon.” Polygamy is unique to our culture, and so is the memoir the authors wrote.

It’s too bad that polygamous advocacy is coming from a religious source, because we’d expect that, and most of us are less likely to be compelled to consider it since it’s motivated by Mormon fundamentalist doctrine as a divine commandment.

If it was being advocated by secular speakers, there would be a better chance of us comprehending the practice on it’s own merits without the baggage of being established by founder Joseph Smith, Jr who had thirty wives and is a person that many people outside of Mormonism consider a cult figure of an illegitimate sect of Christianity.

I’m being blunt, I don’t mean to be offensive. Their supernatural religious believes are on par with every other supernatural religious belief as far as I’m concerned. Personally, I don’t have anything against Mormons, the one’s I’ve met have been wonderful people. As for polygamy, I don’t really care how people want to pursue happiness so long as no one is harmed, but I’ll confess mild suspicion of the practice, it just doesn’t have a stellar history.

Sep. 13 2011 10:40 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Or you could have on the psychiatrists who are currently promoting pedaphilia as a valid adult choice.

Sep. 13 2011 10:31 AM
Evan from New York, NY

Kit from UK,

Do you know any women who WANT multiple husbands?

Sep. 13 2011 10:25 AM
John A.

Has Ed pointed out a possible bias in WNYC policy? (Reviewing) looks like you have, sir.
My preference might be to have those guests discuss more important topics, but get them on.

Sep. 13 2011 10:12 AM
Kit from UK

I wouldn't mind so much about the polygamy thing if it worked both ways- i.e. what about women with multiple husbands?

Sep. 13 2011 10:03 AM
Ed from Larchmont

I guess it's OK to have a religious person on ... if they promote polygamy ... why not have a religious person on ... who defends traditional marriage?

Sep. 13 2011 09:04 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.