Joe, Vicky, Valerie And Alina Darger: Twins And Cousin Marry One Man In Polygamous Mormon Union (PICTURES)

Barcroft Media  |  By Posted: 2/05/2012 13:18 Updated: 2/05/2012 14:48

Source: Barcroft Media

It may not be a conventional marriage setup by many people’s standards, but the union between one man, twin sisters, and their cousin is working just fine for this family.

Twins Vicki and Valerie are in a polygamous marriage with Joe Darger, and so is their cousin Alina.

The happy foursome are fundamentalist Mormons from Salt Lake City, Utah and live together with their 24 children.

Vicki had been married to Joe for 22 years when her twin joined the family as his third wife in 2000.

Valerie said: "The fact that Joe was married to Vicki didn't bother me at all. I took it as a sign he would be a good husband for me as well.

"As teenagers, Vicki and I liked some of the same guys. I thought it might even be good if we married the same man."

Vicki added: "I know that some people are uncomfortable at the thought of two sisters sharing a husband.

Scroll down for more pictures of the Darger family

The foursome have 24 children between them and live in Salt Lake City, Utah

"But there's a good chance if a husband is compatible with one sister, he'll be well matched with another."

Joe, who owns a construction company, began dating Vicki and her cousin Alina at the same time and married them in a joint ceremony in 1990.

"Even in our community joint courtships are rare," said Vicki. "We knew we were taking on a huge challenge and responsibility.

"The accepted pattern in our culture is for a couple to prove themselves first in a monogamous marriage, before taking on the challenges of a second wife."

Describing their joint dates, Joe said: "Since Alina and Vicki were close friends and were interested in pursuing me together, the best thing I could do was to nurture that combined friendship.

"I was attracted to both girls and knew that individual relationships would develop in time."

The three were married in a traditional religious service at a family home, followed by a civil register office ceremony where Alina became Joe's legal wife, while Vicki acted as a witness.

But in the eyes of their Fundamentalist Mormon religion, all three women are equally married to Joe.

They each have their own bedroom, and Joe alternates between the three rooms each evening.

Valerie entered the fray after divorcing her husband Donald, who had six wives.

One evening, while Valerie and her five children were staying with the Darger family, she felt a sudden spark of chemistry with Joe.

Vicki said: "I noticed how they looked at each other. There was a spark, but I wasn't jealous.

"I wanted her to join our family and have a happy marriage. In our culture it's not uncommon for siblings to share husbands."

Joe admitted: "I had a connection with Valerie, but the fact she was Vicki's twin was weird - they both had the same mannerisms. But Vicki opened my mind to it."

Alina added: "I was excited at the prospect of Val becoming part of our family. I had a genuine love and concern for her and wanted her to be the happiest she could possibly be."

Joe and Valerie married in a service in their home, with Vicki and Alina standing beside them, and celebrated with a family meal.

The Dargers were investigated by State authorities several years ago for their beliefs and attempted to keep their plural marriage secret for many years.

But two years ago they decided to talk about their relationship to raise awareness, and to try to overcome prejudices against their religion and lifestyle.

The three wives and their husband have co-written a book 'Love Times Three', and some of their adult children also contributed to the story.

"We hope that by talking about our way of life, polygamy will step closer to being an accepted lifestyle and the laws that criminalise it might change," said Joe.

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  • Joe Darger, 42, poses for a picture with his three wives (L-R) Alina, 42, Valerie, 41 and Vicki, 41 on March 04, 2012 in Herriman, Uttah. (Photo credit: Laurentiu Garofeanu/Barcroft USA)

  • Joe Darger, 42, poses for a picture with his twin wives Valerie (L), 41 and Vicki ( R), 41 on March 04, 2012 in Herriman, Uttah. (Photo credit: Laurentiu Garofeanu/Barcroft USA)

  • Valerie (L), 41 and Vicki ( R), 41 kisses Joe Darger, 42, while posing for a photograph on March 04, 2012 in Herriman, Uttah. (Photo credit: Laurentiu Garofeanu/Barcroft USA)

  • Joe Darger, 42, poses for a picture with his three wives Valerie, 41, Alina, 42 and Vicki, 41 on March 04, 2012 in Herriman, Uttah. (Photo credit: Laurentiu Garofeanu/Barcroft USA)

  • (L-R) Front Row: Louis, 15, Shad, 15, Jed, 18, Tavish, 18, Logan, 14, Grayson, 17, Ashton, 13, Madison, 13, Liesl, 16; Front and middle row: Allie, 8, Sabrina, 9, Vanessa, 6, Alina, 42, Boston, 4, Victoria, 1, Vicki, 41, Joe, 42, Krista, 2, Valerie, 41, Angelina, 5, Kyley, 10, Kadance, 9 pose for a photograph on March 04, 2012 in Herriman, Uttah. (Photo credit: Laurentiu Garofeanu/Barcroft USA)

  • Joe (L), 19, Alina (M), 19 and Vicki (R) at the time of courting during January 1989 in Herriman, Uttah. (Photo credit: Laurentiu Garofeanu/Barcroft USA)

  • Alina (L), 19 and Vicki (R), 18 during January 1989 in Herriman, Uttah. (Photo credit: Laurentiu Garofeanu/Barcroft USA)

  • Vicki (L), Joe (R) and Alina's (R) marriage during February 1990 in Herriman, Uttah. (Photo credit: Laurentiu Garofeanu/Barcroft USA)

  • Vicki (L) 27, Valerie (R) 27 during April 1997 in Herriman, Uttah. (Photo credit: Laurentiu Garofeanu/Barcroft USA)

  • Family picture outside their home on April 2011 in Herriman, Utah. (L-R) Back Row: Grayson 17, Sam 21, Jed 18, Joseph 20, Shadrach 15 Next: Amanda 19, Laura18, Louis 14, Alina 41, Caleb 19, Liesl 16 Next: Logan 13, Maddy 11, Val 40, Ashton12, Joe 41, Tavish 11, Kyley 7, Vicki 40, Sabrina 8. Front: Kadence 8, Krista (lap) 2, Allie 7, Boston (lap) 3, Vanessa 5, Victoria 10 mo, and Angelina 5. (Photo credit: Laurentiu Garofeanu/Barcroft USA)

Watch a video featuring the Darger family here
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Filed by Sara C Nelson  |