Our Polygamous Home For the Holidays

I wanted to update everyone on our family Christmas. Many of you have not had a chance to meet these other family members. When we filmed our My Three Wives documentary for TLC we actually captured the birth of our grandson and introduced some of the people. When the wedding came up the time really had to be focused on it instead. We thought we would write a bit of an update about Rob and Amanda since so many people got introduced to them on the show.

Amanda and her mother on the wedding day

The editing of the show and what it conveyed while accurate certainly did not capture the dynamic of the relationship. Amanda and I had become very close before she left for college. It was a difficult thing letting her move out because of that closeness. When the relationship with Rob began to develop she was afraid to say anything because she did not want to disappoint me. I think she felt like she was betraying me by falling in love and him not being the same faith.

Rob on his part had fears in his past that he was projecting on to us. He did not believe we would be so accepting, and Amanda reinforced those fears.  He felt loyal to his community and was trying to balance out the expectations of his community and Amanda’s family. It was not what we planned on filming when we began the special but as we were filming it all transpired. It was hurtful to hear about the engagement and then to find out we would not be part of the wedding. It was challenging to find out that she was joining a faith that we did not agree with, even though it is a polygamous community.

Rob and Amanda Christmas Eve

I find it interesting that people want us to give our kids choice but then are alarmed when they marry young or marry into a polygamous community. What we learned and we hoped to share with the world by filming is that if we had focused on the hurts from our point of view, while we would have been justified, we would not have had the wedding or the relationship with our daughter. People want to know if we give our kids choice, and this case challenged us but in the end we are glad we do and did. The wedding turned out well, and on Christmas we were all here celebrating love and family together. Rob has already grown in his closeness to us and understands how much love is there for him and that he can be part of this family while still having his own family.

Holiday decor

Place setting

When we stand in love as a family we find that many people are attracted from all over to spend time here.  We have had an amazing Christmas season.  This Christmas Eve we had all of our 23 children, in addition to Rob and Amanda, we had Laura, our new grandson Asher, her husband Taylor and four of his family members up from Mexico to celebrate with us. We also had Joseph’s girlfriend Whitney spend her first Christmas with us. Sam came up from Gunnison, and Caleb was up from Provo.We also had my sister Rachel and brother-in-law Ryan and their seven kids. Altogether we had 44 of us for the holidays.

The decor and table setting

We typically do a formal dinner with everyone. We did a plaid and lace theme for the decor and a fancy seven course meal. It was a nice way to share in food, song and love with one another. On Christmas Eve we took the older kids to the Hobbit, its a tradition to go to a movie on Christmas Eve. We then came back for games, songs and our other holiday traditions.

Sam joins us for the Holidays

We thank everyone for their warm support and pray that everyone can have a Happy New Year. It is our wish that 2013 brings the world closer together. Our commitment is that as our kids grow and expand our family that we can be a stand for love and a foundation for them making a difference in the world.

Photos courtesy of Rob

This entry was posted in Children, Daily Routine, Decorating with Alina, Family Interests, Homemaking with the Dargers, Parenting, Polygamy. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Our Polygamous Home For the Holidays

  1. Courtnee says:

    Thank you for your sharing your beautiful family to the world. I hope your family has a blessed New Year as well. <3

  2. Hannah says:

    44 mouths to feed, yet look at those decorations and place settings! I don’t know how you ladies do it! You are just incredible!

    Val is a beautiful person inside and out and I really admired her close relationship with her daughter. The scene in which she was performing the alterations on the wedding dress brought tears to my eyes. Without explicitly saying it you could just feel the love there.

    I wish I was that close with my mother.

    Much love to you all in the new year. Thank you for sharing your family with us.

  3. Connie Wilson says:

    Thank you for sharing your family that we got to see on the special, would love it if TLC and your family would share more, it really educates the ignorant. I just feel you have more love and faith to share with the world. Thank you all

  4. Evelyn says:

    I just loved your show and family. To me thats how it should be. Beautiful family!

  5. Susan Miller says:

    Hi, I unfortunately missed your special on TLC today and I have looked everywhere and cannot find out when it is airing next. Do you know your special’s schedule? I want to let you know I support your quest to have polygamy decriminalized. There are all kinds of faith and we live in the United States so we can have religious freedom. Yet you are not being granted that. It is a shame. I think what all God fearing parents want, regardless of their religious affiliation , is for our children to love God, love their family, be good human beings, find a productive career, find love, be healthy,happy and contribute to their communities and the world at large.And most of all, we want our children and families to live in a world were Peace Reigns.
    I wish you health, peace and prosperity to those you love and hold dear in the upcoming year. Happy New Year!

    • Joe says:

      Susan,
      Thank you for sharing your kind words. We don’t know when TLC will play it again. If we hear we will for sure post it. Blessings your way this New Year.

  6. Robert says:

    Dear Darger family,

    I discovered your website, and downloaded your book over the holidays. After reading it, I wanted to reach out and thank you for being a wonderful example of a loving, “non-traditional” family. Your example makes people step back and examine their own values, and realize that love and loyalty may be expressed in many different ways of life.

    I feel my life has some parallel: I was an only child, and raised in a very strict, conservative, fundamentalist Christian home. But once out of college and on my own, I learned that the real world was not restricted to the narrow faith of my father. I fell in love with a woman not of my religion or race. I was raised a white Christian fundamentalist, she was Korean and Catholic.

    When we first met, I felt a bolt of lightning shoot through me. When we dated and realized that we were meant for each other, my father’s family was horrified. When we were married, my father’s family shunned us and cut off all communication. My parents took our side (of course) but I know it was hard on my father. He had always been close to his parents, his siblings and cousins. But they couldn’t see past my wife’s dark skin, her upswept eyes, and her “papist” faith.

    When we had our first child (a girl), the joy of having a grandchild soothed a lot of my father’s hurt. The next two children were sons. My father was a joyful grandfather, and my family replaced the void of his family cutting all ties with us.

    So I see your post and I read the book and I see some of my father in Joe. Like my father, Joe has an in-law that is not of the same faith. But they both accepted the in-law and welcomed them into the family and the family grew in love and faith.
    As I mentioned above, I discovered your website over the holidays. I truly enjoyed the post above, because it reminds me of the Christmases spent with my family and my wife’s. A year ago I lost my wife and sons to a car accident. They were driving back from visiting her parents, and another car lost control and hit them. No drugs or alcohol… just a true accident. But please don’t feel pity… I believe such things are part of God’s tapestry for life. I’ve spent a year in mourning (traditional in Catholic families) and now it’s time to move forward and rebuild my life. I’ll always cherish my memories.

    A few years back my daughter married a good, solid young man. A few weeks back she gave birth to their daughter, my first grandchild. And tomorrow I’m traveling to where they live, to meet my first grandchild. And all the way, I’m going to plan how to spoil her!

    So thank you again for being such a wonderful example of a family who loves… and just a bit out of mainstream. You are truly a family that puts to rest all the false stereotypes of plural marriage, and you have fought an uphill battle. My prayers go to you and yours, and I wish you a happy holiday season!

    • Karen BR says:

      Wow, Robert. <3 What a beautiful heart you have. How lucky your family was and is to be loved by you. I love how you describe your wife and children. Sharing life and love is a gift. Loving well and loyally under the eyes of God, for me, is the only thing that matters in the end. And you have done that. May God bless you as you move forward in your life. May you be showered with love equal to the love you so obviously freely give.

    • Joe says:

      Robert

      My wives and I have read your post and all have been moved to tears by it, not in pity but from being touched and inspired by your commitment to love and faith and family. We just said goodbye to our grandson today, our first. The joy of sharing and bonding with him has been so incredible that we are excited for your prospects with your new grandchild. May the joy of life bring further healing to your contrite and broken heart. I am glad that it seems that your father held to the principles of love that are part of his faith in spite of the spurn of his family. That love has obviously been passed on to you. When we stand bold in the face of no agreement, especially when it is family, we truly learn what we can hold on to eternally or not. I could not pretend to understand what you have been through in your loss, but I can’t help but feel a kindred spirit in the love you feel for your family, and the commitment you have for following your heart and standing for your family. What a blessing it is to celebrate life with the gift of an infant. May God grant you and your posterity many blessings. Thank you for touching our lives so purposefully this New Year.

  7. Angel says:

    Your wives do a great job of decorating. Love your wedding and Christmas decor! Hope TLC gives you all your own show!

  8. Sterling Burt says:

    You all fascinate me. Your family is so close and loving and it’s obvious your number one priority IS your family. And I love the way the wives/mothers take care with their appearance – it indicates, to me, high self-esteem. I look forward to seeing more of you and your amazing family. Happiest of New Years to you all.

  9. karen says:

    Can you please explain the difference in faith between your family and Rob’s? I don’t know that I quite understand what the difference is exactly…

  10. Julie Estes says:

    I was wondering why the show was cancelled? Researched online and found no information. Was looking forward to watching the show. Polygamy from another perspective other than the Brown family. Thank you and I look forward to hearing back from you. Happy New Year!!!

  11. Kristin says:

    I just started reading your blog and saw your family on an older episode Sisterwives recently. Although I’m a Catholic from the northeast who practices monogamy, I really respect your family and support any libertarian spirit in America. If we’re not harming anyone and everyone is consenting adults, why tell people what to do? Please keep posting and happy new year. P.S.- I’m impressed with how much more organized you all were than the Browns.

  12. Julie says:

    I saw your families’ special on TLC, and soon after, bought and read your book, Love Time Three. The love and devotion your family shows to each other and to your Heavenly Father, just draws me in (and obviously many others.) My background is conservative Christian. I was never taught to judge others and didn’t start watching with any prejudice… just lack of knowledge. I always wondered why polygamy was considered sinful (in my circles) though it’s all over the Old Testament with no reprimand from God, and not directly addressed in the New Testament. In my heart, I have felt called to polygamy, but didn’t know how to reconcile that with my faith. Thank you for showing what a loving way it can be to live, and for helping me understand what I am longing for in my own life.
    My husband and I will always tune into anything your family does. Many blessings on you all.

  13. Chris Nystrom says:

    Thanks for the update.

    One question if it is not too personal: If Rob and Amanda are from different community and faith how did they meet?

    Best wishes to you and yours.

    • Alina says:

      Amanda was going to college near his community and had some girls from there that she met start coming to their community dances and activities and she met him there.

  14. Vicky says:

    I only have one complaint (and it’s not really a complaint), but I wish you would post more! I’m sure you all are busy, but I’m fascinated by your family dynamic and have read your book. Tell us more!

  15. Teresa H says:

    people forget that xmas is when Jesus was born, so while raising my two kids i made a tradition for us. i became a single mom and lived in my own apt when my kids were 3 and 2 yo. we had a birthday cake on xmas day morn before opening presents. we would light the candles and sing “happy birthday” to Jesus. it was the day of the year they would get cake for breakfast lol they loved it. now that my kids are adults, two yrs ago they wanted to restart it for they missed doing it. my first grandson was born day after this last xmas, his parents said they will do the same tradition w/ him.
    Teresa

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