The experience was so intense that it caught the attention of Alina and Vicki as well. Each woman approached Joe separately suggesting that he consider inviting Val to join their family. Vicki says she never felt awkward about the prospect of sharing her husband with her twin sister. In fact, she considered the love she shared with Joe a blessing and wanted Val to be able to experience it as well. Within four months, the decision was made and Joe and Val were married.
The Dargers admit that having three women married to the same man can occasionally be a recipe for misunderstandings. Whether it's being left at home with the kids while Joe takes one of the wives for a date night or stumbling upon a pair of Joe's underwear in another sister wife's bed -- polygamy can be a veritable minefield of jealousy and hurt feelings.
One of the rules that the Dargers live by to minimize these difficult moments is keeping the intimate details of each of their relationships with Joe private.
"We're very traditional in our marriage in the fact that we have three separate marriages and it's just a boundary of respect," Joe Darger said.
Still, the question for many remains why these women would choose to constantly confront feelings of jealousy when they could instead live in monogamous relationships without the burden of sharing a spouse. The Dargers say that confronting and transcending these negative feelings is what leads to the highest expression of unselfish love - a goal of their faith. Although they understand why so many questions focus on their intimate relationships, they insist that for them polygamy is not about sex, it is about faith and family.
"In the end it's not about the bedroom, it's not about all these outward things people are curious about. It's just about a family trying to raise responsible children," Val Darger said.
With the publication of the Dargers' book, those children are now facing the same exposure and scrutiny that their parents are. Although many of them have already faced bigotry because of their family's beliefs, they say they too welcome the opportunity to show America who they are.
"All the misconceptions are wrong. If you looked at our family and saw just how much love there is in here, it should change your way of thinking," said 16-year-old Liesl Darger.
The Darger teenagers believe that it is ignorance that keeps people from accepting their family's way of life.
"They don't know why we live it. We believe this is the way the lord told us to live," 17-year-old Grayson Darger said.
Most of the Darger children say they do not know if they will choose polygamous marriages for their own lives but that they are open to that possibility. This past summer Laura Darger, the first child in the family to marry, walked down the aisle. For now she is living in a monogamous marriage as her husband's only wife and she admits the possibility of having to one day welcome another woman into their family feels like a challenge.
"It's really hard when you actually fall in love and you love somebody so much to think of sharing them with somebody else," Laura Darger said. But, like her siblings, she remains open to the possibility of polygamy. "God changes people's hearts. You know sometimes there are things you don't think you can do but when God asks you, you do it."