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Are You Conservative or Liberal When It Comes to Marriage &

Take a brief survey and find out.

Published on April 16, 2011 by Susan Pease Gadoua in Contemplating Divorce

Rather than writing an article this week, I am posting an on-line survey to find out how conservative
or liberal people are when it comes to marriage,divorce and remarriage.

This brief survey is only open to 100 people and the results will be posted next week. You will not
have to give any specific identifying information such as your name, your exact address or your
occupation. All I ask is that you answer the 11 multiple choice questions and add comments as
appropriate for questions 12 & 13.

If you are interested in partaking in this data gathering, please click on the link below:

Thank you in advance for taking time to share your opinions with me.


1. I am a:

I am a: Straight man
Straight woman
Gay man
2. My age group is:

My age group is: Under 21

Over 76
3. What state do you live in?

What state do you live in?

4. My marital status is:

My marital status is: I've never been married

I am currently married to my first and only spouse
I'm separated but have no plans to divorce
I've been married once and am now divorced with no plans to remarry
I've been married once and am now divorced with plans to remarry
I've been married and divorced more than once
Other (Please tell us about your situation in Question 10)
5. I believe in the institution of marriage as we currently practice it in the Western

I believe in the institution of marriage as we currently practice it in the Western world Yes
I'm not sure
6. I believe marriage should last forever

I believe marriage should last forever Absolutely! No matter what.

Yes, unless there is abuse, betrayal or addiction on spouse's part
I'm not sure
No! Absolutely not!
7. I believe marriages should be:

I believe marriages should be: Between a man and a woman only

Open to same sex couples
No strong feeling either way
Completely restructured* (see additional question below)
8. I believe that divorce equals failure

I believe that divorce equals failure Yes

I'm not sure
It depends on the circumstances
9. I believe that remarriage:

I believe that remarriage: Should be outlawed

Is totally fine
Is too easy
No opinion on this topic
10. I practice:

I practice: Abstinence
I'm not in a committed relationship
11. Which of the following describes best the changes you'd like to see in
marriage (Check all that apply):

Which of the following describes best the changes you'd like to see in marriage (Check all that app
Make polygamy legal
Make marriage harder to get out of
Make marriage harder to get into
Make prenuptial agreements mandatory
Make counseling mandatory for anyone wanting to get married
Make education about marriage (and divorce) mandatory in high school and college
Other (please write your reply under the next question)
12. Please add any comments you have about marriage here:
Please add any comments you have about marriage here:
13. Please add any comments you have about divorce and/or remarriage here:

Please add any comments you have about divorce and/or remarriage here:


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Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage Survey: How Conservative
or Liberal Are You?
Lots of varied opinions on this subject.

Published on April 24, 2011 by Susan Pease Gadoua in Contemplating Divorce

Last week, I conducted a survey on attitudes of PT readers on marriage, divorce and remarriage.

What was so fascinating to me is that the results showed a great disparity of opinions on what
marriage is for and what should happen to this age-old institution.

In summary, it appears that, while most people believe in marriage being a monogamous, "'til death
do they part," institution (unless there is a betrayal of some kind), close to 90% of respondents did
not see divorce as failure and 73% felt remarriage was fine. This is an interesting pull between the
conservatives and the liberals. It appears that some people are actually both when it comes to

Before I share the comments, let me tell you more about the population who answered the
questions. The survey was taken by 218 people from just about every state in the nation as well as
parts of Canada.

62.8% of pollsters were straight women, 29.4% straight men, 1.8% gay men, .9% lesbian and 5%
were bisexual. Most survey-takers were between 22-34 (55.9%), followed by 35-45 (22%), and
approximately 12% under 21 and just under 12% over 46 years old.

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 Newsweek’s Turn to Post Misleading Account of Latest Marriage Study

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Interestingly, the vast majority of respondents have never been married (55.5%). Those on their first
marriage accounted for < 23%, those in some marital flux represented just under 20% and only 4.1%
have been married and divorced more than once.

The majority of people believed in marriage as we currently practice it, followed by those who were
undecided and those who did not believe in our current marriage system brought up the rear. The
numbers were 46.5%, 30.9% and 24% respectively.

By far, readers felt that marriage should last forever unless there is an abuse, betrayal
or addiction with one spouse (56.4%). One reader commented that addiction should not be included
in this group since it is an illness and people shouldn't leave someone at their lowest point. Many
were not sure (27.5%), 13.8% said marriage should absolutely not be forever and 5.5% said it
absolutely should last forever - not matter what.

As far as whether marriage should be between just a man and woman, 45.4% said no - it should be
open to same sex couples compared to only 16.1% who said man and woman only. Close to 20%
said that marriages should be open (meaning couples could bring in outside lovers or companions).
15% had no strong feeling either way on the subject and 12.4% felt that marriage needed a
complete overhaul.

The vast majority of survey-takers practice monogamy and there were sprinkles of abstinence,
polygamy, polyandry and polyamory.

As far as what changes people wanted to see in marriage and divorce, most wanted to see
more education and counseling brought in (50.9% and 54.5% respectively). 38.2% wanted to see
marriage harder to get into, 21.8% wanted to see marriage harder to get out of. A surpring 14.5
stated that they wanted to see polygamy made legal and close to 10% voted for term limits.

Finally, when it comes to remarriage, just under 74% were totally fine with it and 18.3% feel it's too

Here are some of the most poignant comments (some may be slightly edited for grammar or length):


"I've lost faith in the system of marriage. The circumstances that helped develop what we call
marriage today are no longer applicable."

"I think there needs to be a non-religious option akin to marriage that is open to everyone and is
legally recognized with all the benefits of marriage as we know it today."

"I've been with my partner for over 20 years, we have children and have never married but we are
considered to be in a ‘common-law' marriage here in Canada."

"I believe...

"...most people rush into marriage."

"... marriage is mainly done for the outside world."

"...marriage is a religious institution and has no place in modern society."

"...marriage is essential to happiness and central to the meaning of our lives."

"...marriage makes more sense to me in economic, not emotional terms."


"I've always felt that marriage is a wonderful way to celebrate your love for each other, however, I
think in this day and age, it's quite idealistic to believe that it's going to last forever. Some do but it's
not necessary to stay in a relationship if you don't want to anymore. People change and that's
allowed for these days."

"People divorce like teenagers break up -- without counseling or attempting to stay together."

"Divorce is too easy. Vows aren't taken seriously enough. I will most likely remarry but I will seek a
lot more couple's counseling first to ensure that our expectations and [levels of] commitment are

"It's better to be divorced at 35 than never to have married."

"We are human and make mistakes so divorce is a reality."

"I think there are a lot of life lessons that can be learned from divorce and remarriage so it's not
inherently a bad thing."

"My heart breaks for the children of divorce."

"Make counseling mandatory before the court will grant any divorce."

"Better the devil you know..."


"I start questioning whether I'm enabling someone's need for attention when I'm saying
‘congratulations, how wonderful,' for the third time."

"I don't understand the people who marry over and over again. Either they have an immature ideal of
marriage, or they are gamblers hoping to get lucky some day."

"Remarriage once seems alright...but more than one remarriage, in my opinion, points to a great
deal of failure in the individual."
I roll my eyes when I hear someone refer to their ‘first husband or wife' - especially their ‘third
[spouse]. Stop it! You sound like a pig. Marriage is not for you and remarriage should not be an
option for serial failures of relationships."

"Remarriage, like a first marriage, is fine so long as it respects the institution of marriage."


This survey, as well as much of my other work, has prompted me to conduct a new survey to find out
WHY people marry, divorce and/or remarry. Please click here to participate:

Thank you