New Survey Reveals Millennials Prefer New Marriage Models Over Till Death Do Us Part
Jim LiebeltJim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
- 2014 Jul 29
A new survey asking millennials how interested they would be in various marriage models found that a majority preferred alternatives to "til death do us part."
Millennials are a generation reared on technology and choice which may make the notion of committing to a lifelong relationship difficult to consider. Marriages that couples can test and deglitch, work out kinks or simply abandon course without consequence make more sense to them. "This is a generation that is used to this idea that everything is in beta, that life is a work in progress, so the idea of a beta marriage makes sense," said the study's author, Melissa Lavigne-Delville. "It's not that they're entirely noncommittal, it's just that they're nimble and open to change."
Fifty-three percent of millennials surveyed thought marriage vows should be renewable, with nearly 40% saying they believed the "till death do us part" vow should be abolished.
Over forty percent of respondents (43%, and higher among the youngest subset of millennials) support the so-called "Beta" marriage model that involved a two-year trial - at which point the union could either be formalized or dissolved, no paperwork required.
Thirty-three percent said they be open to trying what researchers dubbed the "Real Estate" model - where marriage licenses would be granted on a a five, seven, 10 or 30 year term. Following the expired term, couples could renegotiate additional terms.
Twenty-one percent said they would give the "Presidential" model a try, whereby marriage vows last for four years but after eight you can elect to choose a new partner.
Ten percent said marriage can be with more than one person at the same time, each of whom fulfills a need in life.
Thirty-one percent of respondents went the traditional route saying the "Till Death do us part" model is right for them.