Our Marriage Survey is Ready!

by | Nov 13, 2023 | Research | 23 comments

Our new marriage survey is all ready to go, with ethics approval and everything!

And here’s Joanna Sawatsky, our intrepid stats person and co-author of The Great Sex Rescue and She Deserves Better, to tell you all about it and invite you to take it!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

For years, Sheila and I have had a dream.

Someday, we’d say to each other, we’ll do the matched pair survey.


Ok, but WHY am I so excited about a matched pair survey?

A matched pair survey will allow us to look at how couples interact with each other and to investigate how each of them feels about how their marriage is going. From a statistical perspective we will be able to run a bunch of really powerful statistical tests and I’ve been dreaming about getting to run these stats for forever.

What are we going to use the statistics for?

  1. The statistical results will be included in Keith and Sheila’s upcoming marriage book!
  2. We’ll use them in future peer reviewed journal articles.
  3. We will also present results at scientific conferences.

More details

This survey is being done for research purposes through Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Dr. Keith Gregoire is our Principal Investigator. This study has been reviewed for ethical compliance by the Queen’s University Health Sciences and Affiliated Teaching Hospitals Research Ethics Board.

Who can participate?

  • No one will be surprised that we are going to restrict respondents to those who are 18 years old and older
  • Because we’re doing a matched pair survey we will only be able to have participants who are currently married
  • Due to the nature of our research question, we are investigating gender differences in heterosexual relationships between cisgender spouses
  • Because we will be investigating the effect of ideas prevalent in Christianity, we are looking for couples in which one or both are Christian.

How long does the survey take?

Approximately 30 minutes.

What are the benefits of participating?

We’ve got some fun freebies for participants. Sarah McDougal and Bren Wise have provided us with a set of grounding exercises which are being made freely available to participants. Additionally, we have a pdf download of 75 conversation starters for those who fill out the survey. And you’ll get the knowledge that you helped us learn a lot about important dynamics in marriage!

Ok, Joanna, how on earth are you going to link results?

We have a couple of questions which create a unique code which will be used to link results of the couple. Once linking has been done we’ll delete the codes. Codes will NOT be included on any data archive if we make the data available for other researchers.

Your spouse will not be able to see your results while they take it, and your results will not be sent to them. 

We are also not collecting names or emails.

How do I participate?

How can I send a link to my spouse?

Send them to this blog post! 

Please note: You will only be able to take the survey once per device, so your spouse will have to take it on a separate device from you. So you can send them the link RIGHT NOW (just copy the link to this post, or you can send them to https://baremarriage.com/grim

Thanks for taking it, and please spread the word to others!

Written by

Sheila Wray Gregoire


Recent Posts

Want to support our work? You can donate to our non-profit here:

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

Related Posts

The Iowa “Monster Study” and Every Man’s Battle

What if our advice actually triggers the behaviour we want to prevent? One of my favourite places on the internet is our private Patreon Facebook group, where the people who support us financially hang out. For just $5 a month people can join our Patreon group, and in...


We welcome your comments and want this to be a place for healthy discussion. Comments that are rude, profane, or abusive will not be allowed. Comments that are unrelated to the current post may be deleted. Comments above 300 words in length are let through at the moderator’s discretion and may be shortened to the first 300 words or deleted. By commenting you are agreeing to the terms outlined in our comment and privacy policy, which you can read in full here!


  1. Jo R

    Did not read the graphics because the text is a bit small on my phone, so all I knew was that the survey was matched pair. As I got to the bottom of the text, I saw that the link ended with the word “grim.”

    I thought, “Surely that’s just a randomly generated string to identify the survey.”

    Then I scrolled back to the top, turned my phone landscape, and read the fine print in the grahpic.

    “Gender roles in marriage.”

    Ah, the source of “grim.”

    Did no one consider what the acronym was going to be before finalizing the survey name???? 😳🤪🤣

    I expect a fairly high percentage of women will consider the topic grim, all right.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Yes, for ethics approval we had to include ALL that text on the graphic, so it was a little much!

  2. TJ

    Interesting survey. One of the things I’ve always appreciated about this blog is the commitment to academic rigor. Appeals to the MythBusters watching nerd in me! Also, the weird nerd who actually likes math and statistics… 😉

    By the way, I took the survey as a man married to a woman, and I noticed at least one section seemed to have the gender-assumptions flipped.

    “When you and your spouse are beginning to discuss a disagreement over an important issue, how often:”

    ex. “Does your spouse insist on contadicting many of your ideas on the issue before *HE* even understands what your ideas are”

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Thank you for flagging that! It’s fixed now. 🙂

      That’s why we’re doing a soft launch today before we send out massive emails tomorrow!

      • Christa

        Sheila, I sent this link to some people. One replied with a very valid question- how is the audience unbiased if they’re sending this to escrow on their mailing list?
        Iwas offended at first because I trust your hearts, but that isn’t a good enough response for critics. If I’ve learned anything from you (and Joanna, the stats queen), it’s- push back on purpose and see if the argument still stands.
        I appreciate your work!

        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          That’s also why we’ve got other people sharing it other than just us. Also, the vast majority of surveys in academic journals are convenience samples. With The Great Sex Rescue we did a snowball sample, and we’re planning on doing that model here too.

  3. Elizabeth

    There are some questions on here I don’t know how to answer. I tried emailing the email provided in the consent form and Gmail told me the address was invalid. Who can I contact with questions?

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Thanks for the heads up! We’ve fixed that email address. That just gets you to the ethics department, though. We can’t really tell you how to answer, though. The best thing is just to go with your first thought and your gut, even if you’re not sure if it’s right. Just don’t overthink it.

  4. Kay

    This was fun and encouraging. 🙂

    The only area I struggled to answer without wanting to give a million caveats were about the disagreement questions. Some things are what Gottman calls unsolvable problems where compromise isn’t possible. You basically just have to agree to disagree and leave it unresolved, becoming aware that this is one of those in your relationship. So I feel like I answered those questions in a way that indicates that we fight all the time and don’t get along and can’t compromise, but that isn’t really what’s going on. We’ve just agreed that we are different people who won’t agree on this and we can respect each other anyway. So we never “solved” them. I didn’t know how to indicate that although my scores in that category won’t be great, there is an intentional reason for that. Does that make sense?

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Yes, I get that dynamic, Kay! We will be taking that into account.

    • Em

      This is so exciting! My husband and I have filled it out and the first thing we said after we had both seperately done it was, ‘how the heck did you answer the are you/your spouse an evangelical question?’ that question alone took me a half hour trying to decide as I didn’t fit neatly into any of the categories, but I know that’s not how statistics works 😝 also as a currently pregnant woman I did not feel like I knew how to answer the set of questions about how many children/live births/pregnancies I had to reflect the fact that I have one child in utero and one out! What was the ‘right way’ to answer that series of questions? Maybe something to consider.

  5. Lisa Johns

    I’m so disappointed, I would love to have participated in a survey! We are still married, but I very much doubt that the spouse will jump at the chance, and I frankly don’t want to set myself up for another let-down when I ask and it doesn’t happen. So I’ll sit this one out.

    When you need participants in a survey of soon-to-be-exed women, I’ll definitely answer questions! 😀

    • Lisa Johns

      I haven’t listened to the sermon, but I notice there are no citations below it. You say he references the research; does he give citations so that we can go look it all up? If he doesn’t, then it didn’t happen; the reader/hearer has to be able to LOOK IT UP before it’s really relevant.

  6. Annie

    Can’t be a participant in this one but I can most definitely share it. 🙂 Very excited to see what comes from this.

  7. Tim

    How long is the survey open for?

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      We’re not sure. We have a number we’d like to get to, and if it surpasses that soon we may close early. Otherwise we’ll likely leave it open for a few weeks.

  8. Kay

    Hubby pointed out another question he was confused about—the one about your spouse doing their fair share of housework. He wanted to communicate that I do MORE than my fair share, so he wasn’t sure whether to strongly agree to communicate that or to strongly disagree—because it isn’t fair.

  9. Connie

    At first I thought this a good idea, then I realized that my spouse would lie about nearly everything. This is the problem with a survey to all kinds of marriages, the ones with the abusive narc spouses, well, they really do lie about everything, even if it would benefit them to tell the truth. Yes, even about porn. Especially about that. Mine always says we have a great marriage, we communicate well, even though I have no voice at all. He lives in a fantasy world. He talks and talks, and thinks that’s communicating well. And this is not rare. This is my second rodeo. Just saying.

    • Lisa Johns

      This is actually a good reason to take the survey. Remember, though identifying data will be inaccessible, this is a matched pair survey, and the discrepancy between what the two of you will say will provide its own set of data to work with.
      Remember, too, that this is not a tool to help your marriage, but to gather data. He will very much be telling on himself as he answers stuff that is completely at odds with your answers, and while he may never know that, it will be amusing to think of.

    • Kay

      I agree with Lisa’s comment. My guess is that what Sheila and team are looking at is how your answers relate to your spouse. Having a husband say everything is amazing and a wife say I have no voice is exactly the kind of thing they want to compare. Definitely take it!

  10. Julie Moore

    We both took the survey but didn’t see anything about our results. Will they be emailed later or did we do something wrong?

    • Rebecca Lindenbach

      You will not see your results individually since that would break anonymity! 🙂 The aggregate results will be published in an upcoming marriage book and discussed here on the blog!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *