Russians consider family relations one of the main values in life - only health is more important. In addition, most of our citizens are sure that people are happier in marriage than outside it. But at the same time, marriages are registered less and less, and the number of divorces, although decreasing, is not much. A psychologist, sociologist and demographer told TASS what is happening with the institution of the family today, and people - about why they get married, get divorced and cheat.
Marriages: For Pleasure, Not Necessity
In 2016, Russians married less often than in the previous year: the number of registered marriages did not reach even a million. On a per capita basis, this is less than at any time in the past ten years: less often, relations were formalized only in 2000. Sociologists explain that this is actually not a bad thing. Just before people got married because it was impossible otherwise, but now - in order to be happy.
Before the revolution in Russian villages, the intermediaries in the marriage were the same people through whom they negotiated the purchase of cattle. This alone is obvious: the marriage was not a union of two lovers, but a financial transaction of relatives. People did not even think about the option "not to marry": the family was needed both for survival and for procreation. And it did not depend on social status. "I am 30 years old. At thirty, people usually get married," Pushkin wrote shortly before the wedding. Both a peasant and a nobleman were to marry.
In Soviet times, people chose their partners for themselves, but, as a rule, they still could not not register relations. Almost until the 90s, cohabitation outside of marriage was condemned. Young couples lived with their parents, and only a wife could be brought to their father's house.
Today, your love life is your personal choice. Having children out of wedlock, getting married without children, living together without a passport stamp, never getting married or getting married every two years - none of these options are prohibited. A man who has left his fourth wife will not be responsible for this before the party committee. And a woman who gave birth without a husband will not have to be ashamed in front of her neighbors.
According to Olga Lebed, a candidate of sociological sciences from the Institute for the Study of Family, Childhood and Education of the Russian Academy of Education, today the most common model of relations in our society is serial monogamy. Throughout life, a person can consistently enter into several marriages - not necessarily registered - and be faithful in each. The notion of "the only marriage for a lifetime" is gone - and, it seems, forever. Perhaps someday the formalities will be adapted to the people, as science fiction writers predicted: for example, in the novel The End of Childhood by Arthur Clarke, the heroes sign a marriage contract for several years.
Why do some people get married today, if it is possible to live "like this"? "Women often want a white dress, a holiday and status," says Olga Loginova, a family psychologist. In addition, they prefer to give birth to children in a registered marriage: otherwise, they will have to suffer more with bureaucracy.
In addition, today, when marriage is no longer necessary economically and socially, it is concluded for pleasure. "If people get married, then for love," says Olga Lebed. "Or - most often it happens with a second or third marriage - because they decide that it will be easier for them to live together." They are looking for such partners for a long time, therefore they go to the registry office later: today the average age of grooms and brides is about 30 years. But the most important thing is different: if people need each other only for happiness, nothing but happiness will keep them together.
“The more freedom of choice a person has - economic, psychological, sexual - the more fragile the relationship will be,” says Sergey Zakharov, Deputy Director of the Institute of Demography at the Higher School of Economics. “But they will have more trust and warmth. Oddly enough, today, when marriages have become more conscious, people take them much more seriously. " So the number and strength of marriages is really falling. But their quality is growing.
"Andrei and I were together for seven years - without a stamp. And then we decided to buy a car on credit. I had a good white salary, we decided that we would apply for me. A couple of days later I got a call from the bank's security service and asked:" Why do you need car, you have no rights? "Only Andrey had rights, I said that my husband would drive. They told me:" And you don't have a husband ?! "They pissed me off, I came home all on my nerves and told Andrey: They won't give me a loan, because I don't even have a husband! In the end, they gave me a loan - under the guarantee of the chief.
A month later, our neighbors came to visit - a young couple, husband and wife. We chatted, and when they left, Andrei pulled me to him and said: "Let's do it right with us, too." When I called my dad to tell me about the upcoming wedding, he was asking about additional "circumstances" for a long time, apparently, he decided that I was pregnant.
We signed nine years ago. And we both believe that after the official marriage, our relationship has become much cooler. "Leah, 33
"After a couple of months of meeting, Mitya said that he only needed a serious relationship, and if this is not so for me, then he will get up and leave right now. I burst into tears: I was somehow unexpectedly cornered and I did not like it. But I decided Then I even thought vindictively: if nothing works out, I can always back up, because I was practically forced now! We quickly began to live together, and gradually I ceased to be afraid. True, when, four years later, Mitya made me an offer, I said: “Preliminary - yes.” Even at an event in honor of our wedding on Facebook, I have the status “maybe I’ll go.” Awareness of what is happening is not easy for me. But I understand: this is the person I want to see next to my whole life, and now a beautiful ritual we're going to go through. " Albina, 31 years old
Loyalty: honored, but not always in practice
Most Russians condemn treason. Everyone does not like adultery: married and single people, young people and pensioners. But with a bad attitude towards infidelity, many people continue to cheat. "Fidelity in honor is nominally, not practically," says sociologist Olga Lebed.
Why do people cheat instead of breaking up and creating new relationships? Each union has its own benefits. It's scary to leave if you have common children, a mortgage and a dog - what is called stability. But some "go to the left" and in relationships where there are no documented obligations, and in order to part, it is enough to rent an apartment and change the status in social networks.
“There are people who will always change, regardless of their partner,” says psychologist Olga Loginova. “This is both because of upbringing and because of the person himself who thinks:“What's wrong with that?”
Perhaps not divorcing an unloved spouse is a kind of tribute to tradition: people are still not used to the fact that it can be done differently. “There was adultery in the past - we know this at least from classical literature,” says demographer Sergei Zakharov. “This can be a reproduction of the traditional scheme: you have to live with the unloved, because you were married, because your relatives agreed. I want happiness. And pleasure in sex."
In my relationship with my husband, I lacked honesty. In everything. He often did not keep his promises. Once I dragged him to salsa lessons, but he soon gave up, although he promised to return to the group. But in the end he refused. It was important for me to dance with him together, and it hurt me. As a result, I started an affair with a man from the group. We danced together in class, went to clubs together. But I felt bad.I seemed to split in two: with my lover I was thinking about my husband, with my husband - about my lover. And in the end it was neither there nor here. This relationship eventually ended. My husband and I also divorced, but not because of that romance. Now, when someone says that he is cheating on a loved one, for me it sounds like a person has … Well, two noses, for example. As something unthinkable. Olesya, 40 years old
Divorces: over money and misunderstandings
In Russia, every second marriage falls apart within nine years. In total, about 60% of registered unions end in divorce. Although in recent years the number of official gaps has decreased: in 2002 their number exceeded 850 thousand, in 2016 - 608 thousand. Experts explain: those who are divorcing today used to simply live out their lives in misfortune and mutual betrayal. Today, divorce does not imply public censure and does not put an end to personal life - and therefore people are increasingly deciding to leave where they feel bad.
As demographer Sergei Zakharov says, paradoxically strong but unhappy alliances negatively affect fertility: they prefer not to have children. But in the second marriage, "divorced women with a trailer" (this contemptuous expression is also in the past) give birth to new offspring - and the first common child of a man and a woman may become the third in their new family. If in the 1960s, after a divorce, 30–40% of women got married again, today it is 70%.
Women are no longer afraid to get divorced: they used to be told "who needs you now". Economic independence from men allows them to go nowhere. Most often, it is the fairer sex who file for divorce. True, Sergei Zakharov believes that this is more of a formality: women (especially if they have children) are traditionally considered the "suffering" party in divorce. Therefore, if a spouse filed for divorce, everyone will treat her application with understanding - including the court.
Why do people part, who, in front of witnesses, promised to be together in sorrow and in joy? "There is no common reason like 'he went bald, but she got better," says psychologist Olga Loginova. "It's just that people change over time, pay less attention to each other. For example, a husband comes and sticks to a computer, and a woman wants to he spent time with her."
As in Soviet times, cheating, drunkenness and assault are among the most common causes of divorce. But other motives have emerged these days. “They used to say“love is over”and“didn’t agree.”Nobody admitted that they couldn’t share the budget,” says Sergei Zakharov. “And now this reason is often called. There is also a divergence in views on raising children - this was not the case before ".
There are also more exotic reasons. For example, the research center of the Superjob.ru portal was called the following: "two leaders in the same boat do not sail", "I am bad at cooking", "her mother's condition" and even "family life is not for me, and every day to see the same person I just can't."
"Even before the registry office, we had financial disagreements. His parents always had a separate budget, he wanted to do the same. And for me, a family is a common home, children, surname and money. part for pocket money. But he is stubborn. I built a nest - I bought good dishes, curtains And he saved up. For two years of our life together, he saved 1 million rubles. He did not want children. He is a programmer, work and games were more important to him Once I invited him to discuss everything that was painful for me, and gave him time to think. But a month later I realized that he had simply forgotten about it. I decided to divorce. Probably, I, too, was not an ideal wife. But I realized: with him at I will always be a one-sided game. In marriage, this is not possible. " Darina, 30 years old
No matter how you decide to arrange your life - with or without a ring, with three children or together with your loved one - it is always worth remembering: the essence of the relationship is more important than their form. The main thing is that today you can be happy before, after, and even instead of marriage.
In preparing the material, data from surveys by VTsIOM and FOM were used
Bella Volkova, Olga Makhmutova