How salary determines relations in Russian families

Only 26 percent of Russian men can boast of a relationship with a woman who is financially more successful. Source: Getty Images / Fotobank

Only 26 percent of Russian men can boast of a relationship with a woman who is financially more successful. Source: Getty Images / Fotobank

Nearly half of all Russian women, as well as the overwhelming majority of Russian men, are willing to build a relationship with a significant other who brings home considerably less than they do, according to a survey by recruitment research center Superjob.ru.

According to Superjob.ru’s survey, 90 percent of males believe that a woman should be the guardian of the hearth, and if she works, it should be a labor of love, regardless of earnings. "A man should earn more than his chosen one," they said.

Only three percent would be unable to build a relationship with a woman who earned significantly less, while the remaining seven percent were undecided.

About half (45 percent) of women would be prepared to live with a man who earned significantly less, while 25 percent would not. Thirty percent of women had trouble answering this delicate question.

It is natural for women — who usually have an eye not just on their own welfare but on their children's future too — to prefer their partner to have a high salary. According to the survey, 80 percent of women would find such an arrangement agreeable.

In their view, such a financial imbalance would only benefit the family.

"I've been looking for such a man... He should earn at least twice as much as his partner," ladies say.

Only four percent of women are not ready to form a bond with a man who earns significantly more than they do: "I don't want people to say I was picked out of a garbage dump... There's no point relying on a man."

Sixteen percent of female respondents were undecided.

A relationship with a woman who earns significantly more than her other half would be acceptable to 61 percent of the men surveyed.

"There is no room in family life to be reproachful about income... Life is not measured in rubles," say male respondents.

Fourteen percent of men would not be able to find common ground with a woman who made more money, because such a union would "undermine their masculinity." Meanwhile, 25 percent of men said they could not say either way.

In actuality, 35 percent of Russian women have experience of being with a partner who earns less than they do. Almost one-in-two women (49 percent) admitted that they had not had occasion to build a relationship with a man who earned significantly less, while 16 percent answered that they could not remember these details.

On the other hand, 42 percent of women have dated or even lived with a man who earned much more. For some, the experience was positive — for others, only negative.

"I lived off him, became work-shy. In the end, we split up because he didn't want to support me any more... It drove me to earn more myself." Forty-four percent of Russian women have not had a relationship with a man who earned more, while 14 percent were undecided.

More than half of Russian men (53 percent) have had a relationship with a woman who earned less. Attitudes vary:

"My wife never worked — maybe that's why we have such a strong family... As soon as she began to earn more than me, we got divorced, after 14 years of marriage." Twenty-eight percent of men have never dated a woman who earned less, and 19 percent could not answer.

Finally, only 26 percent of Russian men can boast of a relationship with a woman who is financially more successful: "In the end, we had to split up, because it wasn't clear who wore the pants... My girlfriend earns 2-3 times more than me... It encouraged me to try and get a promotion."

62 percent of men have never entered into a relationship with a woman more financially successful than they, and 12 percent were undecided.

First published in Russian in RIA Novosti.

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