A couple who drink together, stay together…or they will at least have a lower divorce rate.
Will alcohol take a toll on your relationship? Well, only if one partner’s drinking habits differ much more than his or her significant other’s. According to a study at the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions (RIA), the divorce rate is much higher among couples with a spouse who was a heavy drinker.
The study was conducted with 634 married couples and observed them from their wedding day until their ninth year of marriage. Kenneth Leonard (PhD), the director of RIA and lead author of this study, commented: “Our results indicate that it is the difference between the couple’s drinking habits, rather than the drinking itself, that leads to marital dissatisfaction, separation and divorce.”
Marriages with one heavy drinker (someone who drinks six or more drinks at one time or drinking to intoxication) had a 50% divorce rate, compared to 30% among couples in which both were heavy drinkers. The divorce rate among non-heavy drinkers was the same as the latter.
In a few cases in which the missus was the heavy drinker, the divorce rate was slightly higher. Leonard remarked however, that this finding was not statistically significant, and that further research might point towards conflict of gender roles when it comes to women drinking.
Watch the research video: