High amounts of alcohol consumption have often been linked to divorce, but a new study calls this assumption into question.
Researchers reviewing data accumulated by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health found couples that drink about the same amount of alcohol are less likely to divorce than couples where one partner drinks more than the other.
The data looked at 19,977 married couples and tracked their alcohol consumption and relationship distress.
Researchers ultimately concluded more marital problems occur if one half of the couple drinks significantly more than the other, especially if the woman drinks heavier than the man.
“Couples that drink about the same amount
of alcohol are less likely to divorce.”
This is true whether both halves of the couple drink a lot, drink a little bit or abstain completely.
Couples that drink moderately or abstain completely from alcohol are still less likely to divorce than couples where both halves drink excessively, but asymmetry in alcohol consumption is far more likely to predict relationship distress than volume.
Researcher Ellinor F. Major explained it’s important to keep this data in mind when choosing a romantic partner.
“Couples who intend to marry should be aware of the drinking pattern of their partner since it may become a problem in the future,” she said. “Someone with a light or moderate alcohol use, who has a spouse who drinks heavily, should encourage that spouse to change their drinking pattern into light or moderate level if the main concern is a lasting marriage of good quality.”
Source: Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. Photo source: themodernindustry.com.