Why Married Women Drink More Than Their Single Counterparts

Women's Dating

Why Married Women Drink More Than Their Single Counterparts

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Written by: Dr. Wendy Walsh

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Known as America's Relationship Expert, Dr. Wendy Walsh is an award-winning television journalist, radio host & podcaster, and the author of three books on relationships and thousands of print and digital articles. More than 1.5 million people follow her sage advice on social media. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and teaches in the Psychology Department at California State University Channel Islands and has been the host of "The Dr. Wendy Walsh Show" on iHeart Radio's KFI AM 640 since 2015. Walsh is also a former Emmy-nominated co-host of "The Doctors," as well as former host of the nationally syndicated show "EXTRA." She was named a Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2017 after speaking out about harassment at a major news network.

See full bio »

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

Discuss This! Discuss This!
Advertiser Disclosure

Marriage has long been known to curb men’s drinking, but new research reveals the opposite is true for married women. A walk down the aisle may make a woman more likely to drink alcohol. But it’s not because she’s unhappy.

Why do women who’ve tied the knot drink more than their single, divorced or widowed counterparts?

According to Corinne Reczek, the lead sociologist of the new study, women are more likely to drink with their husbands. In general, married men drink less and married women meet them at that mark by drinking more.

Influence on drinking habits.

It seems that both spouses have an influence on each other’s drinking habits after getting hitched. So while she may convince her hubby to stay home instead of going out with the guys, she’ll still join in on his drinking by having a beer at home with him.

Naturally, humans tend to engage in the same behaviors as those they surround themselves with, so it makes sense that married women drink more.

But after a divorce, men are more likely to hit the bottle while the opposite is true for women, the study shows.

The researchers suggest that this is because men tend to use external coping skills when they are distressed. This means they’ll opt to go to the bar and grab a beer with some buddies rather than staying in.

Women, on the other hand, internalize, which often leads to development of depression. Watching chick flicks and eating a carton of Ben & Jerry’s is one of those internal coping mechanisms many women resort to after a rough breakup.

Marriage’s effect can be a good thing.

Marriage’s effect on a couple’s drinking habits can be a good thing as long as one of the partners doesn’t have a serious drinking problem.

Researchers suggest that alcohol can help couples bond. And there’s also research that long-term couples who drink in moderation report fewer drinking-related problems than those who have recently suffered a divorce.

This is especially true for divorced men, who drink significantly more than married men.

So, if putting a ring on it means men will drink more and women will drink less, most couples will dovetail and drink moderately, which hasn’t been shown to have any negative health effects. So cheers to the bride and the groom!

Advertiser Disclosure

DatingAdvice.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). DatingAdvice.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

Our Editorial Review Policy

Our site is committed to publishing independent, accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines. Before articles and reviews are published on our site, they undergo a thorough review process performed by a team of independent editors and subject-matter experts to ensure the content’s accuracy, timeliness, and impartiality. Our editorial team is separate and independent of our site’s advertisers, and the opinions they express on our site are their own. To read more about our team members and their editorial backgrounds, please visit our site’s About page.