Here’s Why You Should Drink As Much (Or As Little) As Your Spouse

iStockphoto/Maciej Laska

iStockphoto/Maciej Laska

A few years ago, we told you about a study that had looked into the drinking habits of married couples, and declared that whether it was a lot or a little, when couples’ drinking habits were relatively similar, their marriages were usually in a much better place than unions where one was a frequent boozer and the other hardly ever opened a bottle. (“Duh,” said couples everywhere who fight when one is a good deal drunker than the other on any given night out.)

Well, that study had looked at 634 married couples into as many as nine years of marriage—and interestingly enough, we now have an updated study that’s revealed similar results—with even more evidence to back this all up.

Researchers at the University of Michigan looked into the habits of 2,767 married couples who had been married up to 33 years, conducting face-to-face interviews with them from 2006 until 2016. They asked about their drinking habits—frequency, quantity, and all that—and found that indeed, whether both spouses were constant guzzlers or never touched the stuff, it’s when they were on the same alcoholic page that they had the highest levels of marital satisfaction.

They discovered a few other things, too:

  • Husbands are more likely to drink than wives.
  • If it’s the wife who is drinking alone, though, a higher level of marital dissatisfaction was reported.
  • The author of the study, Dr. Kira Birditt, speculates that the findings are what they are, in part, because couples who spend their leisure time together taking part in similar activities find their marriage has a higher quality than couples who don’t.
  • Birditt also says that this study shows that spouses have such an impact on each other that when it comes to drinking, if one spouse has to stop for some reason, that it would be best if the other did, too.
  • Drinking among older adults is becoming a problem, especially among the baby boomer set—and furthermore, it kinda seems like a lot of people out there might be knocking back a lot more than they realize: about 20 percent of men and six percent of women were revealed to have a rather significant drinking problem through the course of the study.

So, there you have it: Scientific evidence that you should peer-pressure your spouse into joining you the next time you’re looking for a drink on a Tuesday and they’re trying to be responsible because they’ve got an 8am meeting tomorrow. It’s for your marriage!

RELATED: Study: Be As Drunk Or As Sober As Your Spouse, And You’re Good to Go 

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