Research has found that couples with similar drinking habits are happier than those with only one partner who drinks. The study, published in “The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Series,” involved married U.S. couples over age 50.
Responses from 4,864 married participants (2,767 couples) were gathered via face-to-face interviews and questionnaires conducted between 2006 and 2016. Inquiries included frequency and amount of drinking, as well as quality of marriage.
The couples’ drinking habits — similar or not — were more important than the amount they consumed. In over half of all couples, both spouses drank, while wives were dissatisfied when their husbands did not drink with them.
Dr. Kira Birditt, research author from the University of Michigan, told Reuters:
“We’re not sure why this is happening, but it could be that couples that do more leisure time activities together have better marital quality.”
The study also found that husbands were more likely to drink than their spouses. Though not involved in the research, Dr. Fred Blow, also from the University of Michigan, said 20% of men and 6% of women in the study had drinking problems:
“Serious heavy drinkers have disruptive relationships with people, particularly their partners. That’s an important issue that should be looked at going forward.”
Dr. Birditt made one thing clear, “We’re not suggesting that people should drink more or change the way they drink.”