Is marriage driving you to drink?
When you marry the love of your life you gain a multitude of benefits – happiness, security, companionship, to name a few – however, research now suggests you could also gain a love for the bottle. Yes, a new US study confirms that married women actually drink more on average than women who were never married, divorced or widowed.
Married men, on the other hand, down fewer beers than their single counterparts and spend more time drinking with their wives than with their mates.
So what is it about marriage that drives women to drink? Researchers say women become influenced by their husband's alcohol consumption, as men drink more on average. The women studied also reported enjoying spending time drinking with their beaus.
"Our qualitative findings suggest that being married to a man who is more likely to drink creates a new social environment that may promote drinking among women," lead researcher Corinne Reczek, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Cincinnati, said.
The study was the first time sociologists (from the University of Cincinnati, Pennsylvania State University, Rutgers University and the University of Texas at Austin) have looked at alcohol use among different types of unmarried people – the never-married, the divorced and the widowed – as well as the married.
The findings suggest that a wife can have a positive effect on her husband with the study stating: "Men's alcohol use and overall health benefits from women's influence in marriage, while women's alcohol use is increased with marriage, possibly resulting in lower rates of wellbeing for these women."
While the jury is still out on the health consequences for women, researchers added that having a drinking partner as a spouse may in fact help bolster relationship quality. So drink to a long and happy marriage.
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