Getting hammered at the bars might not be the most sensible way to meet the partner of your dreams, but according to recent research, it might be a decent way to keep them. Though to be fair to the research, if you and your spouse are a couple of teetotalers, that works too.
In a study entitled “Drinking Patterns Among Older Couples: Longitudinal Associations With Negative Marital Quality” – which sounds like it was commissioned after someone’s spouse came home too late from a night of drinking – researchers at the University of Michigan found that older married couples with similar drinking habits tended to be happier than those where one was a more significant lush. Participants included 2,767 American couples over the age of 50 who were married for an average of 33 years.
“The study shows that it’s not about how much they’re drinking, it’s about whether they drink at all,” Dr. Kira Birditt, the study’s author, told Reuters. However, she also stressed, “We’re not suggesting that people should drink more or change the way they drink.” In fact, she said her team wasn’t even positive what the cause of phenomenon might be, “but it could be that couples that do more leisure time activities together have better marital quality” – meaning the drinking might have nothing to do with it at all.
Interestingly, one source of significant dissatisfaction came from couples where the wives drank and the husbands didn’t. But it wasn’t the husbands upset that their wives were drinking too much; instead, the wives were the ones who were unhappy. So take note, husbands over 50: If your wife seems to be drinking to deal with a problem, that problem might be you.