Who Answers?

Mismatched Drinking May Lead to Divorce


Marriage brings to mind wedding bells, newlywed bliss, and stress down the road. We know that financial problems, arguments over familial ideals, and coming from different places in life can lead to tension, and further down the road, divorce. However, it has recently been found that different drinking habits in a couple can be one of the reasons for divorce – especially in the case of a woman drinking substantially more than a man, rather than vice-versa. How is the consumption of alcohol such a monumentally determining factor in the fate of a relationship?

Naturally, if a couple is composed of someone who is an alcoholic and someone who is not, divorce is a common occurrence. But when a couple is composed of one person who simply intakes more alcohol than the other, what happens that things go so wrong? Well, firstly, it is important for us to understand what happens in a marriage in terms of drinking. One study has found that when people marry, women start consuming more alcohol and men consume less than what is normal for them. Interestingly, in a study by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, out of 20,000 couples the highest rate of divorce was among marriages where the woman drank more than the man – a divorce rate of 25%. However, that is not to say that men who consume more than their wives are exempt in this trend. Moreover, what may cause this phenomenon is the most intriguing part.

In our culture, equality is a determining factor of a successful interpersonal relationship. There are several reasons why this inequality could have such a detrimental effect on couples, ranging from assigned gender roles to a loss of patience. In marriages, women tend to start drinking more due to their partner’s higher intake, and men drink less in order to match their wives. However, when the woman surpasses the man’s intake, their assigned gender roles become seriously threatened. Women are generally viewed as responsible for care-giving and child rearing, despite their professions. When a woman drinks excessively, these roles are tested and often threatened. Another problem is that it is generally viewed as acceptable for men to drink heavily, whereas a woman may be socially looked down upon by her husband and his peers if she drinks more than her partner. Yet another point could be that women are seemingly more likely to stay in relationships with problems than their male counterparts, and this applies to alcohol as well. However, what do we choose to do with this information?

First and foremost, it is important for this conversation to take place in a couple. If this is a problem that is causing stress, it should be addressed; if need be, even with therapy. Couples should determine their comfort level in terms of their respective drinking. There are many stresses of marriages, and this could very well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Also, if a couple is steeped in alcoholic tendencies, it’s important to realize that simply getting married will not change your partner or their habits. All in all, mismatched drinking – alcoholically or not – may be the cause of problems, and eventually divorce.


Works Cited:

Burton, Natasha. “The Couple Who Drinks Together, Stays Together?” Cosmopolitan. Hearst Communications, Inc., 8 February 2013. Web . 3 April 2013. <Mhttp://www.cosmopolitan.com/celebrity/news/>.

Gerszberg, Caren Osten. “Marriage Leads to Women Drinking More and Men Drinking Less.” Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, LLC, 21 January 2013. Web. 4 April 2013. <http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/drinking-diaries/201301/>.

Nauert, Rick. “Higher RIsk of Dirvorce if Drinking Habits are Mismatched with Spouse.” Psych Central News. Psych Central, 6 February 2013. Web. 4 April 2013. <http://psychcentral.com/news/2013/02/06/higher-risk-of-divorce-if-drinking-habits-are-mismatched-with-spouse/51277.html>.


Related posts:

Written by

A native New Yorker, Bre loves the California scene and writing for Treatment4Addiction. She has been writing content for T4A for five months, and loves to learn new things, form opinions, and send them out to the world. Her interests include dance, singing, acting, talking with friends, being a daughter, and being the best big sister she can to her 16 year old brother. After attending ASU for a few months, she is interested in taking cosmetology classes and exploring her options. She looks forward to learning all she can, and doing something positive with that knowledge and experience.

Filed under: Addiction, Alcohol and Drugs, Latest News, Life, Love and Relationships, Substance Abuse · Tags: alcoholic, divorce, drinking habits, equality, gender roles, inequality, marriage, relationship, stress, therapy

Treatment4addiction.com is operated by Recovery Brands LLC, a subsidiary of American Addiction Centers, Inc.
Learn more about what this means here
© treatment4addiction.com 2018 All Rights ReservedPrivacy Policy | Terms Of Use
Treatment4addiction.com is operated by Recovery Brands LLC, a subsidiary of American Addiction Centers, INC.
An American Addiction Centers Resource