Beyonce may have known something we didn’t when she titled her three time platinum track Drunk in love. Recent study published in the Journals of Gerontology B: Psychological Sciences shows that couples who drank together stayed together.
Not really but close enough. The study showed that couples that involved both partners with drinking or abstaining from alcohol had less martial problems than those where only one partner did the boozing.
The research, published in Journals of Gerontology B: Psychological Sciences, took into account survey responses from 2,767 married couples participating in a long-term Health and Retirement Survey.
Over a period of ten years,that’s a lot of wine in my life, all participants sat interviews with researchers and answered questions about their drinking habits – whether they drank, how many days a week they drank and how many drinks they had each day.
They also answered questions about the quality of their marriage, including whether they thought their spouses were too demanding or too critical, if their spouse was reliable when they needed help and if they found their spouse irritating.
Results showed that in more than half of couples, both spouses drank. Husbands were more likely to drink than wives. But particularly for wives, there was a problem when only one of the spouses drank. (Probably because, let’s say, most evenings ended on a limp note)
When wives drank and the husbands didn’t, wives reported they were more dissatisfied with their marriage.
“The study shows that it’s not about how much they’re drinking, it’s about whether they drink at all,” Birditt said.
But, she emphasized, drinking among older adults is becoming an increasing problem, “especially among baby boomers, who seem more accepting of alcohol use.”
It also shows that partners influence each other in a relationship, she added.
Birditt speculates that spouses have a huge impact on each other, especially when they’re older and retired and spending a lot of time together. She suggests that when one spouse has to stop drinking, the other should stop as well.
Another intriguing finding was the number of people in the study who were heavy drinkers, noted Dr. Fred Blow, also at the University of Michigan, who was not involved with the study.
About 20 percent of men and 6 percent of women had significant drinking problems in this study, he said.
“Problem drinkers are a whole different kettle of fish,” he said. “Serious heavy drinkers have disruptive relationships with people, particularly their partners. That’s an important issue that should be looked at going forward.”
All this reading has me thirsty, Wine anyone? Follow me on Twitter HERE
Study: Drinking Patterns Among Older Couples: Longitudinal Associations With Negative Marital Quality