A recent study published in the online journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research showed that couples who had different drinking habits divorced more than couples who drank similar amounts. The Los Angeles Times reports on the story here.
Researchers in Norway studied 19,777 married couples. They found that divorce is higher in general for couples that drank heavily, and also if one partner drinks more than the other—especially if the heavy drinker is the wife. Statistically, couples where the wife was the heavier drinker had a divorce rate of 26.8%; in couples where the husband was the heavier drinker the rate was 13.1%. For couples where both the husband and the wife were heavy drinkers, the divorce rate was 17.2%.
Researchers had a couple of theories on why the rate is highest when the wife drinks more. Since alcohol affects women more strongly than men, Fartein Ask Torvik, the lead author on the study, believed that their consumption may put them more at risk for making impaired decisions. In addition, Torvik suggested that heavy drinking may be viewed as “incompatible” with traditional female roles in a marriage.
Ellinor F. Major, director of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, advised couples to be aware of their partner’s drinking pattern. She also suggested that couples should try to match their drinking patterns, and keep their consumption on the lighter side. According to the study, couples who both reported being light drinkers only divorced 5.8% of the time.
Divorce in Illinois can be on fault grounds, or no fault grounds—entitled “irreconcilable differences.” If you’re considering filing for divorce, or your spouse has petitioned you, it is best to speak with a lawyer about your next steps. Contact our firm in Naperville today.