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Can a couple’s drinking habits predict divorce?

When you choose to get married, you have most likely found someone with whom you share similar interests and ideals. Some interests and ideals are so important that if you and your spouse are not on the same page, it could cause marital discord. This appears to be the case with alcohol consumption. A recent study at the University of Buffalo found that couples with similar drinking habits are more likely to have a successful marriage than those whose drinking habits differ.

The study followed the drinking patterns of 634 couples through their first nine years of marriage. According to the results, 50% of couples in which one spouse consumed alcohol significantly more than the other spouse ended up divorcing. Conversely, the divorce rate dropped to 30% among couples who had similar drinking habits. This decrease remained constant regardless of whether the couples drank heavily or drank little - the importance was the compatible amount of drinking. Thus, if both spouses are drinking heavily, their likelihood of divorce does not increase, according to this study.

It is not surprising that a difference in alcohol consumption could spell trouble for a marriage. In fact, a ground for divorce in Georgia is habitual drunkenness. OCGA §19-5-3(9). For a happy marriage, it is important to find a partner with whom you share interests and hobbies. Or, ifyour interests differ, make sure they are differences you can live with. If one person does not like to drink at all while the other chooses alcohol as her/her weekend pastime, your marriage maybe headed for disaster.


Family Law (general)
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