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Drinking habits affect likelihood of divorce

A recent study from Norway has found a link between a couple’s pattern of alcohol use and the likelihood of divorce.

The study, by researchers at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, found that:

  • On average, the more a couple drinks, the higher the risk of divorce.
  • The greatest risk of divorce occurs when it is the wife who drinks the most compared to her husband.
  • Couples with a similar consumption of alcohol have a lower divorce rate than couples with different drinking patterns. This was true regardless of whether both partners were heavy drinkers, or both abstained.
  • However, a couple where both partners drank heavily have a higher risk of divorce than a couple who both drink sparingly.
  • A marriage where both partners abstained from drinking alcohol had the lowest risk of divorce.

“The divorce rate was highest among couples in which the woman drank a lot compared to the man,” commented lead author Fartein Ask Torvik. “There are several possible explanations for this.

“In general, women are more affected by drinking than men are. In addition, it is probably less socially acceptable for women to drink a lot, because it interferes with female roles in family life. It is also more noticeable when women drink, because we are more used to men drinking more.”

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