The Role of Drink within Present Day Marriage

Alcohol is often referred to as the social lubricant, but it can, and most definitely does, throw fuel onto already challenging relationships within a marriage. A study presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association has revealed a number of little known fact about the drinking culture within marriage, some that will surprise you.

Drunk Couple ArguingMarried Men and Women Drink for different reasons!

The association a spouse has with booze depends on gender says study author Corinne Reczek, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cincinnati.

Wives, it seems, are not the teetotallers they used to be, but on the whole they are still less obsessed with the mind altering effects of alcohol than men.

Men hit the bottle when:

Researchers involved in the above study say that a man is more likely to hit the bottle during or after a divorce. A women, on the other hand, sees her alcohol intake go up within a marriage, whereas a man’s alcohol consumption goes up after a split.

Changing Trends

Generally speaking though, men do still drink more than women. No news there of course. But what is revealing is that women are drinking more in wedlock whereas men tend to cut down, especially in the early years of fledgling matrimony. Researcher Corinne Reczek said:

“We find that unmarried and divorced women actually drink less than their continuously married counterparts”. “For men, those who were recently divorced have the highest number of drinks and men who are married have the lowest number.”

Typically men have often used drink to help them cope with stress. So what the above indicates is that men are less anxious when married than when separated or divorced. Women cope differently. They usually turn to food or the comfort of family members, or close friends, to help them manage stressful situations.

Domestic Violence and Alcohol

Apart from the long-term harm to health caused by alcohol abuse, let’s not forget it’s also a mind altering beverage that often brings with it verbal aggression and domestic violence within certain people, both men and women. Although wife beating is a growing concern, husband bashing is also a on the increase too, and alcohol quite often plays a big role in these areas.

Men Driving their Womenfolk to Drink?

When asked, the female participants in this study said that they drank as they did because their husbands introduced them to alcohol. They point out that after divorce, their urge to drink goes with the man, but hey, that’s something for another News story.

If you have something to say on this topic, please leave your comments below or start/join a conversation in the 50ish interactive forums.

About Andy Aitch

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