Not surprisingly, alcohol consumption is a serious source of marital turmoil for many couples. What is surprising is that, for some couples, the problem is not the drinking, but rather one spouse’s unwillingness to drink. That is exactly what is suggested by a recent study, according to a new article from USA Today.
Drinking Together Does Not Necessarily Lead To Happiness
The study states that in marriages where the wife drank and the husband did not, the wife tended to be dissatisfied with the marriage. In general, couples who reported that they both drank tended to get along better. Actually, they stated that they are less irritated with each other. The study’s lead author is quick to clarify: “less irritated – not necessarily happy.” Happiness is much more complicated to measure.
This Matter Is Much More Complex Than It Seems
The USA Today piece simplifies the study and an issue that is multilayered and complex. For example, in situations where a wife drinks and a husband does not, the question must be asked, why does the husband abstain from alcohol? Is he a recovering alcoholic? Does alcohol consumption affect him negatively? Furthermore, what other elements of the marriage could be the cause of dissatisfaction?
While the study itself addresses some of these issues, the USA Today article seems to make the presumption that alcohol consumption is one-size-fits-all. That is not the case. Not everyone consumes in moderation. In fact, alcohol consumption has also been tied to serious marital problems and alcohol is often involved in domestic violence cases.
The study is certainly interesting, but the reality is that every marriage is different. For every unhappy couple, there is a unique path to happiness. Yes, for some, drinking together may be part of that path. For others, serious analysis of the situation and divorce may be the key to both parties being truly happy.
If divorce is an option you are considering, you may want to discuss the matter with an experienced attorney. At Scardina Family Law, we can help you explore this option and understand the divorce process.