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Drinking & Non-Drinking Couples Have Equal Divorce RateNew research shows that couples who drink heavily and couples who don’t drink at all share the same rate when it comes to deciding whether to file for divorce, according to UPI.

It’s only when one spouse drinks heavily and the other does not that the marriage success rate falls.

The research comes by way of Kenneth Leonard, director of the University of Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions, and co-authors Gregory Homish and Philip Smith of the university’s Department of Community Health and Health Behavior. Together, the trio tracked 634 couples from the time of their weddings through the first nine years of marriage and published their findings in the December issue of Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.

Hard Data

According to the specifics, heavy drinking was defined as drinking six or more drinks at one time or drinking to the point of becoming intoxicated.

The study lasted for nine years and over the course of it, close to 50 percent of couples where only one partner drank heavily ended up filing divorce papers. Couples who maintained either a drinking pattern or non-drinking pattern divorced at a rate of 30 percent.

“This research provides solid evidence to bolster the commonplace notion that heavy drinking by one partner can lead to divorce,” Leonard said in a statement. “Although some people might think that’s a likely outcome, there was surprisingly little data to back up that claim until now.”

As for the finding that heavy drinking of both partners did not factor in to divorce, Leonard speculated that “Heavy drinking spouses might be more tolerant of negative experiences related to alcohol due to their own drinking habits,” adding that it did not exonerate drinking from causing other negative aspects of family life.

“While two heavy drinkers may not divorce, they may create a particularly bad climate for their children,” Leonard said.

In Other Words…

If you’re concerned that your spouse is drinking too heavily, the answer is not to break open a bottle yourself.

Substance abuse is still a leading factor behind divorce because it’s somewhat rare that two people with the same addiction problem get together.

Should you need to file divorce forms over a problem that has become too much to handle, let us help. Our court-approved forms and easy, affordable filing process can take much of the cost and headache out of the situation.


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