If you need an excuse to crack open a bottle tonight, this could be the perfect excuse.
Couples with the same drinking habits tend to be happier than those where only one partner drinks, a study has found.
Whether they are heavy drinkers or tee-total, women, in particular, become dissatisfied if they drink and their husband doesn’t, researchers said.
The study’s author, Dr Kira Birditt, of the University of Michigan, said: “We’re not suggesting that people should drink more or change the way they drink.”
“We’re not sure why this is happening, but it could be that couples that do more leisure time activities together have better marital quality.”
In other words, drinking may not be the only reason they’re getting along, Dr Birditt said.
To come to their conclusions, the team analysed responses from 2,767 married couples who were involved in the long-term Health and Retirement Survey.
Between 2006 and 2016, the people in the study had a face to face interview with researchers and answered questionnaires about their drinking habits.
They revealed whether they drank, how many days a week they drank and how many drinks they consumed in a sitting.
Couples were married for an average of 33 years and about two-thirds were in their first marriage.
They also answered questions about the quality of their marriage, including whether they thought their spouses were too demanding or too critical, if their spouse was reliable when they needed help and if they found their spouse irritating.
The researchers found that in more than half of couples, both spouses drank.
Husbands were more likely to drink than wives. But particularly for wives, there was a problem when only one of the spouses drank.
When wives drank and the husbands didn’t, wives reported they were more dissatisfied with their marriage.
‘The study shows that it’s not about how much they’re drinking, it’s about whether they drink at all,’ Dr Birditt told Reuters Health.