Study links heavy drinking with divorce

A fascinating new study suggests that heavy drinking may be one of the worst habits a person can adopt if they plan to have a long and happy marriage.

According to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, excessive alcohol consumption is a problem in almost all Western nations, and the researchers there thought it would be worthwhile to examine what effects it had upon marriage.

Analyzing data from 19,977 married couples, all of whom began participating in a long-term health study back in the 1980s, the researchers discovered some disturbing trends.

Specifically, after the researchers controlled for factors such as demographics and mental distress, they found that alcohol use had a direct influence on the probability of divorce.

“Essentially, the more people drink, the higher is the risk of divorce,” said the lead researcher.

In married couples where one spouse was a heavy drinker and the other was only a light to moderate drinker, the odds of divorce went up significantly. In fact, the risk of divorce was three times higher for couples where the wife was the one who drank heavily.

Curiously, they also found that the risk of divorce was elevated yet less likely if both spouses were matched in their alcohol consumption.

“Couples who intend to marry should be aware of the drinking pattern of their partner since it may become a problem in the future,” said the lead researcher.

While it may be common knowledge that heavy drinking is never good for a marriage, it is interesting to see just how closely such behavior can be linked to divorce.

Stay tuned for more from our Ft. Worth family law blog …

To learn more about dissolution of marriage, spousal support, child custody or other divorce-related issues, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.


Fox News, “Heavy drinking raises risk of divorce,” Stephanie Pappas, Feb. 6, 2013