A new study into the love lives of older couples found those who drink together stay together
Those in long-term relationships often face a battle when it comes to going the distance. Falling into routines, spicing things up and trying bigger and bolder things is the kind of advice offered in order to keep a couple together. But now a new study suggests the simple way of staying together is simply going for a few drinks.
The research, published in The Journals of Gerontology, reveals that pairs who take the time to consume alcohol together are more likely to say that they have a less negative quality of love life. The findings were also “significantly greater among wives.”
When it comes to couples aged 50 and over, the researchers observed happier marriages if both partners drank. Similar results were also noted if both members of the couple abstained from drinking. But in cases where one member was prone to getting drunk while his or her partner stayed sober, those couples were statistically more likely to say their love lives were unsatisfying, particularly when it came to female spouses.
“Wives who reported drinking alcohol reported decreased negative marital quality over time when husbands also reported drinking and increased negative marital quality over time when husbands reported not drinking,” the study said.
The research team questioned nearly 4,900 people in sets of couples, most of whom had been together for more than 33 years, with the majority of them still in their first marriage. The volunteers answered questions on how many times a week they drank alcohol and how much they consumed then they did. The pairs were also asked if they thought their husband or wife was “irritating, critical or too demanding.”
“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,” Dr Kira Birditt of Michigan University told Reuters. “The study shows that it’s not about how much they’re drinking, it’s about whether they drink at all.”
The researchers were keen to point out that while drinking together did appear to lead to a more satisfied relationship, relying on alcohol comes with its own hindrances. Birditt revealed that drinking to excess has become a major issue for older people, “especially among baby boomers, who seem more accepting of alcohol use.”