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New Study Links Divorce to Spouse's Alcohol Consumption Habits

Posted on in Divorce

A recent study, conducted by the Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions (RIA), has linked the differences in a spouse's alcohol consumption habits to divorce. Kenneth Leonard, Ph.D., RIA director and lead author of the study stated,"Our results indicate that it is the difference between the couple's drinking habits, rather than the drinking itself, that leads to marital dissatisfaction, separation and divorce."

alcohol consumption and marriage IMAGE Researchers followed 634 couples over the first nine years of their marriage and found that close to 50 percent of couples "where only one partner drank more heavily" would end up divorcing, while the divorce rates for other couples was only 30 percent. The study also found that the divorce rate remained the same for couples where both partners consumed large amounts of alcohol, showing that they were just as likely to stay together as couples who were not heavy drinkers or drinkers at all. "This research provides solid evidence to bolster the commonplace notion that heavy drinking by one partner can lead to divorce. Although some people might think that's a likely outcome, there was surprisingly little data to back up that claim until now," stated Leonard.

The study defined a heavy drinker as one who drank "six or more drinks at one time or drinking to intoxication." And while moderate alcohol consumption may not be harmful or lead to alcoholism, MedlinePlus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, reports that "about 18 million adult Americans are alcoholics or have alcohol problems." Alcoholism is a disease with four main features, including craving, loss of control, physical dependence and tolerance.

As current statistics indicate that nearly half of marriages end in divorce, this study clearly highlights the significant connection to drinking and marital problems. If you or someone you know is experiencing marital problems in Texas, it may be beneficial to seek professional assistance. And if the problems are beyond reconciliation, the best option may be seeking legal assistance. Contact an experienced Austin family law attorney who will represent your best interests and will compassionately guide you through the legal process.

The Law Offices of William D. Powers

8911 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Building 2, Suite 2105, Austin, TX 78759