A new study has found that couple who drink together are generally more happy.
Published in The Journals of Gerontology, researchers wanted to see if there was a correlation between drinking and marital happiness, specifically among older couples.
The study found that: "Concordant drinking couples reported decreased negative marital quality over time, and these links were significantly greater among wives."
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.
To paraphrase this, it basically found that if the couple are drinking in moderation, they're both happy. But if only one of them is drinking, well, that's less good.
The key part of this 'happiness' drinking lies entirely with how much you drink and, obviously, at what time you're doing the drinking.
The findings of the research highlighted the importance of the drinking status, that being why, where and when you're consuming alcohol.
We shouldn't have to tell you that just one drink together is totally fine, and better for your happiness as a couple, as opposed to getting drunk off your face at the break of dawn.
The study continues:
These findings are particularly salient given the increased drinking among baby boomers and the importance of marital quality for health among older couples.
To conduct the study, they analysed 4,864 mixed participants who had all been married for roughly 33 years.
Dr. Kira Birditt spoke to Reuters about the study:
The study shows that it's not about how much they're drinking, it's about whether they drink at all.
We're not suggested that people should drink more or change the way they drink.
Birditt went on to speculate that spouses have a powerful impact on each other, giving the idea that if one were to stop drinking, the other should absolutely stop too.
Heavy drinkers were left out of the study pool.
Dr Fred Blow, from The University of Michigan, defended this choice:
Problem drinkers are a whole different kettle of fish. Serious heavy drinkers have disruptive relationships with people, particularly their partners. That’s an important issue that should be looked at going forward.
Whatever it is you take from this study, please drink responsibly.
For more information on drinking responsibly, visit Drinkaware.