Next time you’re looking to go out for a drink, think twice before calling up your friends to meet you at the sports bar or inviting your co-workers out for Happy Hour. Your best drinking buddy might just be your spouse (or girlfriend).
Researchers from the University of Michigan analyzed feedback from 2,767 married couples who participated in a health and retirement survey before concluding that couples who share similar drinking habits are happier together. The study found that if one partner remained sober, while the other imbibed, the couples were more likely to report they weren’t satisfied in their marriage.
“We think that the takeaway is that it appears couples with similar drinking habits are less irritated with one another,” said study author Kira Birditt, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. “Of course we can only speculate why this is the case. It could be that they have similar social and leisure interests.” Women especially became unsatisfied if they were drinking and their husbands were not.
The study was published in The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Series. Researchers interviewed couples, who, on average, had been together for 33 years.
For the study, researchers asked the participants about how much booze they consumed as well as their drinking habits. To help measure marital quality, they asked participants whether their spouses were too demanding, critical, let them down, or got on their nerves.
The study found that it’s not about the amount in which couples are drinking (so you don’t have to match your spouse drink for drink), but whether or not they drink at all.
So, grab a six-pack on your way home and throw some back with your wife… you know, for the sake of science and your marriage.