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Study Shows That Heavy Drinking Leads to Divorce

 Posted on March 15, 2013 in Divorce

The LA Times is reporting that a new study that looked at data collected from almost 20,000 married couples in Norway concluded that alcohol consumption by each spouse directly affects the divorce rate of the couple. More specifically, couples who had about the same levels of alcohol consumption were less likely to divorce than those couples with one spouse who was a heavy drinker, and especially if the heavy drinker happened to be the wife. Likewise, couples who consumed more alcohol in general were more likely to divorce than those couples who considered themselves to be lighter drinkers.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health researchers found that divorce was statistically more common among couples who had high rates of alcohol consumption, with a divorce rate of 17.2%. However, the highest divorce rate of 26.8% was found in marriages in which the wife reported being the heavy drinker, as opposed to a divorce rate of 13.1% for couples in which the husband was reported to be the heavy drinker. At the other end of the spectrum, couples in which both spouses were light drinkers had only a 5.8% divorce rate.

Researchers attributed the difference in divorce rates depending on which spouse was the heavy drinker to the fact that women tend to be more strongly affected by alcohol than men, which led to more impairment and thus a greater risk of divorce. They also speculated that a woman who was a heavy drinker might be seen as stepping outside of the traditional female role, which could cause problems within some marriages.

While alcohol consumption is only one of many factors that may lead to divorce, it is a common problem in many marriages, both in the United States and abroad. When one or both spouses have an alcohol problem, the potential for divorce appears likely to be higher, particularly when a spouse is unable or unwilling to confront the issue. If you or a loved one is facing a divorce, whether it involves alcohol usage by your spouse or not, you will need the services of a skilled and knowledgeable DuPage County family law attorney to help you through the process. Contact our office today, and let us explore all of your options together.

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