Want To Stay Married? Better Pick Someone With The Same Vices As You

shutterstock_68334406I’ve always confidently asserted that two people in a relationship should not have the same vice. I saw the movie Sid and Nancy in the seventh grade and it scarred me for life. Apparently I was wrong. People in a relationship should totally have the same vice. Well, at least they should aim for the same alcohol consumption.

According to a new study by the The Norwegian Institute of Public Health,  spouses who consumed similar quantities of alcohol were less likely to divorce than those whose drinking habits differed drastically.

For straight couples where the man was a heavy or “hazardous” drinker, the divorce rate was 13.1%. When the woman was the heavy or hazardous drinker, the divorce rate jumped to 26.8%. Couples in which both spouses were heavy drinkers had a divorce rate if 17.2%. If both spouses were light drinkers, however, the divorce rate was a mere 5.8%.

Not surprised at all that alcohol consumption effects relationships. I was a bartender for 20 years and I can confidently assert that heavy drinkers are assholes. I’m also not surprised that the divorce rate was twice as high among couples in which the female was the heavier drinker. As a woman and dater of men, I can also confidently assert that women put up with waaaay more shit than men do. Okay, I’m generalizing – but the statistics show that I’m right.

Two heavy drinkers in a relationship have a higher divorce rate than two light drinkers. Also not surprised by that. That goes back to my original thought that two people should not have the same vice. I think that drives the balance in a relationship all out of whack. We need each other’s mild judgements to keep us in line, am I right? Well, I guess only if you are like me and could happily spend the day gallivanting from restaurant to restaurant tasting all the new cocktails you just read about in New York magazine. Is it just me, or do they always look amazing?

Whatever your drinking habits, the results of the study kind of prove that those who do things in moderation are generally easier to live with. These couples probably go to the gym together and then head to the farmer’s market on the way home to cook a fresh, organic meal that they will consume with approximately a half a glass of wine. We all need to be more like them.

You first.

(photo: Yuri Arcurs/ Shutterstock.com)

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  • Danielle S.

    Interesting, both my spouse and I are teetotalers, and I find it a bit odd that this study doesn’t address couples who choose not to imbibe at all. And no, by teetotaler I don’t mean I drink “occasionally”, I mean that if I ever have a drink (usually because of social pressure) I go YEARS before I have another one.

    • Harriet Meadow

      Maybe they lumped teetotalers into the “light drinkers” category? I mean, it doesn’t get much lighter than that. =)

    • http://www.facebook.com/paul.white.3532507 Paul White

      It’s a distinct difference. 0 versus some but in moderation…

  • http://www.facebook.com/paul.white.3532507 Paul White

    I don’t know. Is moderate drinking really a vice? I loves me some whiskey (I’m sipping some right now actually). My wife is almost a teetotaller though.

  • K.

    Um yes, it’s harder to stay married if one of you is a borderline alcoholic. Yes, I would think that to be so.

  • LiteBrite

    I think couples who have similar drinking habits probably also have similar values which most likely contributes more to happiness than actual the actual vice.

    I also saw “Sid and Nancy..” (Several times actually.) Yeah, scarred me for life too, but most of us aren’t ex-punk rocker heroin addicts.