Aha! This Is Why Couples Who Drink Together Have Happier Marriages

Break out the matching wine glasses!

couples_drink_together_Courtney-KeatingiStock/Courtney Keating

When it comes to pouring a glass of vino, you might want to get your spouse involved. That’s what one recent study suggests, at least.

Researchers at the University of Michigan looked at the relationships of U.S. couples over age 50, and found that couples who reported drinking together also described their marriages as happier. Couples in which neither person drank were almost equally as satisfied.

For the study, researchers held face-to-face interviews with 2,767 couples. Each person was asked whether they drank, how often, and how much, as well as how they felt about their spouse in terms of demandingness, reliability, and annoyance.

Results showed it didn’t matter so much whether a couple drank or not, as long as both members of the union had similar habits. Men were more likely to drink than women, but women were more likely to express dissatisfaction when they, and not their husband, drank.

“It could be that couples that do more leisure time activities together have better marital quality,” Kira Birditt, a sociologist at the University of Michigan and lead author of the paper, told Reuters.

In other words, couples who find fun in similar activities—whether they involve alcohol or not–create more of a bond.

Still, Birditt doesn’t recommend changing your or your spouse’s habits as a result of the study. She does, however, suggest that if one spouse has to stop drinking, the other should consider doing so as well.

Birditt also stresses that just because a couple reported more irritation in their marriage, doesn’t mean the union is destined for failure. “Couples often stay together despite being irritated,” Birditt clarified in an email with Quartz.

So go forth and have that glass of wine with your partner. Or don’t. Whatever you do, do it together.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest