• Similar drinking habits tend to equal happier marriages among older couples (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Research from the University of Michigan looks at how a couple's drinking habits influence their marital bliss.
Bianca Soldani

21 Jul 2016 - 11:37 AM  UPDATED 2 Oct 2017 - 12:16 PM

The answer to a long-lasting marriage may just be at the bottom of your wine glass.

Research looking at the drinking patterns of older couples has found that those with similar habits report more satisfaction in their marriages.

The study published in the Journals of Gerontology is based on US data from 4,864 people over the age of 50, who have been married an average of 33 years.

Over a ten year period beginning in 2006, the participants were asked whether they drank alcohol, how often and how much, as well questions relating to the quality of their marriage, according to Reuters.

Results indicate that those with a similar approach to alcohol consumption – whether that be drinking together or not at all - were more satisfied in their marriages.

Conversely, couples in which one person drinks and the other does not were more dissatisfied, with women reporting higher levels of marital dissatisfaction than men in these cases.

When analysing the relationship between alcohol consumption and martial quality, “the study shows that it’s not about how much they’re drinking, it’s about whether they drink at all,” author Dr. Kira Birditt tells Reuters.

She adds that the results could reflect "that couples that do more leisure time activities together have better marital quality" and doesn't recommend that couples drink more.

Interestingly, a report by the NSW Department of Health revealed this week that Australians over 65 are in the age group most likely to drink alcohol on a daily basis.

It found that one in seven over 65s are consuming alcohol every day compared to just one in 100 people aged between 16 and 24. However, harmful drinking is highest among the latter age group and lowest for people over 65.

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