Last evening, after we put our baby down for the night, my wife and I sat and had a quiet drink on the back patio, after a long, fun and exhausting weekend.

Now, it turns out that science says we're onto something.

New research out this month suggests that married couples who have similar drinking habits are happier and more successful in their relationships. The researchers studied 2,767 American married couples over 10 years, according to Reuters, trying to figure out:

"whether they drank, how many days a week they drank and how many drinks they had on the days they drank ... [plus] the quality of their marriage, including whether they thought their spouses were too demanding or too critical, if their spouse was reliable when they needed help and if they found their spouse irritating."

The findings were reported in the Journals of Gerontology (Series B), where, in scientist-ese language, they wrote that couples who drink together "reported decreased negative marital quality over time, and these links were significantly greater among wives."

Now, there's an important caveat: It doesn't mean that husbands and wives should necessarily drink more.

If both spouses are teetotalers, the findings appear to be just as valid. The key is simply that you should marry someone who approaches alcohol the same way you do.

Or, if you're already married, it's that you should probably try to get on the same page when it comes to drinking.

One of the study's authors suggested that if your husband or wife has to quit drinking altogether for some reason, that you're likely to have a happier marriage if you agree to quit drinking as well.

(Just putting that one out there for all the fathers-to-be I know who haven't voluntarily stopped drinking while their wives are pregnant, for example.)

"This really isn't rocket science," as my colleagues at Scary Mommy put it. "There is a spectrum of enjoying adult beverages and you could be on it in a healthy way. But if you think indulging in alcohol is totally stupid, or have some very negative experiences related to alcohol (alcoholism in your family, for example) it's probably not a good idea to think something like drinking can be overlooked -- or that you can 'change' someone into being a non-drinker."

Published on: Jul 25, 2016
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