A recent study on The Influence of Alcohol Consumption Among Partners in Newly Cohabiting Relationships hoped to reveal if a cohabiting partner’s alcohol consumption habits influence their partner’s consumption habits and vice versa.

The Study

The researchers analyzed survey data from over 1,400 heterosexual couples living together between 2001 and 2016. Findings suggest that living together may be impacting cohabiting partners’ behaviors, particularly concerning drinking habits. Data indicates that the drinking patterns of one partner could be a significant predictor of both partners’ future alcohol consumption.

Furthermore, the study found that the woman’s drinking patterns exerted a significant influence on her male partner’s consumption. In this study, the women drank less than their male partners in the beginning stages of cohabitation. As time passed, the male partners would also lessen their alcohol consumption, while the women’s alcohol intake maintained consistently over time. This finding also suggests that the opposite may occur. Therefore, if a woman drinks excessively before moving in with her male partner, he could, in turn, increase his alcohol consumption as well.

Key Takeaways

In general, women have greater influence over their partner’s drinking than men. However, partners who are cohabiting should understand and respect the potential impact and influence that their alcohol consumption may have on their partner. The research suggests that if one partner in the household drinks, the other may be socially pressured to do so as well since there is likely to be alcohol readily available. Furthermore, partners who live together may attend more social events and activities, which gives them the chance to engage in drinking behaviors on a more consistent basis. Consequently, if one or both of the partners are experiencing an alcohol dependency, both may need to seek treatment to limit the influence of their drinking habits on each other.

Looking for Help?

Alcohol use is extremely prevalent in today’s society. Substance and alcohol use disorders continue to increase as a result. When living with a partner, habits and routines begin to align or become at odds with one another. Compromise and understanding are crucial for a healthy cohabiting atmosphere. Research shows that relationships have a direct influence on drinking habits. Therefore, it is important to consider seeking treatment for both partners, regardless of who is experiencing alcohol and/or drug dependency. At Fort Behavioral Health, we know how difficult experiencing drug and/or alcohol addiction can be, especially when a partner is involved. We approach treatment by looking at and healing the core issues that created the addiction in the first place so that you can learn to cope in a healthy way. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol, call us today at 844.332.1807.


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