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Couples Who Drink Together Are Happier Together, Study Finds

Couples Who Drink Together Are Happier Together, Study Finds

We all want to know the key to a successful and happy relationship. Mutual respect, having similar life goals, trust, a sense of humour and openness with each other are fundamental traits of a good relationship, but what else helps you along your journey to a successful and happy partnership?

Well, if you like to open the occasional bottle of wine then you may be in luck – but only if you share that bottle with your partner. It seems whether a partner’s drinking habits match our own could also be an important factor on how to have a happy relationship.

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New research from the University of Michigan has found that couples who drink together are happier than couples where only one partner drinks. In other words, couples who drink together, stay together. In particular, those with similar drinking habits are happier because it’s seen as a bonding activity rather like taking walks together but with more alcohol.

What The Study Involved

The team of researchers analysed data from a 10-year study involving 2,767 married couples over 50 in the U.S. The couples used in the research were married for 33 years on average and two-thirds were in their first marriage.

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Interviews and questionnaires about the quality of their marriage were undertaken every two years including questions about whether they felt their partner was too critical or demanding, how supportive and helpful they were in times of need and how irritating they found their spouse. They were also asked about their own drinking habits – if they drank, how often they drank, and how much they drank.

How To Have A Happy Relationship: What The Study Found

The data showed that, in more than half of the couples involved in the study, both partners did drink alcohol, with husbands more likely to drink than their wives. However, interestingly, general marriage dissatisfaction was higher when wives drank while their husbands refrained from drinking.

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It seems the amount of alcohol isn’t too influential – although couples may have reported drinking different amounts, this seemed to matter less. The only downside would be if one person was obviously considered to have a drinking problem which brings separate issues to any relationship.

The study also highlighted how much couples influence each other with their drinking habits when spending more time together whether taking long vacations or in long-term circumstances such as retirement. It seems drinking habits tend to mirror each other when spending long periods of time together.

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However, the experts say drinking in moderation with each other is an effective way to bring a sense of unity, fun, and togetherness to a relationship. It’s important to note that it’s all about similar drinking habits so those couples that are both tee-total were also found to have happy and successful relationships. They also stress that couples shouldn’t drink more or change the way they drink in hopes of improving a relationship. However, study author Dr. Kira Birditt does suggest it’s a good idea to occasionally abstain from drinking alcohol when your partner does, too.

‘We’re not suggesting that people should drink more or change the way they drink. We’re not sure why this is happening, but it could be that couples that do more leisure time activities together have better marital quality.’

So, if you want to know how to have a happy relationship – whether you enjoy long walks, go jogging together, do yoga classes together or any other hobby – pouring yourselves both a glass of wine and enjoying the company can be added to your list of bonding activities that go towards a better life together. In other words, if handled with care, drinking together can add a nice fuel to a relationship but hopefully without the nasty hangover the next morning.

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pexels.com

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Jenny Marchal

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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