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Rising number of divorces blamed on wives' drinking

Attorney says many breakups are caused by women's alcohol abuse.

By Kristin Wong Apr 5, 2013 5:47PM

Last year, we found out that married women are drinking more after marriage. Now, one expert says wives' boozing behavior is to blame for a rising number of divorces.

Family-law attorney Amanda McAlister told the Daily Mail that she sees 40 to 50 divorce cases each year in which excessive drinking is a contributing factor. In the majority of those cases, it's the woman who has the problem, she says.

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"Husbands will often initially cite a different reason for divorce, such as that their wife doesn’t work or help around the house," she said. "It only later comes to light that the reason she’s not doing so is because she’s often drunk or nursing a hangover."

She estimates that these types of divorces have increased about 70 percent in the past five years — a sobering statistic.

Carole Gomez/Getty Images

McAlister says sometimes these women drink at home as a way to cope with stress or depression. But many times, the drinking is more social and accompanied by a large network of friends and colleagues.

“Many of the men who come to me say their wives often don’t come home until 4 a.m.”

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Sadly, McAlister's claim may not be farfetched. A study from earlier this year found that heavy drinking and incompatible drinking increase the chance of divorce.

Researchers from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health studied data from nearly 20,000 married couples. They found that couples who consume the same amount of alcohol were less likely to divorce than couples who had mismatched drinking behavior. The kicker? The divorce risk was especially high if the woman was the one drinking heavily.

Fartein Ask Torvi, author of the study, offered a couple of explanations.

"A wife's heavy drinking probably also interferes more with general family life -- that is, the caring role of the mother, upbringing of children, etc. Perhaps the husband is more apt to the leave the spouse than is the wife when major problems occur."


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May 23, 2013 8:10PM

I  was married to an alcoholic wife for ten years, divorced her, because we had two children together and I traveled quite a bit, I was fearful for the children so allowed her to live with us. The hell and torment this disease inflicts on a family leaves everyone destroyed. I think its harder on the family than the drinker, they drink and pass out or go to the hospital to receive meds so they wont experience withdraw symptoms. Then listening to the blame and pointing of the finger how their life is so bad and your the reason she drinks. Finally the children grew up and moved away and then you look across the room at someone you cant stand to be left in the same room, no romance, visions of her while on a drunk, wetting herself sleeping all day and out all night. Then realize you have wasted good years for a selfish, self centered bitch and resent her, and she still blames your the bad guy. Go figure??

Apr 12, 2013 7:48AM
I've always blamed the rising divorce rate on Adolf Hitler and Shere Hite, myself.
Sit and think about that first one, in light of the latter.  It'll come to ya.
Apr 6, 2013 5:16PM
my wife has a problem with spending , I wish she did drink instead , at least I would know where the money went , I took her for help , but that did not help got her a job , she told me ahe was board  & needed something to do ,she worked for 2 years and took money from the payroll  and was arrested and has cost us a lot of money , from lawyers to fees,pay backs,etc, now she asked me the other day if she could use the car ,to go to a store to buy a pack of gum, she came back 3 hours latter , when I got in my car ,to go pay a bill , I looked in my change cup in my car , all the quarters were gone . so I don't think she was telling me the truth again. but what am I going to do , this is a sickness that you cant fix, the same for a person that's drinking , you have to let them hit bottom first , then you might be able to help , until then , there's not much you can do.  I'm still with her after all she has done 20 yr,s but I think I have to let her go .before we lose this too. sad in phila,pa.
Apr 6, 2013 12:40AM
Does this have anything to do with feminism?  Like women are trying to do the male mimicry that feminism requires instead of just doing what they would like to do on their own, and this is putting more pressure on them to try to accomplish both feminist female roles and what naturally comes with having kids, having a household, etc, etc;

If you gotta do  both, it might turn you into a whiskey-pukin' alkie.

Apr 6, 2013 12:15AM

my partner of 15 years could not stop drinking,

but then again, I knew her mother was an alcoholic,

but my lady, she was so against it that she cried in

the car the first time she was with me when I bought

a six pack...  so things like that comforted me about

her,   little did I know, that she would drink uncontrollably

for over 6 years and tie excuses for several sex flings

with strangers to it...  amazing we made it as long as

we did.   she only stopped drinking when she got

pregnant with the guy she ended up with after me,

but now the baby is 6 months old, and she is starting

to try the occassional evening wine again.  as with

when she was with me,  it started as a gradual, non

threatening buildup...  I believe before summer of

2014  she will be face down in front of some nighclub

at 3am,   or driven home at 4am by a strange guy she

swears she didn't have sex with.  her denial is the

real enemy.

Apr 6, 2013 12:10AM
I could have told you this 10 years ago

Apr 6, 2013 12:06AM
HAHAHA...I'm Drinking my Favorite Cab as I write....I told my Husband and he smirked. Communication is always key to a good relationship. Just sayin!!!!
Apr 6, 2013 12:02AM
Oh, yah there's one item I really need to instruct women on, because they can't seem to get it thru their emotion-fogged brains:

If you are depressed because you're fat: go exercise.  Don't eat more, drink more anything moronically stupid like that to combat your depression over being too fat.

If you don't like being fat, exercise 30 minutes non-stop 4 times a week.  And...try to eat when you're hungry, at least as much as possible, but not more often.

There, I just solved 50% of female depression cases.  Winner = me.

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