When two people decide to get married, one of the vows they often make to each other is to remain a husband and wife “until death do us part.” However, with the divorce rate as high as it is and the challenges of maintaining a marriage in today’s world so great, that promise may not be as iron-clad as its wording appears.
One reason for the increase in divorces, both in Oklahoma and across the nation, has been the change in social norms and conventional behavior when it comes to matters of substance abuse. Many partners who are married to someone with an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or another harmful substance are choosing to do what’s right for them and their children and leave the marriage, rather than stay attached to the problem.
New research that will appear in a forthcoming issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research further asserts the ill omen that alcohol abuse can have for a couple’s marriage. According to the journal’s study, which drew data from nearly 20,000 married couples, the more one spouse drinks in a marriage, the more likely a divorce is imminent.
The study also noted that divorce was more likely amongst marriages in which both partners had alcohol problems, but not as heightened as situations in which only one partner struggled with drinking. The study also noted alcohol’s link to relationships that are more frequently verbally and physically abusive.
Although couples should always do their best to be aware of their future partner’s drinking before walking down the aisle, sometimes it is impossible to know that a drinking problem or full-blown alcoholism will develop, or if it already exists. Those that find themselves in a dangerous situation, one in which their spouse needs serious treatment, should also reach out to a family law attorney and explore the separation options available to them.