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Study: drinking to excess can doom a marriage

Couples walking down the aisle have traditionally made a vow to remain together "til death do us part." In today's times, however, that promise is losing much of its iron-clad connotation. A multitude of new pressures have made marriage a more and more difficult commitment; in many situations it has become simply unrealistic to stay together, and the 21st century's rising divorce rate has shown that many spouses no longer feel socially obligated to stick it out through a broken, potentially toxic marriage..

One situation that specifically illuminates this trend-and affects so many marriages both here in Texas and across the nation-is the difficulty and danger that alcohol abuse can engender amongst married couples.

Confirming both suspicions and real-life experiences of many nationwide, research that will appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research notes that marriages in which one or both spouses drinks heavily are markedly more likely to end in divorce.

The increased potential for divorce is at its highest when only one partner in the marriage has a drinking problem, which could include full-blown alcoholism and necessitate treatment. Unions in which both people struggle with drinking too much are more likely to lead to divorce than married couples that drink less heavily and/or frequently, but the risk of separation is less pronounced than the more one-sided situations.

The journal's study drew upon data from more than 20,000 marriages and is a further chronicling of alcoholism's incredibly destructive (and often dangerous) role in the public health of America.

Sometimes serious problems, even ones as destructive as alcoholism, are impossible to discover until months, years, or decades of married couples' living together. In these moments, the safety and long-term health of the entire household should be kept in mind. Divorce is almost never planned for, but could become absolutely necessary; those in need of counsel and legal insight should quickly contact a family law attorney.

Source: Fox News, "Heavy drinking raises risk of divorce," Stephanie Pappas, Feb. 6, 2013

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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