20/08/2012 11:36 BST | Updated 20/08/2012 11:45 BST

Marriage Drives Women To Drink And Curbs Alcohol Habit In Men, Research Suggests

New research finds that while a long-term marriage appears to curb men's drinking, it encourages women to drink more.

American researchers examined the use of alcohol in relationships from three major studies from the past decade and noted that women drink more after heading down the aisle.

Researchers found that married women consumed more drinks, in part because they lived with men who had higher levels of alcohol use.

married women drink more

However, while women knock back more wine in an attempt to keep up with their men, the husbands benefit from women's more moderate attitude to booze, and actually consume less.

According to a statement by the University of Cincinnati, married men reported consuming the lowest number of drinks, compared with single, divorced, and widowed men.

However, while women's alcohol intake increased, their husbands still drank proportionately more and reported higher levels of drink-related problems.

Interestingly, when relationships came to an end, researchers reported that men were more likely to hit the bottle, while long-term divorced or recently widowed women, resumed their restrained ways.