Don’t Let Social Drinking Undermine Your Marriage: Couples Guide to Parties
These days it seems like alcohol is everywhere, and drinking is not only accepted at most social events, but many guests have come to expect it at any celebration. Backyard barbeques, holiday gatherings, even children’s birthday parties have become occasions to kick back with a glass of wine or a frosty brew.
In fact, it’s almost become a parental rite of passage to drink socially with other parents. Who better to understand how stressful life can be than couples that are going through similar scenarios?
“It’s just social drinking”, you might say. “Believe me… we need some time to unwind!”
Sure, it seems harmless when put that way, but what exactly is “social drinking”, and how can you tell if it’s too much? Can your marriage be affected just by having a few glasses of wine at your neighborhood cook out?
The definition of “social drinking” refers to casual drinking in a social setting without the intent to get drunk.
Obviously this can turn ugly if a few drinks turns into a-little-too-much. We all know people who don’t know when to stop, but a recent study shows that even minimal drinking can set the stage for destructive behavior.
The study found that “even social drinkers find it difficult to tell the difference between threatening and non-threatening social stimulus”.
In terms of our suburban social jungle, this means while light alcohol consumption may give us a little liquid courage to approach new people at parties, it can also dull our ability to avoid arguments. Of course, there is no one we like arguing with more than our spouses, so if left unchecked this type of drinking can contribute to tension in any marriage.
While the majority of social drinkers don't need to quit consuming alcohol completely, we could all use a reminder on how to be sure we are honoring our marriages in every situation. So before you hit the neighborhood parties with your spouse this summer, here are a few tips that might help keep the peace:
- Never Speak Badly About Your Spouse: You may think it’s hilarious to share little tidbits about your marriage with friends and/or family… but your spouse won’t be laughing. Be sure to bite your tongue when it comes to personal jabs in public. It’s important to be especially vigililant on this one if the alcohol is flowing. Remember, loose lips sink ships (or marriages in this case).
- Don’t Be a Flirt: Many of us become completely different versions of ourselves after a glass of wine, full of confidence and ready to mingle. This is not the time to chat up someone else’s spouse. What you may see as an innocent conversation with a friend, could be taken the wrong way and cause MAJOR problems within your own marriage, as well as for the other couple. If you’re feeling chatty, stick to friends that won’t be seen as a threat by your spouse.
- Stick With Your Spouse: Don’t assume that you have to “work the room”. We all love a little extra attention, and sometimes there’s nothing better than sticking close to your partner. Don’t be afraid to be “social” together!
If you think someone you know may have a problem with alcohol, don’t be afraid to talk to them about it. Here are a couple of articles that may help: