real life

CHEERS: Hey ladies. Apparently your boozing is ruining your relationship.


Are you married? If so, you might want to put down the Merlot because your loose drinking ways are ruining your relationship [insert sarcasm].

Amanda McAlister, the head of family law at Slater & Gordon, has claimed a growing number of men are filing for divorce as a result of their wives’ excessive drinking habits.

“The traditional image of the husband spending too long at the pub, while the obedient wife tended to the children is far less common than it was only ten or fifteen years ago,” McAlister said.

In the UK, the number of divorces blamed on the woman’s drinking habits has risen by 70 per cent in five years.

McAlister labelled some of these divorcees as “Sex and the City drinkers” who drink while socialising and networking, adding: “Many of the men who come to me say their wives often don’t come home until 4am.”

Aha SATC, the show that taught us it was okay to drink… or NOT.

4am? Somebody call me a lawyer.

On a more serious note, McAlister points out that some women, she calls ‘home drinkers’, are abusing alcohol as a means to deal with problems due to stress or depression, often drinking large amounts in secret and hiding the evidence.

“Husbands will often initially cite a different reason for divorce, such as that their wife doesn’t work or help around the house.

“It only later comes to light that the reason she’s not doing so is because she’s often drunk or nursing a hangover,” McAlister said.

The national guidelines recommend that men and women drink no more than two standard drinks on average per day to “reduce your risks of alcohol related disease or injury over your lifetime”.

And in regards to binge-drinking: “For healthy men and women, drinking no more than four standard alcoholic drinks on a single occasion reduces the risk of alcohol-related injury arising from that occasion,” says the National Health and Medical Research Council.

The evidence that women’s excessive drinking is leading to higher divorce rates reminded me of Talitha Cummins, the newsreader who bravely outed herself as a binge drinker. And not because her problem contributed to a relationship breakdown but because she spoke about the grip alcohol addiction can have and the slippery slope that follows.

“I was a big drinker. Anyone who knows me, knows that. I drank to celebrate, I drank to commiserate, I drank because I had a busy day, a boring day, a holiday. For years, drinking was my hobby. But in the last four years it turned ugly. The first sip unleashed an unstoppable need for more and more.”

The 3pm 5pm 7pm happy hour – usually one or two glasses of wine – is a widely discussed one in my friendship circle.

Most of us relish the ‘one vice’ we choose to indulge in, citing the need to take the edge off a tough day at work or particularly stressful bathtime/dinnertime situation… it just so happens that these are daily occurrences.

For me, what this increase shows is that there clearly is a greater need to address the growing stresses women face between longer working hours, juggling work with family and the change in traditional societal roles.

Do you drink to relieve stress?

If this post has raised any issues for you you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Some of the signs of alcohol dependence include:

  • Worrying about when you’ll be able to have your next drink
  • suffering from withdrawal symptoms like sweating, nausea or insomnia as a result of not drinking alcohol
  • needing to drink more and more alcohol to get drunk
  • drinking alcohol, or desiring to drink alcohol, when you wake up in the morning
  • consuming alcohol regularly on your own, or trying to hide your alcohol consumption from those around you
  • relationships with friends or family are being effected by your drinking

Taken from

If you think you may have a problem with alcohol, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or log on to Hello Sunday Morning and join their online quit program.