It seems that wine is fast overtaking tea as womens relaxant of choice.

London - Married life is enough to drive you to drink – if you are a woman, that is.

Wives tend to consume more alcohol after they wed, while their husbands actually cut down, a study suggests.

But men are more likely to hit the bottle after a divorce.

The survey into marriage and alcohol was conducted by sociologists at four universities in the US.

Lead researcher Corinne Reczek – professor of sociology at the University of Cincinnati – said: ‘Stable marriage curbs men’s drinking yet is associated with a slightly higher level of alcohol use among women. Our findings suggest that being married to a man who is more likely to drink creates a new social environment that may promote drinking among women.’

The study found that while husbands drank less alcohol than bachelors and widowers, their consumption increased sharply if the marriage ended. Professor Reczek added: ‘Some research suggests that men are more likely to cope with stressors in “externalising” ways such as alcohol.

’ Women are more likely to cope in “internalising” ways such as depression.’

Men who cut back on drinking are more likely to have a happier marriage.

The professor insisted: 'Men who fail to converge with their wives’ drinking habits in marriage may set a trajectory towards divorce and continued heavy drinking.' - Daily Mail