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.