‘Marriage Problem Ruined My Drinking’, Admits Waterford Man


HIS friends were horrified. They felt betrayed. Terrence had promised them it would never happen again, but late night calls from his wife provided the irrefutable evidence, their friend of eighteen years was officially under the thumb.

“We would all be out having the laugh when the dreaded mobile would ring. Like clockwork.” recalls long time friend Patrick Morrissey. “The bitch was waiting for the big hand to strike twelve.”

“He’d always tell her he’d be home in fifteen minutes. But he never would. And of course, she’d be be back on the blower again fifteen minutes later.

“He used to turn off the phone at the start, but after she threatened to leave him he’d always leave it on. Towards the end, he would tell us he was going for a smoke, but would never return.

“Every time I’d hear the ‘Jaws’ theme song, it would always remind me of Terrence in the pub skulling pints as fast as he could.

“You see, that’s what he had saved as her ringtone. The bar man would even imitate the shark fin behind the bar with his hand. Those were the good old days. But it’s all over now. We lost a good man.”

Terrence Murray got married in 2007, and it wasn’t long before things began to change.

“I would always head out on the weekends with the lads. We’d play a game of pool, head to a late night bar and try and get invited to an auld session somewhere.” said Murray.

“Then I met a girl! In work of all places!! We got married after about 12 months.”

“She didn’t like me going out with the lads. It was grand enough at the start, but then as time went by she started ringing earlier and earlier every night. First, it was 3am, then half 2, then 1am, until eventually after six months of arguing, it was fucking midnight.”

Terrence’s horrific experience is becoming increasingly common, with marriage becoming one of the fastest growing problems in Ireland.

“Marriage has been described as the ‘hole in the keg’ of drinking.” says friend and neighbour Mark Kennedy.

Before deciding to tackle the marriage issue with his wife, Terrence knew the trust on which it had been built had crumbled and that if things remained the same his socialising with friends was in jeopardy.

“When I confronted the missus I think she really got a shock.” he said. “She got really mad and asked me to choose between her or drinking. What could I say? I had to choose her. I was already in the comfort zone, I got fat and had no real choice. I miss the lads. We say hello now and then, but it will never be the same. Marriage has ruined my drinking.”

Terrence’s story is far from unique. A record number of drinking buddy’s are breaking down because of the rapid rise in marriages.

Since 2007, the Vintners Association of Ireland has witnessed drink sales drop directly because of the increase of marriages.

“Relationships in general plays havoc with drinking,” says Vintners CEO Patrick Cribben.

“My only advice to anyone who wants to get involved in such a thing is to make sure she, or he, is as much of a drinker as you are.”

The Centre for ‘Drinkers on the rocks association’ has established a website to provide information and a list of therapists who can offer support because of the growing prevalence of the compulsive misuse of marriage and the potentially devastating impact it has on drinking.