Prairie Voles are fascinating creatures. They are the only rodent species that are monogamous and they love to get drunk. This makes them astonishingly similar to us and turns out the similarities don’t end there.

When one partner drinks significantly more than the other, problems ensue. New research has revealed that the same is true in role relationships. Where there is alcohol, turns out there are failed relationships.

Though mice, rats or any other rodent hate alcohol, prairie voles can out drink most of us.

  "These animals drink a lot of alcohol,” says neuroscientist  Andrey E. Ryabinin, who oversaw the study. “In a day, they can drink comparable to 15 bottles of wine," he said in a report by National Geographic.

“They maintain the same pair bond for their entire lives,” Andrey Ryabinin of Oregon Health and Science University told New Scientist in a release. She said that prairie voles are such alcoholics that they prefer alcohol to water.

Why has there been no superhero movie called Vole Man; half-man, half prairie vole, a man who has lost all motivation in life, ignores his wife and occasionally scampers away from trouble.

Prior research conducted by Ryabinin and others demonstrated alcohol could affect the voles’ relationships. Those studies revealed that male voles who drink heavily are more likely to cheat compared to voles who are more moderate drinkers. When female voles were the heavy drinkers, though, they were more likely to stick with their partner.

The team wanted to examine the effect of drinking on human relationships and used prairie vole relationships which have a lot in common with human relationships.

The study involved three groups of vole couples who helped study a different scenario. In one-third of the couples, the male was offered a 10 percent alcohol solution and a bottle of water, while the female was offered water. In the next group, both the males and the females were allowed to imbibe. A third group consisted of pairs offered only water, to serve as a control group to study anomalies against.

After the drink was over, the boozed up males were given a chance to cuddle up with their partners or to spend time with a new, unfamiliar female.

The male voles who drank alcohol as their partners consumed water spent less time with their spouses compared to the male voles that didn’t drink. When partners drank together, or both abstained, they were likely to stick together.

The study also found that the periaqueductal gray area of the brain that produces oxytocin was less active in male voles that drank alone. Voles that drank with their partners had higher levels of the ‘love hormone’ which is integral in forming bonds between partners.

The team feels this is an important discovery in helping out couples who are going through a rough patch. Further analysis could highlight the factors that cause human couples to fall out of love. The study has shown that there may be a biological basis for the negative effects of solo drinking on relationships, beyond the impacts of alcohol exposure itself.