A couple is happy until one starts drinking too much, and before long, the relationship is over. It’s a well-known tale — at least in prairie vole circles.
According to a new study, prairie voles (picture morbidly obese field mice) don’t end up staying together if they don’t drink about the same amount of alcohol. Voles have life-long monogamous relationships, but alcohol can get in the way. The more alcohol a male vole drinks, the more likely he is to go find another female to mate with, while the more of a lush the female vole, the more likely she is to stay with her original mate.
Researchers determined this by monitoring voles’ alcohol intake, and listening to them drunkenly ramble on about how their wives just don’t understand them.