Income inequality among married couples can lead to competitive, alarm-clock sabotaging grudges, or at least that's how such inequality would be portrayed in a comedy about a working couple in which one partner dramatically outearns the other. In reality, according to Susan Gregory Thomas' Wall Street Journal article about what happens when wives earn larger paychecks than their husbands, is that outearned men either smolder in frustration at their economic impotence, or, being naturally unambitious, they take to the role of stay-at-home-parent like a duckling takes to a bubble bath.
Earlier this week, a study on married couples in which women earned more than their male partners suggested that men who didn't have traditional preconceptions about gender roles (or, in the study's words, men who were "non-macho") could accept their wives' financial predominance as placidly as freshly milked cows. These "non-macho" men are characterized a little differently in Thomas' article — they're "beta" men, or, according to one interviewed husband, "not the ambitious type." "Macho" men (men clinging to traditional gender roles vis-à-vis June and Ward Cleaver) were often more frustrated with their wives earning more than them, a sentiment that's often exacerbated by the presence of children, which seems to more officially signify a traditional marriage role-reversal.