A new study has suggested men feel happy if they earn more than their wives.
The research focused on the role of micro-social interpersonal dynamics in the the partner pay gap - the earning difference between husbands and wives.
Lead author Dr Vanessa Gash is from City University of London.
She told The Hard Shoulder the findings surprised even them.
"What we were trying to do in this research is to examine why the partner pay gap has stayed so constant over time".
"It's around .33 - so a third - women contribute on average a third of household earnings and men contribute the rest.
"That is contrary to expectation because we know that women have entered the labour market and they're working now - and we've had a huge increase in dual earner households.
"But people tend to confuse dual earning with equal earning, which is not what we found".
Dr Gash said they could not see differences in how women felt.
"We expected that perhaps women would not be feeling good about it, because they're the lower earners within households - we thought maybe men would feel OK about it or [that] it just maintains the status quo.
"But what we actually found was that women were basically keeping their cards [close] to their chest: we couldn't identify any differences in how they felt about the partner pay gap no matter how much they were earning.
"But for men what we found is that they had what we call a psychological premium when they recently out-earned their wives".
She said this translated to a benefit in the man's well-being, which she said they were not expecting.
And the study also found that men who were classed as secondary earners - those who contribute less then 40% to the household income - tended to have lower levels of well-being.
Dr Gash said: "We're assuming that it has to do with gender stereotyping, sex stereotyping.
"Men within our dataset would have grown up at a time where their fathers would have been the primary earner in the household - and they've inherited a sense of what it is to be men from that."
She also explained that in lower earning households, it was found that there is more earning equality.
However, she said this is mostly due to financial necessity over egalitarian principles.