If you spend more time with your “work husband” or “work wife” every day than you do with your actual spouse, you are far from alone, and it could eventually lead to the end of your marriage.
Certain types of jobs are more stressful than others and may require long hours, so it’s not surprising that workers with these jobs are more likely to divorce.
If you’re getting a divorce, you probably have a lot of questions about what caused it, including whether or not your job was a factor. You can follow the link for answers to many of your questions about the divorce process. If you’re not there yet and you want to save your marriage, keep reading.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the type of job you have will influence the likelihood that you’ll get divorced and other factors like age and education level. You may not be able to change your age, but if your marriage’s main problem is related to your job, there’s a lot you can do to improve the situation.
Balancing your career and your marriage can be a challenge, especially if you have a high-pressure job. Balancing parenting with your career can make your marriage even more complicated. When we get married, we expect to have a successful career and marriage, but it doesn’t always work out that way, especially if you have any jobs on the following list.
17 Jobs With the Highest Divorce Rates
In 2017, statistician Nathan Yau analyzed statistics from the 2015 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey report to determine which jobs had the highest divorce rates. Yau determined that of workers in the following positions, roughly half will get divorced.
- Gaming Managers, Service Workers, and Cage Workers — The 52.9%, 50.3%, and 47.3% divorce rates could be due to the lifestyle the job demands, the long hours, and the short breaks.
- Bartenders — The 52.7% divorce rate is most likely related to the long, late hours and the temptation of affairs.
- Flight Attendants — Being a flight attendant means being under a lot of stress and being gone for days or even weeks at a time, leading to a 50.5% divorce rate.
- Rolling Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders — This job has low pay, which leads to a lot of financial stress, hardship, and a 50.1% divorce rate.
- Switchboard Operators — Like the above, switchboard operators also have low pay, contributing to the 49.7% divorce rate.
- Extruding and Drawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders — The 49.6% divorce rate in these jobs is also most likely due to low salaries and financial stress.
- Telemarketers — How stressed would you be if your job was to have people hang up on you all day? Stressed enough for a 49.2% divorce rate.
- Textile Knitting and Weaving Machine Operators and Tenders — The 48.9% divorce rate seen in these jobs is likely monotony and unpredictable work hours.
- Extruding, Forming, Pressing, and Compacting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders — Long hours and low wages contribute to this 48.8% divorce rate.
- Telephone Operators — Low wages and money troubles are one part of this 47.8% divorce rate, but it’s also speculated that being on the phone all day can lead to affairs.
- Massage Therapists — Your average person will not be okay with their spouse intimately touching other people for a living, leading to this 47.8% divorce rate.
- Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses — This 47% divorce rate results from long hours with lots of overtime, low pay, and more stress than most of us can imagine.
- First-Line Supervisors of Correctional Officers — High levels of job stress, mental distress, and PTSD are behind this 46.9% divorce rate.
- Dancers and Choreographers — It can be hard to watch your partner dance with others. That’s why the green-eyed monster is behind this 46.8% divorce rate.
- Dispatchers — Dispatchers have people’s lives in their hands, which creates a massive amount of job stress behind this 46.6% divorce rate.
- Textile Winding, Twisting, and Drawing Out Machine Operators — This 46.5% divorce rate could result from shift work and unpredictable schedules.
- Ambulance Drivers and Attendants — Long shifts with the constant high-stress levels of life-or-death situations contribute to this 46.3% divorce rate.
Keep in mind that the oft-cited “50% of marriages will end in divorce” statistic doesn’t mean half of all people who get married will end up divorced. The multiple marriages and divorces of a single individual are included in this statistic. The rates in this study are the result of people who were married during the census data period.
Approximately 22% of married couples in the United States first met each other at work. One reason for this is that people tend to choose partners with similar interests and a similar lifestyle. People in specific industries are more likely to marry someone from the same industry, such as farmworkers, entertainers, or physicians.
If you and your spouse are both on the high-risk jobs list, take extra care with your marriage if you want it to last. Long work hours, lower salary, or high-pressure demands may be working against you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to remedy this.
How a Job Can End a Marriage
If you work in an unhealthy work environment or you can’t seem to stop working, it can put a severe strain on your marriage.
What kind of job you have, how much you make, how many hours you work, and whether or not you work at all can all have toxic effects on your marriage. If your marriage is feeling the strain, your job and work habits may be behind it.
10 Ways Your Job Can Kill Your Marriage
Do you feel like you’re married to your job?
Read this list of ten ways of putting your work first might be killing your marriage.
- Not spending enough time with your spouse.
- Not having time to socialize together.
- Being impatient or irritated with your spouse.
- Letting work dominate your life.
- Canceling personal events due to work.
- Too much venting about your day.
- Not letting your spouse vent about their day.
- Not listening to your spouse when they speak.
- Realizing that you’re happier at work away from your spouse.
- Having an affair with a work colleague.
If any of this sounds familiar, it may be time to reassess your priorities, get into marriage counseling, or hire a divorce lawyer.
What Researchers Say About Work and Marriage
One study from Harvard based on 45 years of research concluded that job loss is the number-one reason for divorce. The study also determined that unemployed men were 30% more likely to divorce. This was possibly due to stress and depression on the part of the unemployed man, gender role expectations, or the fact that the man may be voluntarily unemployed.
According to one study conducted in Sweden, promoted women are more likely to get divorced.
The study determined that women were more than twice as likely to get divorced within three years of a promotion due to friction caused by their changing social and economic roles.
A 2013 study from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business found that divorce rates increased when women earned more than their husbands. One of the most surprising findings of this study, which involved 4,000 married couples, was that it didn’t matter how much more the wife made than the husband. Instead, it was the fact that she outearned him at all.
8 Things to Consider If Your Job Is Affecting Your Marriage
Are you stuck on sleep, eat, work, repeat? If so, it may be hurting your marriage. The first thing you’ll need to do if you suspect this is the case is to talk to your spouse and confirm that your job is an issue. If it is, you’ll need to have a serious conversation about how you can fix things. You may want to try the following tips.
1. Fix Your Work Problems (Or Find a New Job)
There are many different problems you could be having at work that can lead to issues in your marriage. Maybe your manager is a jerk who stresses you out. Perhaps your deadlines are not realistic, and you don’t want to look bad by admitting it. Take some time to consider what you’d change at work if you could, and write it down. Then resolve to do something about it.
2. Stick to a Schedule
Just as you have a schedule for your job, you should also have a home schedule. if you’re having trouble making it a priority. Think of it as a workflow for your marriage. Agree on a date night, when you’ll be home for dinner, and when you’ll help with household chores. You should also make sure your spouse knows your work schedule so they’ll know what to expect.
3. Plan Activities Together
If you and your spouse aren’t spending enough time together, take up a hobby to share or plan some fun activities. You could try doing a physical activity together like training for a marathon or taking yoga classes. You could plan a weekend getaway or even a series of them. If there’s a common interest you share, make time to do it together.
4. Canceling Your Plans
It’s important to remember that making plans together is that you should not cancel them or show up late. When you cancel the plans, your spouse was looking forward to it. It tells them that they aren’t your priority. It may also cause them to become resentful of your work and question whether you are deliberately avoiding them.
5. Ask Your Spouse
How involved is your spouse with your work-related decisions? If you’re making major decisions like whether or not to accept a job offer without your spouse’s input, it’s time to change that. Ask your spouse how they feel about your career to make sure they understand what your goals are. If you don’t ask, it can make your spouse feel like you don’t value their opinion.
6. Vent to a Therapist
If you’ve got a lot of work stress and you feel the need to release your pressure valve and let it all out when you get home, it may be causing your spouse stress as well. You may want to consider finding a therapist to vent instead. Keep in mind that not every therapist is right for every person. If you don’t click with the first one you try, try again until it feels right.
7. Support Your Spouse
If you aren’t asking your spouse how their day was or how things are going at work, they may not feel supported. If they’re asking you how your day was and you’re not returning the favor, it may also build resentment. Your spouse may be bottling many work issues up, which could contribute to stress in your marriage. Allow them to share with you.
8. See a Marriage Counselor
If you’ve tried all of the above and your marital situation still doesn’t seem to be improving, you need to see a marriage counselor if you want to save your marriage. A counselor can help you decide what is important to you and what you’re willing to do to preserve it. As therapists, the first counselor you meet might not be the right fit, so you might have to try again.
In the most extreme cases of work-related marital strife, you may need to be open to the idea of looking for a new job or even changing your career. You may also decide that your career is a bigger priority to you than your marriage, and it’s a sign you need to divorce.
Ultimately, what each couple decides will be based on their unique circumstances. No matter what you choose, knowing you tried your best can help you move forward at the end of the day.