Stress is a factor in any job. However, some careers are much more demanding and interfere with personal commitments. Even if you love what you do, an imbalance in your work and personal life could take a toll on your relationships. In the past, my husband and I both held demanding positions that required travel and long hours. So, there were times we became completely absorbed in our work and ignored the needs of our relationship. Luckily, we made some lifestyle and career changes before they consumed the relationship. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible. Based on statistics compiled by LendingTree, these are the 5 worst types of jobs for your relationship.
The 5 Worst Types of Jobs for Your Relationship
Utilizing statistical data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey, LendingTree put together a list of the job fields that have the highest divorce rates. According to their analysis, here are the 5 worst types of jobs for your relationship.
A military position comes with inherent risks and stress for both service members and their families. Many are fully aware of the life they are choosing. But, it doesn’t make it easier to cope with these difficulties.
First of all, there is constant danger, and you never really know where they are or what life-threatening situations they may face. Then, you have the deployments and long tours of duty that can take people away from their loved ones for months or even years. Unfortunately, you have no choice but to continue on with life while they are away.
Don’t forget that reassignments also cause people to uproot and move frequently. It’s stressful for service men and women to pack up their lives and leave friends and family behind. The strain of finding new housing and coordinating the moves can be overwhelming. But, it’s even harder when spouses are on deployment or kids are involved.
Some people feel the benefits are worth the added stress. However, others feel differently, especially since newly enlisted personnel make around $20,000 a year. Not every relationship is strong enough to withstand these stressors which is why 3.09% of military marriages end in divorce.
2. Health Care
When you are dealing with matters of life, death, and people’s health, there’s no doubt that your job will be incredibly stressful at times. However, people often forget the long hours of studying and training it requires. And then, there is the financial pressure and accruing student loan debt as you complete your education.
For most people, the high salary eventually offsets the time and energy invested. But, health care is changing since the entire medical field has been turned upside down with the pandemic. In particular, the nursing staff has been hit hard with new demands. Staffing shortages have left many departments and hospitals shorthanded. This translates to longer hours and a heavier patient load, which adds more stress. Many healthcare providers are experiencing high levels of burnout and are choosing to leave the profession altogether.
According to divorce statistics, it is also one of the worst types of jobs for your relationship. There is a divorce rate of 2.65% for people in health care support.
3. Food Prep and Service
The food service industry is fast-paced and exciting, but it can also have grueling time demands. There are odd hours for several different positions including split shifts, nights, and weekends. This makes it hard to have a social life since it doesn’t coincide with the average work schedule.
Furthermore, food prep and service come with inconsistent wages. When you have a full house, you can earn hundreds of dollars in a single shift. But when things are slow, you may be scraping by to hit minimum wage. And, many people don’t understand that there is a loophole in the food service industry that allows employers to pay much less. Although the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, where I live, servers make a base pay of $2.13 an hour since they expect you to make up the difference can through tips. And, many restaurants also require staff to share tips with kitchen staff.
This can lead to financial struggles and additional strain on your relationship. Between the fluctuating hours and wages, it’s no wonder that people in the food prep and service industry experience a divorce rate of 2.49%.
Extraction workers are those who work in the oil, gas, and mining industries. These jobs are very labor-intensive, but people who are willing to work hard and travel are well compensated. While this is good for your financial status, it can negatively affect your relationship status.
Similar to those in the military service, extraction workers often travel far from home and spend long periods away from their families and spouses. Those they left behind must continue to deal with the daily demands of their lives and families. There has also been less job security as job layoffs sweep across the industry. These uncertainties are an additional layer of stress and a large factor in the 2.47% divorce rate among extraction workers.
5. Protective Services
Those who work in protective services share many of the potential risks and dangers as those on active military duty. Although they are closer to home, they can still find themselves in dangerous or life-threatening situations. They often have to work long or overnight shifts as well. With that in mind, you can see how police officers, security guards, and firefighters have stressful jobs that can compound issues at home.
Salary can also be an issue since the median income for security guards is around $30,000. For some families, it becomes too much to bear. Therefore, workers within the field of protective services experience a divorce rate of 2.15%
Balancing the Demands of Your Job and Relationship
While these jobs report the highest divorce rate, that doesn’t mean your relationship will fail if you choose one of these careers. You can still have a happy and healthy relationship. But like all things worth having, it will take work.
- Be aware of the stress factors and the toll it takes on your partner. Your job may be stressful, but sometimes it can be even worse for your partner. They have no control over the situation and usually have to adapt to your schedule. Be aware of the toll and strain it can add to your relationship.
- Make time for each other. Be intentional about how you spend time together. Don’t answer work-related emails and texts at these times. Be present with your partner, and turn off the background noise of daily life for a few hours to be together.
- Prioritize your relationship. Many people say their spouse is the most important person in their lives, but their actions speak otherwise. In addition to making time for each other, you also need to follow through with your promises and commitments. If you continue to neglect your partner’s and relationship’s needs, there may be nothing left to save.
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Jenny Smedra is an avid world traveler, ESL teacher, former archaeologist, and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad had strengthened her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. While most of her time is dedicated to either working with children, she also enjoys good friends, good food, and new adventures.