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Marriage Killing Careers

Marriage Killing Careers

When choosing a career path, or even a job that we need to have to currently satisfy a need—we tend to focus on things like salary, benefits, opportunities for advancement, and commuting time. Your lifestyle is often affected by this choice.

The number of hours you work, the stresses particular to that kind of job, and what type of people you deal with daily. What we often forget to consider is how this career could affect our relationship with our spouse.

What Do You Do?

Many of us identify ourselves by our jobs. One of the first questions we often ask when meeting other adults is “what do you do?” The career you choose can also be a reflection of your personality. But work-life balance is important.

Career choice isn’t the only factor that contributes to relationship issues—problems over how couples communicate, financial issues and the feeling that one spouse isn’t meeting the other’s needs are the most cited reasons for divorce. Of course, people who make their work their priority over loved ones are at a higher risk for divorce, to begin with.

Although there is a lot of suppositions—military members, doctors, and law enforcement professionals are all thought to have high divorce rates—there have been very few recent studies that examine the marriage-job link.

What Statistics Tell Us

In 2009, Dr. Michael Aamodt, an industrial psychologist at Radford University, examined data from a 2000 U.S. Census report called the “2000 People and Housing One Percent Sample Census Survey.” This data contained 449 occupations and listed the employees’ current (2000) marital status.

From the data, the researchers were able to develop a formula to calculate the percentage of people in each occupation that had been divorced or separated. Dr. Aamodt took the number of separated and divorced people in a profession, divided by the total population and eliminated those who were listed as “never married.”  

The resulting percentages shown reflect the chances of an individual in a particular career to experience divorce. The study, “A Comparison of Law Enforcement Divorce Rates with Those of Other Occupations” was published online in the Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology in October 2010.

At the time of the 2000 Census, 16.35 percent of Americans who had previously been married listed themselves as divorced or separated.

Here are the 10 professions that have the highest rates of divorce in America. While the divorce rates of people with these jobs are among the highest, it is also very important to know that there are numerous thriving marriages with professionals working in the following fields as well.

Dancers and choreographers registered the highest divorce rates (43.1 percent), followed by bartenders (38.4 percent) and massage therapists (38.2 percent). Also in the top 10 were casino workers, telephone operators, nurses and home health aides. Couple Dancing

Here is a more thorough breakdown of the top “marriage killing” career. I’ve provided short job descriptions for those that most people may not be familiar with...

Marriage Killing Careers

  1. Dancers and Choreographers 43% As a dancer, you’ll use movement to interpret music, tell stories and express emotion. Unfortunately, you also face the greatest likelihood of divorce among all professions. 
  2. Bartenders (38%).
  3. Licensed Massage Therapists (38%)
  4. Gaming cage workers (35%). These professionals usually work at a casino or racetrack and conduct financial transactions for both patrons and workers. They sell gambling chips tokens or tickets to patrons as well as convert winning chips,
  5. Extruding and forming machine setters (33%). These factory workers operate machines that extrude and form continuous filaments from materials such as a liquid polymer, cotton, rayon, wool, and fiberglass. These careers are usually textile, plastic and rubber manufacturing plants.
  6. Gaming Service Workers (31%). These careers deal directly with the public. This job description includes dealing cards, spinning the roulette wheel or managing craps games. They may also be gaming and sportsbook writers and runners who take and record bets on sporting events, keno and bingo. CasinoFemDealr
  7. Food & Tabacco Roasting and Drying Machine Operators (30%). These people often work in factories, where they operate food or tobacco equipment that roasts, bakes dries, or cures food items such as cocoa, coffee beans, grains, nuts, and tobacco or bakery products. This equipment includes hearth ovens, kiln driers, roasters, char kilns, and vacuum drying equipment.
  8. Telephone Operators (29.3%).Although the occupation we think of as a traditional telephone operator has mostly been replaced by technology, the Department of Labor classification includes those who answer 911 and non-emergency calls, persons who assist the deaf and hard of hearing in making telephone calls, alarm system monitors, and workers who route hotel, hospital and other large organization calls to the correct office or person.
  9. Textile winding, twisting, and drawing-out machine operators (29%). These factory workers take the results of carding and combing materials such as flax, hemp, wool, and cotton and draw out, twist, and wind it to produce yarn, as well as taking care to repair any breaks.
  10. Licensed Nursing, Psychiatric and Home Health Aides (28.9%)

The above numbers don't paint the complete picture.

If a person had divorced and remarried by the time of the 2000 Census, they would be counted as married in the study. The authors also point out that data don't reveal whether it's the type of jobs that lead to divorce, or if a certain type of person is drawn to these professions.

If they are willing to put effort into it, couples can overcome relationship issues and save their marriage regardless of what career field they work in.


Instead of being prejudiced towards a particular job industry, these statistics can be used to recognize the actual reasons which make professionals in these careers more prone to divorce and be used to help relationship therapists, family court judges and divorce lawyers to be better equipped in dealing with incidents of career-related divorce.

Jack W. Carney-DeBord is licensed and admitted to the practice law in the State of Ohio-ONLY. Jack has no intention of soliciting clients in any state other than Ohio and nothing posted on this website should be viewed as an attempt to solicit or do business in ANY state other than the State of Ohio.

The content on this website is provided as general information only and is not legal advice. You should not act or refrain from acting based upon information provided on this site without first consulting legal counsel.

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