Marriage requires compromising, understanding, and fostering togetherness to thrive. However, in jobs that increase divorce risk, there is an even greater need for knowledge and healthy communication between partners. People in certain fields, however, exhibit strikingly higher divorce rates than those in other professions.

This article will explore several jobs that commonly increase the risk of divorce. By understanding how these occupations can undermine marital stability, couples can thoughtfully evaluate priorities and proactively take steps to strengthen their bonds before it’s too late.

With open communication, reasonable boundaries, and quality time together, a difficult job is no reason for an otherwise happy marriage to fall apart.

1. Jobs Requiring Excessive Work Hours

Some professions are notorious for requiring excessively long and irregular hours that can quickly strain marital relationships.

Doctors, for example, often work unpredictable overnight shifts, weekends, and holidays. The hectic, round-the-clock schedule leaves little quality time for family activities and togetherness. A doctor’s spouse may feel neglected and resentful as birthdays, anniversaries, and other meaningful occasions are repeatedly missed due to work obligations. 

Lawyers in high-pressure roles like big law firms or major litigation face similar challenges. The demands of late nights, weekend hours, and being on call can mean their spouse frequently eats dinners or attends events alone. Balancing career and family can be exceptionally difficult for lawyers with children.

Management consultants often travel extensively, spending 3-4 days weekly on the road for work. It’s easy for their spouse to start feeling like a single parent, bearing the full burden of household duties and childcare responsibilities largely alone back home. Consultants miss out on cherished daily moments and milestones with their families.

2. Jobs Demanding Frequent Travel

Any job requiring an employee to travel frequently, whether consulting, corporate sales, or skilled construction trades, can inherently strain a marriage.

Being apart from your spouse for extended stretches makes maintaining intimacy and emotional connection in the relationship challenging.

When one partner is constantly away on business trips, the couple has limited time together to nurture their bond through shared experiences, quality communication, and emotional support. Physical and sexual intimacy also inevitably suffers from the extended periods apart.

Over time, spouses in these travel-intensive roles often start feeling detached and like they’re living largely separate lives from their home partner. Maintaining a strong marital relationship requires real effort and quality time together, which becomes extremely difficult with one spouse regularly gone.

3. Physically Demanding and Dangerous Professions

Some of the most physically demanding jobs, such as mining, construction, firefighting, and military roles, can create marital strife in multiple ways.

The long, gruelling hours and intense labour frequently leave workers drained with little energy left over for their spouses.

Coming home utterly exhausted daily makes it hard to engage with the partner fully. Quality conversations may suffer, and there may not be much motivation for couples’ activities. The physical toll of these jobs also increases the risk of injuries that could impact intimacy or even the ability to help out around the house as typical.

These high-risk professions can also put marriages under immense emotional strain. For jobs like police officer, firefighter and military roles that regularly face life-threatening situations, spouses at home live in constant worry about their loved one’s safety. Higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among these workers only compound the challenges.

Having one spouse in such a dangerous role creates a fundamentally unbalanced relationship dynamic. The partner who remains home shoulders the bulk of domestic responsibilities while anxiously awaiting their spouse to return safely each day from perilous conditions. This simmering stress and emotional weight frequently prove too much for marriages to withstand long-term.

4. High-stress and High-Pressure Professions

Certain high-stress, high-pressure jobs also show correlations with increased divorce risk for a variety of reasons. Roles like a doctor, air traffic controller, stockbroker and pilot come with enormous responsibility and unrelenting pressure that often manifests as anxiety, irritability and difficulty leaving work stresses at the office.

It proves enormously difficult for people in these intense professions to fully decompress and be present with their spouses and family after work. The built-up stress makes it hard to switch gears, relax and focus on personal relationships at home. A surgeon who just lost a patient or a trader with a volatile day in the market doesn’t switch off that weight when their shift ends.

As a result, the at-home spouse bears the brunt of their partner’s work stress through emotional distance, short tempers, and an overall struggle to separate professional worries from family life. This breeds resentment over time as the non-working partner feels like they’re competing with the job itself for their spouse’s attention and emotional bandwidth.

5. Jobs Requiring Frequent Relocation

Another career arena with elevated divorce risks is any job that requires frequent relocation every few years.

Military personnel and certain corporate roles, like executive leadership positions, often require moving households to new cities or countries on a regular basis.

These frequent moves place huge strains on marriage and family life:

  • Disruption to the non-relocating spouse’s career and children’s education
  • Difficulty establishing lasting community ties, social connections, and support systems
  • Immense financial and emotional tolls of uprooting a household every few years

The cycles of having to start over in a new location with each required move – finding new homes, jobs, schools, friends, etc.—are enormously draining. Military spouses, in particular, face this mobile lifestyle more than most. It’s little wonder many marriages crumble under the instability and pressures that come with these relocating careers.

6. Jobs with Ever-Changing Schedules

Occupations requiring employees to work ever-rotating shifts can make it nightmarishly difficult to find consistency or mutual free time as a couple. Jobs like nursing, retail, and aviation are just a few examples where schedules change periodically with little predictability.

A nurse might start on days for a few weeks only to rotate to overnights or weekend shifts soon after. Retail workers must be available whenever the stores are open, including evenings, overnight shifts and holidays. A pilot’s schedule bounces around based on flight demand, making routines impossible to uphold at home.

Attempting to coordinate and sync schedules for simple activities like sharing mealtimes, watching shows together, or even sleeping becomes hugely complicated, if not impossible. Partners working wildly different and inconsistent shifts start to feel like ships passing in the night—they live almost entirely separate lives despite being married. This ultimately strains the intimacy and connection a marriage needs to thrive long-term.

7. Careers Requiring Secrecy

Lastly, certain careers that demand intense secrecy and confidentiality around the nature of the work also correlate with higher divorce rates. Jobs in intelligence, law enforcement, and specialized government roles often prohibit employees from disclosing details about clients, cases, and projects they handle.

While necessary for the job, this enforced lack of transparency means one spouse effectively lives a “double life” that creates walls and breeds suspicion in the marriage.

The secrecy inadvertently undermines the trust, vulnerability and open communication required for a healthy marital bond to flourish. If one partner feels shut out from understanding their spouse’s professional world entirely, it’s easy for intimacy to deteriorate over time.

The Bottom Line

As highlighted, a wide variety of jobs can increase divorce risk. These jobs can inherently place added strain on marriages. Balancing demanding career obligations while nurturing a healthy relationship takes active effort, compromise and commitment from both partners.

To thrive in the relationship, you need to discuss issues openly and make your marriage an equal priority to work. Additionally, you should proactively pursue quality time together.

Celebrate successes to maintain intimacy and discuss concerns before accepting roles that could disrupt your marital foundation.

Seek counselling if needed to improve communication and teamwork. A thriving marriage and a rewarding career can happily coexist with understanding and an unwavering partnership.

7 Surprising Jobs That Increase Divorce Risk