If your spouse helps people or touches them for a living, be careful -- you might be headed for a divorce. Helping professions and hospitality workers have some of the highest divorce rates in the country, according to a comparison of divorce rates among occupations.
The conventional wisdom is that police officers have high divorce rates. But a year-old analysis of the top 15 jobs with the highest divorce rate that recently made the rounds of the Internet doesn't even list police officers among the worst offenders. Based on data from the 2000 U.S. Census, it found that law enforcement workers had a lower divorce rate than the general population.
Before we try to explain why some of these jobs might have high divorce rates, here are the top 15 professions and their divorce rates:
- Dancer: 43%
- Bartender: 38%
- Massage therapist: 38%
- Gaming cage: 34%
- Extruding machine operator: 32%
- Gaming: 31%
- Factory: 29%
- Phone operator: 29%
- Nursing: 28%
- Entertainers, sports: 28%
- Porter: 28%
- Telemarketer: 28%
- Waiter: 27%
- Roofer: 26%
- Maid: 26%
The national divorce rate in 2009 was 10 percent. It's hard to know whether the above jobs are prone to more divorce or whether more unstable people are drawn to those professions. Professional dancers, athletes and entertainers, for example, have more opportunity to cheat on their spouses because they often work away from home and are surrounded by adoring fans. At least that's Tiger Woods' explanation.
Helping professionals, such as massage therapists and nurses, have a high amount of stress and work long hours, spending less time with their families. Hospitality workers, such as waiters, maids, porters and gaming workers, also work irregular hours in high-stress jobs, and come in contact with people on vacation who might be feeling a little randy and have time and money for a tryst on the job.
No matter what the profession, divorces are highest among jobs where workers face high stress and temptations, said Debra Opri, a divorce attorney in Beverly Hills, Calif.. Those temptations include other women, gambling and alcohol, Opri said.
Jobs that require extensive travel, odd hours and are high in stress can lead to divorce because the worker is away from their spouse too much and doesn't know how to deal with the stress away from home, said Ike Vanden Eykel, a Dallas divorce attorney for 37 years, in a telephone interview with AOL Jobs.
Working odd hours and then spending more time with co-workers instead of a spouse isn't the only thing that can lead to divorce, Vanden Eykel said. "One of the biggest causes of divorce is economic pressure," he said.
"When you can't make ends meet, that adds an economic pressure that you can't avoid," he said, adding that even highly paid CEOs who feel pressure at work can have high divorce rates.
Nighttime work can also lead to higher divorce rates, said Richard Fitzgibbons, director of the Institute for Marital Healing, on the Catholic News Agency website. "Those who work in the evenings are a distinct disadvantage," Fitzgibbons said, "because the marital friendship usually suffers, with ensuing significant loneliness."
Some of these jobs also don't pay well, which can lead to more stress in a marriage. Better-educated workers tend to have higher-paying jobs, which can provide less stress in marriages.
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