Marriage Killers: Stress and Exhaustion

A new psychological research suggests that a rocky marriage and the incidence of divorce are far higher in couples engaged in stressful jobs and exhausting work.

Dr. Michael Aamodt, an industrial psychologist at Radford University in Virginia, devised a formula to establish the success of a marriage based on the career of one of the partners in order to analyze the propensity to divorce for major occupational categories. He used the formula (separated plus divorced) divided by (total population minus never married) to yield the percentage of people in 449 occupations who had been married but were no longer together.

Based on this, Aamodt says dancers, choreographers and bartenders have 40 percent chance of splitting up. The risk of break-up was equally high in marriages of nurses, psychiatrists and those who help the elderly and disabled. Chefs and mathematicians shared a 20 percent chance of splitting while journalists and urban planners had a 17.54 percent chance. Librarians, dieticians and fitness instructors had a 16.89 percent chance of breaking up. In addition, travel agents, writers and police had 16 percent chance of divorce, slightly higher than fire fighters and teachers. Marriages of vets and funeral directors were likely to be a little more successful than that of judges and magistrates, who had a 12 percent of ending in divorce. According to researchers, the key to marital bliss was marriage to agricultural engineers, optometrists, dentists, clergyman and podiatrists, which carry a 2-7 percent chance of ending in divorce.

Aamodt said, “What is interesting is that those involved in caring professions experience a high level of break-up. This might be because they spend too long caring for other people at the cost of their own families, or because they are naturally sensitive people who are more vulnerable and sensitive in their own relationship.”

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