11 of the Worst Jobs for a Relationship

A tired mother handles her baby

A tired mother holds her baby | iStock.com/Highwaystarz-Photography

“Honey, I’m home,” you say as you walk through the door after a long day at work. What type of reception do you receive from your significant other? Do you get the feeling that your S.O. is thanking his or her lucky stars that you made it home safely? Or is he or she asking you a million questions about where you were all day, what you did, and the details of every single conversation you had?

If you feel as though you’re under investigation each day, as though you’re placing too much worry on your significant other, or if your job causes a lot of arguments, your job and your relationship might not match up so well. Some careers are tougher on relationships than others.

Using data on divorce rates and job stress, we’ve created a list of careers that make the work-love life balance a lot harder. And when we talk about jobs that are tough on a relationship, we’re not only referring to the obvious ones (think exotic dancer); you may not expect some of these careers to throw salt on your relationship game. Let’s check out the 11 worst jobs for a relationship.

1. Casino worker (and other gaming service worker)

hands holding casino chips

Casino worker | iStock.com

Many casinos are open 24/7/365. Workers at these types of establishments often work irregular hours, and they may even have to work on holidays. In addition to working during odd hours, casino workers may work around alcohol, gambling, and a party-like environment — this can place added strain on a relationship, too.

A 2010 study of Census data published by the Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology found that gaming services workers had one of the highest divorce rates relative to other occupations. With a divorce rate of 31.4% (34.7% for gaming cage workers), this is exceptionally high when compared to the roughly 16% of Americans across all occupations who had been divorced or separated at the time of the data collection. And, to top it all off, gaming services workers are only paid a median salary of around $27,000 per year, per BLS estimates.

2. Massage therapist

massage therapist

Getting a massage | iStock.com

We all know what it’s like to have that green-eyed monster emerge. In an Oprah.com publication, Helen Fisher describes jealousy as a “sickening combination of possessiveness, suspicion, rage, and humiliation.” It’s not unique to men or women, and even other species (like chimps and bluebirds) are faced with jealousy.

Given that the job of a massage therapist involves physical interaction, we probably don’t even need to explain why this occupation could place a burden on a relationship. “What type of clients did you have today?” and “What exactly did you do all day?” are some routine questions a message therapist may hear from a jealous significant other.

Massage therapists are paid a moderate salary — roughly $40,000 per year — to perform their services. According to the Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology study, the divorce rate across this occupation is exceptionally high, at 38.2%.

3. Waiter or bartender

bartender, worst jobs

Being a bartender can be one of the worst jobs for having a relationship | iStock.com

Bartenders are consistently around people who are consuming alcohol. They are assigned the task of being in the center of it all, as a big part of their job is to improve the customer experience. It requires a certain degree of people skills to bartend, and some people are really great at it.

When you’re in a relationship, however, this job can be a source of problems. Bartenders may not know exactly what time they’ll be home from work — they often have to wait until all of the customers leave the establishment so they can perform their side-work before leaving for the night. The Journal study found that bartenders have the second-highest divorce rates, at 38.4%.

Waiters may face similar challenges to bartenders when it comes to maintaining a relationship. Odd hours, coupled with a unique work environment, can cause strain on any couple. Plus, waiters and bartenders may face financial issues, as they generally work for tips, which is a notoriously inconsistent form of income.

4. Athlete, entertainer, or dancer

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Famous marriages, separations, divorces, and remarriages are often in the public eye. And with a 28.5% divorce rate among athletes, performers, entertainers, and related workers, there’s no shortage of juicy gossip in this arena. Maybe it’s the nature of the industry that places a strain on relationships: A large amount of travel, attention, and stress can place a burden on any couple.

Dancers and choreographers are in a similar boat. Rated No. 1 for the occupation that’s most likely to get divorced, dancers and choreographers have a 43.1% divorce rate.

5. Police and firefighters

firefighter running along the road in all of his gear

Firefighter running in full gear | iStock.com

Police officers and firefighters have some of the most dangerous jobs in modern America. Every day they leave the house, there’s a distinct chance that they can be injured or killed on duty. There are also other things that can stem from the everyday stress these public servants are subjected to, like mental health issues. For those in a relationship with someone holding one of these jobs? It can make it tough.

6. Politics

US First Lady Michelle Obama welcomes the Official White House Christmas Tree

US First Lady Michelle Obama (R) welcomes the Official White House Christmas Tree | Yuri Gripas/Getty Images

You’d have to imagine that it’s not easy being in Melania Trump’s shoes. Or Michelle Obama’s. Or anyone who’s married or in a relationship with any politician, really. Just look at what happened to Anthony Weiner. Or, if you really want your stomach to turn, watch the first episode of the show Black Mirror.

7. Military jobs


Military personnel | iStock.com

Being in a relationship with someone in the military, depending on the specifics, can be rough. Deployments can last for months or years. There’s a real chance that your loved one can come home severely injured or disabled — or be killed in action. The stress of the job can cause disorders like PTSD to develop as well, which can make a relationship even more difficult to handle.

8. Pilots and flight attendants

Pilot in cockpit

Pilot in cockpit | iStock.com/Matus Duda

People who work in the airline industry can make it tough on their partners. They’re gone a lot. Traveling to different and exotic locales can put a strain on any relationship, especially if there’s jealousy or other underlying issues. Not only that, but the job is incredibly stressful. Pilots have hundreds of people’s lives in their hands, for example. And attendants? They put up with all kinds of abuse from passengers.

That can make people difficult to deal with when they do arrive home.

9. Corporate executives

handsome young business man sitting on a white modern chair

Handsome young business man sitting on a white modern chair | iStock.com/feedough

When you’re at or near the top of an organization, it’s a whole different ball game. You’re suddenly responsible for everything and everyone — and what they do, say, or screw up. There’s a reason these people tend to make so much money, after all. Power can also go to people’s heads. You might be the boss at work, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the boss at home. Or in the relationship.

10. Media

woman typing on laptop computer and media app icons flying

Woman typing on laptop computer and media app icons flying | iStock.com/KeremYucel

Whether you’re a reporter or political pundit, working in the media can take its toll. Newspaper reporters, for example, have notoriously bad pay and work long hours. That’s not going to be pleasing to most spouses. And if you’re a notable, famous, or even semi-famous figure? That can attract all kinds of attention that can be hard to deal with, both negative and positive.

11. Teachers

teacher protesting for higher salary

Teacher protesting for a higher salary | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

You hear the horror stories, but nothing really replaces the actual experience of being an elementary school teacher. You have roughly 25 kids that you are responsible for each day, all with varying backgrounds, abilities, and mental states. You have an administration that always wants more from you, constant changes in curriculum, and at least one parent every year that thinks you’re the reason why their little “angel” isn’t excelling. Adding insult to injury, the pay is low and lunch breaks are short. Don’t forget to buy some classroom supplies with your own money because of budget cuts. By the time you head home, you’re exhausted and running on empty for your own kids and family. Sure, you get some summertime off, but that’s just enough time to crawl your way back from insanity only to have to face a fresh batch of chaos.

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