11 Experts Share Jobs People Have That Make Life Very Difficult For Their Spouses

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Some marriages are more challenging than others. Career choice plays a major factor in how tough or easy it is to be married to someone.

A military spouse knows this all too well. So does the spouse of a law enforcement officer. So, too, do the spouses or partners of anyone whose career places them in harm's way or forces them to spend huge chunks of time away from home.

Now, we can't paint matrimony with too broad a brush here. Naturally, when someone gets married they typically do so knowing that obstacles are inevitable. Ideally, the couple has discussed ahead of time how they intend to balance their careers and enter the marriage mentally and emotionally prepared to weather the challenges.

Yet, some people pursue careers that simply make it much more difficult for a partner to cope. For instance, if your partner is a gaming manager at a casino or a bartender, we feel your pain.

We asked a panel of YourTango Experts to share the jobs that make life much more difficult for a spouse. Here are their responses.

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Here are 11 jobs people have that make life very difficult for their spouses:

1. A job in family therapy

My practice is filled with therapists wanting to improve their marriages. Frequently, what works in a therapist's practice does not work at home. Therapists sometimes believe that, because of their expertise, their spouses are uninformed and mistaken when fights occur between them. This perspective can lead to problems becoming more deeply entrenched.

Michele Weiner-Davis, author, therapist

2. A job that requires frequent and long road trips

A job where you work away from home for more than a week at a time can become more than an inconvenience. It can slowly erode intimacy because of time away and distance.

- Audrey Tait, counselor

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3. A job that disrupts the family routine

Any job or career that is not in tune with the needs of your partner can wreck a marriage. For example, if both of you are doctors and often home late or awakened on call nights it may be of no consequence in the marriage.

However, if one of you must be asleep by 8 p.m. to make it to your job of opening a supermarket at 6 a.m. it may be critical to make sure that the house is not disturbed by phone calls after 8 p.m. Might a marriage not be sustained? Again, yes or no.

If you and your spouse are creative and inventive and you are willing to wear the best headphones as you sleep that it may be that he or she can be a doctor and you can run your supermarket. Yes, relationships are complicated, but often it is worth the struggle.

Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, psychologist

4. A job in real estate

A realtor must be available 24/7, 365 days a day, in person or on the phone, and the biggest deals always happen when they are on vacation.

- Mitzi Bockmann, certified life coach

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5. A job with long hours

I think that any job that takes your partner's time and attention away from having a healthy work-life balance can make life difficult.

Sometimes these are professions that require 10-12 hours per day and weekend work. I've seen this with lawyers, consultants, and accountants during tax season. Also, frequent travel out of town can be stressful for a marriage partner if they find themselves frequently alone and lonely.

- Mary Kay Cocharo, LMFT, counselor

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6. A job that takes precedence ahead of family

Executives of non-profits, politicians, and clergy have a "fishbowl" life when the constituents or congregants expect their families to be on display and participate as models of approbation. The strains on marriage and children are great because there are unusually urgent expectations for those leaders to answer to diverse and sometimes contradictory demands that infringe on private family time.

A rabbi once told me that he remembers standing in the kitchen with his baseball glove in hand waiting for his Rabbi father to play with him. The rabbi seemed to always be called to a funeral or a meeting and never seemed to have the time for his son to play.

So, the array of expectations from others and the pressure on the family to adapt to 24/7 duty leads to resentment and alienation.

The price to be paid for careers that involve a great deal of travel, continuous on-call service, and model behavior for everyone in the family to be on display is a marriage and family killer. The responsible leader will carve out time and privacy for his/her family which is a "sacred wall " to be built into the job description.

- Jeff Saperstein, career coach

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7. A job connected to the spiritual arts

I know many women, including myself, whose marriage partner has great difficulty accepting the fact that they read tarot for a living, or are connecting with dead relatives, or are doing energy healing. Delving into the esoteric or woo-woo for a living can really disrupt a more mainstream partner.

- Marla Martenson, transformational life coach, matchmaker

8. A job as a business owner

Founders and entrepreneurs must focus squarely on their careers to make them work. This often occurs to the detriment of the family. 

- Dr. Liz Zed, spiritual coach

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9. A job as an emergency responder

First responder careers, such as policing, firefighting, and paramedicine, are exhilarating and rewarding, and marriage partners love the sense of duty, skill, and courage their spouses demonstrate every day. With the plusses, there are also difficulties inherent in these partnerships.

First responder roles entail long shifts and unpredictable work under extremely intense conditions. The partner’s sleep could be interrupted, negatively impacting their mood and well-being. When they are off duty, these heroes might be too drained, and their significant others might feel they are overcompensating for household responsibilities and emotional labor.

Emergency work can be risky, and husbands or wives often worry that something tragic will happen to their loved ones while on the job. A

nother challenging aspect is dealing with the all-too-common post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that spills into the relationship, leaving the partner confused, upset, and unsure to support them and themselves. Open communication, compassion, and problem-solving skills — as well as self-care and good therapy — are essential to overcome the difficulties and enable this couple to thrive.

- Lisa Petsinis, career and life coach

10. A job that changes often

In today’s world of increasingly rapid change, almost any employment holds challenges for partners. Fairly constant organizational and technological shifts influence everyday life. Though this flux is a given, one separate, but potentially, overlapping, the issue is power.

When one partner earns significantly more money and likely has greater external responsibilities than the other, there are related psychological and interpersonal issues and accommodations. This often concerns childcare, when relevant in a marriage. All these matters will benefit from frank, caring communication and creative sharing of responsibilities within the relationship.

Ruth Schimel, Ph.D., author, career and life management consultant

11. Any job, potentially — if actual priorities are forgotten or ignored

A job or career is not the problem. It's only a symptom of a spouse who is either a workaholic or has their priorities out of order. God, Self, Spouse, Children, Job or Career. Why Self? If you're flying with a child, the plane hits turbulence, the air masks drop down, put the air mask on you, then on your child. You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else.

- Jack Kinney, life coach

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Carter Gaddis is the senior editor for experts and wellness with YourTango.