Jul 082018 13 Responses

Seven Careers That Are Hard On Marriage (Part 2)

Here is part two of 7 Careers That Are Hard On Marriage. For part one, click HERE.

4. Coaching. Few people have impacted my life as much as coaches. Through sports, they teach what it means to be a man/woman, how to deal with difficulty, and the importance of character in every situation. Coaches are powerful influencers. But the job can be hard on a marriage. The primary issue with coaching is a failure to spend the proper time necessary to nourish a good relationship. It’s often easier (and more fun) to practice, watch film, or recruit rather than to have a difficult conversation with your spouse. Coaches are often expected to spend an extraordinary amount of time at the office and many others simply choose to do so. This takes a great toll on a marriage. Especially as kids are born, it’s vital for a coach to spend time with his family, yet many choose not to do so. Careers are important, but husbands and wives are more important. Takeaway: Prioritize quality and quantity time with your spouse. (See: One Thing You Must Show Your Spouse)

5. Firefighter. In many communities, firefighters not only fight fires but also are the first responders to a variety of issues. The job is unique in that it has two radically different components–moments of extreme stress and times of great freedom. Not only do firefighters occasionally get dead time at work, most of them work schedules where they are on for a few days and they are off for a few days. This creates a unique situation where they have a great amount of freedom. Some use that freedom wisely, others use it to make bad choices. Add the trauma and stress from the images they’ve seen and been involved in at work and this can create a recipe for disaster. There is also a third ingredient which often makes being a firefighter hard on marriage–a male-dominated culture. Many firehouses are male dominated and it’s a culture that does not respect women or the home. This culture often belittles men who try to honor their wives and elevates men who are demeaning toward women. These three ingredients can have a negative impact on one’s marriage. Takeaway: Surround yourself with people who value marriage and hold high expectations of themselves and you.    

6. Social Worker. Many of the helping professions have two things in common–they do great work and they are greatly underpaid. This combination can be harmful to a marriage. The emotional toll of social work is daunting. Men and women invest so much and often see little reward. The problems just continue to mount. Yet the work is worth it because every person helped is a life that is changed. The problem is that many of these jobs pay very little which adds pressure to a person’s marriage–a person who is already emotionally taxed. Money doesn’t make a marriage great, but an absence of money can be a great strain on a relationship. From the worker on the factory line to the substitute teacher, when money is tight a marriage often is hurt. Takeaway: Recognize that money pressures can negatively impact your marriage. (See: An 85-Word Money Solution)

7. Massage Therapist. Any job that involves intimacy runs the risk of hurting one’s marriage. Actors pretending to love each other can feel real emotions develop. Therapists listening and helping a person through deep struggle can get too emotionally attached. Pastors can become too involved. A massage therapist can play an important role in one’s health, but if they and/or the client aren’t careful, a healing touch can turn into a sexual touch. Physical relaxation can create an emotional connection. Intimacy is something human beings crave. Whenever our job demands that we get emotionally close to others, we must be on guard to ensure our hearts and minds stay in the proper lane. If we are naive or ill-intended, careers which tempt us to be intimate with others will cause us to cross boundaries we should not cross.  Takeaway: Draw strong boundaries regarding emotional connections with people of the opposite sex.  

Be Aware, Don’t Avoid

This post is about awareness, not avoidance. Each of these jobs is necessary for society and noble for individuals to choose. We don’t need fewer people doing these jobs, we simply need more people who are aware of the possible temptations in each career field. Every job brings unique challenges and for these seven careers, one of the unique challenges is an extra threat to relationships.

The good news is that I have friends in each of these fields who value marriage and take the jobs seriously. They understand the challenges and are taking extra precaution to guard what they value. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend someone going into any of these fields. However, I regularly warn those in these professions that they must take extra care of their relationships if they desire to be successful both at work and at home.

13 Responses to Seven Careers That Are Hard On Marriage (Part 2)
  1. Peggy Reply

    I’m not sure I agree with this article for the fact that any job should not come before God, our spouse or children! I’ve been a nurse for 44 years and married 36 years and I would and will always put God my husband and children before my job! I know there are temptations out there and home situations that are difficult but no job should be worth your morals. Just my opinion.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Peggy, I don’t remember saying that a job should come before God, spouse, or children. Instead, I regularly write the opposite.

    • Kay Reply

      Peggy I think you misinterpreted this article and to be honest what has this got to do with God? I am a Christian myself, however feel you have just legalistically commended on this. This article is merely stating what can be obvious in certain careers and accurate at that

  2. Jessica Daily Reply

    When owning your own business!!!!! Hours upon hours building a business when your out marriage shows signs of neglect. It’s hard to counter balance.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Good point, Jessica. For us, Jenny owning her own business has helped the family. While she works more, we know she is working for us as compared to before when she was working for someone else.

  3. Ronda Haley Reply

    I have been a caregiver for people with disabilities for about 13 years and it has been hard on my marriage because i give soo much of myself to my job theres not much left for me or for him. But were faired thru it and were still standing strong after 33 years.

  4. David W. Reply

    I am convinced that ministry should be in the top five! When we enter into the front lines and enter into Satan’s territory to fight for our Lord’s kingdom Satan takes notice and seeks to destroy the picture of Christ and his church that is marriage. The hours are undefined, the work involves diving with others into the depths of their sin, and seeking relationships deep enough to permit vulnerability. If not for the extraordinary work of the Holy Spirit no pastor or missionary could stand.

  5. Denise Reply

    My husband and I both have jobs in health care. One source of stress has always been that we work nontraditional hours. We might have to work Thanksgiving Day some Saturdays or the overnight shift. Some of the other jobs you have on your list also deviate from the traditional 9-5 pattern. The M-F 9-5 world doesn’t always do a good job of understanding why you aren’t more available when they are available.
    I don’t always think it is necessarily the career, but the nontypical hours that could be a stress on a marriage. For instance, my mother in law never quite understood our obligations to our jobs vs what she wanted for the holidays. That was tremendously stressful for me.
    There are some stressors with the job that can be hard to handle and you aren’t really supposed to take home with you. Some things I hadn’t expected, like the burden of interacting with family members who aren’t happy with the care you give. To the extent this involves swearing and treating healthcare workers like they are idiots, it can really be draining.

  6. Frankie Reply

    My husband coached for years and when our first child was born I asked ( really begged) him to quit coaching. He did. This was a very hard decision. He loved coaching- the game, the preparation, the athlete,the opportunity to be a godly example to such a vulnerable group of kids, the comradery with his colleagues. He misses it still today. I am grateful for the time we can spend together.

    Great article.

  7. Jessica Reply

    I was talking to my husband, who is a college strength coach, and he was telling about the offensive coordinator that told the team how he became a coach and how he and his wife lived on very little income for many years while he pursued being coach, and she was not able to do what she wanted, and she sacrificed a lot. Now he makes almost a million dollars but is of course still incredibly busy as a coach. I am just wondering if you think it would be wrong if your husband is working a very busy job, and especially if he is barely making enough money to get by, if it is wrong as a wife to voice your concerns and see if he is willing to talk about getting another job. I know that would be hard as a wife, but I am trying to prepare myself because my husband is a coach too. I realize marriage is sacrifice, but somehow why is it always the wife who sacrifices for her husband to be able to do what he wants. Yes he works hard and sacrifices in the way of money, but it is his job and his decision, she has no power. Also, he always gets to do what he wants to do for his career but a woman does not. I am just saying my thoughts, but what is the right way to feel about this. I feel there is such a double standard between the genders with jobs, sacrifice, and seeing a job as more than just a way to make money. I almost started crying when I saw coaching on this list because, although I know it is true, it just makes the future very frightening. What can we do about these double standards and expecting only a wife to sacrifice and a husband choosing a job that will put his family in a bad place and possible make very little money in order to do what he wants. How can husbands do this to their wives? But when a wife wants to work it has to fit into the life but a husband gets to define the life.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      There is a great gender bias in this area and it shouldn’t be. I see it a great deal in the ministry. Guys think that God can only move through their but not their wife’s. My theory is there are sinners everywhere, why can’t God move us based on my wife’s job? I do have some friends, specifically those in the medical field, where the wife’s job dictates the sacrifice and schedule. While there may be some exceptions, the sacrifices coaches expect their wives to make simply is not worth it.

      • Jessica Reply

        So how can I, as a wife who wants to support her husband and believe in his goodness, not think that because he chose this job he knew would be hard on the family he cares about the job, players, his own career more than me? His dad was a coach and he never saw his dad growing up, so he knew what it entailed. I have been wrestling with the question recently: How can a man who loves his wife and family get into a job that he knows will require great sacrifice and service from them and he will not even have the time to show them the same sacrifice and service, let alone just be around? How can he do that? How can a Christian man ask this of his wife? Shouldn’t he just stay single if he wants to coach? I have been reading coach’s wives blogs lately how their husbands are home every 3 days, how they call them an hour before dinner saying they are bringing over 8 players (telling not asking), how their kids cry at night because they miss their dads, and how they cannot pursue their own dreams because of their husbands job, and I just don’t get it. These men claim to be Christians but how can they do that to their wives? How can they expect so much and dictate their life like that? I don’t understand how a man can meet his God given roles if he isn’t even around. I realize all marriage requires sacrifice and we can expect some from our spouse, but how much is too much? My husband isn’t even the busiest type of coach, but I still wrestle with this seeing the people he works with and their families that are all alone. Most men say it is to impact the players, which is amazing, but should they be more important than your own family? I don’t know the answer, I don’t know why this bothers me so much, but I do not know how to be a good wife, pursue my own dreams while being supportive, and not become incredibly bitter and resentful. How can a christian man take many of these above jobs knowing what it will do to his family? I have chosen my career partly on how it will affect family and moving, so why wouldn’t a man do that? Please help, I do not want to be angry and bitter, and if there are any coaches that read this please chime in, but how can they do it? Because to me it communicates that they don’t care about their families.

        • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

          I would try to find a mentor couple who has a marriage you respect. Maybe the coach’s wife could assist you through it.

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