There are many ways that work can strain your marriage: late nights at the office, unpredictable schedules, and high-stress projects that leave you too exhausted for thoughtful date-night conversations. But new research suggests that a specific type of workplace could greatly increase your chance of divorce—and it’s got nothing to do with the job description. Learn how 5 people knew their marriage was doomed.
A recent Danish study found that the key here is the ratio of one gender to another. As the ratio of opposite-sex coworkers rose, so did the risk of divorce. The team found that men who worked almost exclusively with women were about 15 percent more likely to get divorced than men who worked primarily with other men. Women who worked more often with men were 10 percent more likely to get divorced. The effect was even more dramatic among highly educated men compared with their less educated peers. No matter what the opposite-sex ratio was, divorce rates were highest in settings with younger workers, such as hotels and restaurants, and lowest in workplaces with older workers, such as farming and libraries. Read these pieces of marriage advice from people who’ve gotten divorced.
The study analyzed data from all of the country’s opposite-sex couples who were married between 1981 and 2002, as well as data about their jobs. Researchers say that Denmark was the ideal laboratory for this experiment because of its positive attitude toward divorce and its variety of gender ratios among job sectors.
The findings are definitely alarming, but no reason to be suspicious whenever your spouse mentions a coworker. If you are concerned about infidelity, relationship experts say the top signs are a change in schedule and increased privacy regarding phones, laundry, and social media. Find out more of the 12 subtle signs you’ve got a cheating spouse.
A major change in behavior is also telling. “When a partner starts pulling away from people and occasions that are usually a high priority, it could be a cause for concern,” relationship expert Amy Spencer, author of Meeting Your Half-Orange: An Utterly Upbeat Guide to Using Dating Optimism to Find Your Perfect Match, told RD.com. “Every person is unique in how they balance work and family, so the key lies in whether or not a behavior is ‘so not like him.’ If your partner has always enjoyed BBQs with the family and kids, and if work has never gotten in the way of events like this before, it raises a red flag.” If you find out that your partner did cheat, try not to do any of these 10 things.