Shift workers at higher risk of break-ups

GLADSTONE'S large shift-working population could make couples more at risk of marriage breakdowns.

Relationships Australia Gladstone relationships counsellor Pauline Hill said recent statistics had shown that moving populations and shiftwork have adverse impacts on marriages.

She said there were no statistics available to suggest Gladstone's divorce rate was any worse than other cities, but it was a known fact that the pressures of shiftwork signalled the end for many marriages.

"I think it starts off with a breakdown in communication, then slowly over time respect breaks down, consideration breaks down and before they know it they feel that all love has been lost,'' Ms Hill said.

Government statistics reveal there are more than 1.3 million separated parents in Australia, which has a divorce rate of more than 40 per cent.

Gladstone City Council Community Advisory Service family support worker Veronica Laverick said the high divorce rate among couples today was indicative of a shift in societal views and increasing pressure on families.

"Once upon a time marriage was viewed as forever, but that just isn't the case any more,'' she said.

"It is only inevitable that the more stress that is placed on relationships the more vulnerable they are going to be.''

Ms Laverick said the Community Advisory Service offered a 10-week Rebuilding Relationships program to teach people how to take charge of their lives and move forward after separation.

"It helps people to feel more positive about themselves and where they are headed, and it also gives them the tools to be able to cope with other crises they may face in their lives,'' Ms Laverick said.

The federal government also recently launched an interactive CD-ROM with tips and hints for surviving separation, entitled Dealing With Separation.

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