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Calling all Partners of Successful Business People
Recovering Workaholics can help you create a life full of so much more than just work.
If you find work has taken over your partners life and you want more... look no further,
Recovering Workaholics can help you and your partner find true fulfilment.

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Volume 10 | June 2009 | The Power Of Relationship Games

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Part 1 - Welcome!
Part 2 - Feature Article - The Power Of Relationship Games
Part 3 - Special Offer - FREE One Month SaVVy Club Membership!

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Part 1 - Welcome!

Dear Partner of a Workaholic,

Welcome to this our tenth newsletter written especially to support Partners of Workaholics who have excessive work habits. In this newsletter we will provide support for those of you who have to deal with a partner whose excessive work habits means they work all the time and ignore you.

Living with a workaholic is always a challenge, particularly when it begins to impact on your sense of self. It is all too easy to fall into the trap of making a connection between your partner’s behaviour and how you value yourself when in reality there is no connection at all – unless we choose to make it so.

Those of you who have read previous newsletters will have read one of the underpinning principles I believe in is that everything we do, feel and think is a matter of choice. Once you can separate your partner’s behaviours from your sense of who you are you can begin to create a different perception about your life. Once you can do this then the magic can happen.

This issue's article focuses on the games we play with ourselves and others and how choosing not to run the game any more can make an enormous difference to the quality of our relationships with ourselves and others.

If you’d like some help, book a complementary 30 minute coaching session to explore how I can help you explore the way forward.

I am very pleased to be able to let you know that the SaVVy Club are offering Recovering Workaholic members one months free membership to try things out. See below for more details.

Make 2009 the year when you took consistent action to make a positive difference to the quality of your own life and for those who share it with you.

With best wishes,

Gina Gardiner

Gina Gardiner
Helping you create a life you love!

Recovering Workaholics
Tel in the UK: 01708 703 959
Tel from outside the UK: +44 1708 703 959

I have included the following section for the benifit of our new members. It is also worth a re-read even if you read it last month. You can skip to part 2 if you prefer.

Some of you may have heard the feature on Woman’s Hour on Thursday 25th April which focused on the difficulties living with a workaholic creates. If you would like to hear that feature please visit the BBC web site at

Are You The Partner Of a Workaholic?

  • Do you feel as if you play second fiddle to their work?
  • Is it left to you to make excuses to the children, to family and friends because they are late or too busy to attend?
  • Do your partner’s excessive work habits impact on your life and your relationship?
  • Do you send the evenings on your own – even when they are in the house?
  • Is your partner too busy or too tired to pay you the attention you need and deserve?
  • Is your life being affected because of the demands of your partner’s work?
  • Do you feel your own sense of self and your confidence are being eroded because they pay more attention to their work?
  • Are you feeling lonely and left out even though you are in a relationship?

If the answer is yes to three or more of the questions above you may be in a partnership with a workaholic.

You may be thinking:

“I didn’t need to see those questions in order to recognize that things between my partner and I are difficult because of his or her work. What I need to know is what to do about it!”

Workaholism is no different to the other “….holisms” in that the problem can very difficult for partners and families to deal with.

In the first instance you may recognise that there is a difficulty and be worried. Your worries may be for them, their long term health and well being. You may worry about the fact that the children hardly see their father/mother or that when they do they are too tired to show a real interest in them. Your worries may be about the impact work is having on your relationship and how it makes you feel about yourself.

Unless your partner accepts for themselves that they have a problem, it is extremely difficult to make them face it. Your concern may simply be ignored or be misconstrued as nagging. Until they acknowledge that they have a difficulty and they determine that they want to change their lives, you will need to deal with the impact it has on them, you and the rest of the family.

Am I saying things are hopeless? No of course not – quite the opposite in fact.

What I am suggesting is that you need to understand what being a workaholic is about. Each person will have their own personal reasons for becoming a workaholic but if you have read the information on the website you will know that there are a number of reoccurring themes. I suggest you watch and listen for the clues your partner will undoubtedly offer, as to why they have become a workaholic.

When we work with an issue which appears to be outside our control it often feels insurmountable. It is my experience that we need to work on these external things by working on ourselves. There are things we can't change, but what we can do is change the way we feel about the issue and how it makes us feel. The paradox is that as soon as we make the mental shift in ourselves there is frequently a shift in the underlying problem too.

Being the partner of someone, who is too busy to notice your needs, can begin to make you feel less attractive and really knock your self confidence. The reality is that in the majority of cases being a workaholic is about them and not you.

I suggest that you work on ensuring that you feel good about who you are and confident enough to help them to deal with their issues as and when they are ready to.

When I first began Recovering Workaholics I created it for people who wanted to redress the work/life balance in their lives. Those who wanted to enjoy their work but who were keen to create a life full of passion, enjoyment and fulfilment. It soon became evident that there were many people who were partners of workaholics and were desperately trying to manage the impact that their partners work habits had on their relationships and their lives. Sometimes the loneliest place is when we are with others.

Partners often contact me saying how alone they feel and how difficult it is to solve the problem because ultimately the change is down to someone else.

If you would like some help to do this coaching can help.

Recovering Workaholics is a growing concern. We offer 1:1 coaching, and training to facilitate those who want a truly satisfying life. Understanding what drives us to work to the point where love, happiness and fulfilment are the poor relation is the first step to creating a life you truly love. We can help you work towards achieving your “dream” life.

We also offer support for those who are facing retirement or who have recently retired or experienced redundancy and who are finding it difficult to adjust to the change.

If you know of anyone who would be interested in working with us please let me know by contacting me at

Recovering Workaholics
Tel in the UK: 01708 703 959
Tel from outside the UK: +44 1708 703 959

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Part 2 - The Power Of Relationship Games

We all play games. No I’m not talking about football, cards or tiddlywinks. I’m talking about the games we play with ourselves and others.

The "I’m not going to listen to what you have to say - even if it makes perfect sense, because if I do it will mean that you are right and I’m wrong" game

Or the ….

"I won’t tell you what I really want or need. You should notice with out my saying anything and when you don’t I’ll feel hurt, rejected, frustrated and / or angry. I’ll play the martyr" game.

Or the …

"Poor little me – no one understands how hard it has been; it is alright for everyone else" game.

Or the …

"When people ask me to do things I always say yes even though I really don’t want to do it. But then I feel resentful or angry because I don’t feel as if I have any choice or that is the only way I feel I have any value" game.

Or the

"My parents didn’t / don’t love me because they are always telling me what to do / don’t give me enough attention / gave my brother or sister a better deal" game.

Or the

"My boss is a B------- he’s always on my case" game

The games we play are as numerous and varied as there are people. In essence the games are always based on the stories we tell ourselves about the things which happen in our lives. These stories keep us stuck in a pattern of beliefs and behaviours which is great if they are empowering but all too often they are destructive and limiting.

Once we create a story we then start to look for evidence to support our story. If you look hard enough you can ALWAYS find evidence to support any belief. As time goes on we stack more and more evidence to support the story.

Is it based on truth? It is based on our perception of the truth which is an entirely different precept. In reality our perception of the truth can be empowering, neutral or destructive. You can choose to see your partner as neglectful and uncaring or as someone who is driven to work unreasonable hours because of the needs which drive them.

The amazing thing is that as soon as you give up the need to play the game, magic things can then begin to happen. If you can give up the need to be right or the need to position yourself as the one who has been treated badly you can begin to see your situation through a fresh eyes. As soon as you do that solutions which had previously been hidden from view begin to emerge.

So think carefully about the ‘games’ you play. Until now they will have generally been unconscious (but are no less destructive because of that). Think carefully about the patterns of behaviour you run in your life. If they are empowering to you and those around, you keep them going. Where you are left feeling a victim, a martyr, angry, resentful or depressed, where there are winners and losers look for the ‘game’ which underpins the process.

You will need to be extremely honest with yourself and you may not like what you reveal. Imagine yourself as an independent observer watching and listening to what you do and say, the tone of voice, the body language, and to what you leave unsaid or done. Be conscious of the feelings which precede your actions and how you feel in the aftermath.

Acknowledging that you play games is the first step.

Identifying what they are is the second.

The third and probably the most powerful stage is to tell the person you play the games with what you have been doing and say you are sorry.

We’ll deal with that step in the next newsletter as it is so powerful. Completing these stages offers you the opportunity to redesign existing relationships with your partner, your parents, children and your boss.

Working with a coach can be incredibly helpful when working on developing a healthy sense of self worth but there are things you can do to help yourself. Try the ideas above. We would love to hear how you get on and if you have other ideas which have worked for you.

To arrange some coaching support please contact me by email at or
Phone in the UK 01708 703959 (or International +44 1708 703959).

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Part 3 - FREE One Month SaVVy Club Offer

When was the last time you did something for the first time? If you are left wondering, then why not be embraced by a Club that prides itself on service focused quality and exclusive fun.

This is where The SaVVy Club comes into it's own. We can show you the way for every varying need and want in the world of events and leisure activities.

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Experience all this and more with your free one month membership to The SaVVy Club!

To enjoy this exclusive offer, contact Kim at The SaVVy Club within 7 Days of receiving this message and she'll send you a code that allows you to sign up for your FREE one month membership.

Next time you’re heading to London for a volley of meetings, don’t spend your evenings alone with only the remote control for company. Get out there and enjoy what the City has to offer.

It couldn't be simpler.

So why not take the opportunity right now to take us up on our great offer.
Telephone Kim on 0208 989 4886 and quote Recovering Workaholics.

Kim Rix
Founder and CEO of The SaVVy Club®  
London’s first boutique social events club.

For more information, please visit
or call 0870 005 6225.

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Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

If there are any topics you would like covered in future issues please let me know on or complete the feedback form at

What do you think?

Warmest wishes,
Gina Gardiner

For any further information about Recovering Workaholics or to discuss your coaching needs contact or
Phone in the UK 01708 703959 (or International +44 1708 703959).

Gina Gardiner recognised by "Investors In People" as creating an "innovative and exemplary training programme for emerging and middle managers" and by Ofsted as an “inspirational leader”. Her experience includes that of “Change Management” and in supporting organizational leaders in developing strategic vision and creating a “can do” culture.

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