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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 11 | Oct 2009 | What Will The Last Words They Hear From You Be?
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Part 1 - Welcome!
Part 2 - Feature Article - What Will The Last Words They Hear From You Be?
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 eleventh 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.

My apologies for the break in Newsletters but it has been a challenging few months with both a close family bereavement and moving house.

There is no doubt that significant events in our lives give us the opportunity to take stock and consider what our priorities are. There are positive lessons to be learned from the bleakest of moments and there are opportunities for others to learn from the experience too.

However busy you are, and I’m sure you are, please take a few moments out of your busy schedule to consider what your true priorities are, and whether your current life actions actually bear this out.

The article this month “What Will The Last Words They Hear Be?” will I hope give you pause for thought.

If you find there is a conflict between your life as it is and the way you want it to be give me a ring.

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 making sure that what ever happens you have no regrets about what we have said and the way that we say it.

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 benefit 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 - What Will The Last Words They Hear From You Be?

The loss of someone you love is always very difficult but out of bereavement comes a golden opportunity to examine your priorities and to re-evaluate the way things are done.

The loss of my brother made me think about many things at a personal level and also it gave me the opportunity to think about how a sudden bereavement impacts on others. As I thought about it there were a number of lessons which stood out. I started to think about the many clients I work with and how the lessons created through David’s death might be of value to others. A television programme looking at the last few moments of the people killed in the Twin Towers terrorist attack and the contacts made with their loved ones who knew they were about to die confirmed my thoughts.

One of the things which struck me forcibly was how powerful the impact of the last words shared between loved ones was on the people left behind.

The one thing that really stood out was that the last words spoken between people are the ones which remain for ever with the person left behind. The people receiving phone and text messages from their loved ones in the Twin Towers heard words they will treasure for the rest of their lives. How much they were loved and what high a value the person they were about to loose placed on them and their relationship. It didn’t take away the agony of loosing their loved one but without exception the surviving partner, parent, child or friend gained enormous comfort in the days after their loss from those few loving words.

One thing which has made my brother’s families grief easier is the thought that they had shared a wonderful holiday immediately prior to David’s death. They had in fact returned the night before. They have great memories of quality time together, lots of laughter and loving words to draw upon.

How different would it be if the last words they had shared had been argumentative or negative?

Dave was great at keeping in touch with friends and family. This has helped enormously. He was really good at telling people he cared about them. He often sent me a quick text saying “Luv Ya” or “Thinking about you” and it always brought a smile to my face and a warm glow to my heart. I know from talking to others that they share similar feelings.

I thought of all the partners of workaholics I know. It struck me how often the time spent with their loved ones was coloured by their sense of sadness, anger, irritation or loss at their partners work habits. I know the short time they spend together is often quite pressured, and negative words are exchanged or resentments are often shared without any words being spoken.

Think about the past week.

  • What were the last words you said to your partner?
  • What proportion of your conversation was dealing with day to day living?
  • How much was spent nagging or complaining?
  • How much was spent saying something which will have a positive impact on the relationship?
  • When was the last time you told them you loved them and there were no strings attached?

Some simple principles can make a huge difference:

Make sure that no one ever goes to bed or leaves the house on an argument.

When was the last time you told your partner that you loved them – unconditionally?

Texts are a wonderful way of sending a positive message which can be picked up at a time and in a way which is undemanding, never the less the sentiment is just as powerful. A little note in their brief case can do the same thing. Keep it light and undemanding and as always with unconditional love expect nothing in return.

Be sure that what ever happens the words you offer give you no cause for regret

If your anxiety or frustration lead to harsh words, negative body language, if you feel unhappy or dissatisfied with life then it is time to take control of your own life and to do something differently, get some help.

Make every day count and live it fully.

Treasure the people you care about and tell them often that you value them just for being them.

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

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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.
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Kim Rix
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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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