- 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 you spend 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 be very difficult for partners and families to deal with.
In the first instance, you may recognize 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 problem 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 in the first instance you 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.
In the second there is a real benefit in following the old adage – those things you cannot change – change the way you feel about them. 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 in the first instance, 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.