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We are Sheri and Matt Salis, and our marriage survived active alcoholism. We were shocked to find our relationship in even more trouble in recovery because of the pain, lack of trust and years of resentment that sobriety exposed. But we are making it work, and we are sharing our painful story with the millions of alcoholic couples dealing with both active alcoholism, and also the challenges of recovery.

  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Relationship

Ep138 – Looking Back but Moving Forward with Bridget

Bridget stayed with her husband as his drinking destroyed his health and their marriage. The lies, the hiding and the gaslighting is something with which so many loved ones of alcoholics are familiar. She made the impossibly hard but healthy decision to move on and live the life they had planned to live together, alone. Bridget describes in emotional detail how she loved her husband, the man she married. But the man alcohol transformed him into is not the man she loved. At the end of the episode, she also surprises Matt with her advice for mothers of young children who are in similar situations. If you love or loved an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program.
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Family

Ep137 – When Unacceptable Behavior is Normalized

The indicators of the increase in bad behavior are everywhere. The airline industry, big city crime statistics, and alcohol industry consumption numbers all correlate to paint a concerning picture of the aftermath of COVID isolation. No matter how much we try to compartmentalize and ignore, the truth is staring us in the face. In this episode, Sheri and Matt talk about the increase in unacceptable behavior, and what we can do when we see it in our families and among our friends. If you love or loved an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program.
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep136 – Married to Addiction with Julie Sanford

Julie Sanford hosts the Married to Addiction podcast, and she joins Sheri and Matt to discuss the similarities and differences in both their recovery stories, and also their outreach to the loved ones of alcoholics. On this episode, they discuss the signs that indicate that the loved ones need recovery, getting your needs met as the wife of an alcoholic, the mantras associated with codependency, self-care for someone who is deep in the chaos of addiction, and what you can do if your alcoholic doesn't support your need to get help. Matt admires Julie's "radio voice," and Sheri resonates with a lot of Julie's experiences. If you love or loved an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program.
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep135 – Denial: Delaying the Inevitable

Matt spent ten years working himself through the cycle of active alcoholism into permanent sobriety. What could have been accomplished in a year, took Matt a decade to process. Why the delay? Denial. Both Sheri and Matt were in denial about the demon they faced. In this episode, they discuss their denial in detail in the hopes that others can move through the process of finding recovery faster than they did. The episode ends with an epically bad joke the sends Sheri scurrying from the room. If you love or loved an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program.
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep134 – Owning Your Story with Deb

The loved ones of alcoholic are often compelled to keep the trauma of addiction a secret because the drinker has a lot to hide. By stifling their stories, the loved ones remain stuck in unprocessed pain. Deb is our guest on this episode, and she has chosen to talk about her story as the partner of someone suffering from addiction to alcohol. Her decision has brought relief and a level of peace to Deb, and it has led to progress for the relationship. She is a thoughtful and educated ambassador for the power of owning your own story. If you love or loved an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program.
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep133 – Sheri’s Return to Open-Minded Listening

During his active addiction and early sobriety, Matt never had an idea that Sheri was interested in hearing about. Whether it was his arrogance, his gaslighting or his mistakes, new ideas just meant challenges and heartache for Sheri. But things are different now. Sheri welcomes Matt's suggestions, and the couple discusses their plans and ideas as a true partnership focused on their mutual best interest. They also enjoy euchre much more than in Matt's drinking days. There's lots of uplifting laughter in this episode. If you love or loved an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program.
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep132 – What are YOUR Needs?

If you are the loved one of an alcoholic, it may be hard to be truthful and authentic with your partner who is dealing with or recovering from addiction. You're vulnerability has probably been used against you in the past, you might think your spouse has too much on his plate to be burdened by your problems, and he might have the habit of offering quick fixes to brush you aside. On this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss how important it is for the loved ones to stop picking up the alcoholic pieces, and concentrate on their own needs. And to express those needs, knowing that authenticity might not be well received. If you love or loved an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program.
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep131 – The Differences between Boundaries and Ultimatums

"You do what I tell you or else," statements rarely work, and they create additional friction while weakening our relative positions in relationships. In this episode, Sheri and Matt share their personal experiences with ultimatums and boundaries, and they discuss best practices for couples still in the heat of battle with addiction. If you love or loved an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program.
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep130 – Disastrous Communication in the Aftermath of Addiction

More than anything else, recovering a relationship from alcoholism is a huge communication problem. And it isn't just a problem with the words we choose, it is the modes of communication that keep us stuck as well. If you are texting your spouse about anything deeper than who is supposed to pick up milk on the way home, that is a huge red flag for Sheri and Matt who bring all the technological advancement of their flip phone and sliding keyboard to this discussion. Marriage communication is hard enough without sabotaging our own relationships. Sheri and Matt have some "dos" and "don'ts" tucking inside some tears and some laughter. If you love or loved an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program.
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep129 – Regret is where the Shame Lives

For alcoholics, there is a direct relationship between the shame from past behaviors, and a tangible liquid called alcohol. For the loved ones of alcoholics, spouses in particular, the source of shame is far less direct and recognizable. The shame for the loved ones grows diabolically out of regret. It is a complex web that keeps people stuck, and Sheri and Matt talk all about regret and how to break free. What would you say if we told you regret was actually a good thing? If you love or loved an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program.
Untoxicated Podcast © 2020