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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
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep90 – Your Communication Problem is Really a Competition Problem with Abby Medcalf

Sheri and Matt welcome Dr. Abby Medcalf to the podcast. Abby is an author, a podcast host, a speaker, a psychologist, a recovery survivor, and has over 30 years of experience working with relationships and people in recovery. She tells Sheri and Matt why couples who think they have a communication problem almost always have a competition problem, and she explains why the person in the relationship in the most pain has to change first and give 100%. Abby's enthusiasm and vibrant story-telling matches her experience and intelligence to make this a master-class level episode. To learn more about Abby, or to check out her amazing  resources, go to her website. 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. Echoes of Recovery
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep89 – Trust Starts with Predictability

All the loved ones of alcoholics want is peace, stability and predictability. How do you think that meshes with the wildly swinging pendulum of euphoria and misery that we call active alcoholism? And when the loved ones express the need for peace, the alcoholics get their feelings hurt. In this episode, Sheri and Matt talk about the link between predictability in sobriety, and rebuilding trust in a marriage. 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. Echoes of Recovery
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep88 – Surviving the Progressive Decline with Toby

Do you ever look at your spouse and wonder what they are thinking or how their drinking spiraled the way it did? Have you ever wanted to tell your story, but the shame and shyness prevents you from finding the words? If so, then this episode might be for you. Toby (husband of Jane from Ep54) explains his innocent yet insidious decline into the grasp of alcoholism. He also shares what he is learning about himself and his marriage on the way back out. 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. Echoes of Recovery
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep87 – Getting Unstuck when You’re Deep In It

People almost universally believe what they are going through is unique when they are deep in the trauma and stress of an alcoholic marriage. Sadly, being deep in it is tragically common. On this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss the signs they see, over and over again, that indicate a person is deep in it even when the sufferer is unsure of their predicament. They also discuss the best tools to get unstuck. 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. Echoes of Recovery
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep86 – Why are We Together?: The Subtle Discovery of Sobriety

Sheri took Mother's Day off from recording this episode, so Matt spends a lot of time talking about her...in endearing terms. Our listeners will surely miss Sheri's laugh, and miss resonating with her tears, but Matt tries to make up for that by explaining the love the couple has found in the subtlety of sobriety - a love that was unavailable when alcohol was impacting the relationship. We hope you'll listen all the way through, because the juicy part, and the lesson they learned, is at the end of this one. 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. Echoes of Recovery
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep85 – The Mental Health of Mediocracy

Most people are aware of the violent swings in the emotional and behavioral highs and lows of active alcoholism. What surprises many is the self-medication that the loved ones of alcoholics engage in to manage their own emotional highs and low. On this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss the equally serious, although less obvious, pain and damage suffered by the loved ones of alcoholics, Sheri makes up her own word (that we later realize is a real word), and Matt compares himself to arguably the world's best golfer (and Matt doesn't play golf). They also dispute the assertion that the connection is the opposite of 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. Echoes of Recovery
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep84 – My Alcoholic Lies: Innocent or Evil?

When Matt was in top form as an alcoholic drinker, he was also extremely proficient as a lier and gaslighter. And yet, with piles of evidence to the contrary staring him in the face, he was adamant about how thoroughly honest he was. How can that be? Sheri, on the other hand, knew the real truth about the denials and excuses. She fluctuated between anger and disgust as she watched Matt spiral deeper into addiction to alcohol. Were the lies evil? Where they innocent? Can Matt and Sheri both find compassion and empathy for the lies of the alcoholic? We hope you listen and see how their answers compare to your truth. 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. Echoes of Recovery
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep83 – Our Own Worst Enemies: Triggers and Solutions

Beating ourselves up when feeling less than worthy is a common part of the human experience. Once culture and society warp our childhood innocence, our self-worth deteriorates. As an alcoholic, Matt drank to make the low self-confidence go away. As the loved one of an alcoholic, Sheri threw herself into projects and cleaning to mask her pain from unrealized expectations. They both had unhealthy patterns of self-criticism, and they both dealt with them in unhealthy ways. On this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss some of the most common triggers of self-loathing, and what they are trying to do to move into healthy patterns. This is the kind of stuff they can tackle in long-term sobriety. It is amazing the things we can discover once alcohol is out of the way! 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. Echoes of Recovery
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep82 – Stuck Behind Booze on the Alcoholic’s Priority List

From taking the family to see ice skating princesses, to venturing into the wooded mountains to cut down a Christmas Tree, Matt was all about spending time with his family. They were his first priority, after all. At least that's how it looked to anyone outside his immediate household. But Sheri knew the truth: that alcohol was always his first priority, until sobriety replaced it atop the priority list. In both cases, Sheri and the family remained second to the consumption and aftermath of alcohol. In this episode, Sheri and Matt talk about how the truth felt to both of them, and how long a slog it is to get Sheri where she belongs as the most important person in Matt's life. 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. Echoes of Recovery
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep81 – 5 Universalisms of HFAs thru the Eyes of the Loved Ones

Universalisms: Things we believe to be virtually universal as we grow in our understanding of how alcohol impacts brains and relationships. Here are five really important ones. Do these apply to you or your alcoholic loved one? On this episode, Sheri and Matt talk about childhood trauma (even in idyllic childhoods), work success justification, alcohol as a coping tool, elusiveness of purpose, and the value of therapy. 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. Echoes of Recovery
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