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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

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
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep80 – Breaking the Cycle of Codependence with Jessica

As the daughter of an alcoholic, Jessica had plenty of experience with codependence. When her husband's drinking was spiralling out of control, she had to make unimaginably difficult decisions with her family's survival hanging in the balance. Alcohol abuse and a compulsive need to control are such a common story, but one we don't talk enough about. Jessica joins Sheri and Matt to talk about the trauma her family suffered, and the progress they are all making in recovery. And now Jessica is using her experiences and her passion to save lives. Here is a link to information about the safe gun storage Jessica emphasizes. 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 If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line for free from anywhere in the U.S.
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Recovery
  • Relationship

Ep79 – Why the Shame of Early Sobriety Wrecks Marriages

Early sobriety is full of shame for high-functioning alcoholics. Often, the spouse has a very hard time understanding the depths of the shame. In this episode, Sheri and Matt talk about gender roles, societal influences, piles of resentment, and Matt's various identity crises from his red shoes to his topless Jeep in the winter. Things that might be hard for the loved ones of alcoholics to understand are very real in early sobriety. And they are a real threat to the viability of the 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

Ep78 – ComYoukneekashon Mistakes

Sheri and Matt agree that the single greatest barrier to loving recovery that most couples face when trying to yank their alcoholic marriages out of the ditch is communication. On this episode, they discuss the seven mistakes they consistently made when trying to communicate. See if you can hear the one of the seven that still plagues them over four years into Matt's sobriety. Here's a hint: It's the one where they stop laughing and sound unsure of themselves. Then, Sheri and Matt offer the most impactful tool they've adopted to improve their communication and move them down the path of discovery. 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
  • Alcohol
  • Health
  • Relationship

Ep77 – Connecting Trauma and Health with Catherine Craig

Catherine Craig (LSCSW, 1000YT) joins Sheri and Matt to talk about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE Study), attachment theory and the trauma of experiencing an alcoholic marriage. They discuss that trauma doesn't have to be severe enough to make a good Law and Order: SVU episode in order for it to do us massive harm, and we have to stop downplaying the impact trauma and stress have on our health, not just our mental health. Catherine points to high ACE scores and chronic stress as causes of shortened life spans, and talks to Sheri and Matt about the seven easy things we can do - that go far beyond talk therapy - to heal our bodies and minds without pharmaceuticals. They are easy, but until we make the connection to the impact they will have on our health, we struggle to stay dedicated to them (they are kind of a silver bullet, hiding in plain sight). And the scientific community has backed all of this up. 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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