No alcohol, nor any other drugs, were involved in the making of this episode. This is about a relationship relapse back into the pit of hell. It is said that when we see devastation, we can’t unsee it. Once we’ve experienced hopeless despair, we leave breadcrumbs on the shortcut that leads back to painful desperation. For Sheri and Matt, July 14, 2021 was the most crushing day of their marriage. Alcoholism is brutal and insidious, and the destruction continues long after the drinking ends. For Sheri and Matt, the good days far outnumber the bad. But the wounds are easy to reopen, and recovery, even relationship recovery, is a bastion of relapse.
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.
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Raw and emotional. Very real. Been there without the benefit of my husband being sober long enough to reach Matt’s level of understanding. I had to leave the marriage in order to heal after a 28 year struggle. I continue to learn about what went wrong and why I accepted my fate for so long. The 10 years since I left have been enlightening and I’m doing so much better. Thank you both for sharing the struggles that so many people suffer with in silence. Continued success and growth. I’ll be listening.
Thank you, Angie! I am so sincerely glad for the enlightenment you have found in the past ten years. Thanks for listening, and thanks for your support!
I am not sure if this is made a public comment or not, but I felt compelled to say something.
I found myself yelling at the radio while listening to the podcast. I felt Sheri was 100% being railroaded. My husband use to do this to me all the time. He would constantly say over and over that I wasn’t attracted to him no matter how much I would say otherwise. Eventually, me having constantly to reassure him of my attraction ended up being a huge deterrent from me wanting to ever touch him (on top of the effects of alcoholism). It is exhausting having to be that self-esteem booster for someone else.
Sheri–I totally get where you are coming from. Big hugs.
The last sentence of your middle paragraph is so important, Mo. “It is exhausting having to be that self-esteem booster for someone else.” You could not be more right. I believe self-esteem is the opposite of addiction. While I was drinking, and my esteem was washed away by shame and failed attempts to control the uncontrollable, so much of the weight of boosting my ego was on Sheri’s shoulders.
I like to believe those days are gone, and this isn’t about stroking my ego. But I’ll say two things: One, I can totally see how triggering this conversation was for many who have lived through what you and Sheri have lived through. And two, maybe you are right. Maybe I am still weak and looking to Sheri to prop me up. Thanks for listening, and thanks for giving me something to think about, Mo!
What a privilege to be included in this process with you. Talk about vulnerability, my respect and gratitude to both of you. Sheri I hear you loud and clear about feeling guilty for not having the same ways of intimate expression that Matt does even though you do have intimate feelings for him…just different love languages. How to make that work is the biggy ! I’m also reluctant to show affection for fear it will be taken as invitation to have sex. The consequence over time has been detachment. A shrivelling of both souls. Politeness is how we live through the days and months. And, like you guys, I wonder what is this really all about. Maybe there is a different relationship option from traditional marriage where you both honor each other without anyone having to deny who they really are. Curious.
I was married and divorced from an alcoholic and continue to end up with nice
men who use too much alcohol. Same issues surface. It’s hard and the path is winding. Anxiety is my constant companion. Clarity would be a relief.
You are both brave and amazing and loved.
Thank you for listening, Nancy, and thanks for such loving feedback!
Wow, I’m not sure Sheri that I could ever be this vulnerable to an audience……it just seems like such an intimate conversation. I wanted to turn it off a couple times; I felt I shouldn’t be party to such raw feelings on both sides. It was like looking into a bedroom and watching two people bare themselves and I felt like a peeping Tom.
As for the subject of getting back to intimacy or maybe finding the first true intimacy after living in an alcoholic relationship for so long, it opened my eyes to issues we’ve had our whole marriage. I would voice my sexual needs or wants in bed, my husband would maybe respond that night, but then would forget and return back to the same old patterns he’d always used in sex that we’re a turnoff for me. So I withdrew. Sex became frustrating and work, instead of what it should be….a way to being intimate and vulnerable with the person you love. I’m still struggling with this issue, and being post menopausal doesn’t help with libido. But the feelings of wanting to give my husband a kiss, just because, are returning……I’m surprised myself when I get that urge. I held myself back for so many years because the alcohol smell and alcohol existence turned me off. It will be interesting to see how long it takes to really get or find true intimacy.
Thank you, Sheri and Matt for being so vulnerable to all of us. Such courage. I hope your journey to more intimacy continues and grows.
Your encouragement means more than you know, Dawn. Thanks, and best of luck to you and your relationship!
Blown away by your vulnerability and honesty as individuals and as a couple. Sharing your personal wounding and the pain of touching that wound in each other – meeting each other but not in quite the way that will resolve the pain. This to me is the ultimate riddle of life – no matter who we are with. I could hear you each share how you want/expect love in a particular way, how painful it is when that particular way is not met because of what it ‘seems’ to mean. And yet through this episode I could hear this other part of both of you willing to be responsible for meeting those needs in yourself and being compassion to the other. Exquisite.
Thank you, Anne! Your support always means so much to us, and this is no exception. Thanks you for listening and for encouraging.