Untoxicated Podcasts

Exploring the questions of alcoholic relationship recovery.

The progression into alcoholism is always the same. Sure, some of the details are different, and the ultimate rock-bottom destination – The Pit, as Matt likes to call it – varies from story to story. But the slide downward into addiction is always the same. And the consistency of the story applies to the drinkers and the loved ones alike. In this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss the diabolical nature of recovery for the alcoholic, and the fact that the story of climbing back up is as unique and different as are the alcoholics who make the journey. But on the loved-ones side, the same consistency is there on the climb out as was present on the descent. If you love an alcoholic, your healing requires detachment and boundaries, processing the resentments, rebuilding trust and intimacy, and a whole lot of patience – every single time. Coming back up is as consistent as was the slide down as a second-hand victim of the disease 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

Doctor’s take an oath to do no harm. When the surgeons operated on Barbara, she was an exception. They knew they risked harming her. Barbara knew it, too, but she sacrificed herself to save the husband she loved. In the end, her sacrifice wasn’t enough to save the marriage.

In this painful episode with a hopeful ending, Sheri and Matt are honored to talk to Barbara about her experience with end stage alcoholism, and letting go so she could survive. Barbara’s advice to anyone in a similar situation is powerful. “Hope doesn’t always look like staying together.”

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

This is the question we hear most often from our listeners, so on this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss how she processed this painful decision in their alcoholic marriage. Matt asks Sheri about how the influences of parenting, finances and career, family and friends, community, home life, sex, love and hope impacted her decision to stay. There are no easy answers, but separating instincts from insecurities is a necessity. And while Sheri shocks Matt by not correctly identifying The Clash as the artists who sang, “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” she does correctly identify them as the same group who sang, “Rock the Casbah.”

If you love an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program.

Echoes of Recovery

Family communication is fraught with pitfalls whether alcoholism is a factor or not. But with sobriety, we can make progress in our discovery. In this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss a family communication issue made worse by Matt’s dismissal of Sheri’s concerns and challenges. Ultimately, it was triggering for both of them and reminiscent of behavior from their alcoholic marriage. But Sheri’s instincts persevered, and this story is emblematic of the couple’s progress. In this episode, Sheri and Matt get excited about Jane’s suggestion to replace the word, “recovery,” with the word, “discovery.” To hear more insights from Jane, please listen to Ep54.

If you love an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program.

Echoes of Recovery

Have you ever cheated death? Have you ever had too much to drink, and put yourself in a dangerous situation? Have you ever passed out unable to protect yourself should the need arise? Have you ever left your children in the care of a spouse so drunk he couldn’t possibly answer the call should they need him? Have you gotten away with it despite flirting with disaster so many times?

Cheryl Kuechler had flirted with drunken disaster. And had she not chosen sobriety two years ago, she would surely have died in early December 2020. Please listen to her story, and consider donating to the fund to help her put her life back together.

Click here to Donate to Cheryl’s Restoration Fund

Low self esteem, insecurity and negative self talk – these issues plague so many of us, and they are particularly detrimental to people who love alcoholics and are trying to recover from trauma and codependency. On this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss how women learn to say yes to gain approval and get what they want. Often, strength and real boundaries come when the spouse feels the kids are threatened or neglected. When the wife of an alcoholic prioritizes herself and is her own hero, she does so to the benefit of everyone in her life.

Sheri and Matt cover a lot of ground in this important episode, including the toxic lessons girls learn about sex and alcohol before they are even adults.

If you love an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program.

Echoes of Recovery

Karen’s life did not go as planned. She married the man she loved, and they had four kids together. So far, so good. But when the progression of her husband’s drinking spiraled out of control, she realized she was living through a, “slow-motion car wreck.” To protect her kids, to protect herself, Karen filed for divorce. She reluctantly chose, “the nuclear option,” as she describes it. But here’s the good news, and such an important message for anyone in the same situation. Karen shares that, “the worst happened, and it was survivable.”

On this episode, Karen shares her story of resilience and healing. Sheri and Matt thank her for explaining that even when marriage is sacred, important and religiously unbreakable, it still ends in divorce sometimes. Karen explains her dog therapy technique, and she shows us all what strength to rebuilt looks like.

If you love an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program.

Echoes of Recovery

Our book, soberevolution: Evolve into Sobriety and Recover Your Alcoholic Marriage, isn’t for everybody. It is for high-functioning alcoholics who are considering sobriety, are sober, or should be sober. It is also for the loved ones of alcoholics who need to better understand the disease in order to heal and recover the relationship. On this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss why this book is important for people impacted by alcoholism. Spoiler alert: It isn’t important because of all the money selling books makes. Sheri also teases Matt about his fear of gum-chewing addiction for their kids, and Sheri makes up a new word.

See all the ways you can get your copy of soberevolution here.

If you are the loved one of an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program.

Echoes of Recovery

It’s a Wonderful Life or White Christmas – who has experienced a holiday season that lives up to those perfect pictures of love, family and humanity? Norman Rockwell sets the bar pretty high, yet we still try to measure-up year after year. Add the trauma alcohol brings when mixed with unavoidable holiday stress, and it’s the most terrifying time of the year.

In this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss the holiday seasons of his active alcoholism, and also the recent years when alcohol has left the marriage. The holidays are no longer traumatizing, but they are still hard (but they’re getting better). Recovering a relationship takes on a whole new meaning at the holidays.

If you are the loved one of an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program.

Echoes of Recovery

The shame of alcoholism is not reserved only for the drinkers. The loved ones of drinkers feel an enormous amount of shame – for letting it get so bad and for being unable to fix the problems in the relationship. And when the gaslighting of the drinker makes the loved one question her own sanity, the shame mounts to debilitating levels.

But there is hope. On this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss the shame they both felt in their alcoholic marriage, and the keys to moving past it and feeling proud, confident, and on the road to healing and recovery. Also, Sheri makes fun of Matt’s inability to remember more than two things.

If you are the loved one of an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people who understand, please check out our Echoes of Recovery program.

Echoes of Recovery