Untoxicated Podcasts

Exploring the questions of alcoholic relationship recovery.

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.

Echoes of Recovery

On this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss another way to breakdown alcoholism into two components. Alcohol creates arrogant, rude, unsatisfied drinkers who create arguments and chaos. At the same time, stress makes alcohol necessary, and pushes the consumption to escalate. The couple discusses how the interaction between stress and alcohol played out in their relationship, and how the desire for relaxation would often slingshot into something much worse.

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

Warning: Ep97 includes discussions about suicide and domestic violence.

Sarah was born last of six siblings in a house dominated by alcoholism and other mental illness. When her brothers and sister grew up and moved out, she was left to navigate the storm by herself. She’s always been close with her siblings – the way people are sometimes bonded together by trauma. But now, as Sarah tries to survive and give grace in her own alcoholic marriage, her siblings don’t understand why she doesn’t apply the lessons of their past to her present. As Sarah explains, that’s exactly what she’s trying to do. Her’s is a story of pain, misunderstanding, love and fading hope. It’s the story of an unspeakable choice no one should ever have to make.

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

Sobriety has brought improvement to the lives of Sheri and Matt and their family, but it has created a whole new set of problems, too. Matt is now reliable, predictable, and even safe and approachable. But he is not any fun.

In this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss Matt’s ridiculous work hours he uses, in part, to fill the void left behind by alcohol, and the impact it is having on their family. Can you hear Harry Chapin warming up? Matt’s kids can, and he is determined to reverse the overworked trend.

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

There are a variety of reasons an alcoholic blames his drinking on his spouse. Matt should know. He consistently blamed his alcoholism on Sheri for all the different reasons. And now, he is here to say that the reasons are all bullshit. On this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss the causes of this most potent form of gaslighting, and why it is so dangerous and utterly ridiculous.

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

On this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss the changes in mood and family involvement for Matt in sobriety compared to active alcoholism. Increased input and participation of an alcoholic in sobriety is a lot for the family to absorb. Unwanted advice, a compulsive need to share, and lots of opinions have made Matt a challenge to handle for the exact opposite of the reason he was a handful as a drinker.

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

When Matt was actively drinking, Sheri had to deal with three unappealing characteristics of her alcoholic husband when on vacations or celebrating holidays: his moods were unpredictable, he was needy, and the alcohol accentuated his insecurities. There was nothing festive, and very little that was enjoyable, about vacationing with an alcoholic. Now, in significant sobriety, life continues for Sheri, while Matt is curious why she isn’t more enthusiastic about the improvement. On this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss one of the most significant disconnects between the ex-drinker and the loved one in an alcoholic relationship in recovery.

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

Nickie knew she and Josh had relationship problems. When he first declared himself an alcoholic, she couldn’t believe it. She didn’t want to even think about a drinking problem until they had their marriage on good terms (little did she know at the time that the alcohol was the cause of the relationship troubles). Josh’s friends told him he was fine, his coworkers kept inviting him to drink, and everything he knew about being a man told him alcohol after a hard day of work was an adult’s prerogative. But when the depths of the issue were revealed on a holiday eve, it changed Nickie and Josh’s lives forever. Now 18 months into recovery and discovery, we are grateful to have both Nickie and Josh here to tell, and laugh, about it.

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

Rebuilding trust in an alcoholic relationship requires sobriety, and it requires time. There are no shortcuts, but there are things we can do to create a safe environment in which trust has a fighting chance to flourish. On this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss the things that held Matt back from creating a safe environment in his active alcoholism and his early sobriety, and why things are different now. The importance of this safe environment extends far beyond romantic relationships. The couple discusses the impact the change is having on their children as well.

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

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