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Untoxicated Podcast

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Sheri and Matt Salis just wanted a normal life – normal marriage, normal careers, a normal house and happy kids. Instead, they lived a life of lies and terror as they struggled with Matt’s alcoholism. While their experience sounds rare, with over 15 millions problem drinkers in America, their alcoholic marriage was all too normal. Matt has been writing about their experiences in alcoholism and recovery for years. On the Untoxicated Podcast, Sheri and Matt talk about it, too. No subjects are off limits as the couple discusses the trauma of active addiction, the pain of early recovery, the destruction and rebuilding of trust, and the impact on their intimate relationship. If you love an alcoholic, the disease will terrorize your relationship. We hope you’ll listen and find healing in our shared stories. For more support from Sheri and Matt, check out their Echoes of Recovery program providing connection and healing for the loved ones of alcoholics.

Sheri and Matt Salis just wanted a normal life – normal marriage, normal careers, a normal house and happy kids. Instead, they lived a life of lies and terror as they struggled with Matt’s alcoholism. While their experience sounds rare, with over 15 millions problem drinkers in America, their alcoholic marriage was all too normal. Matt has been writing about their experiences in alcoholism and recovery for years. On the Untoxicated Podcast, Sheri and Matt talk about it, too. No subjects are off limits as the couple discusses the trauma of active addiction, the pain of early recovery, the destruction and rebuilding of trust, and the impact on their intimate relationship. If you love an alcoholic, the disease will terrorize your relationship. We hope you’ll listen and find healing in our shared stories. For more support from Sheri and Matt, check out their Echoes of Recovery program providing connection and healing for the loved ones of alcoholics.

Location:

United States

Description:

Sheri and Matt Salis just wanted a normal life – normal marriage, normal careers, a normal house and happy kids. Instead, they lived a life of lies and terror as they struggled with Matt’s alcoholism. While their experience sounds rare, with over 15 millions problem drinkers in America, their alcoholic marriage was all too normal. Matt has been writing about their experiences in alcoholism and recovery for years. On the Untoxicated Podcast, Sheri and Matt talk about it, too. No subjects are off limits as the couple discusses the trauma of active addiction, the pain of early recovery, the destruction and rebuilding of trust, and the impact on their intimate relationship. If you love an alcoholic, the disease will terrorize your relationship. We hope you’ll listen and find healing in our shared stories. For more support from Sheri and Matt, check out their Echoes of Recovery program providing connection and healing for the loved ones of alcoholics.

Language:

English


Episodes

Ep140 – Ending Our Societal Love Affair with Alcohol

5/23/2022
What are the most impactful steps we can take to decrease the massive amount of abusive drinking that is condoned in our culture? Prohibition didn't work, but are there other legal, taxation, media/marketing or educational tactics we can employ to remove boozing from it's place as the national pastime? Sheri and Matt discuss all of the tactics, as well as the underlying causes that really deserve our attention. And there is good news to celebrate in present and future trends. Sheri also...

Duration:00:59:21

Ep139 – Staying Well with Lori

5/16/2022
The decision to stay or to go when in an alcoholic relationship seems to rely on the ability of the drinker to find sobriety. Because humans can't change other people, it feels like the spouse has no power. But Lori is here to explain a third option to staying in misery, or divorcing. Lori explains that she learned how to "stay well" in her formerly destructive marriage. She explains the concepts she learned from author, speaker, licenced clinical social worker and relationship coach, Leslie...

Duration:00:59:00

Ep138 – Looking Back but Moving Forward with Bridget

5/9/2022
Bridget stayed with her husband as his drinking destroyed his health and their marriage. The lies, the hiding and the gaslighting is something with which so many loved ones of alcoholics are familiar. She made the impossibly hard but healthy decision to move on and live the life they had planned to live together, alone. Bridget describes in emotional detail how she loved her husband, the man she married. But the man alcohol transformed him into is not the man she loved. At the end of the...

Duration:01:06:05

Ep137 – When Unacceptable Behavior is Normalized

5/2/2022
The indicators of the increase in bad behavior are everywhere. The airline industry, big city crime statistics, and alcohol industry consumption numbers all correlate to paint a concerning picture of the aftermath of COVID isolation. No matter how much we try to compartmentalize and ignore, the truth is staring us in the face. In this episode, Sheri and Matt talk about the increase in unacceptable behavior, and what we can do when we see it in our families and among our friends. If you love...

Duration:00:57:49

Ep136 – Married to Addiction with Julie Sanford

4/25/2022
Julie Sanford hosts the Married to Addiction podcast, and she joins Sheri and Matt to discuss the similarities and differences in both their recovery stories, and also their outreach to the loved ones of alcoholics. On this episode, they discuss the signs that indicate that the loved ones need recovery, getting your needs met as the wife of an alcoholic, the mantras associated with codependency, self-care for someone who is deep in the chaos of addiction, and what you can do if your...

Duration:00:55:34

Ep135 – Denial: Delaying the Inevitable

4/18/2022
Matt spent ten years working himself through the cycle of active alcoholism into permanent sobriety. What could have been accomplished in a year, took Matt a decade to process. Why the delay? Denial. Both Sheri and Matt were in denial about the demon they faced. In this episode, they discuss their denial in detail in the hopes that others can move through the process of finding recovery faster than they did. The episode ends with an epically bad joke the sends Sheri scurrying from the room....

Duration:00:53:25

Ep134 – Owning Your Story with Deb

4/11/2022
The loved ones of alcoholic are often compelled to keep the trauma of addiction a secret because the drinker has a lot to hide. By stifling their stories, the loved ones remain stuck in unprocessed pain. Deb is our guest on this episode, and she has chosen to talk about her story as the partner of someone suffering from addiction to alcohol. Her decision has brought relief and a level of peace to Deb, and it has led to progress for the relationship. She is a thoughtful and educated...

Duration:01:06:03

Ep133 – Sheri’s Return to Open-Minded Listening

4/4/2022
During his active addiction and early sobriety, Matt never had an idea that Sheri was interested in hearing about. Whether it was his arrogance, his gaslighting or his mistakes, new ideas just meant challenges and heartache for Sheri. But things are different now. Sheri welcomes Matt's suggestions, and the couple discusses their plans and ideas as a true partnership focused on their mutual best interest. They also enjoy euchre much more than in Matt's drinking days. There's lots of uplifting...

Duration:00:43:05

Ep132 – What are YOUR Needs?

3/28/2022
If you are the loved one of an alcoholic, it may be hard to be truthful and authentic with your partner who is dealing with or recovering from addiction. You're vulnerability has probably been used against you in the past, you might think your spouse has too much on his plate to be burdened by your problems, and he might have the habit of offering quick fixes to brush you aside. On this episode, Sheri and Matt discuss how important it is for the loved ones to stop picking up the alcoholic...

Duration:01:00:13

Ep131 – The Differences between Boundaries and Ultimatums

3/21/2022
"You do what I tell you or else," statements rarely work, and they create additional friction while weakening our relative positions in relationships. In this episode, Sheri and Matt share their personal experiences with ultimatums and boundaries, and they discuss best practices for couples still in the heat of battle with 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.

Duration:00:59:15

Ep130 – Disastrous Communication in the Aftermath of Addiction

3/14/2022
More than anything else, recovering a relationship from alcoholism is a huge communication problem. And it isn't just a problem with the words we choose, it is the modes of communication that keep us stuck as well. If you are texting your spouse about anything deeper than who is supposed to pick up milk on the way home, that is a huge red flag for Sheri and Matt who bring all the technological advancement of their flip phone and sliding keyboard to this discussion. Marriage communication is...

Duration:01:00:32

Ep129 – Regret is where the Shame Lives

3/7/2022
For alcoholics, there is a direct relationship between the shame from past behaviors, and a tangible liquid called alcohol. For the loved ones of alcoholics, spouses in particular, the source of shame is far less direct and recognizable. The shame for the loved ones grows diabolically out of regret. It is a complex web that keeps people stuck, and Sheri and Matt talk all about regret and how to break free. What would you say if we told you regret was actually a good thing? If you love or...

Duration:00:52:44

Ep128 – Love Hurts: Pain Inflicted Between Generations

2/28/2022
Do you remember a correction, disciplinary action or criticism from years or decades ago that still hurts? We bet the person who delivered those words doesn't remember. Have you ever delivered a message that someone will never forget? Pain inflicted between people who love each other, often between parents and their kids of any age, is common. Just because we reach the age of independence doesn't mean we don't care what our parents think. And just because our kids don't need us anymore...

Duration:00:50:51

Ep127 – The Power of Speaking Your Truth

2/21/2022
There is an enormous relief that comes with shining a light into the dark corners and letting the truth be heard. And it is more than emotional and mental relief - it is vitally important to our physical health to find an outlet for the truth. It is not as easy as it sounds - especially in an alcoholic relationship where the stories are woven together. But like Ellen says, the truth always wins. If you love or loved an alcoholic, and your recovery could benefit from connection with people...

Duration:01:10:34

Ep126 – Surviving the Silence with Kate

2/14/2022
Active alcohol addiction is not always loud and chaotic. Sometimes, the silence of the person suffering the pain of addiction causes a different kind of trauma. On this episode, Sheri and Matt welcome Kate to the podcast. She shares her experiences with insecurity, strategizing her communication, and a willingness to do whatever it took to end the silence. At the end of the episode, Kate explains why having these conversations out loud is so important to her healing process. If you love or...

Duration:00:54:35

Ep125 – How did Addiction and Sobriety Feel for Sheri?

2/7/2022
Experiencing the addiction and early sobriety of a loved one can feel painful, lonely, chaotic, traumatic, isolating and terrorizing for the spouses of alcoholics. On this episode, Matt asks Sheri to recall the emotions she experienced in different stages of the process. The first step to recovery is to realize you are not alone. If you are married to an alcoholic, and you are stuck in painful confusion, this episode might start to unlock a path forward. If you love or loved an alcoholic,...

Duration:01:08:34

Ep124 – Conquering the Two Pitfalls of Early Sobriety

1/31/2022
The healing that comes for some in the recovery from alcoholism is the result of hard work. We have to want sobriety for ourselves, and not to appease someone else. We also have to want sobriety because of the immense benefits, not because we are running away from something we can no longer have. In this episode, Sheri and Matt explain that there is nothing subtle about the differences in approaches taken by those who find success in recovery, versus those who get stuck, unable to make it...

Duration:00:49:10

Ep123 – The “Hot Mess” of Intimacy in an Alcoholic Relationship

1/24/2022
Trust and alcoholism can't coexist. Intimacy is impossible without trust and vulnerability. So, alcoholism and intimacy are mutually exclusive. If you are in an alcoholic relationship, something important is missing (but you already know that). On this episode, Sheri and Matt talk about the two paths sexual contact can take in an alcoholic marriage. They explain the childbirth fork in the road, and challenge their own assumptions about maturity. The couple discusses why it is so hard to...

Duration:01:00:33

Ep122 – The Pain of “Helpful Advice” that Hurts with Dawn

1/17/2022
Our family and our friends mean well when they give us advice about our alcoholic marriages. The problem with well-meaning advice from people who have never walked in our shoes is that it often misses the mark. In fact, it often ads significantly to the pain we are already enduring. No one explains it better than our guest on this episode. Dawn shares her writing on this topic, and discusses the pain of "helpful advice" with Sheri and Matt. The three of them brainstorm alternative ways to...

Duration:01:00:56

Ep121 – The Blame Game Keeps Us Stuck

1/10/2022
As an active alcoholic, Matt put a lot of the blame for their dysfunctional marriage on Sheri. In early sobriety, he blamed himself for the overwhelming shame he felt. The whole time, Sheri was convinced Matt and his drinking were to blame. Once the couple learned to blame the alcohol, treat alcoholism like the disease that it is, and think of the addict as a third person separate from Matt, there was some relief. But sobriety doesn't fix anything, and that realization is where the work...

Duration:00:57:47