My name is Cher, and my husband is an alcoholic. A few years ago, preparing to empty our nest as our daughter and son prepared for college, we laughed that a blog might be a perfect way to reintroduce ourselves to the couple we once were – a couple who entertained, went out for dinner, traveled and just enjoyed each other’s company. How could we not with the nick names Swenny and Cher (true names!)?

We occasionally reviewed platforms including a his and her book club, buying a food truck, reflections on volunteering and so on. Nothing stuck, though, because the best idea – the essence of Swenny and Cher – was far too scary. My name is Cher, and my husband is an alcoholic. This isn’t new, but it hasn’t yet gotten old. For the 24 years of our marriage, he has struggled with sobriety. I have supported him, enabled him, left him, welcomed him home and worry now that I will lose him. He simply cannot find his way with this, and I no longer know how to help.

Swenny lives his life in denial. He’s not drinking, he can stop drinking, he’s not drunk, he doesn’t drink that much and so on. Unless I confront him while holding the vodka bottle, he lies. It is exhausting – for both of us.

Today, though, I feel like we have reached a turning point. Another ultimatum has been rendered: get help immediately or life as we know it is over. We’ve been here many times before, but this time just feels different. Maybe it’s my resolve, or maybe it’s his. It’s probably both.

What was intended as a fun loving blog about approaching middle age is instead going to be about our journey from here to sobriety. There is no finish line, so please join us for the duration.