Sometimes a relationship can feel hopelessly broken but can be resuscitated and even strengthened. Here’s how one couple came back from the edge and how you can too!
This is the story of a couple’s ten-year journey that took them through a series of ordeals that crippled their family and nearly destroyed their marriage. Trained as psychotherapists and practicing relationship counselors, both Charlie and Linda found that their professional training wasn’t enough to free them from the challenges they encountered during a profoundly difficult time in which their marriage was broken, and hanging by threads.
This book explicitly address the increasingly prevalent problem of dealing with the challenge of balancing the work/family equation and provides examples of the kinds of marriage-threatening ordeals that are becoming increasingly familiar to couples and families throughout America and much of the rest of the developed world. It is written in alternating chapters which provide the reader with details of the both Linda’s and Charlie’s inner struggles as well as the interpersonal turmoil that they endured, learned from and ultimately overcame.
In the end, Charlie and Linda were able to not only salvage their marriage; they also managed to establish a connection that brought their relationship a depth of intimacy, trust, and integrity far beyond what they had ever previously experienced.
The process of their miraculous recovery is presented in vivid detail and reads like a riveting novel. The Blooms’ unfolding story illuminates the essential practices necessary to breathe life back into a failing marriage and move into a deep, loving connection that surpasses even the dreams that each partner had dared to hope to fulfill.
“The Blooms have learned the solution to learning from and becoming stronger due to life’s difficulties. Let them become your coaches through their experience and this book.”
~ Bernie Siegel, MD, author of Love, Medicine & Miracles and The Art of Healing
“This is the nitty-gritty work of conscious relationship. It is brimming with life; confusion and clarity, cancer and healing, depression and joy — the struggle to stay afloat and the healing that comes with the deep exploration of the heart. It is a model for balancing wounded relationships, a book of co-creation.”
~ Stephen and Ondrea Levine, co-authors of Embraced by the Beloved
“The Blooms’ memoir addresses some of the most prevalent challenges that are present in nearly all committed relationships. That Which Doesn’t Kill Us is destined to become a classic in the genre of relationship literature. It’s a real page-turner and hard to put down. Charlie and Linda reveal through their ruthless honesty, the details of what caused them to sink so low and how they were able to salvage what appeared to be a “dead on arrival” marriage. This book is gripping, compelling, and inspiring. Ignore it’s teachings at your peril!”
~ Gerald Jampolsky, MD and Diane Cirincione-Jampolsky, PhD, co-authors of Aging with Wisdom
“That Which Doesn’t Kill Us reads like a gripping novel. It is both raw and profoundly intimate, dealing with relational issues that most readers will easily identify with. It is a love story that does not exclude the shadowy aspects of love that are often hidden behind closed doors. It is also a story of redemption, of how a couple can descend into the darkest pits of hell and manage to find their way out with an even deeper ever-growing commitment to their relationship.I highly recommend this book to everyone. It provides a path for opening ourselves up in relationship, allowing ourselves to feel the depths of our emotions, and speaking our truth. And it gives us hope for great happiness and peace if we take this ride all the way to its end.”
~ Alanna Brogan, MSN, PHN, RN- Professor/Faculty at Sonoma State University
“This book is an extraordinary accomplishment . . . not just to examine such painful memories in order to share them publicly so that others may benefit, but to do so with such searing honesty and humbleness and raw emotion that there is no doubt of the authenticity of their shared journey. I was swept up in the moment to moment drama of an American family struggling to do what’s right, trying to both take care of the responsibilities of raising children, and honoring the vows that brought you together in love to create a marriage and parenthood in the first place. The fact that the “mistress” was Charlie’s career is not talked about enough in our workaholic society today, kudos for laying it bare and exposed, and for fighting so hard to stop fighting. Charlie and Linda are both remarkable therapists, authors and workshop leaders because of their past suffering and redemption. This book is not for the faint-hearted, but then relationship never is.”
~ Denise Barak, Director of Program Innovation, Kripalu Center
“With vulnerability, transparency and courage, Linda and Charlie Bloom invite us to watch the movie of their marriage, day by day, from reel to real. A touching and authentic collaboration, this book will inspire you to go the distance with your own relationship—until you receive the full abundance of its emotional and spiritual gifts!”
~ Daphne Rose Kingma, author of The Future of Love
“There’s so much to say about this remarkable book. Once, I began. I couldn’t stop reading. Each page brought me closer to myself, my own history, my partner, and, most important, to an understanding of the times that have shaped our ability to connect intimately with one another. The authors weave their voices and stories together as if they are two jazz masters playing the blues. We each and all need this book right now!”
~ Dawna Markova, PhD, author of Reconcilable Differences: Connecting in a Disconnected World
“Linda and Charlie Bloom’s honest account of their heart-wrenching and redemptive journey moved me deeply. It left me with hope that when I come to places in my marriage that seem dead-ends, if I’m willing to keep opening up to what’s possible—I just might find myself in a relationship so beautiful –it was simply unimaginable. This book will stay with you for years to come. A gem-thank you!”
~ Renee Trudeau author of The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life
“That Which Doesn’t Kill Us provides an intimate and vulnerable view of a relationship between husband and wife which becomes entangled, lost and at a place of personal and relational survival, that is finally reborn. The authors, Linda and Charlie Bloom, share their story through two different worlds of experience. As I read the Blooms’ story of their relationship and personal struggles, I found myself opening up my own heart and falling back deeply in love with my wife. This book gave me a better understanding of my own barricades to receiving and expressing love. Charlie and Linda’s openness gave me the courage to look more deeply at my own life. The Blooms’ special ability to share their experience, from two different worldviews that had two unique histories, is very rare, indeed. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to transform their life and relationships.”
~ Gary Fagan, MD
“The Blooms have written a book about devastation, recovery, and transcendence. In this tale, the dual devastations of addiction, depression, and cancer are the broken places and crucibles for personal and marital transformation.”
~ David Kerns, MD, author of Standard of Care
“It is rare that we get a deep glimpse into the authentic inner and interpersonal world of a couple. Through their courageous vulnerability, the Blooms take the inner sanctum of the relationship—showing us how working with our fears, hopes, hurts, and traumas can lead to personal and spiritual transformation. The Blooms show us how remaining committed to the marital process can reward us with a deep and rich connection born of soulful struggle.”
~ John Amodeo, PhD, author of Dancing with Fire
“A high-five to the Blooms for their searchingly—sometimes searingly—honest portrayal of love and togetherness, for telling it like it is and not pulling any punches. Their blazing honesty and articulateness about their process of coming apart and coming together not only makes for page-turner, but it is ultimately a tribute to the hard human work of making love last. Their book is an eye-opener and a ripping good read.”
~ Gregg Levoy, author of Callings
“Finally, a book by a couple who not only captivates us by a good story but also teaches us much about real love. And you get an extra bonus, hearing the story and learned relationship lessons from the perspective of both partners.”
~ Barry Vissell, MD, and Joyce Vissell, RN, MS, co-authors of The Shared Heart
“This book takes the reader on a journey of pathos and passion, conflict and commitment, love and hate, and shows us the inseparability of things usually thought to be in contradiction to one another. Don’t miss this one if you want a deep experience of how long-lasting love really feels!”
~ Susan Campbell, PhD, author of Five Minute Relationship Repair
“I feel privileged to be a witness to Charlie and Linda’s story and found it moving. It is courageous of both of them to be willing to put themselves out there in the way that they have way. People who are struggling in relationship will gain a lot from their story, and learn that it is what we endure that inspires our relationship to be what it can be.”
~ Maya Spector, author of Red Thread, Gold Thread: The Poet’s Voice
“In That Which Doesn’t Kill Us, marriage and relationship experts Linda and Charlie Bloom courageously share details of turbulent times when the survival of their own marriage was at stake. Their story is poignant, fascinating, and inspiring!”
~ Naomi Berger, author of Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love
“Linda and Charlie Bloom are master teachers, highly gifted writers, and two of the most authentic people you will ever meet. In their astonishing new book That Which Doesn’t Kill Us you will meet them – warts and all. This auto-vivisection of their subconscious minds is a gift to humanity. Traversing the colorful landscape of their relationship from the male and female perspectives is both harrowing and enlightening.”
~ Ira Israel, author of How to Survive Your Childhood Now That You’re an Adult: A Path to Authenticity and Awakening
“That Which Doesn’t Kill Us: How One Couple Became Stronger at the Broken Places, contains the seeds of wisdom, truth and inspiration. It is a must-read for couples of any age.”
~ Ken Druck, PhD, author of Courageous Aging: Your Best Years Ever Reimagined
“The memoir-duet you hold in your hands is a rare gift. It is a relationship book that does not offer easy formulas for happily ever after. Instead, it shares the raw and honest learning of marriage and its inevitable crises. Charlie and Linda Bloom are two of the most profound observers and teachers of love and commitment. Here they share their own intimate secrets and suffering and joys and redemption in a way that allows us to feel less alone in our own struggles and to learn from their wise and hard-earned love. The beautiful and aching discord and harmony presented in these pages could only be created by two lives strung together so skillfully.”
~ Doug Abrams, co-author of The Book of Joy
Endorsement by Naomi Berger, author of Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love
Commitment Gets Spouses through Rough Patches
I know the authors, so I’m writing from firsthand experience about their most recent book. They are master teachers, gifted writers, and two of loveliest and the most authentic people you will ever meet. And believe me, in their astonishing new book That Which Doesn’t Kill Us you will meet them ¾ warts and all.
This raw, vivid sharing of their innermost experiences during their fifty-year marriage is a gift to humanity. Traversing the colorful landscape of their relationship from the male and female perspectives is both harrowing and enlightening. This book should be put in a time capsule so that intelligent life in the future have a realistic understanding of what love in the 20th and 21st centuries looked like.
The book is a joint memoir that covers a ten-year period in which the authors experienced severe challenges nearly wrecked their marriage to the point of divorcing, and nearly resulted in divorce. Charlie and Linda chose to apply the lessons from their painful experiences to gain the inner strengths and wisdom that a full recovery demanded. They discovered that they each had some serious work to do in order to stave off a total collapse of their marriage.
While That Which Doesn’t Kill Us is a non-fiction, it reads like a compelling novel. It presents in vivid detail just what that work was and how they managed to fulfill its demands despite frequent setbacks. Their story reveals exactly how a couple, who experienced brokenness that would have ended many marriages, ultimately brought about a profound healing and a strengthening of their bond that went far beyond anything that they had previously known. It was not despite their ordeals but because of them and their willingness to learn from them, that they were able to create a new standard of relatedness that was beyond what either had imagined was possible.
In a time in which disposable relationships are too common and in which many couples believe that marriage means choosing between commitment and freedom. That Which Doesn’t Kill Us not only affirms that it is possible to have both, but offers the means through which such a union can be created. It provides hope and assurance for couples that have struggled with ordeals that can tear love apart, as well as for those who wish to master the skills for developing the personal qualities that can decrease destructive relationship patterns, or even prevent them from occurring.
That Which Doesn’t Kill Us is a representative story of one couple’s journey through despair and how they managed to reconstruct a relationship from the ashes of their broken dreams. It is both inspiring and instructive, demonstrating to the reader the power of true commitment in the face of great odds and enormous obstacles.