That Which Doesn’t Kill Us: How One Couple Became Stronger at the Broken Places
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.
Praise for That Which Doesn’t Kill Us
“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
“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
“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
“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
What a gutsy book! That Which Doesn’t Kill Us, by Charlie and Linda Bloom, lets us view the real blood and guts of a marriage. Not only do you get to see the reality of a relationship that matters, but the authors are marriage relationship experts who share the deepest insights of two psychologically sophisticated people exposing the depths of their souls. It’s a real treat to see marriage as it really is. It’s also good reading – the book is a real page-turner. I picked it up for just a minute from my “to be read” pile and couldn’t put it down for hours.
~ James L. Creighton, author of Loving Through Your Differences (January 2019)
This co-created book is a must read for those of us who are striving to achieve better, deeper, more peaceful and joyous intimate relationships.
I have participated in Charlie and Linda Bloom’s workshops and seminars for 30 years. I have read all their books and continue to use their teachings not only in my 50 plus years of marriage, but in other personal and professional relationships. Their newest book That Which Doesn’t Kill Us was the most intimate and revealing memoir I have ever read. The alternating conversations by chapters revealed intensely personal glimpses into how they individually played out in the turbulent times of their relationship.
Most importantly, they have illuminated how the toughest times provide the most powerful transformation. They demonstrate that what appears to be confusion and dysfunction can become the basis for immense learning and healing. I see through their illuminating work how all of us can and do “become stronger at the Broken Places”. Thank you Charlie and Linda for this courageous and transformative book.
That Which Doesn’t Kill Us is a beautifully written story of love, pain, and the power of redemption that should be read by anyone looking to better understand their relationship.
~ Claire Dorotik-Nana M.A. , author of Leverage: The Science of Turning Setbacks into Springboards, and book reviewer for PsychCentral.com.
Commitment Gets Spouses through Rough Patches
Linda and Charlie Bloom are master teachers, gifted writers, and two of loveliest and 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 raw, vivid sharing of their innermost experiences during their fifty-year relationship 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 and wrecked their marriage nearly to the point of 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.