Thursday, June 18, 2020

Review - Reigniting The Spark: Why Stable Relationships Lose Intimacy and How to Get It Back - Interview with author Dr. Bruce Chalmer

Today I'm excited to feature Reigniting The Spark: Why Stable Relationships Lose Intimacy and How to Get It Back  by Dr. Bruce Chalmer a book about how to better your relationship with a review and an interview with Bruce.


Publisher: TCK Publishing

Release Date: 2-29-2020


 Author for review

Buy It: Amazon/B&N/IndieBound



Create a Relationship That Lasts

Dr. Bruce Chalmer’s Reigniting the Spark shows couples how to build a lasting relationship full of passion and fulfillment. You’ll learn how to improve your communication, have better sex, and avoid pointless arguments.Dr. Chalmer combines his expertise in science with thirty years of experience as a couples therapist to show how you can restore intimacy and overcome any relationship problem to create and maintain a lively, loving, lasting relationship. He offers a unique perspective on the role of faith—not necessarily religious—in relationships. Whatever your faith background, religious or secular, Dr. Chalmer’s approach to faith as a key to unlocking intimacy will inform and inspire you. This book explores the most common issues that sap the happiness out of a relationship and shows you exactly what to do to turn it around. Written in a relatable and easy-to-understand style, Reigniting the Spark will help you better understand yourself and your partner so you can both be more satisfied. Whether you’re reading alone or with a partner, Reigniting the Spark will teach you:
How to build and restore intimacy, trust, and a deep connection in your relationship
How to identify triggering issues like trauma that could be sapping the joy out of your relationship, and exactly what to do about it

A list of bad reasons people get married—and one good one
How to go from plain old sex, to good sex, to sacred sex
How to be your best self when your partner has been unfaithful
How to know when to break up, and when to work through the inevitable growing pains in your relationship

Reigniting the Spark is for any couple who’s ready to create a stronger, more fulfilling relationship. You’ll love this book if you like these books:
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by Jon Gottman and Nan Silver
Kosher Sex by Shmuley Boteach
Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel
The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendricks and Helen Hunt

My review:

Reigniting the Spark
Dr. Bruce Chalmer


Dr. Chalmer’s book, Reigniting The Spark focuses on couples in some really unique and refreshing ways and his mantra is a seven-word phrase that he uses with all of his couples “Be Kind Don’t Panic and Have Faith”.

In his over thirty years in practice Dr. Chalmer has helped numerous couples and over those decades those couples and their problems helped him create his seven-word formula. Throughout the book Dr. Chalmer gives his readers advice on how to improve their relationships he uses composite couples that he’s helped over the years. In each chapter he covers a specific issue and demonstrates through his couples what to do and what not to do implementing his principles.

The principles that will be discussed at length in the book follow:

Be Kind-he uses this not only as being nice but in relation to kinship

Don’t panic – means getting a hold of yourself don’t let panic rule your reactions

Have Faith-isn’t religious based but more trust based and he’ll go into detail about what he means.

Not all relationships can be saved but he tries to even in the face of betrayals and relationship deaths for whatever reason how to end with kindness.

I personally have enjoyed a relatively happy forty-year plus marriage and this book has taught this old dog some new tricks especially dealing with all the trappings of the current pandemic and shelter in place and with a spouse in mid-stages of Parkinson’s and all the nasty effects.

Whether or not you need guidance or counseling, whether or not your part of an opposite sex or same sex relationship Dr. Chalmer’s book has something for everyone.

My Interview with Dr. Bruce Chalmer:

Dr. Chalmer I really enjoyed your book
Will you tell my readers what made you decide to write it?

A few years ago I started making videos (you can find them on my website, about different topics, and after a while I realized I had the makings of a book. So I wrote it!

I like your seven-word mantra “Be Kind, Don’t Panic and Have Faith”
Where did this phrase come from?

Early in my private practice, around 25 years ago, a colleague asked me, “How do you do couples therapy, anyway?” We both realized he wasn’t being entirely serious, as if I could summarize it in a sentence, but I thought about it for a bit and said, “I guess if you boil it all down, I’m basically telling people, ‘be kind and don’t panic.’” After a while I added the third part, “have faith,”, because I realized you need faith to not panic, and you need to not panic to be kind.

I think my favorite section was on Don’t Panic, I liked the examples of how not to and when to panic.
Do you have a section that is more important that the others or are they all equally important?

Well, you’re sort of asking me to pick my favorite child! So naturally, I think they’re all equally important. But (like children) they’re all different, and need different skills and practice to work on them.

Much of the book was a revelation to me and I guess especially about forgiveness and just because forgiveness is given doesn’t mean the relationship can be saved.
Am I alone on being surprised by this or do you get it often.

No, you’re not alone on this at all—lots of people are surprised, and often intrigued, by the idea that you can forgive someone you don’t trust, and even someone who doesn’t acknowledge what they did to hurt you. You probably won’t want to stay in an intimate relationship with someone you can’t trust, but you can let go of the anger and pain and accept reality for what it is, which is essentially what I mean by forgiveness. Forgiveness isn’t about the person you’re forgiving—it’s really about you.

I also like the sort of workbook catch up at the end of each chapter.
Do you have couples who actually write things down and discuss it with you?

I’m glad you liked it! I have to credit my publisher and editors for the idea, since they suggested I write those “Reflections,” as I call them in the book. I haven’t had couples do them in writing as part of my therapy sessions, but they’ve often talked about the ideas in them. Of course, I got the ideas for the Reflections in each chapter from the actual work I’ve done with couples, so it’s not surprising that those ideas come up in therapy.

Do you offer this book as part of your therapy sessions?

I don’t specifically offer the book, but I think most of the people I work with are aware I’ve written it, and quite a few have mentioned that they’re reading it and using it in conjunction with our sessions.

The book blurb says you combine therapy and science in the book.
Will you please explain how science works in couples therapy?

I talk in the book about two big influences on how I work with couples: science and faith. One of my favorite ways of understanding those influences is the idea that science tells us what reality is, and faith tells us what reality means. It’s very important that we be open to learning, rather than being stuck in our preconceived notions, and science is all about that. Research on how our brains work, how we seem to understand the world and each other, and how couples actually behave has been helpful to my work, and helpful to the couples I work with.

But I’m also guided by faith, which I define as accepting that reality, whatever it is, is right—in other words, it’s grounded in a good universe. If you’re religious (and I am, though not fundamentalist), it’s the same as saying that God is good. That doesn’t change what reality is—you need science to help understand that—but it changes how we experience it.

I also think that couples learn from watching other couples handle crisis and trauma. I know personally I am learning how to be a better wife by watching how calmly my daughter and son-in-law handle arguments etc.. Instead of the usual raised voices in my house during arguments.
Do you think all couples whether they’re experiencing problems or not could benefit from counseling?

Oddly enough, I don’t think so. Of course, if a couple thinks they can benefit from counseling, they probably can. But plenty of couples are doing fine, and if they don’t feel they need counseling, I don’t think they need it either.

Of course, I do think every couple can benefit from reading my book!

Dr. Chalmer thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
Will there be another book about relationships from you?

Yes, I’m working on another one—title to be determined. Watch for it in a year or so!

Thanks for your questions—best wishes to you and your readers!

About the author:
Dr. Bruce Chalmer has been a psychologist working with couples for over thirty years. Through his teaching, consulting, and Youtube videos about relationships, his ideas have helped thousands of couples and their therapists.
He has also served in leadership positions in Jewish communities in Vermont, and is a musician and composer. He lives in South Burlington, Vermont with his wife Judy Alexander.


  1. Debbie, thanks for your review and your questions--I enjoyed answering them!

    1. Bruce you offered me an eye opening experience even as a long time happily married woman so Thank You

  2. I love getting refresher reads on relationships like this because its easy to get caught up in life and not put the work into a relationship by taking it for granted. Sounds great!

  3. Sounds like a really interesting book and worth a read for sure. We can always learn how to relate better.

  4. I wonder about the bad reasons why people get married...and I say why even do it ;)

  5. I think I need this book. Sometimes I ask myself, why?

  6. Great interview. I am glad that you were able to learn some new tricks. :)

    1. yes you can teach an old dog new ones apparently :)

  7. Interesting topic. The questions and answers were quite insightful.