"Maintaining a healthy marriage is a sacrificial pursuit and a life-long journey." Cindee Snider Re

“Maintaining a healthy marriage is a sacrificial pursuit and a life-long journey.” Cindee Snider Re


Maintaining a healthy marriage is a sacrificial pursuit and a life-long journey.

Fulfillment isn’t something that just happens. It requires honesty and intentionality, commitment and compromise, patience and attention, trust and a willingness to forgive. Love that gives, multiplies. When we pursue one another, love deepens and grows.

Do you remember the early days of your relationship? Do you remember how easy it was to talk? Over time, we can slip into mundane, sound-bite conversations: How was your day? What’s for dinner? Have you talked to the kids? Did you feed the dog?



It’s even easier to lose touch in a marriage with chronic illness. Care-taking responsibilities can make physical and emotional intimacy difficult, and the added stresses of financial concerns, pain, exhaustion, shame and guilt, along with a lack of understanding or compassion from friends, loved ones, or our church families can deplete our ability to enjoy one another’s company.

But difficulties can also be a doorway to deeper love. Ryan and Selena Frederick of Fierce Marriage wrote, “There is no love more beautiful than that tempered by grace through trial and time.”

I agree. For nearly 30 years, my husband and I have been navigating marriage with chronic illness. He has been my caregiver after dozens of surgeries. We have cared together for our five kids, four with significant, life-altering chronic illness. He is our sole provider. Along the way, we lost touch with one another, and almost didn’t make it.



At the breaking point, we committed to weekly date nights at a local restaurant. For nearly two years, we sat in the same booth in the same restaurant, ordering the same food almost every week. Some nights we barely talked. Some nights we argued. Most nights, I cried. Some nights it took everything in me to stay in that booth all the way through dinner.

But we persevered.

And slowly, we began to talk. Really talk. About deep and important things. We learned to listen even when it hurt. And somewhere along the way, we began to laugh and remember and dream again. That little flicker grew into a flame, and seven years later, in the midst of five major surgeries in two years for me, of helping our growing-up kids learn to navigate life with chronic illness on their own, my husband and I continue to intentionally pursue one another, and our marriage is healthy and strong. Our investment has been worth every difficult minute.



 If you’re longing to connect as a couple, these 76 questions are designed to jumpstart your journey.

This is an exercise meant to be worked through slowly, one question and one conversation at a time over many months. Use the questions in any order you choose. This is an exploration and an opportunity to grow more deeply in love as you rediscover one another.

Have fun. Be honest. Laugh. Hold hands. Dance in the kitchen. Flirt. Hug. Kiss. Let your lips linger. Remember. And cry. Let the emotions come. As you courageously step in, your love for one another will begin to deepen and grow.



  1. What do you remember thinking the first time you saw me?
  2. When did you know you were in love with me?
  3. What three qualities first attracted you to me?
  4. What is your happiest memory from our dating days?
  5. What about me still makes you smile?
  6. What movie reminds you of our love story?
  7. What three things would you want if you were stranded on an island?
  8. How (and when) did you first know we’d make it as a couple?
  9. What three strengths do we have as a team?
  10. What’s your favorite memory of me?
  11. Did you fall in love with me all at once or over time?
  12. How do I make you feel most loved?
  13. What’s something I do that makes you crazy but you secretly kind of love?
  14. What’s your favorite sexual memory of us?
  15. What could we try to spice up our love life as a couple?
  16. What’s your favorite non-sexual way of being touched?
  17. What was your last daydream of us?
  18. What character qualities of yours are you most proud of?
  19. What’s the greatest lesson your dad (or granddad) taught you?
  20. What’s the greatest lesson your mom (or grandma) taught you?
  21. As a child, did you trust your parents? Why or why not?
  22. What was your favorite childhood meal? Do you still like it?
  23. Describe your childhood in three words.
  24. Who was your childhood best friend? What’s your favorite memory?
  25. What was the first album you ever bought?
  26. What’s your all-time favorite song?
  27. What songs would be on the soundtrack of your life?
  28. What do you remember about your first experience with death?
  29. What are the top three items on your Bucket List?
  30. Who made you feel most loved, safe, or special as a child?
  31. What book or movie impacted you as a teen?
  32. Which of our dates was your favorite and why?
  33. What was your favorite TV show as a child?
  34. What would you choose if you could eat only three foods for life?
  35. What three countries do you most want to visit?
  36. What would you do with the money if you won the lottery?
  37. What qualities do you most admire in a man? In a woman?
  38. Who is a real-life hero to you? Why?
  39. What are you most grateful for?
  40. What do you most want to do that you haven’t done yet?
  41. What’s your greatest accomplishment?
  42. What did you learn from your greatest failure?
  43. If you could travel to any time in history, when would it be and why?
  44. What keeps you up at night?
  45. Who is your favorite friend or relative? Why?
  46. What is a favorite family memory? Why does it stand out?
  47. Is there anything you’ve secretly wanted to ask me?
  48. What are you most afraid of?
  49. What’s the best part of being alive?
  50. What’s the most challenging part of being an adult?
  51. Choose one outfit to wear for the rest of your life. What is it, and why?
  52. What has felt most challenging lately? Most hopeful?
  53. What family tradition do you most enjoy?
  54. What activity do you most enjoy?
  55. Where or when are you most at peace?
  56. Describe us as a couple in three words.
  57. How would you describe your perfect day?
  58. Which superhero do you most identify with? Why?
  59. What qualities do you appreciate in a friend?
  60. If you could study any subject, what would it be?
  61. When do you feel most connected to yourself? To me?
  62. What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received? Ever given?
  63. What is the best part of our relationship?
  64. What did your parents or grandparents teach you about love?
  65. Who is one of your marriage role models?
  66. What are your first thoughts in the morning?
  67. How are we similar? How are we different?
  68. What’s your favorite household chore? Least favorite?
  69. What’s your favorite way to serve others?
  70. If we had a theme song, what would it be?
  71. What most moves you?
  72. What restores your faith in humanity?
  73. What is something recent that you’re proud of?
  74. What do you want me to understand when you’re upset?
  75. Who are you striving to become?
  76. What would make a perfect date?
Happy Bubbles
Cindee Snider Re

Cindee Snider Re

Author, Designer, and Co-Founder of Chronic Joy®

Cindee is married to the man she loves most in this world, Mom to five adult kids plus a son- and daughter-in-love, and Lolli to an adorable grandbaby. She and four of her kids have Ehlers-Danlos and myriad co-existing conditions. While a life steeped in illness is not what she would have chosen, through it, she’s learning that the deeper the valley, the greater her capacity for joy.

Cindee is the author of Discovering Hope, Finding Purpose, Embracing Worth, and I Take You in Sickness and in Health.

76 Questions to Connect You as a Couple

You can approach these questions slowly in any order you choose, one question and one conversation at a time over many months. This is an exploration and an opportunity to grow more deeply in love as you rediscover one another.

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