stronger together connect online



An Online Seminar for Couples Affected by a Chronic Illness or Disability
September 24, 2016 ~ 10:00 am – 12:00 noon (EDT)


Everything changes when a chronic illness or disability enters a marriage.

couple_on_bench_77293257(2)Everything changes when a chronic illness or disability enters a
marriage – ideas of “quality” time, the way spouses communicate, what they communicate about, their thoughts of equality or shared responsibilities, how they spend their time and money.

Every aspect of the marriage may be impacted by the long-term illness of one of the spouses. The stress of a chronic illness can be challenging to a marriage, even when two people have been deeply in love for decades.

Family Builders Ministries wants to help couples in chronic illness marriages build stronger marriages. Our Stronger Together CONNECT Online is an opportunity for couples to improve their relationship skills and connect with other couples who are on this unique journey. We invite you to join us for an informal and interactive experience that celebrates the joys of marriage, is realistic about the difficulties, and values the promises made to each other.



Discussion Topics:

  • “Survival Guide for the Chronic Illness Marriage”
  • “Dealing with Stress in the Chronic Illness Marriage”

We will be presenting practical teaching on these topics. Through the Chat feature participants will be able to comment and ask questions.

who should attend?

Who Should Attend?

  • Couples with one or both spouses diagnosed with a chronic illness and/or disability.
  • Couples with a child having a chronic illness or disability and want to keep their marriage strong and healthy.
  • Any couple who wants to protect their marriage from the negative effects of a chronic illness or the aging process.
  • Marriage mentors, counselors, pastors, and others who want to learn more about helping couples with a chronic illness.
  • Individuals and couples who find themselves thinking, “This is more than I bargained for!”


Connect Cost

  • We are able to offer this unique experience without charge because of a foundation grant and the generous support of our Family Builders’ partners. When you register you will have the option to make a donation to help us continue providing valuable resources to couples in various seasons of marriage.


Connect Schedule – Eastern Daylight Time (USA)

9:45 a.m. Early Sign-in 
10:00 “Survival Guide for the Chronic Illness Marriage”
10:55 Break
11:05 “Stress in the Chronic Illness Marriage”
12:00 noon Adjourn 

Schedule is subject to adjustments.


Connect Speakers
wb_IMG_8110(3)Willie Batson, MA – President, Family Builders Ministries

Willie and Cindy Batson have been married since 1972, are the parents of two married daughters, and have five grandchildren. Cindy was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis more than 25 years ago.

Willie is the Founder/President of Family Builders Ministries, a New England-based non-profit organization with an international outreach. Every week finds Cindy and Willie coaching couples preparing for marriage, maximizing their marriage, or repairing their marriage.

Willie’s first book, Tools for a Great Marriage, was published in 2008 and is now in its third printing. He recently published another book in the “Tools” series, Tools for a Great Marriage DEVOTIONAL. Read more about the Batsons here

jere_vincent (1)

Jere Vincent

Jere Vincent, MDiv – Executive Director, Family Builders Ministries

Jere Vincent communicates with passion and commitment. He has experience in the worlds of higher education and ministry. Jere has over 20 years of church ministry and leadership experience in marriage and family ministries.

In late 2015 he became the Executive Director of Family Builders Ministries. He has been a long-time friend and supporter of the ministry, having served as Chairperson of the Family Builders Board of Directors since 2006.

Jere is a graduate of Trinity Seminary and the University of New Hampshire. He and his wife, Brenda, have two daughters and live in Durham, New Hampshire. Jere and Brenda are active marriage mentors in their local church, sharing their lives with couples preparing for marriage and those going through challenging seasons.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you having this type of seminar?
The stress of a chronic illness can be challenging to a marriage, even when two people have been deeply in love for decades. Just knowing that they will live their entire lives (except for a healing miracle) having to cope with the ravages of a disease is an enormous burden to carry. We discovered that in marriages plagued by chronic illness, more than 75% end in divorce! Most marriage ministries are not focused on the unique needs of couples with chronic illnesses. God is calling us to reach out to those facing these stressors in their relationships. There are limited resources and expertise to guide them on those occasions when they hit major relational road blocks. We want to equip them with the tools that enable them to thrive, not just survive.
How do you define a chronic illness?
One in two Americans currently suffer from a form of chronic illness. A chronic illness is a disease or other health condition that is persistent or long-lasting in nature, sometimes even despite treatment. Examples of a chronic illness include: multiple sclerosis, cancer, lupus, heart disease, depression, diabetes, fibromyalgia, asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, and a host of others. About 96% of people with a chronic illness have an illness that is invisible. They do not use a cane or any assistive device and may look perfectly healthy.
Our marriage is fine. Why should I/we attend this seminar?
Our primary focus is to help a couple maximize their relationship. This seminar will affirm what you are doing right, and it will equip you for any challenging seasons that may come in the future. Just as our cars need occasional tune-ups, our marriages benefit from investments like this seminar. Willie wrote about this in one of his blog postings (read more).
What are your qualifications for leading this kind of seminar?
Willie & Cindy have been dealing with a chronic illness for more than half of their 41 years of marriage (read more). They also have been involved in marriage ministry and coaching for almost 40 years (read more).
Will I have to disclose my illness or any other personal information in front of the group?
No, unless you choose to do so.
Is this seminar relevant to a couple who has a child with a chronic illness?
We recognize that parenting a child with a chronic illness or disability is challenging and can create issues in the marriage relationship. This seminar is primarily focused on how the health of a spouse influences the marriage. However, we see where some of the issues can be the same for a couple with a chronically ill child. We welcome you to attend as long as you recognize that we will be talking about how to improve your marriage relationship rather than your parenting skills.
Do both spouses have to attend?
No. You can benefit from the teaching and discussions even if you attend alone. There will be scheduled times when spouses will be asked to spend some time together discussing some of the topics; however, we can give you guidance on what you can do during this time. We will not embarrass you by pointing out that you are there alone.
Do you plan to video and/or audio record the seminar?
Yes. It will be available to those who register for the live online seminar.
Can I promote this seminar in my church or group?
Yes, definitely! You can use the “share buttons” below to share this information via the various social media, as well as sending an email to your friends with the link to this page.

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