Deep questions to ask your spouse during hard times

Deep questions to ask your spouse during hard times

The strength of a relationship is often tested in the way partners communicate with each other during tough times. No matter what those “tough times” are in your relationship – whether it’s trust or intimacy issues, financial burdens, death of a loved one, or other, it’s during those moments that asking the right questions can deepen your connection and help you navigate challenges together.

We understand the importance of maintaining strong relationships, especially during difficult times. That’s why we’ve curated a list of thoughtful questions designed to foster understanding and support between you and your spouse or partner when the going gets tough.

1. How Can I Support You Right Now?

This simple but powerful question opens the door for honest communication. It shows your spouse that you’re there for them and willing to provide the support they need, whether it’s lending them your ear, or a shoulder to cry on. Listen and act accordingly. In many cases, you’ll find that your partner just needs someone to talk to.

2. What Do You Need in Order to Feel Safe?

In times of uncertainty, feeling safe and supported is crucial for the emotional well-being of your person. By asking this question, you show your commitment to creating a nurturing environment where your spouse can feel comfortable expressing their needs and vulnerabilities to you. Sometimes, you’ll need to act and provide further help in order to create a safe and welcoming environment for your partner.

3. How Can We Work Together to Overcome This Challenge?

Facing challenges as a duo can strengthen your relationship bonds and help you find creative solutions. By discussing difficulties you show your spouse that you’re invested in finding a way forward, no matter how daunting the current situation may seem.

4. What Are Your Hopes and Fears Right Now?

Understanding your spouse’s hopes and fears can provide valuable insight into their mindset and emotional state. By asking this question, you create space for them to share their innermost thoughts and feelings, fostering empathy and connection.

5. What Are Your Deepest Fears or Concerns About the Future?

Maybe your partner doesn’t have any immediate fears right now, maybe they’re thinking about potential problems down the line. Delving into our deepest fears about the future can unveil vulnerabilities that remain unspoken about your relationship or other areas in your lives. By approaching these fears with empathy and sensitivity, you create trust and understanding with your partner. 

Your willingness to listen without judgment and offer support shows how much you care about your mate’s emotional well-being.

 In sharing their concerns, your spouse feels heard and validated as you navigate their fears together.

6. How Can We Prioritize Self-Care During This Time?

Think of different ways to prioritize self-care together. Going through difficult times can make us neglect our own well-being and emotional health. 

By openly discussing methods that prioritize self-care as a couple, you reinforce the importance of each other’s health and strengthen your relationship through mutual support and encouragement. Creating a shared plan for self-care – whether it’s exercise, hobbies, or simply setting time for relaxation – is an excellent strategy for nurturing your spirit in the face of adversity.

7. What Important Lessons Have We Learned from This Experience?

Going through hard times as a couple doesn’t have to make or break your relationship. Instead, lessons gained from tough times can reveal insights into our own resilience and growth as individuals and partners. 

For example, financial struggles while trying to pay off your bills or a mortgage can teach us to budget better and prioritize needs over wants thereby improving our monetary skills.

Ask yourself and your partner what lessons you gained from adversity; don’t be afraid to discuss ways on how to grow and thrive together.

7 Deep Questions To Strengthen Your Relationship
7 Deep Questions To Strengthen Your Relationship

Now that we’ve covered 7 deep questions to ask your spouse during hard times, let’s move on to deep questions that can actually strengthen your relationship, not just during hard times,
but at all times. In order for these to actually work, you can’t be afraid to discuss your issues openly. 

The following list of questions are designed to encourage further introspection, encourage empathy, and strengthen the relationship with your spouse or partner beyond the surface level. 

1. What Do You Need From Me That You’re Not Getting?

You’ve noticed your partner is distant, cold or snaps at you every time you provide suggestions or advice – helpful or otherwise. However, the issue may lie in them not getting enough support from you, friends or family during a difficult time. Instead of offering advice or talking at your partner, talk to them by asking what you can do to help.

When you invite your spouse to express their needs, you show your willingness to listen and adapt. Instead of telling them what they need to do, try the following question instead:

2. What Role Do You Envision Me Playing in Your Support System During This Time?

A great follow up to the above “What Do You Need From Me That You’re Not Getting?” query is “What Role Do You Envision Me Playing in Your Support System During This Time?”

Understanding how you can support your spouse will help to meet their needs and expectations better than simply telling them what they need to do. By openly discussing your role in their support system, you demonstrate your dedication to being there for them in their time of need.

3. How Can We Use This Experience to Grow Closer as a Couple?

Every challenge presents an opportunity for growth and transformation. By exploring ways to navigate difficulties together, you show your commitment to strengthening your bond and building a resilient partnership, fostering a sense of purpose and unity.

Engaging in deep, meaningful conversations with your spouse during hard times can strengthen your bond and provide much-needed support. Remember, communication is key, and by asking the right questions, you can navigate challenges together with grace and resilience.

4. How Have I Contributed to Your Stress and Anxiety During This Time?

Sometimes it’s not an outside conflict or a person that’s causing issues in your lives and at home. Sometimes it’s those closest to us; recognizing that you might be the problem takes a lot of self-awareness and humility to address.  

If you suspect it was something you said or a decision you made that upset them, start by asking “What upset you about what I did?” or more gently, “How can we find common ground?”

By seeking to understand your partner’s perspective, and acknowledging your role in their emotional distress requires humility and empathy. By inviting feedback on your behavior and its impact, you demonstrate your commitment to self-awareness and growth, fostering a sense of accountability and trust.

Accomplish this by leaving your ego at the door, and bracing yourself for whatever they have to say.

Deep questions about trust

5. Are There Any Unresolved Issues From Our Past That Are Resurfacing During This Time?

Maybe it’s nothing currently that’s causing a conflict or an unhappy home life. What can often trigger unresolved conflicts and emotions stems from the past. By addressing these lingering issues head-on, you show commitment to healing and growth as a couple, fostering a sense of closure and understanding so that you can move on without having the past issue crop up again.

6. How Can We Manage Conflicts Constructively?

Conflict and disagreement is inevitable in any relationship, especially during challenging times that can exacerbate your issues further. For instance, if chores cause tension, ask “Which tasks feel overwhelming?” or “How can I help further?”

Empathy matters too. Put yourself in their shoes.

Brainstorm solutions together. For finances, make a budget reflecting both of you. Ask “What are our shared financial goals?” or “How can we adjust spending to fit our budget?”

When you implement these strategies, you strengthen your bond by tackling challenges together. 

7. How Can We Reignite Our Relationship After Trust Is Broken?

Sometimes things happen in life and in our relationships that make you question your trust in your partner. Whether your spouse overstepped their boundaries, committed infidelity, broken promises or something else, rebuilding your relationship afterwards can be challenging.

Start by creating a safe space for direct dialogue, by asking questions like “What led to the breakdown of trust?” and “How did this impact you?”

Next, focus on rebuilding trust through consistent actions and transparency. Set boundaries and follow through on promises, asking “What specific actions can we take to rebuild trust?”

Some steps to consider:

  • Talk to your partner immediately and let them know what happened. Taking prompt action shows responsibility  and can create a higher level of trust than waiting until someone else tells them.
  • Respond openly to your partner’s questions and without defensiveness. Do avoid sharing unnecessary details that may incite further anxiety, but that doesn’t mean concealing anything.
  • Listen with empathy to your partner without judgment, validating their feelings. Respect their feelings as legitimate from their POV, even if you may not fully understand them.
  • Be gentle and supportive, and allow your partner to rebuild trust at their own pace. Avoid pressuring them to hurry up; instead have patience and understanding.
  • If you’re the offending party, take full responsibility for your actions without making excuses. Acknowledge the impact of your behavior on them without shifting blame or downplaying its significance.
  • Commit to the recovery process. Understand that with dedication, recovery from betrayal is possible and can lead to a stronger and better relationship.

If all else fails: consider couples therapy for unbiased guidance and professional support from a therapist or a counselor. Experienced therapists can facilitate open communication and address underlying issues that you can’t resolve on your own as a romantic pair.

Finally, prioritize forgiveness and compassion (only if you feel that you or they can grant forgiveness) by asking “How can we practice forgiveness and compassion towards each other?”
By addressing the cause of breach of trust, commitment to rebuilding and fostering forgiveness, couples can emerge stronger than ever.


Incorporating these questions into your conversations with your spouse can deepen your connection and provide much-needed support during hard times. Remember, communication is key, and by asking the right questions, you can navigate challenges together with grace and resilience.

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