The idea is to get a better understanding of the work they do, particularly the parts that add to their exhaustion and stress. In this way, you can better appreciate and understand how they feel at the end of the day. And what kind of support they would most appreciate.
To a spouse who leaves the house for work, you might ask questions like: “I know I work hard all day. I know you do. But I don’t know exactly what goes on every day for you….” “Tell me something interesting about your work.” “What do you love about it?” “What are the stressful parts?” “Who do you enjoy working with, who not so much?” “Do you like your work at the moment?” “Any big deadlines coming up?” “What makes you feel overwhelmed at work?”
To a spouse who deals more with running the home (among the many other things), you might ask: “What is morning like?” “What is a daily schedule like – errands, carpool. after school activities?” “Which errands are more time consuming or energy-sucking?” “What is overwhelming in running our home and family?”
NOTE: This is not the time to share your ideas for being even better at work or with chores and errands. Nor the time to give suggestions about how to deal with the stress. Just listen to learn. –