Joe, 34, along with brothers Nick Jonas and Kevin Jonas, dropped the track in 2019 as one of the many songs on their comeback album Happiness Begins. In an April 2019 interview with Billboard, Nick, 30, described the ballad as Joe’s “love letter” to Turner, 27.
One month later, Joe got candid about the song and its special meaning during an interview with Apple Music.
“It’s one of those love letters that you write to your partner saying, ‘I’ll be there no matter what,'” he gushed at the time.
In the band’s 2020 documentary, Chasing Happiness, Joe opened up about the song he penned and how Turner served as the inspiration.
“‘Hesitate’ is a song I wrote. It’s like my vows before I wrote my vows. It’s my promise to [my wife] Sophie,” he explained to the camera. “I can see in the audience when it’s definitely those other people’s songs. I see couples holding each other. I see somebody [and] that song got them through something.”
He continued: “For me, it takes me to a whole different universe. I’m seeing her walk down the aisle again every time I close my eyes.”
On the track, Joe sings about wanting to help his wife navigate life through any obstacles they face, promising to always remain by her side.
“Kiss the tears right off your face / Won’t get scared, that’s the old, old, old me / I’ll be there time and place / Lay it on me, all you’re hold, hold, holding / Time, time only heals if we work through it now / And I promise we’ll figure this out,” Joe sings in the song’s opening verse.
As the ballad reaches its chorus, Joe vows to help Turner no matter what she’s going through — as she once did for him.
“I will take your pain / And put it on my heart / I won’t hesitate / Just tell me where to start / I thank the oceans for giving me you / You saved me once, and now I’ll save you too / I won’t hesitate for you,” he croons.
“I was going through this phase of being very mentally unwell. He was, like, ‘I can’t be with you until you love yourself, I can’t see you love me more than you love yourself,’” Turner told The Sunday Times in May 2019. “That was something, him doing that. I think he kind of saved my life, in a way.”
Turner confessed that her breakup with the singer only lasted for one day before they ultimately reconciled. “For a second, we both had cold feet, then 24 hours later we were both, like, nevermind,” she explained to the outlet.
Four years after “Hesitate” was released, Us Weekly confirmed that Joe filed for divorce from Turner, citing that their marriage was “irretrievably broken.”
Prior to the Tuesday, September 5, filing, Joe and Turner sold their shared Miami residence for $15 million back in August. Later that month, Joe sparked split speculation while on tour with his brothers when eagle-eyed fans noticed during his August 28 performance that the musician seemingly wasn’t wearing his wedding ring. (The singer later sported the band for his September 3 concert, according to footage found online.)