If I could eliminate two words from the English Language they would be very and trying. Really, how very unique can you be?  A bit of overstatement, but the word trying seems worse––especially in relationships.

Just my rant, but  I think the word, trying, mentally gets in your way when striving to accomplish something.

“I’m trying not to get angry,” she said, clutching her hands into a fist. Or…

“I’m trying to be neater,” he said as he dropped his dirty socks on the floor next to the hamper.

If you are trying to do something, you are not doing it. Consequently when you or your husband need to make an adjustment in your retired life behavior, you can’t try to do it…you have to Do it.

Think about it the next time one of you expresses disappointment (or anger or frustration) about some behavior quirk the other has developed. If the complaint is legitimate, don’t say you will try to change. Say you will change. You might be surprised how much more successful you will be because of that simple statement. You might also be surprised––and pleased––by the reception this comment receives. Saying you will do it means that you intend to make that change. Saying “you will try” says, you’ll make the change if it suits you. Which would you rather hear?

Comment below to share your stories on conversational hints for improving relationships or to ask a question about improving conversations with your retired spouse.