The Dealt Hand

During Wedded Bliss

Never has an institution caused so much good as it has caused harm. And vice versa. The most sacred of unions has brought two people very close together in very complicated ways. When a marriage goes bad, the hurt and damages are not contained to the two people in the relationship. Families hurt. Employers hurt. Friends and neighbors hurt. It’s a mess.

Some have been able to work things out and turn things around. There are ways to safeguard a marriage from divorce, especially when both parties take part in keeping the union strong.

However, as pro-marriage as this blog is, some unions fail. And those cards have to be dealt with as they crumble. As painful as that is, not all relationships that fail need to fail. Some fail out of sheer ignorance of the parties involved. Some fail out of sheer impatience or impracticality of those involved.

The quote of the day suggests that when dealt a hand, one can optimize that card. There are ways to make a positive impact and safe one’s investment in love.

There have been relationships saved because one partner decided to take a hard honest look at themselves and change. By the way, this is the ideal way to affect change… look at yourself first and change yourself. This changes the dynamics of the whole relationship.

Example: one man told this writer how he turned his marriage around. He was convinced his wife was the issue. For years, they fought and nearly destroyed their bond. At the advice of a mentor of his, he sought counsel from a therapist. In his sessions, he learned that his temper and hard-headed approach was not good for any kind of marriage, let alone dating relationship. He worked on himself and grew up. As his wife saw his changes, she became less defensive. They worked out their issues more calmly. Eventually, their relationship was saved. Now it is far better than it has ever been.

When dealing with the cards given, one has to give themselves a fighting chance to optimize them. Especially because the only baggage we carry from relationship to relationship is ourselves. We are the constant. Some people will trade in partners many times before they realize they’re the problem.

Before ending a relationship, take a hard look in the mirror and optimize yourself first. Once optimized, then decide. There will be many relationships who will break up because the optimized person is less able to tolerate the partner. Sometimes the issue is more in the partner’s court than yours (but usually it’s 50:50). At least, with yourself optimized, should you get into another relationship, it will have a better chance of going the distance.

On another note, some marriages are not destined to fail. They can work out great, but too many of them just coast along OK because people don’t optimize their cards. They don’t date each other inside of marriage. They don’t cheer for each other. They don’t work on improving themselves while supporting the improvement of the other. So the marriage doesn’t fail but it remains just OK.

You can be handed a great set of cards, you can be handed a bad set of cards, you can be handed average cards, it’s how you play the hand you’re given that makes all the difference in the world.

No place is the game play so critical like it is in marriage. The way one handles the relationship will impact not just the children that may come from such a union, but also generations to come and all the people who come into contact with the effects of the union. The ripple effect is serious!

Relational Monday

One may be in a relationship that started by the proximity of available partners. Now, years in, the real work of elevating the romance to the next level has to kick into high gear.

If you had known better, you might have chosen better. But you now have your choice. Do the best you can with the choice you have made. Don’t blame your partner for your relationship being mediocre of less than optimized. Do your part. Elevate your game.

We often say that it takes two to tango. That’s only half the story. It really does take two to initiate a relationship. Both parties have to agree that they’re now in a relationship. However, to effect change, all it takes is one person to start.

Seriously. Think about it. It really only takes one person.

One person to say “I will not respond with insults when insulted” …


“I will give my partner kindness because that’s what I do… not necessarily what they deserve” …


“I will not settle for average dates anymore, I will do my part to have amazing dates” …

and see how that changes things.

Many people wait for their partner to change before they start their own change. If this is as true as many claim… be the change agent then. Make that change. Give your partner permission to start their own changes by starting your own.

Optimize the cards you’re given by optimizing yourself. When you’re done elevating, you’ll be amazed as to how your relationship changes. (sometimes it changes to set you free to find your soul mate, other times it changes to reveal you already had your soul mate). You’ll never unless you optimize your cards.

What will you do this week to optimize your relationship?

Feel free to leave a comment below or on social media… share this post… and click like to let me know you’ve enjoyed this post.


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