I Did the Best I Could... - Elisabeth Klein

…..is a lie. It’s a lie we tell ourselves to make ourselves feel better, and it’s a lie we tell our friends and our counselors and our recovery groups and our next partners to make us sound healthier and yet more victim-y than we really are or were.  We usually say it with a sigh and a shoulder slump to invoke further pity and knowing nods of approval.

I have never really done the best that I could.  On any day of my life.  I am human.  And I am lazy.  And I am selfish.  And I am self-centered.  And I take the low road.  And I over-promise and then I under-deliver.

I let people down.  I say that I’m loyal but then don’t show up emotionally.  I say I want peace but then I revel in the drama.  I say I love you but then I put myself before you, time and time again.

And I have said those words, “I did the best I could,” probably hundreds of times, specifically regarding my marriage.  But I didn’t.

It’s deceiving when I say that.  And it’s deceiving when you say that.

Yes, I tried hard.  Yes, a lot of the times and on a lot of those married days, I did some right things, some  unselfish things, some holy things.  But then, also, a lot of the times and on a lot of those married days, I was mean, and I chose to hurt instead of keep my mouth shut, or I chose to not do what my counselor or mentor or that book said to do, because it felt better to do the more selfish thing or to maybe try to hurt back just a little.

I think we make our past selves better than they were.  We were hurting and we made a lot of mistakes.

Why do we feel the need to build this false perception of our heroic efforts?

We didn’t do the best that we could while our good-for-nothing exes languished in their own sin. No.  We both did some right things and we both did some wrong things.

And if we want to move forward in freedom, we’re going to have to look in the mirror and admit that.  And it might as well be sooner rather than later.

If this post encouraged you, you would benefit from “Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage”, found here.