There is a difference between explaining something and justifying it.
When it comes to relationships, I think we often explain when we have the other person in mind. We consider the relationship, the impact our words and behavior have had or continue to have on someone else.
But we often justify instead, and that doesn’t consider what the other person experiences or feels. It’s about us trying to put the pieces together in a way that makes something okay. We might say it’s for the other person, but in reality, we’re trying to make ourselves feel better more than anything else. When we rationalize, what we use as an explanation to the other person hardly makes any sense at all or even does more damage, because the motive is selfish: it’s to try to present something in a way that someone else will approve or accept. But with selfishness comes deception. There might be a few threads of truth, but truth woven with deception doesn’t magically change the lies.
A context of lies distorts any remnant of truth.
So the next time you try to explain your behavior, ask yourself if you are explaining or justifying. Are you primarily focused on yourself and self-preservation or someone else and their ability to understand, heal, and forgive?
Your motivation and focus matter.