The following segment aired on The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television. Joining the show was licensed mental-health counselor, Dr. Leslie Zebel, to discuss what is needed for healthy relationships and what is needed to be left behind in past relationships.
The Balancing Act Lifetime Host Beth Troutman: We’re always welcoming relationship advice that we can all benefit from whether we’re in one or we’re looking for one. Dr. Leslie Zebel is a licensed mental-health counselor and is joining us on The Balancing Act to talk about the things that you need in order to have a healthy relationship. Leslie, what are we looking for when it comes to a healthy relationship? What should we strive for in order for the relationship to succeed?
Leslie: The first thing I would think about is, what is your attitude about relationships? Most people just think that they’re one destructive disaster after another and they get upset because they don’t turn into marriage or they don’t turn into an engagement. You should look at relationships like a learning experience and use that to learn, grow and have fun.
The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: If someone seems to be having the same type or failed relationship, what would your advice to them be? Is it about them or the person that they are choosing? Please tell The Balancing Act viewers what the real issue tends to be.
Leslie: It is about them and there is a reason why they are choosing the people they are with. A lot of times all of us will repeat emotional patterns. If you’re doing that then the same feelings are going to carry over to the next relationship and you have to look at why you keep doing that to yourself.
The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: It seems that the emotional pattern is what really has to change. If we don’t change the type of person we choose then we have no hope of finding a healthier relationship than the last. I know that a lot of this pattern is unconscious and we have to understand that as well.
Leslie: It’s very unconscious and I am sure some of The Balancing Act viewers are aware of this unconscious emotional pattern.
The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: There’s an underlying issue that needs to be brought to the surface and dealt with. People seem to carry their issues from one relationship to the other, so how do we change those patterns?
Leslie: People do carry their emotional baggage with them and they also find that they’re communicating in similar ways in these new relationships. They find themselves in similar destructive patterns that they’re finding themselves either being criticized or they’re feeling like a victim in relationships, they’re feeling judged and losing themselves. When that starts to happen, its lack of skills on their part and their partner’s part. Both partners need to have very good, healthy communication skills that are kind and caring which makes each person feel good about themselves.
The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: What else should we be striving for? How do we work toward getting to that place? What are the things that we should focus on?
Leslie: I think that you need to focus on getting yourself as healthy as possible. If you go into a relationship depressed, you’re just going to have a depressed relationship. If you work on being the best you can be, sharpening your communication skills and your conflict resolution skills, then you will learn how to feel good about yourself. Then you are going to have better relationships and you are going to choose people who have those similar parts in themselves.
The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: How big of an issue is forgiveness and how do we know when to forgive and when to walk away?
Leslie: Forgiveness is learned and a lot of times we do exactly what we saw our parents do. Forgiveness is a day-to-day thing that involved the little things and the big things in life. To forgive is to make the choice that you want to and it is a process. Working through the sadness and disappointment and being able to put it behind you and not bring it up in another relationship and clobber your partner with it.
The Balancing Act Lifetime Television: Thank you so much for sharing so much important information with The Balancing Act viewers and family.
The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television is the only morning show in America produced by women specifically for women. Every morning, The Balancing Act on Lifetime hosts Danielle Knox and Kristy Villa tackle the issues that face today’s woman. Popular show segments include Live weather updates with Mark Mancuso, surprise celebrity visitors, and news about the latest trends affecting your life, home, career and family. The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television airs daily on Lifetime at 7 a.m. ET/PT. For more information, visit The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television’s website at www.thebalancingact.com.