With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, thoughts turn to cupids and romantic nights but to some Valentine’s Day is just another day. Even though love does grow for most happy couples, sometimes it takes an unexpected twist and turn along the way, leaving us looking for answers to that age old question, “How do we keep love alive?”
Joining us today is relationship expert, Maria Andrade, author of Heart Magic: Keeping Love Alive and Well. She is here to talk about keeping the love alive and offers advice on how to do just that.
Thank you for this interview, Maria. You have quite a colorful background. I understand you were born in Ecuador but were raised in New York. How come you left Ecuador and what was it like growing up in New York?
Sadly, my parents divorced and my mother left Ecuador when my sister and I were children. We loved growing up in New York, one of the most exciting cities in the world! I often say it was a great training ground for a kid to prepare for the field of psychology. What better place to see the whole spectrum of humanity, different cultures, races, religions, economic levels and a window into the landscape of the mind!
At what point in your life did you decide to become a psycho-spiritual therapist and what is that exactly?
My degree is in counseling psychology and I am a licensed Therapist. My husband and I have been in private practice for 25 years. The word psychology contains “psyche” defined as soul or mind and “ology” which refer to the study of something. So the field of psychology can be interpreted as a study of the soul. I practice psycho-spirituality.
You are the founder of the “Heart Magic” workshops based on your book, Heart Magic: Keeping Love Alive & Well.” Can you tell us about these workshops? What are people looking for when they sign up?
The Heart Magic workshops are based on the information gathered from people for over two decades. I put information the reader can use in my book, Heart Magic, Keeping Love Alive & Well, which contains true case studies with the names of patients changed to protect their privacy. People attend our workshops with the intention of learning how to get along better with the person they love. Some come who are not just interested in finding Mr. or Ms. Right but learning how to keep that person once they have found them! In some cases people are in crisis and are coming to save their marriages.
Your book focuses on important fundamental principles and communication techniques for sustaining a loving and lasting partnership. Would you like to elaborate?
We focus on the “8 Select Principles” found in marriages that are loving, healthy and endure. We also discuss the skills for getting along on a day to day basis in order to achieve this endurance. These methods are described in the book under the heading, “the Do’s and Don’ts of Relating”. They are essential in helping improve communication and problem solving skills, which builds safety and trust in relationship. Trust is a love nutrient. Participants discover that disagreements need not be feared. They can actually turn out to be useful in learning about what is important to each other. They become familiar with anger management and the ability of resolving problems - fairly. The value of having fun together is accentuated. The couple that doesn’t play together won’t stay together. Underlying this training is the ability to transform negative thinking. All these things help to create a loving, harmonious life.
What is the most important tip you could give us to have a lasting relationship?
Get to know the person you choose as a partner for more than a brief period and be sure that both you and your partner are willing to learn all you can to be successful as partners. Inform yourselves with my book or whichever way you can, before forming a life together.
Why do you believe that one out of two relationships end in divorce?
I don’t believe it, I know it! Two basic reasons for this is that too often we seek someone to love and befriend us when we don’t love or befriend ourselves! Secondly many people still hold on to a myth that all we need is love and no preparation to be happy in love. Finally, the third reason is that we are not willing to learn what keeps love and romance vibrant through the years. Many believe the opposite, romance is only for the courtship period and it will die soon afterwards. They resign themselves to this! But couple can feel more romantic toward each other after many years of being together than when they dated. Why? They have built a relationship house on stone not sand and romance is the outcome of learning the things I have talked about.
On a final note, you are a social and human rights activist. Would you like to tell us more about this?
Like many people, I would like to see a more level playing ground in the world around me. Yet there are injustices that I have witnessed which disturb me. These injustices create suffering and even death for those who are vulnerable in our world. These injustices can be righted with an attitude of compassion and life sustaining choices.
Thank you so much for this interview, Maria!
Thank you for speaking with me. It has been my pleasure.
You can visit Maria’s website at www.magicunion.com.