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Month: September 2017

What Non-Married Same Sex and Heterosexual Couples Need to Know When Immigrating to Canada

Posted on September 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

When applying for immigration to Canada via Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) you must always have a principal applicant. This is the person who can fulfill the criteria of the particular immigration route you are choosing. It does not have to be the head of the household, nor does it have to be the male in a mixed sex relationship. You should look at the criteria and determine which family member will gain the most points or have the correct work history in order to qualify.

The principal applicant can then name spouses and dependent children as family members to be included in their application. Many people wrongly assume that a couple has to be heterosexual and married in order for their relationship to be recognized by CIC as valid, but this is not the case. CIC recognizes common-law relationships as well as same-sex relationships, but you do have to be aware of certain criteria that have to be met in order for your relationship to be accepted.

CIC Definitions:

Spouse: Two people of opposite or same-sex in a legally recognized marriage.
Common-law: Two people of opposite or same-sex who are living in a conjugal relationship and have been doing so continuously for at least one year.
Conjugal: Two people who live together and have significant commitment to one another i.e. financial, emotional, children etc.

Some issues may arise when applying for immigration to Canada that may never have been a factor before and could actually prevent the CIC from recognizing your relationship as common-law. If you know before hand what these issues might be you can prepare in advance and get your affairs in order so that when the time comes you have no problems proving your relationship. Muchmor Canada Magazine outlines the main problems and how you can prevent them.

When CIC accepts common-law relationships both heterosexual and gay or lesbian it has to receive proof from the couple that their relationship is real and not being used for the benefit of immigration. This means that you will need to prove that your relationship is conjugal. Evidence that you share a home, support each other financially, are in an emotional relationship and perhaps have children will all be taken into account.

This might not sound as if it could be a problem, but lets take a look at a couple of scenarios:

Scenario 1:

Jack and Ben are a gay couple who have been in a relationship for six years and have been living as a common-law couple for four years. Jack owned the property they live in before he met Ben and all the bills, mortgage etc are in his name only. Ben contributes toward the food and general living expenses as well as holidays the couple take. They each have separate bank accounts. This arrangement has worked well for them both and they have seen no reason to change.

Problem: Because on paper Ben has no connection to the property they live in there is no proof that they are living as a couple, other than their “word.” Although Ben pays as much financially into the relationship he has no bills, mortgage or household costs that can be shown to the CIC. Neither do they share a bank account and do they have no obvious financial commitment to each other. Therefore this may give rise to CIC rejecting their common-law relationship and refusing their application.

Scenario 2:

Mark and Sue have lived together for two years. Mark works full-time and is the only earner in the home as Sue is a stay-at-home mum to a daughter she has by another relationship. Mark has always looked after the bills and rent and Sue’s name is not on any of the official documentation i.e. rent, utility bills etc. They do have a joint bank account, but this is used for savings and holidays and not for the payment of household bills which come out of a bank account in Mark’s name only.

Problem: As with Scenario 1 CIC could refuse to accept their common-law relationship as on paper Sue has no connection to the joint home and cannot prove commitment to the relationship. Although they share a bank account, this does not prove a relationship as any two individuals can open a join bank account without being in a relationship. Remember all the bills come out of an account in Mark’s name.

Scenario 3:

Sally lives with her same-sex partner Amy in a rented apartment. The rental agreement is in Sally’s name as she lived there before she met Amy about 18 months ago. The rent includes all utilities, so no living expenses other than groceries and everyday living costs are payable. If they add Amy to the rental agreement it will prompt a new contract being put in place, increasing their monthly rent, so they have left things as they are. They both have separate bank accounts.

Problem: Once again one partner in the relationship cannot prove that they are in any way committed to the relationship or the property they live in. Again CIC could refuse to accept this relationship and refuse their application.

Solutions

Fortunately most of these issues can be easily rectified well in advance of you needing to supply the information to CIC. By following Muchmor Canada Magazine suggestions you can prevent problems.

The key to this is preparation and timing. As soon as you know you will want to apply for immigration to Canada you should look at mortgage or rental agreements, utility bills such as electricity, gas, water, internet, television etc. bank accounts and investments. Make a list and note who’s name is included on each.

The next thing is to try to get as many of these items in both names as possible. Some will be easier than others, but perhaps the easiest is a joint bank account which you then use to pay your bills. If you can show that both your incomes go into one account and all your expenses are paid from that account it helps prove financial commitment to one another and a shared liability for the “marital” home.

Next try to add the additional name onto utility bills. Some companies will do this readily, others may take some patience and paperwork. If you cannot get all changed over, don’t worry. As long as you can show that many of your bills are in joint names this is okay. After all even legally married couples don’t always have all their bills in both names.

The biggest obstacle will be mortgage or rental agreements as these will require a legal change and may it may be to your financial disadvantage to change them. This is something you will have to discuss with your mortgage lender or landlord. Again if you cannot easily get this changed, do not despair. As long as you can get a joint bank account in place and can prove you share all or most of the household expenses you should be good to go.

The CIC understands that not every couple married or common-law will share absolutely everything. Many married couples still have separate bank accounts or pay separate bills or only have one wage earner who pays everything. But it is taken for granted that a married couple living in the same house are financially and emotionally committed to each other. The same consideration is not extended to common-law couples who rightly, or wrongly have to prove this fact.

Because CIC require you to be in a common-law relationship for at least one year before applying, you should get all these things in order as soon as possible. The information you give on your application needs to be relevant at the time you complete it, not at the time you expect it to be processed by CIC.

Always read, re-read and read again the application criteria to make sure you are complying correctly. It is easier to start things off right than to have to correct things later which may delay your processing time, or mean it gets rejected altogether.

As with most things, preparation and planning are key.

Christian Sex 101

Posted on September 17, 2017 in Uncategorized

There are very few silver bullets in life. I have yet to see the magic pill for weight loss. I am personally still looking for the five thousand dollar a day work from home business! I have no idea how people who make these claims, preying on people with real problems, sleep at night. Take a moment sometime and look at all the Christian  “save your marriage” claims out there. Some of the products look more like comedy routines than real solutions. They are as laughable as they are sad.

Seldom are the real answers to complicated problems easy. Especially when you are dealing with personal relationships. Throw sex into the discussion and you can almost automatically expect limited breakthrough. Almost…

There are a couple simple truths in the world of sex and marriage that on the surface seem almost benign. But when you really GET these simple truths and you put them into practice you experience what you can quite possibly classify as your first real SILVER BULLET! Let’s break these “truths” into two different sections… “What men should know” and “What woman should know”. Let’s start with the men…!

Men are very simple creatures when it comes to sex. God knew how complicated women were going to be and felt he needed to even things up! (Sorry ladies…!) They say the average man (Christian or not) thinks about sex hundreds of times a day. That is probably a conservative estimate. Why is that you think? While we have no way of knowing for certain this is my understanding. Men are turned on by what they SEE. Sometimes I think mans visual response skips their brain and goes right to their mid section. How many movies have we all seen where a man and woman are sitting together and a beautiful woman walks buy causing the mans eyes to follow as though it is an involuntary act? Our vision starts off the sexual experience for us. We see and we act. Even if we choose to look away from that beautiful woman we have to deliberately make that choice.

When in that same movie the woman gets upset thinking this is an insult to her personally, she makes some comment challenging his commitment to her. As it sounds shallow for the man to say “hey, God made me that way” it is the truth. I am not saying this is a license for men to ogle every attractive woman they see. I believe deliberate “oogling” in the presence of your wife or girlfriend is insensitive and wrong. On the other hand, when out of instinct a man looks as a woman passes, and catches himself, his wife should commend him. He has just fought and won a battle to preserve her honor. That first glance is not about will power, the continued glaring is. This is the part where the woman need to understand how God created men. Woman need to understand what turns a man on sexually. This understanding is a little easier for woman as this is how the media tells us everyone is sexually excited.

Men Look at things and decide right there if they like them. Woman are no exception. There is a reason woman won’t leave the house in curlers. Why do women were high heels? Ask them. You will not hear the word comfort I assure you. Look at lesbians. Real lesbians. They use the term butch. If you look at these woman almost none of them dress in miniskirts and heels. They all wear Reebok tennis shoes and beige pants. Why? First reason is comfort. The second is there is no reason to wear heels and skirts. Woman could care less what other woman are wearing. They have no need to “hook” another woman visually. So ladies, do your best to understand this even if you don’t feel it. While your appearance is not the know all and end all of your relationship, to your husband it is a big part. Why? Because for whatever reason the Lord in his infinite wisdom made him.

Women. Being a Christian, heterosexual man I love women. I have zero clue how a man could have sex with another man.  When God put a woman together physically he could not have done a better job. Man being designed first he knew we liked what we saw. Guys I am sure you will agree he did not disappoint. How much easier life would be if woman were “turned on” the same way men are. Unfortunately, the two processes are not even close.

Women are human. Christian or not does not matter. They like what they see as men do. They use there vision as a first response vehicle much like men do. That is where the similarity ends. The process that occurs after that can even trump that first opinion her eyes gave her. I wish I could say woman just “feel” their way through relationships. But that over simplifies what is really going on.

So, here we go. What turns a woman on? Being a Christian and holding the belief pre marital sex is wrong, The women we are discussing here are our wives. So, what turns our wives on? Seeing as this woman married you we can assume she finds you attractive on some level. She loves you. At some point the two of you enjoyed sex with one another. Hopefully. (There are untold numbers of woman however that never really enjoyed sex. They just “did it” because it was expected. Or to satisfy her husband. Never really knowing or understanding how to enjoy it. Some fundementalist Christian women believe it is somehow wrong to enjoy sex!!  That is a whole other topic. Women, if that is you rejoice!! There is hope!! Stay tuned to these articles as we will be discussing that very subject). Guys, how do we get our wives to WANT to have sex with us??  Men like things in Steps so we can methodically follow them. Here are some steps you can take to begin the process..

  • Make the bed when you get up in the morning.
  • Make the kids lunch. Get them dressed and on their way to school.
  • Take out the trash
  • Clean the house
  • Vacuum
  • Dust
  • If you are going out that night make all the arraignments for the kids. Childcare, feeding them. Homework,etc.

Now guys, you might be looking at this list and laughing. Some of you might be in tears! It is my guess the majority of you just don’t get It. What does housework have to do with SEX? It is very simple. Now, as I explain this do yourself a HUGE favor. Do not try and make what I am saying more complicated than it is. Sometimes we don’t believe the simple thing works because it is so simple! WHY woman behave as they do is extremely complicated. HOW WE RESPOND to women is easy. Just so our response compliments how God created them. The list above is the women’s lingerie. A husband taking the time to do those things for his wife in the equivalent of the little black dress, black stockings and heels to a man. It’s her SEX ON A STICK!

Guys, our wives sex drive will always equal her sense of SECURITY. When we take the time to do the things that tell our wives “you matter, I understand how tough being a mom can be, I appreciate you, I need you, I thank God you are my wife” we provide the security every woman NEEDS. Guys, if we want our wives to respond to us sexually we need to respond to them in the way God made them. Do yourself a favor and give these things a try. What type things can you see would make your wife feel more secure? More appreciated? Telling our wives we love them is easy. Showing them is easy. Telling them AND showing them can be a challenge. When a woman sees her husband engaged in her daily activities, giving her some “me” time… Wow. Guys, the dividends are amazing. Think about this… How many times do you see really beautiful woman with men totally out of their league? Fat, bald guys with these 10.5 women on their arm?? I see them all the time. It used to bewilder me until I understood what made women tick. Christian or not. The first thing we might think is the guy has a ton of money. Maybe so for some. But isn’t that a form of security?? The biggest mistake men and woman make in their sex relationship is the belief we are aroused sexually in the same way! You can see the bedlam caused not understanding how God created us. Again, these truths are universal, Christian or not.

So, lets recap.

  • Men are visual beings. We are aroused by what we see. Period, Sure, love comes into play and we have a few feelings… a few. Men love sex with a beautiful women. So you women out there… If you want more attention sexually from your husband, rolling over in the morning with your hair going everywhere and breath that could peel paint is not your best plan. I love the song from R&B artist Beyonce’ called Freakum Dress. Get in your closet and pull out your Freakum Dress, put it on and get his attention. As I am a huge proponent of staying in your best possible shape physically for your spouse, sadly for women this weighs a little more heavily on your shoulders. Sorry ladies… Hey! Blame the Lord!!
  • Women like an attractive man. However woman are far more interested in safety and security. Being made to believe she is loved and the worth while. I hate the word feeling (feelings). It goes far deeper than just “feeling” this way once in a while. BEING safe and secure is a necessity for every woman. Even Gloria Steinem. The benefit to men for providing this environment is great sex!! So guys, Start with the list above and add activities particular to your relationship. Tell her your plan. Tell her ” I want to improve our sex life. I’ll take care of the kids and the house today. Go take the day and do as you please!! ” Then keep helping around the house, with the kids, etc. This will create the secure environment your wife needs. If Christian Sex 101 were a book, this would be in the first chapter. The good news is you’ll find many other areas of your life improving along with your sexual relationship.
  • Guys and Gals… You have the keys to the kingdom. Now GO DO IT!! This isn’t a complete Guide to Christian Sex but it is a good start!!

Love, Sex, and The Teenage Brain

Posted on September 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

Teen romance and the possibility of sex…It is one of the trickiest and difficult topics that we, as parents, talk to our kids about. Making sure your teenager has good information and a healthy attitude about opposite sex relationships is a challenging parental responsibility. We know that our teenagers are going to parties, hanging out together, sometimes drinking and some are having sex.

According to a 2005 Statistics Canada report:

o About 12% of teens have had sexual intercourse by age 15 and by the time they reach the age of 17, 28% teens have. By age 24, 80% of young adults have had sexual intercourse.
o Of the sexually active youth between age 15 and 24, over one third of them had more than one partner in a year and 30% did not use a condom the last time they had intercourse.
o Teen pregnancy has been steadily decreasing over the past 25 years. However the number of teens who have contracted sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as Chlamydia remains on the rise. This points to reduced use of condoms or the prevalence of oral sex which many teens mistakenly believe eliminates the transmission of STDs.

So, as parents, what sort of influence do we have? According to a 2005 University of Regina in Saskatchewan study, teachers emerged as the most important source for information about pregnancy and STD prevention. The study also found that peer influence was more important than parental disapproval in predicting whether a student would have intercourse. The findings suggest that, teachers and peers are more important in providing good information and instilling attitudes to our teenagers than parents. Parental disapproval has little impact. In fact parental disapproval often has the opposite effect one is trying to accomplish.

Romance and the Teenage Brain

The conflict between young love and parental disapproval is not a new one. In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliette, his “star crossed lovers” showed what havoc teen romance can have on families. Today, perhaps it is understandable and acceptable for school to be a more important source of information than parents on certain information about sex. However, most of us hope our values are important to our children and help guide their sexual behaviour choices.

When your son or daughter has fallen in love the personality change may seem extreme. It like they have been invaded by an alien body snatcher. The power of teen love and sex is very strong. Many parents feel responsible for their teenager’s risky behavior and become overwhelmed with feelings of guilt. Parents and especially mothers often feel the judgment of other parents whose teen’s behaviour is less extreme This can lead to additional feelings of isolation and ineffectiveness. Some parents and especially fathers may get authoritative out of frustration and eventually give up or “wash their hands” of the problem out of feelings of ineptitude.

To be more influential it helps to equipped with the knowledge of what forces are at work when a teenager falls in love. It is important to understand how the teen brain works. Recent brain scientific research sheds much more light on how much hormonal activity is influencing our teenager’s thoughts and actions.

Brain structures and brain chemicals both affect the way an adolescent first dives into romance. In his book Why Do They Act That Way?: A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen, David Walsh describes it this way. At around age ten, the body produces androgen hormones. This is when the first crush can occur. It is at puberty when the real awakening of sexual interest and sex drive occurs. This is when “falling in love” can happen. The hypothalamus drives surges of testosterone in both boys and girls and raises the levels of dopamine – the hormone that is responsible for feelings of pleasure. Because of developmental differences, boys and girls have different attitudes toward sex and romance. The testosterone surges in boys lead them to see girls as sexual objects. Adolescent girls tend to be more drawn to boys for the relational aspects of spending time together and talking.

Although sexual interest is always part of falling in love, falling in love is not always part of sex drive. The prefrontal cortex (the place of reason and judgment in the brain) is inactive and in teenagers not yet fully developed. When falling in love, we aren’t using our rational brain and impulse control. A “pleasure” high comes from the hormonal interplay of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. It is a powerful mix of natural neurological “chemistry”. All this high level of hormonal fireworks cannot be sustained for a long time by the brain. The intense feelings of “falling in love” are even shorter for teenagers than adults. Infatuation lasts only about three months on average. Following this they will move on to another relationship for the intoxication and excitement or will stay as the relationship transitions into a calmer more comfortable stable state, which has been called “standing in love”.

During the “standing in love” phase cooling down occurs and the prefrontal cortex engages. The teen is in a better position to assess the suitability of the relationship. The adolescent may wonder, “Why am I in this relationship?” A different set of hormones are released now. For girls it is oxytocin sometimes referred to as the “cuddling” hormone, also involved at childbirth, which promotes attachment. In boys, the hormone vasopressin makes them more protective, faithful and attentive to their partner’s needs.

Romantic Pitfalls

Often parents worry about their child falling in love with a “bad apple”. Concern about a teenager’s judgment is warranted. The prefrontal cortex is not completing formed in the brain until age 21. In this stupor of love, the bad influence of the boyfriend or girlfriend leads the “good” child to do things quite out of character. For example they may engage in some risky behavior out of loyalty and love such as destroy property for the “rush” of it.

Sometimes the darker side of love of jealousy and possessiveness takes hold. It is confusing for many teenagers. After the glorious “falling in love” feelings and then attachment hormones can cloud the judgement. He can become controlling, or physically or sexually abusive. When the “why am I in this relationship? question comes to mind, her memories of the “falling in love” times and the current cuddling hormone and lack of experience make it more difficult to see the wisdom of getting out.

Tips for Talking to Teens about Sex

Countries with low rates of teen pregnancy and STDs deal with sex more openly. If trusted adults, teachers and parents don’t talk openly, the adolescents will get their information from peers or the media. It is important to distinguish sex from sexuality. Sex is about biology whereas sexuality is about biology, psychology, values and spirituality. It is important for you to see your role as supplementing the logic, wisdom and judgement that the teen’s under developed prefrontal cortex requires. Actively listening, validating feelings and show respect will help open up discussions and reduce power struggles.

David Walsh in his book Why Do They Act That Way?, suggests the following tips and do’s and don’ts.
1. Get motivated. If you do not talk to them someone else will.
2. Get educated. Being informed overcomes nervousness and builds confidence
3. Get comfortable. It is OK to admit some discomfort. It will help everyone relax.
4. Make it an ongoing conversation.
5. Don’t try to cover too much in one discussion.
6. Choose appropriate times when there is an opportunity for calm, private uninterrupted conversation
7. Discuss sexuality, not just sex. They need to know about the place of sex in a healthy relationship.
8. Discuss dating as a time to have fun and get to know each other.
9. Don’t preach or lecture.
10. Make it a dialogue
11. Share your values

Do

o Emphasize the importance of respect and honesty in all relationships
o Have regular conversations with your sons and daughters about sex and sexuality
o Communicate the values you consider important in romantic relationships
o Provide accurate information about birth control and STDs
o Get to know your adolescent’s friends so you know who they are influenced by
o Really listen to your teen: their fears, and worries and validate their feelings showing acceptance and love
o Talk to other parents, join a parents group, see a counselor for ideas and support

Don’t

o Don’t get angry or use put-downs about a boyfriend or girlfriend you have concerns about
o Don’t ridicule or make fun of crushes or romantic attachments
o Don’t assume that your son or daughter won’t engage in sexual behavior
o Don’t keep quiet and let the “instant sex” that happens on TV and in movies become the only examples your kids

have about sex and sexuality

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