• Resolving the Question of Whether or Not to Have Children

    For some couples, the decision to have children is something that was discussed long before marriage—in some cases; I am told, on the first or second date ! But for many couples, deciding whether or not to have children can be one of their most daunting issues. With couples getting married later and women much more likely to have career dilemmas, the choice of whether or not to have children is often more urgent, since there’s so often a smaller window of time when women can safely conceive. Because this is one of life’s few decisions that is irreversible, it’s one that cannot be taken lightly or be made with haste.

    The argument for parenthood is in many ways obvious: Parenthood can be infinitely and intrinsically rewarding on countless levels. There is no bond quite like that between a parent and child. And the experience of parenthood allows you to give in ways that are unique to this special relationship. Having children can also create a special bond between you and your partner as co-parents and ultimately lead to the incomparable joy of having grandchildren later on. It also allows you to see the world again through your child’s eyes, which can be extremely fulfilling—even when your children become adults.

    Raising a child is also an enormous task; and its intensity cannot truly be imagined until it’s experienced. Every aspect of your life will change when you have a child and parenting will account for much of your time. There are years when it may even define you!

    However, exploring and discussing the question of whether or not to have children can bring your deepest values, joys and fears to the surface. Here are some of the most common things to consider if you’re on the fence:

    It’s not about you and your friends-The decision of whether or not to have a child needs to be made solely by you and your partner! Yet the pressure—real or perceived— from others can cloud your own thinking about this. Don’t let the desire to maintain your friendships by ensuring you are in similar lifestyles, be a factor in making the best decision for you and your partner. Make sure you and your partner ask yourselves, “Why do we really want children?”

    It’s also not your parents’ decision-Many couples are or at least feel pressured by their parents who want grandchildren. Your parents may want grandchildren and be disappointed if they don’t have them, but they’re not entitled to grandchildren. Conceiving out of guilt is not going to serve anyone in the long run. Ask yourselves “Are we ready to make parenting our top priority and what sacrifices are we specifically ready and willing to make?”

    A child will not save an ailing marriage- A common myth that I’ve heard many times is that having children will save or improve a dysfunctional or unfulfilling marriage; but nothing can be further from the truth. Children can sometimes strain and test the endurance of even the best relationships. Ask yourselves, “Can our relationship withstand the realities of having less freedom and private time together?” And perhaps ask yourself in the privacy of your own mind, “If we were unable to have kids or chose not to have them, am I still in a relationship with the person I want to grow old with?”

    If you’re still not sure, the best advice is to work on this crucially important decision until you are less ambivalent. I also offer more guidance and some case studies on this subject in my book The Art of Staying Together. Bottom line: Having a child—when it’s what you and your partner truly want and have a loving home to provide—could be the most meaningful aspect of your life and the best contribution to the world that you can leave behind. But go into it with your eyes open.

    Michael S. Broder, PhD is a renowned psychologist, executive coach, bestselling author, continuing education seminar leader, and popular speaker. He is an acclaimed expert in cognitive behavioral therapy, specializing in high achievers and relationship issues. His work centers on bringing about major change in the shortest time possible. http://stageclimbing.com

  • American Idol Top 12 Results Show

    OK back to our bottom three where Ryan sends Naima back to the safety seats….blowing my prediction for this week. Haley is also safe with Karen (potentially) going home. Karen sings for her supper, and in an outright plea to the judge to save her, she chooses Mariah Carey’s “Hero”. It’s not “muy bueno” at all even though she throws in some Spanish for good measure. Unfortunately, it comes off as more of a party trick, and if it were me, I’d probably just try to sing in key (but what do I know?)

    The judges chat for a second, while Seacreast tries his best to make poor Karen cry. Randy shares that they’re not saving her tonight, but adds that it is not unanimous, subtly letting America know that Jenifer really is the nicest judge yet and tried her best to save her….or at least, that’s my guess.

    Next week the Top 11 will sing, and the elimination show will give us the Top 10, and the year’s Idol Tour participants. I think there are a few folks who desperately need to step it up, or they’ll have to start making plans now for theme park jobs this summer! What do you think? Tune in next Wednesday to see for yourself! Want more Idol chatter? Check out American Idol Net for even more recaps, predictions, news and goings-on: http://americanidolnet.com/.

    (Judges’ photo: Access Hollywood)


    Daphne Wotherspoon is an expert at getting the right people hired into the right jobs. She has nearly 20 years of experience in the staffing, consulting, recruiting, and human capital management industries. …

    Daphne Wotherspoon’s author pageAuthor’s Blog

  • Effects of Divorce

    Everyone knows that marital separation and divorce generate a high level of emotional pain for both the spouses and their children. However, there is no proof whatsoever on which is less damaging:

    • The family that still live together, although their relationship has become mutually and emotionally damaging for the parents; or

    • The spouses separating and later divorcing

    They realize what will be their family’s future in a long-term status of marriage. This will fall on either one of the three categories:

    • About one-fourth of the families do able to thrive as a strong, well-flourished family, in which the spouses are able to resolve conflicts with the use of effective inter-communication.

    • About a fourth seriously lacks the qualities of a loving and unified family, yet they still live together with concerns of apathy, financial issues, the best interest of their children, and others.

    • About a half separate because of a terrible experience. Eventually, they divorce. This ranges from a relationship failure, to a second degree dreadful experience.

    All married couples assume that they will live happily together and forever. Well not all are that lucky to that. They sometimes fail to meet these assumptions. One instance is that:

    • They lack proper communications skills.

    • They do not exert effort to restore their crumbling relationship.

    • Their effect of their marriage gradually wears down as time passes.

    • An unsolved dilemma occurs.

    • Stress among them is too eminent: they could not cope with it.

    • The total breakdown of their relationship ends up divorcing.

    Effects (In Short-term):

    In most cases, the critical issue to be decided among them is not to divorce, but to separate. Surveys have found out that separating is an intensely difficult incident. Many separated individuals experience an emotional “aftermath” of the separation. All of them suffer depression, guilt, fear, and hopelessness. This will take years before they can restore emotional stability. Oftentimes, an ex-spouse would not cope up towards healing, in which they will remain seriously distressed.

    Children will think of themselves as the cause of their parents’ divorce. They regret of not doing the right things a son/daughter must do for the family. They think that if only they could do that earlier, no divorce will happen. They are in need of guidance from relatives, explaining that they are not responsible. Most of them try to reunite their parents.

    Not all separation processes are equally tough:

    • Couples prefer going through a collaborative divorce or divorce mediation for the process to get faster, better, cheaper, and less emotionally draining, than going through conventional processes of hiring lawyers and resolving the conflicts either by negotiation or by litigation.

    • Separation and divorce are more difficult because many additional factors related to child welfare are involved (like child custody).

    • Spouses often use their children as pawns in an attempt to punish the other spouse, resulting to separation.

    After separation, the average standard of living of the couple degenerates, because one additional residence has to be funded from the family financial resources. Couples who both have careers or have support from their families of origin often more easily handle the financial drains of separation.

    The author of this article is Ricardo Mendes. He is a writer and a person who loves dealing with different life circumstances like divorce of some parents. To know more of him, visit [http://www.needadivorceonline.com].

  • Facebook Takes First Step Toward Full-Fledged Ad Network

    Of course, that is how it should work in theory; the real world is not always so simple. On the same week when Facebook went public, General Motors announced that it was ending its $10 million advertising campaign with Facebook, citing a disappointing lack of results from its attempts to promote its vehicles to Facebook’s users.

    For a company as large as Facebook, such a small amount of money will not affect its financial results, but the symbolism could be far more damaging, which helps to explain its new advertising initiative. By engaging users outside of its own platform, Facebook is hoping to reach users when they are more receptive to advertising. This is one area where Google tends to have an advantage over Facebook: When people search on Google, they are often times looking for something to buy, making them excellent advertising targets.

    With Facebook depending so heavily on adverting revenue to grow its business, it is only natural for the company to seek as many growth opportunities as possible. Given that online and mobile advertising only account for 12 percent of the $600 billion advertising market, Facebook is still not even close to reaching its full potential, even if its user growth is starting to plateau. If Facebook can successfully launch a new advertising network, the company could go a long way toward capturing a large segment of this lucrative market.


    Tommy Swanson is a marketing fanatic who has a passion for non-profits. Swanson helps nationally-recognized non-profits and businesses develop their online marketing strategy. He is also a serial entrepreneur who started and sold several businesses in his early teens. …

    Tommy Swanson’s author pageAuthor’s Blog

  • That’s it….Enough is Enough

    I have been in this country for the past 15 years, the country where I have been practically raised and lived for most of my life. The country I live in…. is now in turmoil.

    Bahrain, which is known for its friendly people and peaceful surroundings, is now insecure with people living in fright and in fear of a civil war or a huge divide within the country. The divide that I’m talking about is between the two Islam groups, the Sunni and the Shia’a. Yes, we’ve always had our differences, but now those differences are turning into bloodshed and insecurity.

    The problem is exploding, with both sides blaming each other and spreading rumors about the other. Is this what Islam has taught us? What the Prophet Muhammad (MPUH) taught and preached us? To spread lies and start trouble? No, absolutely not.

    Unfortunately, that’s what’s happening right now, everyday, every hour, every minute, I hear news, rumors, reports about the situation here in Bahrain and from each side. People are saying that things are calming down, but I don’t see that. I hear and listen to reports about what’s happening in Shia’a villages, in the Salmaniya Hospital, etc.

    It’s frightening and absolutely sad that this is going on in a country like Bahrain. Bahrainis, here and abroad, are worried and many can’t even concentrate on college, university, or their job due to the situation in their beloved country.

    Ever since the report by CNN on the situation in Bahrain, there is more shock and more people are beginning to realize that the situation is worse than was first feared. Whether you believe it or not, Bahrain is in trouble and in huge divide…. Bahrainis and everyone, like me, who love the country must stick together and unite. Whether you’re pro or anti, it doesn’t matter, everyone is entitled to their opinion and doesn’t deserve to be punished for it.

    Continued on the next page  

    Hello everyone, My name is Omar Almasri, I’m a university student currently living in Bahrain. I love sports especially soccer and I’m a huge fan of Arsenal. I’m also into politics and deeply attached to social, humanitarian and other issues surrounding us today. …

    Omar Almasri’s author pageAuthor’s Blog

  • Marriage and Debt: Is My Spouse Responsible for My Debt?

    These days, marriage is about more than just love and commitment-it’s also about money. When you marry someone else, you also marry their money and their debt, which can be quite a shock for uneducated newlyweds. When you don’t disclose your financial situation to your partner before wedding bells start ringing, you might be in for a rude awakening.

    In fact, studies show that money is one of the most prevalent causes of divorce in America today, second only to infidelity. When you discover that your spouse has mired you in debt, you might not have anywhere to go but out. It’s far better to get all of the information up front, then decide if marriage is the right way to go.

    New Marriage, Old Debt

    You’ve just gotten married and you’re carrying a bit of debt with you into the relationship. Is your spouse responsible for your debt? Thankfully, in most cases the answer is “no” because your spouse doesn’t have anything to do with past debt. However, there are a few circumstances in which s/he could be held responsible.

    For example, let’s say that you racked up $10,000 on a credit card that was in your name as a single. When you got married, you added your spouse as a joint account holder, which makes him or her responsible for the debt. If, however, you were to keep the card only in your name until it was fully paid off, your spouse wouldn’t be liable for the debt.

    In that same situation, if you were to default on the credit card in both of your names, your spouse’s credit rating would take a hit, even if s/he had no knowledge of your delinquency. This is where marriage and debt coincide, and the consequences can be ugly.

    If you’re getting married soon, or if you’ve just gotten hitched, make sure that you and your spouse disclose all financial obligations to one another. Then you can make an educated decision about combining accounts or adding one another to existing accounts.

    My Card, Our Debt

    The United States legal system is tricky where this is concerned. Debt incurred outside the marriage does not make your spouse responsible, but any loans or lines of credit obtained during the marriage makes both partners liable.

    If you apply for a credit card without your spouse’s consent, then rack up serious charges and fail to pay it back, your spouse becomes responsible. Marriage is like a business partnership where fiscal matters are concerned; any debt you incur while married stays in the marriage.

    In this case, your spouse doesn’t have to sign on as a joint account holder in order to be held responsible. In fact, s/he doesn’t even have to know about what you’ve done in order to be sued or have wages garnished for non-payment. Make sure that you and your spouse communicate about financial matters during the marriage; often these situations are a result of poor communication.

    No Marriage, No Responsibility

    Another question frequently asked about finances concerns couples who live together, but who have not legally married. This is far different from a marriage, and the rules significantly differ as well. If you are living with your partner, but haven’t married, he or she is not responsible for your debts. Only when he or she becomes your spouse will you have to take responsibility.

    The only exception to this handy rule is in the event of a joint account. Any time you sign up as cosigners on a loan or account holders on a line of credit, you each become equally responsible for the debt incurred. This is true even if you aren’t romantically involved or even living together; two people take equal responsibility for debt when they sign the paperwork.

    Steve is a full-time freelance writer. In addition to the more than 3,000 articles he s written for AC, he has also written articles and other materials for more than 100 happy clients. He enjoys writing abo…  View profile