Change Patterns


Thought Log

Date and Time


Emotion /Consequences

Actions /Desired Behavior for change

10/14/13 @ 5:30 pm

8:30 pm

1. Every Monday our youngest sons have catechism class.

2. I called my sister from Nevada and she was talking to her friend from NJ on the other line and she said shell call me right back.

1. Spouse never even thought to volunteer to think to take turns to drop or pick up our son.

I felt frustrated that he assumed that I dont need any help or need a break.

2. Sister never called me back. I felt less important that she would rather talk to her friend than to her own sister, I felt really sad and rejected.

1. I need to learn to speak up and to ask for help, especially if feeling overwhelmed.

2. I know that we both have busy schedules and I will try to call my sister back and leave her a message.

10/15/13 @ 6:30 pm

1. Daughters grades are low due to missing homework.

2. Dirty dishes left on the sink

1. Im a failure as a parent. I feel depressed.

2. I do not appreciate all the dirty dishes left for me to do after all the hard day at work. I am just too frustrated.

1. I needed to pay more attention and check the kids work at night to make sure their homework is getting done on time.

2. I need to let everyone know that I need their help in the kitchen and need to keep our house clean to keep us all safe and healthy, away from any type of illness.

10/16/13 @ 4:30 pm

1. At the mall buying homecoming dress

2. Late coming home

1. I was with my daughter and after we had bought her dress she decided to hang out with her friends and sent me home with the rest of her stuff. I felt really sad, feeling that I was not as cool as her friends are, so she decided to just hang out with her friends.

2. I was so upset and start yelling at my daughter. She decided to come home late on school night.

1. I know that I enjoyed our bonding time until her friends showed up. I should have been more understanding, my daughter was probably very excited to see her friends and talk about their homecoming.

2. I need to learn how to calm down and to listen to my daughters explanation. Effective communication is important for us; everybody has to interact with each other in our daily and social lives. Effective communication skills are interactive and participative.

10/17/13 @ 5:30 am

1. In the morning before work, my spouse informed me that his parents would visit us the next day, and then he just ran off

2. After work I called my spouse to clarify the issue with his parents coming, but he claimed he was busy and could not talk to me, saying that we would talk it over in the evening. He came from work when I was already in bed, so I was reluctant to talk to him.

1. I was a bit shocked, as I never got along with his parents, to add to the frustration at my spouses way of dropping the news on me and then just leaving.

2. My frustration simply poured out of me. I could not find a way to calm down. Jogging did not help; neither did the preparation of dinner for my spouse. And then he did not even dare to show up and talk it over with me.

1. I need to find a way to put my foot down and say no to something that puts me out of my comfort zone.

2. I need to learn to stand up for myself. Before I always listened to my spouses decision and went along with it, now I got to change that.

10/18/13 @ 6:15 am

1. In the morning my son tried to trick me into saying he got sick and could not go to school.

2. I prepared a spectacular dinner for my spouses parents, but they never showed up. I brought this up with my spouse, but he simply nudged his shoulders saying he forgot to tell me they cancelled their visit.

1. At first I believed him and got really worried, because he always gets really sick and misses out on school. However, I noticed he was playing around, so I called in a neighbor, who by chance was a practicing therapist. My son got scared at being uncovered and simply ran off to school.

2. I felt really angry and foolish for trying so hard to impress and at least a little improve my relationship with my spouses parents, and at my spouse for taking everything so light-heartedly.

1. I need to establish a trusting relationship with my son, so that he would be able to share his thoughts, ideas, maybe even secrets with me and not try to trick me into doing something he wants.

2. I absolutely need to talk to my spouse about his attitude towards me and my relationship with his parents.

10/19/13 @ 2:30 pm

1. Today I was in a queue at a grocery store, when some old lady just barged in right in front of me.

2. Our neighbor parked his car right in front of our drive way.

1. I was surprised at myself for not having said anything to her. I did think of her age though.

2. I was frustrated I could not get in to my usual parking space, but the neighbor wouldnt even talk to me. I waited for my spouse and explained to him the whole story and he just smirked at me for exaggerating.

1. I need to learn to speak up and not keep everything to myself. If I dont speak, no-one will know my opinion.

2. I need to learn to respect myself and then other people will respect and not smirk at me. I should have called the extraction company to remove the neighbors car. Next time Ill do just that.

10/20/13 @ 8:30 am

1. I have planned an outing with my family, but everyone cancelled their trip with me.

2. Upon my return, my spouse had a heated argument with me regarding me being away, and him not being able to find his tennis clothes, because they were in the dirty laundry.

1. I was disappointed that members of my family did not want to spend time together with me.

2. I felt embarrassed my spouse treats me as a slave girl, worker, even worse workers get paid.

1. I went out myself, and made a promise that I should do this more often for my own sake and pleasure.

2. I have only one thing to strive for self respect. I love my family, my kids. We did have some great times together. But I have become a person, whom they have started taking for granted. I need to work on my self-respect and their respect towards me.

Thought Log Revelation

Here I have presented a Thought Log that I have been carefully preparing during the past week. Though the writing part was not all that hard and complicated, it is the analysis that set my mind to thinking. What has been described in the Thought Log has been constantly happening to me and my family for the past two-three years. I have analyzed it and realized that there is a problem in our family, and that problem, as strange as it may sound, is me. It is my attitude towards myself. I have lost all self-respect, self-certainty, and self-assuredness. My family takes me for granted, my spouse lost interest in me, my children act as if I do not exist, and my words to them have no effect. I feel like being something between a stone and a hard place. According to the statistics, this is the situation that almost 35% of women in the United States find themselves in.

I do not like the way my family treats me. It might seem I am some sort of a slave. I do cooking, washing, cleaning, in addition to all the other house chores. Moreover, I also work, just like my spouse does. The question is when I will get the time to rest and to relax; when my kids will start helping me; when my spouse will volunteer to help me at least with something.

It appears that the main reason for such behavior is that I have assumed that if am not the one to do something about the house, and not only there, then no-one will do anything. I wonder whether it is possible to split the responsibilities between the members of the family. Indeed, I am not sure howthe responsibilities of my children and spouse will look like. Moreover, in this case, how I would perform my duties about the house. Now I understand that these questions I should ask not only myself, but also the members of the family. I have analyzed the Thought Log, and arrived at the conclusion that the major share of responsibilities, I would not even be afraid to say all of them, were mine and were performed only by me.

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According to the famous sociologist, Deborah Chambers (Chambers, 2012), who has investigating the matter, in a regular family the ever day chores are performed by women, who spend on them on average about 2 hours more than men do, and more than 15.5 hours per week.

By making brief calculations, I saw that according to the statistics, the woman is forced to cancel more than 8 hours a week more than men, in order to participate in cultural activities. Also, a woman is forced to have only 6 hours of sleep to take care of her family. It turns out that the inequality in the performance of family responsibilities associated with work about the house leads to the inequality of women in communication and culture, as we feel left out.

The only way out of this is to have a serious talk with my spouse, saying that I cannot go on like this. I am not a slave, I am a woman, who wants to be loved and treated like a loved one. Right now I do not feel love, definitely not from my spouse. First of all, it is necessary to reduce the amount of my responsibilities, and secondly, we need to find a way to better organize the distribution of responsibilities between ourselves. I want what is called equality in the family, and this may not even be my final goal, but rather understanding. I want my family to understand me, to understand that I am a human being and that I need time for myself (Scott et al., 2007). I need time to go for a walk in the park, hang out with my friends I used to have once, and spend time away from home and from the daily routine.

It might be difficult for me to make that talk, as I think I need to change my spouses attitude towards myself. He doesnt listen to me. He thinks he is the only one making decisions, like in the situation with the visit of his parents, who, by the way, did not even show up, though I spend the whole afternoon after work preparing a nice meal for them. I have to put my foot down and stand my ground. I have to show him that I have an opinion and that he should consider it as well. I tell myself that if I dont do that, I cant imagine myself being happy again.

This Thought Log has set my mind working, and I now see that I have always been a person, who avoided conflicts, though I admit being a little over-expressive and impulsive. However, after the first few moments I often tend to back down and do what the other side wants in order to skip the argument. Now I understand that this attitude is wrong. Over the period of the last two-three years I have not only lost the respect of my children, who constantly see me being subdued by my spouse, but also lost the respect for myself.

As a conclusion from the Thought Log experience, I can say that I have identified several problems coming out of one major problem existing in our family, which is low self-respect. I need to speak up, so that my opinion would be known to everyone. They have to count with it. I wonder how they would continue living if all of a sudden Id be gone. Of course they would start doing everything by themselves, but why not do it now and just help me. This would make things so much easier.

The possible outcomes or ways of treating the problem I see are as follows:

Have a serious talk with my family;

Distribute the house chores between the members of the family;

Shift the responsibility of some duties to others;

Spend more time together with my family out of the house on cultural events;

Love myself more.

This is the list of things to do, which I will follow in order to improve my life.

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