The healing touchstone of millions, this modern classic by one of America's best-loved and most inspirational authors holds the key to understanding codependency and to unlocking its stultifying hold on your life.
With instructive life stories, personal reflections, exercises, and self-tests, Codependent No More is a simple, straightforward, readable map of the perplexing world of codependency-charting the path to freedom and a lifetime of healing, hope, and happiness.
Melody Beattie is the author of Beyond Codependency, The Language of Letting Go, Stop Being Mean to Yourself, The Codependent No More Workbook and Playing It by Heart.
Helpful in so many ways
By Maranda on Nov 13, 2008
This is the book that started it all. I know it is cliché but, this book has changed my life and my thinking... I was talking to my father on the phone one day and I was explaining to him how I have no problem exercising and eating right when Otty is gone but I can't seem to keep it up when he is home. My father then asked me if I wanted to know what that was called...he told me it was called co-dependence and that I should start learning about this by reading a book called Co-dependent No More. I pretty much ran out right away and purchased the book. Now, I have never been a big advocate for self-improvement books, but I have to say that this book was very enlightening. Co-dependency has a different definition for everyone. This book made me delve into my own retched thoughts and confront them head on. This book made me realize that I have a voice and an opinion and both matter just as much as the next person. I realized that I can make decisions and not have to worry if my opinion is what other people may think or want. My opinion is exactly that...my opinion. It is okay to have an opinion that is different than someone else's. I also learned that I need to detach myself from the people in my life that cause me harm...emotionally, physically, doesn't matter... Though I may not struggle with an abusive alcoholic, I still struggle with the internal doubts and feelings of self worthlessness. I have learned that I do not need to immerse myself so deeply in someone else's life that I lose myself. I can keep my individuality while sharing my life with another. If we have conflicting views...that's alright. When I first read this book, I figure that I would not post my feelings about it because they were too personal. However, now having some distance from the book and being able to employ the lessons I have learned, I am able to share myself with others. I am not perfect and it is absolutely acceptable for me to let other people know this. Maybe, by sharing these thoughts, someone else might be inspired to read this book and better themselves as well.
Fully develope your owm life
A Customer on Dec 23, 2000
This book is about living your own life instead of living your life for your significant other. It is a wonderful book. It changed my life. I would also highly recommend the book An Encounter With A Prophet which helped me become more reliant on God.
Not Like Any Other Self-Improvement Book
A Customer on May 31, 1999
This book saved my sanity, my relationship, maybe even my life. I was going through major upsets in my relationship due to a partner's addiction. I was trying to "fix the world" one painful day at a time. When nothing happened except for me to lose hope, trust, faith and love, I turned to a friend for advice. She recommended this book to me. I was skeptical to try yet another DO IT YOURSELF book to fix what was wrong with me, but this one opened my eyes. For the first time ever, I saw the patterns of my actions leading me straight to heartache and frustration. The descriptions were right on target, I saw myself in every list. It was scary, yet encouraging, because I did not feel alone, nor did I feel I was too far gone to be helped. This book will be a fixture on my nightstand to get me through the weaker points in my life. Whenever I need to take a reality check and think of ME instead of that other person, I open the pages and let it heal me. Thank you, Ms. Beattie!
BREAKING THE CHAINS OF CODEPENDENCY
By Sandra D. Peters on Jun 28, 2001
As a counsellor with thirty years experience, I can assure you that, contrary to what at least one other reviewer has indicated, loving yourself is NOT easy for everyone. If life was that simple, counsellor's case loads would be much lighter and the world a much happier place. This book is an excellent starting point and great self-help book for those who are codependent. It is not simply a matter of "starting to love yourself," but a matter of going back through the years, generally to the formative years of childhood, and discovering why you have developed the need to be codependent. In other words, it helps to know where you came from before mapping a route to where you are going. I did find the book made considerable reference to drug and alcohol addiction. While that is a major form of codependency, it is not the only form, but others received less priority. For that reason, the book lost a star in the rating. "Codependent No More" is written in an honest, straight-forward manner; therefore, if it evokes anger or negativism in the reader, it is likely because the reader sees at least a partial reflection of themself in the book. Like any self-help book, the advice given only works if the individual is prepared to make long-term changes and has the commitment to work at the root of the problem. For those who are codependent to a minor degree, this book provides helpful insight on how to deal with the problem; however, if the problem is a more serious one, opting for professional counselling is likely still the best course of action. Often old habits are difficult to change on one's own. Freeing yourself from the chains of codependency can result in newfound freedom, peace of mind and a happier, less stressful lifestyle. I do recommend this book for the valuable information it contains.
A terrific first step towards happier living
By Brad Torgersen on Dec 20, 2002
So far as I can tell, very few people could ever read this book without taking something positive away from it. And you don't have to be the product of a broken home, child abuse, neglect, or other serious trauma to see how the machinery of so-called "codependency" tweaks your life; always for the worse. Having read other peoples' reviews, I'm not sure where some of the negative "cult" comments and rancor come from. I recognized a lot of these behaviors in mysef and in my family, and I'm not from an abusive, alcoholic, or otherwise chemically shattered upbringing. I have good parents and I had a good childhood. Just the same, even good parents and a good childhood are no guarantee against developing unhealthy relationship habits, as well as damaging internal emotional processes. If you're like me, you shy away from "self help" literature because it all seems way too touchy-feely. I don't see myself as a victim, and I refuse to adopt the victim mentality. But nobody gives parents a rule book on setting healthy emotional boundaries with their kids, and kids that grow up in a home without healthy emotional boundaries become adults without healthy emotional boundaries. This can really get you into trouble when you start trying to form a family of your own, and is the reason why I sought out this book with urgency. Does it seem like your hapiness is too connected to how other people live their lives? Do you get really upset and depressed because those whom you love engage in behavior you see as risky or damaging? Feel powerless to stop your loved one from using or abusing mind altering substances? Tired of always feeling like "the bad guy" when you're just trying to get your partner to "be good"? Has your own social circle dwindled or vanished, so that now only your partner and his/her friends are 'your' social group? Would you like to know why it's so hard to get out of bed every morning, and why you spend so much time worrying about that certain person in your life, while worrying too little about yourself? The problem called "co-odependency" is not a catch-all, nor is it remedied over night. But I'd dare say that at least half or more of American adults--indeed adults across the entire world--struggle with some form of co-dependent-like behavior. And if you want a deeper insight into this problem, what it is, what it is not, and how it messes with your life, then read this book, and gain strength from understanding. Now, having said all this, and having dealt with these issues for a few years, I think I need to be honest and say that a book like this is only the FIRST STEP. Nothing replaces a good therapist or psychologist. If you feel like you really are that messed up or are "going bonkers", please, see about getting some professional counseling. When your car is broken do you try to fix it yourself? No, most of us do not. Not even those of us who are handy with cars. The same is true for psychological and emotional disturbances. Many companies now offer Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) that offset or eliminate the costs of counseling. If your company has an EAP, by all means, use it! Barring counseling, I would HIGHLY SUGGEST another book, once you have passed through the bowels of "Codependent No More" and are ready to move beyond merely identifying your problems, and are anxious to work on SOLVING them. To merely gaze at one's navel and bemoan the sorry state of one's broken or damaged history is to remain trapped in emotional and mental amber. You're not REALLY going to "get better" until you attack the unhealthy mental habits at the heart of the problem. Understanding the root of the trouble is just a first step, making changes for the better is what happens next, and ought to be the logical goal of EVERY person seeking relief from abnormal or extreme emotional and psychological disturbance. Which is why I highly, highly, highly, suggest seeking out the classic "A Guide to Rational Living" by PhD. Albert Ellis and PhD. Robert A. Harper. Whereas Beattie is good at giving a layman's view of co-dependent problems and guiding the unkowing through a tour of co-dependent issues, where they might come from, and how they affect our lives in the present, she is not technically a TRAINED professional in mental health care. Without seeking that kind of professional-level knowledge, one is very likely to fall into the "Twelve Step Trap" wherein 'recovery' becomes an asymptotic hell of forever progressing towards wellness, without actually attaining wellness. Doctors Ellis and Harper have the goods on making changes in your life RIGHT NOW, without facing a daunting and endless program of eternal Anonymous-type meetings and couch sessions with your shrink. Refreshingly pragmatic and frank, Ellis and Harper give you a toolbox full of solid instruments to help you start dismantling that co-dependent house you've built for yourself (yes, I said YOU built for YOURSELF), and avoiding taking on "group" and perpetual "recovery" as just another set of addictions or ways to avoid truly attaining mental and emotional health. Thanks for reading. Best of luck on your journey, as I continue my own.
A codependent person let's another's behavior affect them...
By Heather E. Mcandrews on Mar 08, 2001
This book is good for people who find themselves depressed and needing some insight on why they feel the way they do. After reading this book the other book by Melody Beattie "Beyond Codepedency" will help you fix the codependent problem. These books will help anyone who is dealing with an alcoholic relationship or any other dependent relationship. If you find yourself caretaking all the time, ie: thinking or feeling responsible for other people, feel it is your responsiblity to help other people solve their problems, feel needy people are always attracted to you, and feeling unappreciated or used; or you have weak boundaries with the people in your life; you have dependency issues; poor communication; and low self-worth- you are codependent. I didn't think I was, but this book laied my life out perfectly. If you are feeling crazy for the way you are feeling read this book and you will understand why you are feeling the way you are. It is normal it is just you are a codependent person and you need to fix that.
Full of Reality Checks
By Let's Read Charles on Nov 06, 2013
Dr. Andy Goodman's How to Survive Loving a Narcissist (A Book About Narcissism) - Narcissism Book initially led me to Codependent No More. Dr Andy's was a terrific read and valuable resource on similar topics to these. Anywho, I wanted to gain more of an understanding about co-dependency in a general sense, so I picked up this one. The book is already a classic in its field and for good reason. It is full of hard-hitting reality checks that keep you on your toes as you read. The author, Melody Beattle, was such an effective writer in that she maintained focus well and was very direct with the reader. I personally could tell she was not only coming from a professional perspective, but as someone who had been there/done that. I think the two books have given me an invaluable amount of learning on co-dependence and I feel stronger and more confident in myself than ever before.
By Olga Redmon on Mar 19, 2006
To me, it is a 5-star item. It allowed me to face my own problems which were contributing to my marriage problems. Once I lost the fear of losing my husband, learned to defend my interests, our marriage improved. I feel that now he has more respect for me, more trust in me. Amazingly, when I stood up for myself and thought it will end my marriage, he actually communicated his concerns, and we worked things out. Don't get me wrong, marriage is a full time job, but now I have the qualifications for the 'position'. The book also helped me defend myself and other co-workers at my work place, and I have won every battle with my boss and earned the respect of my co-workers. The book allowed me to lose fear over a divorce, getting fired, or getting dishonored by my family who disagree with some of my choices. I am an honest, loyal person who has a lot to offer, and I deserve to be loved and respected. After applying the techniques from the book, I gained the love and respect of others, which convinced me that my principles are right, and standing up for the higher good was well worth the fight.
Just what I needed to hear
A Customer on Apr 10, 2001
I read this book to help me to understand why I could not seem to fully separate myself from an extremely dysfunctional relationship that I had been in for almost 8 years. While Melody frequently uses alcoholics and drug addicts as her examples of co-dependents, that was not the case for me. I was in a relationship with a person that was/is clinically depressed (and not doing anything about it) and who would take their anger out on me. Our home life revolved around how he was feeling from day to day, as it does also with alcoholics. This book helped me realize how I had ended up essentially taking care of a grown man because he didn't want to do it himself. There were lots of other problems with the relathionship, but the main thing is after reading this book I finally woke up. I can honestly say that I have been able to detach from that person (not an easy task) and my life has been so much better for it. This new knowledge has also helped my other relationships with friends and family. I am learning how not to get over-involved and feel a need to 'fix' someone else's problems that they have created for themselves. This book definitely has set me on the right path and I hope to be able to continue to look out for ME.