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Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
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Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  14,791 ratings  ·  548 reviews
Three years on the New York Times bestseller list, CODEPENDENT NO MORE first identified attitueds, feelings, and behaviors now recognized as hallmarks of codependency. Checklists, activities, and self-tests provide concrete tasks to help readers examine the nuances of codependency in their lives.
Paperback, Second, 236 pages
Published 1992 by Hazelden (first published 1986)
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Lara Heisler
Found this really helpful. I bet it could help you, too. In fact, I will loan you my copy. Even if you don't want it. Or I could buy it for you, even though I can't afford it. Don't walk away! I'll give you $20 if you read it. I know it will help you. You need help. Don't worry about me. I'm fine. Now.
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 pr
Betsy Boo
What I learned from this book? Good grief! I learned soooooo much! This book opened my eyes to the path toward self-discovery, self-love, and learning how to deal with difficult relationships. I very highly recommend this book, not just for people who live with an alcoholic, but for anyone who is trying desperately hard to fix a bad relationship, whether it's with your spouse, your parents, your children...with anyone you love. I learned how my upbringing has the power to wreck my current and fu ...more
Dana Baker
I thought I knew everything there was to know about co-dependency, but this book took it above and beyond my prior misconceptions. For anyone who has experienced emotional martyrdom and excessive guilt surrounding self-care issues, this is a necessary read! Beattie breaks down unnoticed learned behavior that's passed down through generations, behaviors that are often a result of living with an alcoholic parent or person with dysfunctional coping mechanisms. Although I wasn't directly affected by ...more
I knew this was a classic of the genre, but I found myself unimpressed by it. Maybe I came at it with the wrong expectations? I was thinking of "co-dependency" in a more generic sense — say, the way a married couple can be enmeshed and lose their boundaries with each other. Beattie's book instead seems dated to me, bound up as it is with the classic origins of the term "co-dependence" in the partners of alcoholics.

For me, the constant references to alcohol and Al-Anon grated on me, as did mentio
An eye-opening book that reveals many behaviors one adopts to handle living with someone with addiction problems, or as in my case, mental-health issues. I never realized the extent to which my relationship warped me, to some level my fault for allowing it to happen, but the book also presented a lot of ways to come to an understanding of what it means to be a codependent and also ways to combat and correct behavior. I didn't completely like the religious angles that much, though they will be go ...more
Feb 16, 2008 Carolyn rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who feel responsible for the behavior of others
If only I had read this book 10 years ago... I might not be in the mess I'm in now.

This is a good book for those in crisis mode. When you're beaten down and feeling trapped and you don't know what the hell is wrong with you, you need this book, which tells you over and over and over and over again: You're okay, you're a good person. You're okay, you're a good person. You're okay, you're a good person...

I stumbled upon this book a little late. I had already had my crisis, realized I needed to ch
practicing what I preach.

I gave it three stars because I read the entire book, and I'm still codependent. I was sort of hoping this would like, cure me. Fix all my issues, sort of like the knight and shining self-help book I've always been waiting for. But it didn't immediately read my mind and meet my needs, and I was crushed. I thought, maybe if I am a better reader, it will be a happier book and then all my dreams will come true. So I tried to be perfect, I ignored all it's flaws, and I put
Taken from my blog at

In case it isn't already clear, I'm talking about two separate books here. One book is titled "Codependent No More" and the other is "Beyond Codependency." I picked them up at the library after hearing the term codependent used in The Emotionally Abusive Relationship. I've been interested in learning about the concept in the past and never gotten around to it.

So what is codependency? The term was coined originally to describe spouses
Marie Newbrough
As an adult child of alcoholic parents I am giving you forced "advice" to read this book. Ha! Just a little codependent joke. I just started to read's heavy and hard to stomach at times, but definitely going to help me. I try to spend a little time with it every couple of days with a journal. So far it's been an amazing read. While it seems like I have a lot of work to do--it's all for the best. I have young children, and don't want to pass this stuff I'm diving in and hopefull ...more
Dec 28, 2012 Donna rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
VERY helpful book for many women, including my former self. I have read and recommended, and bought this book countless times for others. I buy every copy I see at garage sales and used book stores, knowing that shortly, someone will come into my sphere that needs it. This book is about taking care of YOURSELF, your neglected areas of living and using boundaries, both on yourself (being caretakers we frequently overreach ourselves) and on others. It clears up messy areas of emotions and I think ...more
Quite the enlightening book...
Although I am not dealing specifically/only with an alcoholic, there are other controlling behaviors that this applies to. Not necessarily a chemical or substance dependency. Anything that affects your behavior that you find yourself trying to control situations to avoid that behavior.

Favorite Quotes:

A codependent person is one who has let another person's behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person's behavior.

But, the heart of the
I am not a person who likes tough love, and it was a very hard to keep reading this book when it felt like I was being torn apart. But I was assured by the person who handed me this book, by looking at their happiness and personality, that the end must be better. Well, she was "tough love" statements through out the book. Reflecting/looking back after having read this book, and I do feel very good, and positive after all. Each chapter ended with an assignment/activity for one to complete. Usuall ...more
Mar 23, 2012 Janet rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Janet by: Kathryn Bell
I read this book for a woman's group in order to participate fully in the discussion. It slants heavily toward alcoholism, Alcoholics Anonymous, and Christianity, which served as a distraction for me since none of these are a part of my life. That being said, I definitely benefitted from reading this book. While I'm relieved to know I am not a full-blown codependent who becomes intertwined with dysfunctional people, I definitely saw myself in many of the "positive" codependent characteristics... ...more
This book was recommended to me a few years ago as a classic in the genre for dealing with codependent behaviours. At the time, I read the first couple of chapters and tossed it aside. What I read didn't seem to click with my experience and I felt put off by the writing. Recently, it was given as a tentative recommendation again ("you may want to look into it to see if it will be useful for you") and I thought, with a distance of a few years, why not try it again? But my opinion hasn't changed m ...more
Teran Warner
This was an interesting recommendation from a counselor in my office. It is geared more to spouses of alcohol and drug dependant people, however I have discovered a lot of good informaiton. It is a way to help see how we give too much to the toxic people in our life and some people are just bad people. I do have mixed feelings about it because only certain parts pertained to me, but I gave it a high rating because it is well written on an average person level with real and even funny stories. It ...more
Have you ever felt like someone else's words or behaviors shaped your whole day? Have you ever done something for someone else, when he was capable of doing it for himself? Are you currently in a relationship with someone who is dependent on a substance and/or is abusive verbally or physically? If so, you may be in a codependent relationship and this book may be helpful to you. It was written by a lay person and is almost devoid of jargon. This is a very practical guide to understanding and chan ...more
Christine Hernando
I decided to read this book because so many of my clients are reading or have read it. I figured it would be a good idea to know what they're reading, especially since these clients regard it so highly but seem to be making little progress. Now I know why. What a load of crap. If the author of this book is to be believed, everyone is codependent. Furthermore, she perpetuates victimhood: it's not my fault I'm codependent. It's a natural, understandable reaction to my childhood, adulthood, blah bl ...more
Years ago, I did research online about codependency and was surprised to find it is not a fixed high-level diagnosis, but rather a sliding scale where just about everyone exhibits at least a mild form of it at some point. So just about everyone can benefit from this book if they read it with a toning-down grain of salt. Accountability for your own life is something we can all do a little better, whether we are blaming ALL our problems on an alcoholic, or only one or two problems on an annoying f ...more
Oct 10, 2007 Beth rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
It's slightly scary how I am finding myself all over this book. I'm not sure how to take that except to keep reading so I can get to the helpful bits.

ETA: I got to the helpful bits and they were most definitely helpful. The main thing about the whole book, IMO, is that I do not HAVE to be so enmeshed in the lives of other people that I lose myself. God loves me and has made me worthy of more than I allow myself to settle for.

Now to actually remember that...
Ilana Lewis
Exactly what I needed! Why did it take me so long to read this book? I have heard about it over the years but never picked it up. I guess this was the time I was meant to read it. Let go and let God. My mantra........ I feel like we are ALL codependent , I couldn't help thinking of all the people I know that need to read this book. Ha that's me being co depend at !!! Even bought one for my sister ...... Now if she would just read it! It's a process I know ........
Laurie Free
I absolutely loved this book. It was though Melodie was in my brain! I never realized how I based my decisions on what I felt the outcome of other peoples feelings would be in any given scenario. I highly suggest this book to anyone who grew up with alcoholics, broken homes, in a highly dysfunctional environment or have survived tragic circumstances. I realized that I tried to "control the future" with my actions and incessantly tried to stay 50 steps ahead of myself to prevent "bad things from ...more
This book was an outstanding help to me. It gave me insight and brought understanding to a lot of things that I have been struggling with since before I can remember. It has given me hope for a better me and a loving and prosperous future. I'm very grateful for having been told about this book. The only reason I gave it a 4 star rating is because the author claims this book is simply her "opinion and ideas" and not a professional literature. However I feel like that is a huge reason why this boo ...more
Kayla Perry
When the author said she didn't come at this from a scientific background I was willing to overlook that until she got to the traits of codependency. If you're going to write a long list with multiple categories and then proceed to contradict yourself (sometimes within the same category) it's going to lower your credibility for me substantially (ex: Under Misc: "Codependents are extremely responsible" and right beneath it "Codependents are extremely irresponsible". This is not the only example e ...more
Diana E. Young
This international best-seller is written by Melody Beattie – a woman who has lived through being kidnapped, being abandoned, being sexually abused, being a drug and alcohol addict, the death of her son and co-dependency issues: a term she coined in the 80’s.

This book deals specifically for those who are dealing with partners, children, parents, friends or other loved ones that have an addiction or other compulsive, destructive tendencies. Often the attention is given to those that have the “pr
Mr. Roboto
Having been raised by a codependent parent who catered to my other narcissistic parent, this book has been validating to read. I now have a better understanding of codependent behavior, and this book has not only verified what I believed, it has also allowed me to check myself for codependent behaviors. Even if you do not identify as codependent (and now I know I do not), you may find, as I did, that learning more about codependence helps put family relationships into perspective. Although I'm n ...more
Recommended as a "classic" on codependency. Unfortunately, it was too much of a "self-help" book for my tastes. While I am not averse to them in theory, I usually find them steeped in pop-psychology and inspirational pseudo-philosophy--which this book is. Beattie's recommendations also rely heavily on the twelve-steps program (which has proven to be the most effective treatment for alcoholism, none of our medical or advanced therapies have yet to surpass twelve-step's efficacy-according to some ...more
Nick Blasier
Tears all the way through. I suspected I might struggle with this almost 5 years ago and have been working on it since - first with some therapy, then just being aware as much as I could. I ran into the idea long before I became much of a reader, especially of nonfiction, and so I never got up on the topic as much as I *should* have. The book was a wonderful confirmation of the progress I've made, as well as a huge wake up call - I thought I'd "solved" this for myself, but these tendencies aren' ...more
I was told by a friend that everyone could learn a lesson from reading this book. And she was right. Some very powerful messages in this book. Learning to let go, the real meaning of minding your own business and the freedom that comes with it, learning to sit with your feelings and allowing others to do the same. This book is real, it's touching, and it is encouraging, for anyone but especially for those who have found themselves helping others (even when not asked to) while putting their own n ...more
"Codependency" has made its way through our culture but I did not really know what it meant, so I went back to this original source to learn more. Bingo. Eureka. Light bulbs popping on. I really connected with Melody Beattie's definition of a codependent as a person "who has let another person's behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person's behavior." It sounds simple, but encompasses a whole lot of misery. Read my complete review. ...more
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Over the years, Melody Beattie has become well-known in the world of self-help literature. After turning away from a life of addiction and suffering, Melody shared her own story in order to help others change theirs. Her overnight sensation, Codependant No More, has been influencing millions for over twenty years. Her passion for writing has resulted in fifteen books, including: Co-Dependants Anon ...more
More about Melody Beattie...
The Language of Letting Go: Daily Meditations on Codependency (Hazelden Meditation Series) Beyond Codependency: And Getting Better All the Time Codependent No More & Beyond Codependency Journey to the Heart: Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul The New Codependency: Help and Guidance for Today's Generation

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“Furthermore, worrying about people and problems doesn't help. It doesn't solve problems, it doesn't help other people, and it doesn't help us. It is wasted energy.” 73 likes
“Codependents are reactionaries. They overreact. They under-react. But rarely do they act. They react to the problems, pains, lives, and behaviors of others. They react to their own problems, pains, and behaviors.” 55 likes
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