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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

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  20,031 Ratings  ·  744 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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.
Maranda
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
...more
Betsy Boo
Apr 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Meowbie
Dec 22, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Dana Baker
May 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jennifer
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
...more
Jim
Oct 16, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Juliana
Taken from my blog at http://blog.geekuniverse.org/2008/02/...

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
...more
Carolyn
Jan 22, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  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
...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
Marie
Apr 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 this...it'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 on...so I'm diving in and hopefull ...more
Kirby
Sep 13, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's sort of hard to rate self-help books so I'm just going to rate this one on how helpful it was to me in particular. I would say it was 50% helpful. Simply reading its descriptions of codependency was really instructive. Lately, I've been hearing the word codependent used a lot, and most people are not using it correctly (for example, I've heard several people use it to describe couples who can't go out without each other, and that's not really what it means). Codependency has a very wide def ...more
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
Kayla Perry
Feb 21, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
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
Donna
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Rhonda
Oct 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
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
...more
Ben Swingle
This book addressed me specifically. So many of the symptoms of co-dependency have been present in my life since I was a child. I appreciated the compassionate approach to co-dependency, which came from an author who is herself a recovering co-dependent. Many friends have told me that I shouldn't be so hard on myself or that I should take better care of myself, but I disregarded this advice. It wasn't that I disagreed with my friends; rather, compliance threatened to remove the illusion of safet ...more
Homa
Sep 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Janet
Mar 14, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  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
Devon
Jan 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Sep 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Crystal Oros
Mar 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mental-illness
This book was difficult for me to read as it was very confronting & made me realise just how hard it is to put myself first & how it's even harder still to be directly honest about what standards & boundaries I feel that I need especially when traumas are involved. I like how Melody makes a point to say go slow, take as long as you need to heal & to heal in your own time, not when others tell you to. I don't completely fit the codependent category so most of it didn't make much s ...more
Lorna
Jan 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Heather
Mar 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Ilana Lewis
Nov 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ........
Elisabeth
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good read for anyone who has ever had a less-than-healthy relationship with a parent, child, friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, lover, spouse, etc. (basically most people) The core of codependency is about having a dysfunctional relationship with the self, and how we turn that outwards onto others. This book is a good first step to discovering the the dynamics, and making changes to healing.
Dawn Critchfield
Life changing.
Mirka Salserita
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
very well written and explained. I recommend this book to any person that had or has problem of alcoholism in his or her family. It may open the doors to new life and new horizons in life. It may change the view on life and facilitate it
Ashley
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everyone needs to read this book. It will change your life in a different way each times you read it.
Starry E.
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No one likes to admit that they may have codependent issues and many people don't even know that they do. This book is not only informative, enlightening and useful, but it is also gentle. I highly recommend it.
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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...

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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.” 84 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.” 68 likes
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