Revisiting “Codependent No More”

A few years ago I read a book that was really instrumental in helping me to understand codependency and the effect that it had on my life, and also the lives of those around me. The book was called ‘Codependent No More’ by Melody Beattie and she really gives a thorough explanation of her understanding of codependency along with numerous examples of the different variations of how it can show up.

Wikepedia offers the explanation that codependency is “a behavioral condition in a relationship where one person enables another person’s addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement. Among the core characteristics of codependency is an excessive reliance on other people for approval and a sense of identity”. Whether codependency can be completely eradicated from ones personality, or simply managed to the point that it no longer effects your life in a negative way, is debatable. When I found out that I was codependent a few years ago this book helped me to understand that I was not just a victim in my relationship, and I began to see the part that I had played. I made the decision that I did not want to play that role anymore, and that is when I searched deeper into how codependency can be cured.

I was far too involved in my partners life, spending my time trying to please him, ensure that I was being helpful and fulfilling any requests that he had. I rarely put my self first and because of this I gradually became more and more disgruntled in the relationship and resentful. I was stuck in a pattern of reacting to everything that my partner did, and consequently always giving my power away. If he was in a bad mood and wanted to pick an argument, then I would join in the argument and we would both end up in fowl moods. If he made a rude remark, I felt that I had to react immediately.

Through doing my research and working on myself I learned how to take my power back, and also that I was wasting my time trying to control others. The more that I tried to get my partner to meet my needs, in a covert way because I did not know how to express myself overtly, the worse and more detached he became. He was clearly letting me know that he was not going to be controlled. It is so liberating to know that I do not need to try and control him or anyone else, I just need to put myself first and everything else will follow.

Below I have shared some of the quotes from the book that resonated with me the most:

  • “A codependent person is one who has let another persons behaviour affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person’s behaviour.”
  • “The only person you can now or ever change is yourself. The only person that is your business to control is yourself.”
  • “Codependents make great employees. They don’t complain, they do more than their share, they do whatever is asked of them; they please people; and they try to do their work perfectly- at least for a while until they become angry and resentful.”
  • “We are loveable. Even if the most important person in your world rejects you, you are still real, and you are still okay.”
  • “Codependents are reactionaries, they overreact. They under- react. But rarely do they act. They react to the problems, pains and lives of other’s.”
  • “Codependents don’t trust themselves, don’t trust their feelings, don’t trust their decisions, and don’t trust other people.”

These quotes are a few of my favourites from the book and you can see that each gives an insightful look into the traits and behaviours of a codependent. Have any of you read this book? Or are there any other books that you would recommend on codependency? I would love to hear your thoughts.


Published by C J Anonymous

I have started this blog to share my journey through narcissistic abuse and beyond, and to help others who may have been through similar experiences. I also wanted to share the things that have helped me to heal from codependency. As a mother it became of paramount importance to me to ensure that unconscious generational patterns were not passed down to my children. Narcissism and codependency runs through my family of origin, and whilst I have learned that I cannot change the behaviour of others, I know that I can learn and improve myself daily and show up as an example to my children. There is a wealth of information about narcissism and codependency and yet everyone has a unique story to tell. Other's that shared their stories, helped me to see that I was not alone in a toxic family, or an abusive relationship and I did not have to be the victim, I could reclaim my power and change my life around. My hope is to help others who may feel as though they are the victim, suffer from low self-esteem, or believe that someone else has power over them. It can sometimes be a small quote, or one blog post that resonates with someone and starts their healing journey.

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