Check out our Book Review – “Codependent No More” for divorce insights specifically and perhaps some eye openers!
While not specifically a book written for people in this situation, our Book Review “Codependent No More” for divorce issues specifically may spark your interest in how you can use what you can learn in this book to help you move further in your own process with more ease and freedom.
Years ago, Melody Beattie wrote the book “Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself.” While the world has changed a lot since it was written, the key takeaways for the reader certainly do still apply to current life. You may be thinking, “I don’t try to control others” so this book isn’t for me. But if you’re coming out of a marriage that didn’t work, it’s worth considering if you were in a codependent relationship.
So, what exactly is a “codependent relationship”? Psychology Today defines codependency as “a dysfunctional relationship dynamic where one person assumes the role of ‘the giver’ sacrificing their own needs and well-being for the sake of the other, ‘the taker.’ Sound familiar? Well, if it does, you’re in good company. This is what author Melody Beattie and the subjects of her stories all recognized to be true for themselves in their past relationships. It’s not always to recognize when you’re in it, but now that you’re divorced/divorcing, you may recognize some of the characteristics of a codependent person in yourself.
Some characteristics of a codependent person which are detailed in the book include:
– feeling responsible for other people’s feelings, thoughts, actions, choices, wants needs, well being, lack of well-being and ultimate destine
– feeling compelled – almost forced- to help solve other’s problems
– finding themselves saying yes when they mean no
– feeling guilty about doing fun things for themselves
– appear rigid and controlled
– wonder why they never have any energy
– pretend circumstances aren’t as bad as they are
Author Melody Beattie presents detailed information on how a codependent person may behave, and then provides specific instructions and activities for the reader to work on. Chapter 5 is all about Detachment. She asks the reader to write about a person in their live that they are excessively worried about, what would happen if they detached from this person, and then what would they be doing with their life than what they are currently doing now. This exercise if very powerful for someone who is going through a divorce, or even already divorced. Many times people stay in a relationship because the fear of the unknown is too great, and as humans we take comfort in knowing what to expect, even if what we expect and what we get is less than we deserve.
The book takes you step by step through a process to change your life. By learning to love yourself, set goals for what you want in life, and learning to love again. I cannot recommend this book enough to any woman, whether you’ve just filed for divorce or have been divorced for many years. And feel free to let us know if our book review of “Codependent No More” for divorce situations hit the nail on the head!