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Book Review: Codependency: Loves Me, Loves Me Not


A client gave me a book on co-dependency which I’d never heard of, but it was full of wonderful insights and advice. A quick read, Co-dependency: Loves Me, Loves Me Not by Simeon Lindstrom, hits all the right notes on the subject. 

It’s a must read if you:

  • feel lost when you’re not in a romantic relationship
  • believe you’re responsible for others’ feelings
  • feel pressure to rescue people who have problems or to make them feel better
  • often are taken advantage of and are then outraged and feel like a victim 
  • tend to be attracted to and have relationships with people who end up hurting you
  • have difficulty ending relationships in which you’re hurt repeatedly
  • always worry about what others think of you
  • avoid hurting others’ feelings and end up hurting yourself

This book explains the adult, mature, healthy mindset you want to have in relating to others: You’re independent, though sometimes you depend on people situationally. You can live and be happy without their love or even their existence. You are whole and, if you feel you’re not, you know what to do to return to wholeness. 

Lindstrom prescribes intentionality and mindfulness as ways to reduce co-dependency and describes how you want to think and view yourself in the world to enjoy mental health. He explains what constitutes a healthy relationship, one which is based on each partner being emotionally healthy. This does not mean perfect but involves taking full responsibility for yourself and being open to healing and emotional growth, especially from trauma and abuse.

The author uses two case studies to illustrate how people can grow healthier and he provides a simple “mindful relationship inventory” which shows readers their strengths and weaknesses in relationships. The inventory covers aspects of self such as defensiveness, emotionality, boundaries, patterns of behavior, hooks and triggers, choosing healthy people, and self- and other compassion. 

I’ll go out on a limb here and say that you’ll never be content with life and happy with yourself until you shed your co-dependence. This usually involves working with a therapist to help you understand its origins and support you in overcoming barriers. A great start would be to learn more about the subject.