Codependency – Episode 66

If you put your loved one’s needs ahead of your own… If you feel that others’ happiness is your responsibility… If your response to “what do you want for dinner” is “what do you want?”  … Then you’ve come to the right place, because today, we’re going to talk about codependency.

Spencer took this one solo, trying to follow this rough outline:

  • Wikipedia says “Codependency is defined as a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (typically narcissism or drug addiction); and in broader terms, it refers to the dependence on the needs of, or control of, another. It also often involves placing a lower priority on one's own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others.”
  • Did you have any understanding of codependency before you came into recovery? Had you even heard of it?
  • When did you first hear of codependency? What did you think it meant then?
  • How has your understanding of codependency changed?
  • In what ways do you have codependent behavior?
  • How have you recovered from your own codependent behavior? What program tools do you use?
  • How do you deal with other people’s codependent behavior?
    • In your family?
    • With friends?
    • With co-workers?

Upcoming topics include Tradition 4, forgiveness, and how to take recovery with you when you travel. Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.

Music from the show

Lori McKenna: Drinkin' Problem

Misty Lyn and the Big Beautiful: Drowning's Better (with your friends)

Coldplay: Fix You

After I finished recording, I received an email from Julia who recommended “Can't Smile Without You” by Barry Manilow as “the most codependent song ever.” It's hard to disagree:


3 comments on “Codependency – Episode 66

  1. Lyle Jones says:

    I enjoyed your presentation. Very enlightening and helpful things to hear.

  2. Amy says:

    Listening to your podcast now on Codependency and am appreciative of your candor and sharing! Super helpful.

  3. Ann Bayer says:

    I have been meaning to comment for a long time but this episode (66) touched on so many areas that are relevant to me. Before I talk about that I want to tell you how much your podcast has helped me. I came here first before I had been able to get myself to a meeting. I listen to past and current episodes almost daily and they help me so much between meetings. For me it’s the repetition that really helps to tools sink in.
    I was pretty sure that I am a codependent person for a long time but two details you brought up really hit home. I’m always the one who jumps in with solutions when someone shares a problem with me. I knew this was wrong because my suggestions were rarely appreciated. Now I understand that I am only trying to relieve MY OWN discomfort!!!! Who knew. This has helped me keep my suggestions to myself and I’m fact is a relief ‍
    You also mentioned that physical effects of codependent behavior. That is exactly what I experienced during the Covid lockdown. My 7 family members fled NYC and came to live with my husband and I in our modest house in rural New York. I jumped into trying to manage everything and everyone’s needs/ wishes while also trying to teach school remotely!!! The result was that a huge percentage of my hair actually fell out. That was a pretty clear message.
    Finally on a more personal note, I think I am also drawn to your podcast because you mention things I am familiar with. I went to college in Ann Arbor and after graduating and getting married, moved to the Finger Lakes region of NY just south of Rochester. Based on your discussions about your parents and their retirement home, I think this is the area that they settled in. Probably Canandaigua Lake. I understand why they were reluctant to move and how difficult their situation was as they aged.
    Thank you so much for your show. It’s a lifeline for so many people

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