This week we continue the abuse mini-series on the Divorce Survival Guide podcast. In this episode, Leslie Morgan Steiner, author of The Naked Truth, returns to the show to join me in a discussion about domestic violence. She is a New York Times best-selling author, a columnist for The Washington Post, a speaker on work/family balance, a successful corporate executive – and domestic violence survivor. 

Her book, Crazy Love, is a harrowing memoir about her journey through a severely violent marriage. Together we discuss the complexities of domestic violence and Leslie shares how she ultimately ended her tumultuous marriage and began to heal.

Still, to come on the Divorce Survival Guide mini-series on abuse, we’ll explore financial abuse and how to communicate with a high-conflict co-parent. You can sign up for my email list to be notified whenever a new episode is released or subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast listening app. 

Show Highlights

  • Leslie’s story of domestic violence abuse and how it was a transformational experience. (9:09)
  • The stigma and shame of being an abuse victim is similar to being a sexual assault victim.  (15:07)
  • 85% of abusers are men and some red flags to watch for in potential partners. (16:33)
  • Caution: If you think “I can’t help him, but if he gets into therapy, then he’ll be okay,” this is true — if he does his own work and his own therapy. The research has shown it can be a decades-long process. (27:47)
  • Domestic violence is a triage situation: help the victims first, but we’re never really going to end abuse unless we start focusing on perpetrators getting the counseling that they need. (28:21)
  • Abusive relationships: should you stay or should you go? (30:12)
  • How Leslie reconciled being the victim of a destructive relationship and the champion of relationships themselves as a force for healing. (42:29)

Learn More About Leslie:

New York Times best-selling author, a columnist for The Washington Post, speaker on work/family balance, successful corporate executive – and domestic violence survivor. 

Leslie Morgan Steiner is the author of four nonfiction books: the New York Times bestselling memoir Crazy Love; the critically acclaimed anthology Mommy Wars: Stay-at-Home and Career Moms Face Off on Their Choices, Their Lives, Their Families; The Baby Chase: How Surrogacy Is Transforming the American Family; and her latest memoir, The Naked Truth, which explores female sexuality, self-esteem, and dating after 50. 

Steiner holds a BA in English from Harvard College. Her first job was writing and editing for Seventeen Magazine. After graduating from Wharton business school in 1992 with an MBA in Marketing, she launched Splenda Brand Sweetener internationally for Johnson & Johnson. She returned to her hometown of Washington, DC in 2001 to become General Manager of the 1.1 million-circulation Washington Post Magazine, a position she held for five years. From 2006-2008 she wrote over 500 columns for the Washington Post’s popular on-line work/family column, “On Balance.” She has been profiled by People Magazine, the New York Times, Glamour, Psychology Today, Redbook, The Washington Post, and other publications.   

Steiner is a regular speaker at international women’s conferences and media guest on The Today Show, National Public Radio, Anderson Cooper 360, The Tamron Hall Show, ABC, NBC, CBS, and cable news networks. She has appeared in Newsweek, BusinessWeek, Elle, Parents, Self, Vogue, Vanity Fair, The Los Angeles Times, and  She is a frequent speaker and consultant on the subjects of marketing to moms and ending family violence. Her 2012 TEDTalk about domestic violence has been viewed by over six million people, and in 2014 she completed her second TEDTalk exploring the ethics of global surrogacy.  

She serves as a board member for the One Love Foundation, in honor of the slain University of Virginia senior Yeardley Love. 

Leslie Morgan Steiner lives in Washington, DC, New York, and New Hampshire. 

Resources & Links:

Leslie’s website
Leslie on Instagram
No Visible Bruises
Should I Stay or Should I Go Facebook Group


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