In bookstores everywhere
If you and I met at one of our children's birthday parties, in the hallway at work, or at a neighbor's barbecue, you'd never guess my secret: that as a young woman I fell in love with and married a man who beat me regularly and nearly killed me.
I don’t look the part. I have an MBA and an undergraduate degree from Ivy League schools. I live in a red brick house on a tree-lined street in one of the prettiest neighborhoods in Washington, DC. I’ve got 15 years of marketing experience at Fortune 500 companies and a best-selling book about motherhood to my name. A smart, loyal husband with a sexy gap in his front teeth, a softie who puts out food for the stray kittens in our alley. Three rambunctious, well-loved children. A dog and three cats of our own. Everyone in my family is blonde (the people, at least).
Ah, if only being well-educated and blonde and coming from a good family were enough to defang all life’s demons.
If I were brave enough the first time I met you, I'd try to share what torture it is to fall in love with a good man who cannot leave a violent past behind. I’d tell you why I stayed for years, and how I finally confronted someone whose love I valued almost more than my own life. Then maybe the next time you came across a woman in an abusive relationship, instead of asking why anyone stays with a man who beats her, you’d have the empathy and courage to help her on her way.
We all have secrets we don't reveal the first time we cross paths with others. This is mine.
Praise for Crazy Love
“In this gripping, compulsively readable story of romantic love and its dreadful underside, Leslie Morgan Steiner has written a classic. What makes love turn to violence? How can a woman know she is at risk? These are some of the questions elegantly addressed in Steiner’s important book about how she survived a marriage which almost killed her. Her painful journey from love to fear to sanity is ultimately heartening and serves a profound lesson. This book should be required reading for all women.”
-- Susan Cheever
“Crazy Love reminds us that sometimes a marriage can go from being a mere skirmish in the battle of the sexes to becoming a full-on physical war. The book stands as a warning to all women to be vigilant when they pick their spouses, to always have an exit strategy in mind, to know where the money in the marriage is, to pick up as much education as possible – all for the possible day when they may find themselves battered, broke, terrified and alone. It can happen to anyone, and every woman should prepare herself for it.”
-- Carolyn See, Making a Literary Life
"A harrowing cautionary tale that should be read by every woman who thinks romantic love can overcome all. I read this book in one terrifying gulp and plan to have my daughter read it. Every mother should do the same.”
-- Elsa Walsh, staff writer for The New Yorker and author of Divided Lives
“After a few moments of disbelief—how could a nice girl from a nice family marry such a cruel and dangerous man?—I found myself cheering for this woman who gets off the floor—literally—and goes on to save her own life. Crazy Love is a deeply affecting account of cruelty and abuse in a marriage doomed from the start. It is a reminder that while bad behavior can be explained it can never be excused, and that while placing blame is rarely useful, letting go is. Leslie Morgan Steiner’s candor is wrenching and ultimately inspiring.”
-- Jane Juska, author of Unaccompanied Women and A Round-Heeled Woman
“I couldn't put it down. It's a must-read for anyone who has been there or knows someone who has -- or just wonders how emotional and physical abuse happens. Most importantly, Leslie's own life offers living, breathing proof that women can not only break these destructive bonds, but move on to build successful marriages, families and careers.
--Dee Dee Myers, author of Why Women Should Rule the World
Interviews & Opinions
the crazy love TED talk
the only ted talk by a relationship violence survivor
One Love video
Great video that shows what it is really like to be trapped in a domestic violence relationship -- and what it feels like to be trapped on the outside, wondering how to help.
national domestic violence hotline
NPR: Leslie and the Mocha Moms discussing Sex & The City: The Movie on Michel Martin's "Tell Me More."
Crazy Love and Mommy Wars are available at your favorite local and on-line bookstores. Click here to order from Amazon.
Read Philadelphia Magazine editor Sandy Hingston's "Mommy Wars" essay on Newsweek.com by clicking here.