#SharedSecrets: Episode 16

The Secret to Finding Lasting Love with Jeanne Safer


When you’re not in a romantic relationship on Valentine’s Day, it can feel like everyone around you is receiving red roses and chocolate while enjoying a Champagne toast. Meanwhile, you’re home alone, surreptitiously checking your ex’s Facebook page and wondering what you’ve done to deserve such a fate.

Dr. Jeanne Safer, Ph.D., joins me in this episode of Shared Secrets to discuss the shame that can accompany being single, both on Valentine’s Day and throughout the year. Safer’s brilliant new book, The Golden Condom, delves into love in all its forms. As a therapist, I like that the book underscores the shame and longing many of my clients report feeling when they’re in a toxic relationship. As a woman, I’m deeply touched by Jeanne’s insight that unrequited love can make us feel intrinsically unlovable.

In this episode, Jeanne and I talk about how painful it is to feel unworthy of love; the feeling of humiliation that accompanies not being loved the way we need to be; and the peace that can come after letting go of an unrequited love. Plus, Jeanne shares the act of “healthy revenge” that inspired the deliciously naughty title of her book.

More about Jeanne: Jeanne Safer, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist who has been in private practice for more than 40 years. She is the author of six acclaimed and thought-provoking books, including Cain’s Legacy: Liberating Siblings from a Lifetime of Rage, Shame, Secrecy and Regret; The Normal One: Life with a Difficult or Damaged Sibling; Beyond Motherhood: Choosing a Life without Children; Forgiving and Not Forgiving: Why Sometimes It’s Better NOT to Forgive; and Death Benefits: How Losing a Parent Changes an Adult’s Life—For the Better.

Her areas of expertise include siblings with difficult or dysfunctional brothers and sisters, women making choices about motherhood or who have chosen not to have children, adults struggling about whether to forgive people who have betrayed them, and those coping with the death of a parent.

Jeanne lives in New York City with her husband, the historian and political journalist Richard Brookhiser.