"Getting really connected to myself has been a great journey," Fran Drescher tells PEOPLE

By Christina Dugan
February 06, 2020 11:00 AM
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Fran Drescher could not be happier with her life.

In this week’s issue of PEOPLE, the actress, 62, opens up about how she moved on after a very public divorce from her husband of 21 years, Peter Marc Jacobson, in 1999 (after which he publicly revealed he is gay), and how she found love again — with herself!

“I think that I’ve had to very consciously work on not being codependent, not being fearful of being by myself or doing things by myself,” says Drescher, who met Jacobson in high school and married in 1978. “I really had to make a concerted effort to get past that. And I think that I am good with it now. But still, I’m not like, ‘I’d rather stay home by myself than go out and do things by myself.’ But then whenever I do do things by myself, I enjoy it.”

  • For more from Fran Drescher, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
Fran Drescher
Christian Witkin

She adds, “And then I think, that hiccup phase where I don’t push myself to do it, until the next time I do. So I think that that’s been a big hurdle in my life that I needed to conquer. And getting really connected to myself has been a great journey, because now, I’m not even feeling like I have to be in a relationship, because I’m in a relationship with myself — and it’s going quite well.”

Drescher recalls the moment her marriage with Jacobson began to spiral.

“I wasn’t feeling as happy as I thought I’d feel with money, and fame, and creative control,” she says. “Peter started to have control issues that I found somewhat suffocating, and only in hindsight, do we now understand that he was working so hard to control his authentic self, his true orientation.”

Fran Drescher
Christian Witkin

Two years after the marriage ended, Jacobson told Drescher he is gay. However, the duo remain close friends to this day.

“I now lovingly refer to Peter as my gay ex-husband,” says the Indebted actress.

Though she’s single, Drescher revealed last month that she is having fun with a “friend with benefits.”

“It’s delightful and delicious,” the actress told Page Six, “but I’ve got a big life.”

Indebted premieres Feb. 6 at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBC.