Oprah Winfrey on realizing she didn’t want to be married: ‘I didn’t want the sacrifices’

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Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham have dated since 1983.


Oprah Winfrey has a unique view on marriage.

In an essay published Wednesday in O Magazine, the media mogul, 65, revealed that there is a good reason behind her and longtime partner Stedman Graham never marrying.

“I realized I didn’t actually want a marriage. I wanted to be asked,” Winfrey recalled after accepting Graham’s 1993 proposal. “I wanted to know he felt I was worthy of being his missus, but I didn’t want the sacrifices, the compromises, the day-in-day-out commitment required to make a marriage work.”

Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham have dated since 1983.
(Reuters)

“He and I agree that had we tied the marital knot, we would not still be together,” Winfrey said, explaining that she and Graham are both aware that her work is her priority.

Winfrey said that the relationship, which began in 1986, has worked for decades because he has an identity beyond “Oprah’s man,” as well as the fact that they “relish seeing the other fulfill and manifest their destiny and purpose.”

Winfrey said they have instead opted for a “spiritual partnership,” citing Gary Zukav’s definition of the term — “partnership between equals for the purpose of spiritual growth” — as a descriptor of their relationship.

Marriage or no marriage, Winfrey couldn’t help but gush about her beau.

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“Anyone who’s ever met him is always amazed by what a genuine gentleman he is,” she said. “He’s so positive. Wants the best for me and everyone he knows. Truly wishes people well. Doesn’t curse… Never have I heard him gossip or say a negative thing about anyone.”

She added: “He’s appropriately named because he’s steady as a mountain. Even-tempered, accountable, trustworthy, patient.”



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