Oprah Winfrey is easily one of the most well-liked and respected people in the United States. Her show was a massive hit among women from all kinds of backgrounds and her prowess as an interviewer is second-to-none, on top of her status as one of the most savvy business people and entrepreneurs in US history.
Throughout a majority of her rise to prominence, Oprah has been in a committed relationship with one man: Stedman Graham. And, for years, media outlets and tabloids have speculated about why the pair have never tied the knot.
In an upcoming column for her magazine, Oprah has explained why marriage is something that hasn’t–and won’t–happen for her and Stedman.
To sum it up, Oprah said that, if they had gotten married, her and Stedman simply wouldn’t have lasted. For her, putting the labels of “husband and wife” on a relationship changes things; it puts new expectations and duties into the relationship that, often, are difficult to fulfill.
In the article, she writes “For years, there were hundred of tabloid stories, weekly, on whether we would marry. In 1993, the moment after I said yes to his proposal, I had doubts. I realized I didn’t actually want a marriage. I wanted to be asked. 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. My life with the show was my priority, and we both knew it.”
She says that, after he asked her to marry and she said yes, she asked to delay the wedding, and it hasn’t been brought up ever since.
Oprah also went into how staying unmarried has made their relationship work because, had they been married, Stedman would have simply been thought of as “Oprah’s husband”, while also sharing the same values.
“Our relationship works because he created an identity beyond being ‘Oprah’s man’ (he teaches Identity Leadership around the world and has written multiple books on the subject). And because we share all the values that matter (integrity being number one). And because we relish seeing the other fulfill and manifest their destiny and purpose.”
She states that spiritual growth is the focal point of her and Stedman’s relationship.
“It’s what Gary Zukav defines as a spiritual partnership: partnership between equals for the purpose of spiritual growth.”
When many people think of their ideal, perfect relationship, they envision one in the form of a traditional, committed marriage. But, the way that Oprah describes her and Stedman’s relationship can certainly make one rethink those notions.
What do you think about this? Would you be ok being with the same person for 34 years without getting married? Do you think it’s possible that you could be happier in such a situation without the labels and expectations of marriage in the relationship?
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