Oprah Winfrey chose a “spiritual partnership” with longtime boyfriend Stedman Graham over marriage.
The media mogul opened up about her three-decade relationship with the 68-year-old in an essay for OprahMag.com on Thursday, January 16, revealing she considers their bond to be what author Gary Zukav defines as a “partnership between equals for the purpose of spiritual growth.”
The 65-year-old also shared that supporting each other’s independence and goals has been key to the unconventional union’s success.
“Our relationship works because he (Stedman) created an identity beyond being ‘Oprah’s man,’ ” she shared, referencing his Identity Leadership teaching around the world and multiple books he has written 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.”
While Graham did ask for Winfrey’s hand in marriage in 1993, the star revealed she wasn’t willing to compromise her career to walk down the aisle, insisting they would have split had they tied the knot.
“In 1993, the moment after I said yes to his proposal, I had doubts. I realized I didn’t actually want a marriage,” she said. “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. He and I agree that had we tied the marital knot, we would not still be together.”