Over the 34 years that Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham have been together, fans have often questioned why the two never got married. In the February issue of the O, The Oprah Magazine, Winfrey explained why she never married her longtime beau.
According to Oprah Winfrey, even though Graham proposed after a few years of dating, she didn’t feel that getting married would be feasible with the overwhelming demands of hosting her own show.
“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,” Winfrey wrote. “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.”
Winfrey added that she and Graham can both now agree that had they gotten married at the time, they “would not still be together.”
Winfrey previously discussed her decision to not marry or have kids in an interview with People, where she said she was working 17-hour days at The Oprah Winfrey Show and enjoyed being able to come home after a long day without the extra demands of being a wife or mother.
“I have not had one regret about that,” Winfrey said. “I also believe that part of the reason why I don’t have regrets is because I got to fulfill it in the way that was best for me: the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. Those girls fill that maternal fold that I perhaps would have had. In fact, they overfill — I’m overflowed with maternal.”
The daytime talk show host also gave readers a few details about how her multi-decade relationship with Graham began, including the fact that she didn’t initially care for him too much and had assumed that he was a “player.”
“I thought he was nice enough, but I wasn’t that impressed,” Winfrey wrote. “He was polite, yes, and kind. The sort of guy who sits with an ailing friend. Tall and handsome, for sure. But actually too handsome, I thought, to be interested in me.
“I figured he must be a player. So did all my producers. They warned me not to get involved with that Stedman guy. Aside from his appearance, they knew nothing about him. But anybody that good-looking driving a vintage Mercedes merited suspicion.”