They’ve been together nearly 40 years, so why Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham never married has been the subject of countless headlines. Well, the mystery is no more — in a revealing new interview, Winfrey finally revealed why she accepted Graham’s proposal in 1993 but never made it down the aisle with her longtime love. And more to the point, why that’s one trip they probably won’t ever take.
Where better to release this long-awaiting revelation than her own magazine, right? Winfrey got candid about her relationship with Graham for the February 2020 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, out on January 21. “In 1993, the moment after I said yes to his proposal, I had doubts,” she shared. “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.”
In fact, Winfrey and Stedman both feel as though not walking down the aisle was the best decision they could have made. Said Winfrey, “He and I agree that had we tied the marital knot, we would not still be together.”
The rest of us can probably also agree on a few things. First, Winfrey and Stedman were under no obligation to share their “why” with the world (although it is interesting to know). Second, whether or not they’re married isn’t really a big deal — the fact that they are still together after nearly four decades is. So, what’s the secret to their longevity?
“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),” Winfrey said. “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. It’s what Gary Zukav defines as a spiritual partnership: partnership between equals for the purpose of spiritual growth. I know for sure it’s the ultimate flower on my mind.”
Hilariously, though, she also admitted that her perception of Stedman wasn’t always so complimentary. “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,” she revealed.
Graham clearly proved them all wrong, though, and know he’s got 40 years with Winfrey to show for it.