Friday, October 11, 2019

Oprah Winfrey insists she does not regret that she and her long-time partner never married or had kids

Oprah Winfrey has been with her partner Stedman Graham for 32 years, but she doesn't regret at all that they never tied the knot or had children.

The 65-year-old covers the new issue of People this week, and told the magazine that the longtime couple's 'untraditional' relationship has stayed strong all these years precisely because she and Stedman, 68, never got married.

'Both he and I now say, "If we had married, we would not be together,"' she said. 'No question about it — we would not stay married, because of what that would have meant to him, and I would have had my own ideas about it.'

The media mogul met her longtime love in 1986, and they even got engaged in 1992 — but they never went through with a wedding.

'I was working these 17-hour days, and so were my producers, and then I go home and I have my two dogs and I have Stedman, who's letting me be who I need to be in the world,' she explained.

Stedman never demanded things of her, like having dinner on the table — but Oprah thinks that would have changed had they married.

'That's why I had not just cold feet, I had two feet in a block of cement — because my feeling was, he is a traditional guy, but this is a completely untraditional relationship,' she reflected.

'If it remained a relationship, I can manage it. If I become the wife, now I've got to play by the rules of whatever that is, and that would not have been pretty.

Of course, not getting married doesn't mean a couple can't have kids, but Oprah ultimately decided that wasn't a path she should go down.
'Doing the Oprah show allowed me to see the depth of responsibility and sacrifice that is actually required to be a mother. I realized, "Whoa, I'm talking to a lot of messed-up people, and they are messed up because they had mothers and fathers who were not aware of hoe serious that job is,"' she said.

Getting married and starting a family weren't always off the table. In fact, at one point while living in Chicago, Oprah even bought an additional apartment to make room for her family to grow.

But over time, her thoughts on the subject changed, even while best friend Gayle King — who has two kids — told her she'd regret it.

Still, Oprah said: 'I have not had one regret about that.'
That's partly because she gets to fulfill her maternal urges with the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.

Speaking in a video for People, Oprah, she refers to the girls there as her daughters, saying: 'They just started calling me Mom Oprah. Which is really, really fine with me because I feel like they are my daughters. They're the daughters I did not have.

'This was how having children was supposed to manifest for me. And I never thought that that mothering instinct was something for me.

'I like babies but I like them, like, "Hi baby! Now go over there,"' she says with a laugh.

'I like children when they can actually speak to me and tell me what the problem is. And so, 12 years old is really good for that. So getting them at 12 years old was actually perfect for me. That I became a mom of 12-year-olds — so they're just right for being led to the best parts of themselves.

This isn't to say Oprah has no regrets in life. The star has been candid about mistakes she thinks she's made, particularly an episode of her show she's most ashamed of.