Advice

Oprah Reveals Why She Wouldn't Marry Stedman, Why She's Obsessed With Dogs And Tubs

We speak your name. 

Sit down, pay attention, you’re about to understand why Oprah never got married, is nuts about dogs, and is always on the search for the most beautiful tub in the world to soak herself in. If you don’t care then you’re a monster who doesn’t understand the magic of Oprah Winfrey.
And that’s unacceptable.

Oprah, who has been with partner Stedman Graham for over 30 years now, says that the only time marriage was discussed was in the 90s—and it turned out to be the only time they ever talked about it. She revealed to Vogue: “Nobody believes it, but it’s true. The only time I brought it up was when I said to Stedman, ‘What would have happened if we had actually gotten married?’ And the answer is: ‘We wouldn’t be together.’

"We would not have stayed together, because marriage requires a different way of being in this world. His interpretation of what it means to be a husband and what it would mean for me to be a wife would have been pretty traditional, and I would not have been able to fit into that.”

O said instead of being married, she learned to “Live life on your own terms,” which she certainly has done—she is now one of the richest women in the world.

This September, @Oprah will return to broadcast television for the first time since her talk show ended (there was a one-off interview with First Lady @MichelleObama last December on @CBS), joining @60Minutes as a special contributor. But the story of how @Oprah decided to return requires that we first go back to the election of @realdonaldtrump. Two weeks after he won the presidency, @oprahmagazine decided to gather a group of Trump and @hillaryclinton supporters—all women—for a roundtable discussion. Feelings were still so raw that some of the women didn’t even want to sit at the same table. “One said, ‘I’ve never been this close to a Trump supporter,’ ” says @Oprah. “I go: ‘Not that you know of, maybe.’ ” About an hour in, @Oprah could see their guards coming down. “By pressing the conversation in such a way that people could hear each other’s stories without them being politicized, I was able to get those women from different backgrounds to begin to actually hear and feel for each other. By the end of that two and a half hours, I could have gotten them to sing ‘Kumbaya’ for real if I wanted to.” She cracks up. “I really could’ve! OK—everybody hold hands!” Ironically enough, it was the moment when she realized that no one had filmed the discussion that a light switched on: Maybe, just maybe, this is exactly what America needs right now. Tap the link in our bio to read the full interview. Photographed by #AnnieLeibovitz, styled by @phyllis_posnick, Vogue, September 2017.

A post shared by Vogue (@voguemagazine) on

Now onto the real loves of her life—her dogs. Oprah explains that while growing up in Mississippi, her father wouldn’t let her have a dog.

“That’s why I had eleven dogs at one point: because my father wouldn’t let me have the one dog that I carried from Milwaukee when I was this despondent teenager hiding a pregnancy. My father says, ‘This dog can’t come in the house.’ I was really distraught—and the dog had to live outside and developed mange and all that stuff, so I also vowed, If . . . IIIIIIII . . . evvvvvvvver get some money, I’m gonna have as many dogs as I want. One of the best moments was my father coming into the house in Indiana and the dogs are all over the place, and he says, ‘There’s nowhere to sit in this house! All these dogs!’ And I go, ‘Now, this is their home—you have to ask them if you can sit down.’ She laughs. “That’s how I’ve overcompensated: with dogs and tubs,” she tells the mag.

Yes, she loves a good tub. Oprah once wrote a story for her own website called, “What Oprah Knows About Letting Go of Symbolic Possessions,” which was a love letter to her “most prized material possession,” a bathtub “made from one solid piece of onyx hand-carved expressly for me by stonecutters in Italy.”

“I loved that tub. Those of you who regularly read this column know that bathing is my hobby. I revel in all things that enhance the experience, which is why, over the years, you've seen so many bath products on ‘The O List.’ Bubble baths, salts, oils, capsules, bath pillows—they delight my senses and help soothe me, body and soul.

But she was going through a phase of getting rid of attachments, and was redesigning her house.

“As I stood there facing down the design crew, all the lessons I'd ever learned about getting past our attachment to things came coursing through my mind. Why was I putting up a fight to save the tub? I could get a new one. I wouldn't be bathless. So, impulsively (and partly out of sheer frustration), I said to the team with their clipboards and rulers, ‘Okay, take it out. That's it. I'm done. I'm letting it go.’ They cheered. I fled, trying not to cry. I couldn't understand why I was so emotional over a tub…It represented wealth. And ‘I’ve truly made it.’ It made me feel special. Lots of people have nice houses, but not many have a hand-carved-out-of-one-piece-of-onyx tub. And letting it go meant...I wasn't special anymore? Sounds cray-cray. But super freeing to figure out what was behind my attachment.

“For sure, the tub had become my symbol of success.”

She may have rid herself of that tub, but she’s got more.

“I still have a nice bathtub. I major in bathtubs. I spend my time looking for the best possible bathtub a woman can buy. And actually, Stedman’s never been in this one. When I was in Chicago, he would ask for permission: ‘Can I get in your tub?’ And I would say, ‘Mmmmmm. . . . OK,’” she tells Vogue.

Why can’t she get over the tub thing?

“You know where it came from? I will tell you. Honestly. It came from the fact that I was raised with my father in, like, an 1,100-square-foot house where we all shared the same tub. And when I would go back home, after having been in hotels and seeing that there are nicer tubs in the world, and there’s that little tub with a ring around it, where Comet could no longer clean the ring around the tub—and it was my job to clean it—because it has been permatized, I vowed if I ever got my own place, I was going to get myself a good tub!” She laughs.

And she’s owning her tub obsession now.

“By the time you hit 60, there are just no . . . damn . . . apologies. And certainly not at 63. And the weight thing that was always such a physical, spiritual, emotional burden for me—no apologies for that either…I don’t know of a person who can honestly, deeply, profoundly speak to the word contentment. I’ve tried to talk to other people about this thing: I have no angst. No . . . nothing. No regret, no fear. I mean . . . just absolute joyful contentment.”

Personal Space is Bravo's home for all things "relationships," from romance to friendships to family to co-workers. Ready for a commitment? Then Like us on Facebook to stay connected to our daily updates. 

All Posts About:
Oprah Advice

You May Also Like...

Recommended by Zergnet