We live in a marriage obsessed culture! It seems that in any good relationship, marriage is the barometer of true success. You’ve been with your fella for a few years and watch the inquires start to pour in, “Soooooo, when are you two getting hitched?” What is this, the Spanish Inquisition? It seems that any woman who isn’t fawning over a white dress or a deep desire to walk down isle is some sort of anomaly.
Classic case in point: Oprah Winfrey. The mega mogul has been in a “successful” (I added quotes cause I don’t really know her business like that) relationship for 26 years with her boyfriend Stedman Graham. Steadman has been a constant staple in Oprah’s life and career and over the course of their relationship, their marital status (or lackof) has been the subject of much debate.
People have accussed Oprah of being selfish, frigid, putting her career before marriage and that Stedman should have moved on a long time ago. At a recent talk in India, Oprah put it plainly stating that she has never been the “marrying kind” and that if she and Stedman were to have married they would have been divorced ages ago.
“I think that had we gotten married we probably would have been divorced by now. And he would agree. I really am my own woman and I don’t really conform very well to other people ideas about who and what I should be and being married calls for some conformity.” ~ Oprah
As a proponent of do what you want, I have to wonder what is the big deal with Oprah’s unmarried status is. And why does a woman who never decides to marry scare the beejeebus out of us? Oprah has it all, a widely astronomical career, millions of dollars, the love and adoration of millions and a man, yet we continue to fixate on why she never let Stedman put a ring on it.
According to Pew Research Center, marriage is on a stiff decline with less than half of Americans being married. Am I the only one unfazed by this statistic? With more and more women not walking down the isle in favor of not settling, long-term partnerships and singlehood, why is marriage still perceived as the end all be all?
As an unmarried woman I can honestly say that the prospect that I may never marry or met a person I want to marry, doesn’t send me into convulsions. Clearly, Oprah decided early on that marriage was not for her. Shouldn’t we applaud her discernment or right to choose her lifestyle.
With the decline of marriage, it seems that more women are identifying with not being “the marrying kind” as well.
What are your thoughts?