Oprah Winfrey doesn't think she and Stedman Graham would still be together if they had got married.
The couple have been together since 1968 and she's thankful her partner has always allowed to "be who [she] needs to be" as she thinks their relationship would have changed if they had made their union official as she'd have felt too restricted.
She said: I used to think about this all the time, that 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.
"He's never demanding anything from me like, 'Where's my breakfast? Where's my dinner?' Never any of that, which I believed would have changed had we married.
"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. I have not had one regret about that."
The 65-year-old star admitted there was a point when she thought about having children.
She told People magazine: "At one point in Chicago I had bought an additional apartment because I was thinking, 'Well, if we get married, I'm going to need room for children."
However, she witnessed the "depth of responsibility and sacrifice that is actually required to be a mother" while working on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' and it caused her to have a change of heart.
She explained: "I realised, '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 how serious that job is.'
"I don't have the ability to compartmentalise the way I see other women do. It is why, throughout my years, I have had the highest regard for women who choose to be at home [with] their kids, because I don't know how you do that all day long. Nobody gives women the credit they deserve."
But Oprah was thankful she was able to devote her time to her charitable endeavours instead.
She 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."