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Why Shonda Rhimes Never Wanted a Husband & to Get Married But Still Wanted Kids

Sea Published On Thu May 07 2020   Modified On Sun May 08 2022
Why Shonda Rhimes Never Wanted a Husband & to Get Married But Still Wanted Kids

As you look through the profile of Shonda Rhimes, you know she gave the best shows in all her life as a show creator, producer, director and all things a person can be behind the camera.

Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, Private Practice, and How to Get Away with Murder would just be a few testaments of Rhimes' successful professional life. But on the personal side of things, despite not having a life partner (she used to have a serious boyfriend), she's perfectly happy. In fact, she chooses not to have a husband.

Rhimes has three kids, and all of them are daughters, but only one of them is biologically related to her. She adopted two elder ones before the third one was born via gestational surrogacy. Still, there's so much love to go around from Rhimes.

Shonda Rhimes Knew As a Young Girl That She Wanted Kids, But Not a Husband

While another inspiring personal journey for Shonda Rhimes has been her around 150-pound weight loss, the talk of her relationships has rarely been done. But she divulged many things a few times that would answer almost everything one could've asked.

In a heart-to-heart with Oprah Winfrey on OWN's 'SuperSoul Sunday' in November 2015, Rhimes opened up about how when she was young, she could tell she wanted to become a parent with three kids (even predicting all of them would be girls), but a wife, not so much. Still, she reveals she loves dating and having a boyfriend. She just doesn't want a husband in her home.

Shonda Rhimes as a young adult woman in B/W photo.

Rhimes rose above the hierarchy of society needing women to get married.
Photo Source: Instagram

"I always knew. I'm one of those people, since I was 5, I could tell you I was going to have kids. I could tell you I was going to have three. I could tell you they were going to be girls," she told Winfrey in an outdoor talk. "But I have never wanted to get married. I never played bride. I was never interested. I don't know what it is; I never wanted to get married."

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In contrast, though, "I love having boyfriends. I love dating," Rhimes continues to clarify. "I do not want a husband in my house. And I don't know what it is."

Shonda Rhimes Never Felt That Urge to Get Married

At the beginning of the marriage talks with Winfrey, Shonda Rhimes stated this firm declaration of never wanting to get married. She described how women of her age needed to declare it without a doubt, even though it might freak some people out. When you know you don't want a marriage kind of thing, you know.

 Shonda Rhimes stated this firm declaration of never wanting to get married.

 Shonda Rhimes stated this firm declaration of never wanting to get married. 
Photo Credit: Instagram

"[It] feels obvious and maybe silly or something to people who are married or people who are older, people who have been through it," Rhimes says in the same interview. "But if you're a woman in your thirties or forties, that's a big deal. Everybody's asking you all the time if it's going to happen ... There's a huge amount of pressure."

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Rhimes then compares the desire to get married with the desire to have kids. "It's a lot like the desire to want to have children in our society. You're supposed to want it, and if you don't want it, what's wrong with you?" She actually told Winfrey back in 2012 that 9/11 actually piqued her desire to have kids.

For Shonda, the desire to get married never even popped up at any point in her life. She's dated guys in her life, but she never felt the need to take an extra step. Oprah also divulges how she wanted to want to get married, but she never could do so.

Watch: Shonda Rhimes Discusses Marriage with Oprah Winfrey

Shonda Rhimes Found Out She Didn't Want Marriage During Her 'Year of Yes'

This, of course, has been documented well in Shonda Rhimes' 2015 book, 'Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person,' along with her weight loss journey. The year started on Thanksgiving Day 2013 when one of her sisters mentioned how Rhimes never said 'Yes' to anything in her life.

The first invitation Rhimes got was from the President of her alma mater, Dartmouth College, who wanted her to deliver a commencement speech. While she continued accepting all invitations to her, throwing all her social anxieties away, somewhere along the way, she found it acceptable not to want to get married at all.

2014 was a huge year for Shonda Rhimes, personally.

2014 was a huge year for Shonda Rhimes, personally.
Photo Credit: Instagram

And at the time, Shonda actually had a serious boyfriend! Probably the actual father of her third daughter. She found it weird that she didn't want to get married at first, but once she told her family, she felt the best. Just declaring it aloud seems to have done it for her.

"I was seriously dating somebody, and I was like, I don't want to do this," she told Entertainment Weekly in September 2015. "I guess I had been secretly feeling that way and writing it for Cristina [who plays 'Yang' on 'Grey's Anatomy']. We're all so conditioned to want it, I felt like there must be something wrong with me."

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Shonda continued, "But the minute I said it out loud to my family, it was fantastic. Now if somebody says, 'Are you looking for that?' I say, 'Nope, looking for a boyfriend, not a husband.' And there's a freedom to that. There's no pressure if you're not looking for it."

That One Time Shonda Rhimes Declared She Might Change Her Mind About Marriage

Headlines were made when Shonda Rhimes told EW about her desire not to get married and when she told the same to Winfrey too. But in between, she did tell People that she still has the right to change her mind about it. But maybe when she's 75 or something.

Headlines were made when Shonda Rhimes told EW about her desire not to get married.

Headlines were made when Shonda Rhimes told EW about her desire not to get married.
Photo Source: Thos Robinson, Instagram

"I don't know. As I said in the book, [Year of Yes], maybe when I'm 75 or when my youngest in graduating from college, who knows," Rhimes told People as she was featured in the November 2015 issue. "Maybe I'll change my mind but right now I don't see it."

As for being a mother, Shonda's raising her three girls to be tough. It's not a completely bad way of parenting as she believes no one would be able to take advantage of her girls or manipulate them growing up. No nice girl, she says. Parents could relate to or oppose the idea she gave in 'Good Housekeeping's 'Awesome Women Awards' issue.

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Rhimes, who holds a massive net worth of $140 million, adopted her first daughter, Harper Rhimes, in June 2002. Her second daughter, Emerson Pearl Rhimes, then joined the family in February 2012. Then Beckett Rhimes was born via gestational surrogacy in September 2013.

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