Oprah: What's your proudest moment away from the limelight?

Madonna: I can't think of just one, but it would involve learning and some kind of exchange with somebody I love. Like teaching my daughter how to read. Or being given a guitar by my husband three years ago and finally learning how to play.

Oprah: You've been with Guy for about five years, and a lot of people said it wouldn't last. What makes it work?

Madonna: We believe in the same things, and we're facing in the same direction. We believe the main point of our marriage is to bring light into the world together.

Oprah: Did you think your marriage would be as incredible as it is?

Madonna: I had a fairy-tale idea of marriage, and my marriage has turned out to be not that at all. It's turned out to be better. Harder and better.

Oprah: How so?

Madonna: For the first time, I'm learning to love someone unconditionally. That's a hard thing to do, but the best.

Oprah: My friend Gary Zukav says that spiritual partnership is a union between equals for the purpose of spiritual growth. If you know that, you understand that everything that comes up in the relationship is all about growing both of you to the next place.

Madonna: We're like conditioned machines with our children and our mates. We get into relationships and think, "Oh, I really love this person." But we always expect something in return. And if he or she doesn't live up to our expectations, we're like, "That's it, I'm checking you off the list." Everything is conditional. I'll give you this if you give me that.

Oprah: Has that been true in your marriage?

Madonna: In the beginning it was conditional, and there were problems. I expected my husband to fit into a mold and to do certain things. When he didn't do those things, I got disappointed. Then I realized that he is who he is. I had to learn to love him for who he is, and vice versa. To be brave is to love someone unconditionally, without expecting anything in return. To just give. That takes courage, because we don't want to fall on our faces or leave ourselves open to hurt.

Oprah: Did you have any hang-ups about marrying a man who's ten years younger?

Madonna: I worry about that now sometimes. It's an incentive to stay in shape and look as good as I can, I have to say.


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