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Hillary Clinton on marrying Bill: 'I actually turned him down twice'

"I was terrified about losing my identity, and getting lost in ... Bill's force-of-nature personality," she told "Girls" star Lena Dunham.
/ Source: TODAY

Although it's been known that Hillary Clinton rejected husband Bill's initial marriage proposals, her recent conversation with "Girls" star Lena Dunham explored the Democratic presidential candidate's reasoning.

Asked if she had fears about losing her identity when entering a relationship with a partner with ambitious political aspirations, the former secretary of state replied, "I was terrified about losing my identity and getting lost in the kind of wake of Bill's force-of-nature personality. I actually turned him down twice when he asked me to marry him."

Former Gov. Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, celebrate his victory in the Democratic runoff on June 8, 1982 in Little Rock, Ark. Clinton defeated former Lt. Gov. Joe Purcell. He faces Gov. Frank White, a Republican, in November. (AP Photo)AP file

In a video clip posted Thursday, Clinton recalled how her eventual husband (and the country's eventual 42nd president) first proposed during a trip to England after she graduated from law school.

"I said, 'You know, I can't say yes. No, I can't do that right now,'" she told Dunham. "And then, about a year later, he asked me again, and I said, 'No.' He said, 'Well, I'm not asking you again until you're ready to say yes.' And that was a large part of the ambivalence and the worry that I wouldn't necessarily know who I was or what I could do if I got married to someone who was going to chart a path that he was incredibly clear about."

Of course, she eventually warmed to the idea, and the two tied the knot in 1975.

"It was a big leap of faith, and I think most marriages are," Clinton added.

In a quote not featured in the video clip, Clinton also shared some of her advice to young women. "You just make the best decision you can at the time," she said, according to People. "Don't be reluctant to make decisions, and don't rush into them. I mean, give them some thought. And then finally you say to yourself, 'I think this is right for me. I'm going to, go ahead and do it.'"

In a photo posted to Dunham's Instagram account Thursday, the writer-actress assessed her Clinton interview, whose full video is slated to be released Tuesday. "Some experiences are too much for words," reads Dunham's caption to a picture of herself with Clinton. "A pleasure and an honor, Madame Secretary."

Follow writer Chris Serico on Twitter.