Bill Gates was caught listing pros and cons of marriage on whiteboard by Melinda Gates before they tied the knot
Melinda once recalled how after a year of dating, the couple had reached a crossroad in their relationship when Bill had to decide on marriage and she found him scribbling a list
Bill Gates reportedly had to list the pros and cons of tying the knot on a whiteboard before he and Melinda decided to get married. But despite being a "partnership of equals", Melinda would admit years later that she found marital life with Bill "incredibly hard".
The billionaire couple announced on Monday, April 3, that they would be parting ways after 27 years of marriage. Two years before their shocking divorce, the Netflix series 'Inside Bill’s Brain' revealed how the Microsoft founder had listed the pros and cons of marriage on a whiteboard.
Melinda recalled how after a year of dating, the couple had reached a crossroad in their relationship when Bill had to make a decision. One day, she walked into her boyfriend's bedroom and found him making a list on a whiteboard.
"His whiteboard had the pros and the cons of getting married," Melinda told Netflix producers at the time, laughing at the memory. Eventually, the couple tied the knot in Lanai, Hawaii, when Gates was 38 and Melinda was 29. In the year 2000, Melinda formalized the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has since forked out $45B, addressing issues such as climate change, gender equality and poverty.
Melinda told The Sunday Times in 2019 that their marriage was "incredibly hard" sometimes. “We’ve just gotten to a point in life where Bill and I can both laugh about more things," she said during an interview marking 25 years of their marriage. "And, believe me, I can remember some days that were so incredibly hard in our marriage where you thought, ‘Can I do this?’”
Melinda also recalled a time when she was angry with Bill because the voracious reader was glued to a Winston Churchill book instead of helping her get their three children ready to go out. At the time, she said that Bill struggled to find a work-life balance. According to Melinda, being patient helped weather both the ups and downs of marriage. She said Bill had work-life balance issues even before they tied the knot, as the tech mogul worked 16 hours a day for five years straight.
“‘When he was having trouble making the decision about getting married, he was incredibly clear that it was not about me, it was about ‘Can I get the balance right between work and family life?”’ she said.
Melinda said she “wasn’t going for a certain type, obviously, when I fell in love with Bill.” However, she admitted that she “was a little bit predisposed because I’m a computer science major, so when I was in college the people I spent a lot of time with were young men and a lot of them were geeky.”
During a 2017 interview with CBS' Sunday Morning, Melinda revealed more details about their marriage, including her decision to become a stay-at-home mom after giving birth to their first child, Jennifer, in 1996. The pair went on to have a son, Rory, in 1999 and another daughter, Phoebe, in 2002. “It’s absolutely a partnership of equals,” Melinda said at the time. “It’s important to both of us that the world understands that we are running this place together. This is our joint values being played out in the world," she added.