Did Bill Gates struggle to find work-life balance? Here's why Melinda Gates may have ended 27-year marriage
Melinda had shared how the balance between work and family life has always been a concern in their relationship in a candid interview
Bill Gates and Melinda Gates announced that they were headed for a divorce and the news shocked the entire world. The Microsoft co-founder and his wife who launched the world's largest philanthropic foundation Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation made the announcement on Twitter. At the same time, the world's wealthiest couple has promised to work together on the foundation, even after the divorce.
"After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage," the two said in a brief statement posted on Twitter. "Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives."
Asking for privacy, the couple added, "We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our life. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life."
After being married for 27 years with three children and a hugely influential foundation with an endowment reportedly worth nearly $50 billion, the divorce announcement has shaken the world. The impact of their announcement can be seen on social media.
One user pointed out, "Imagine being so rich that your divorce can literally impact the state of funding for thousands of initiatives worldwide. That is literally wild. #MelindaGates #BillGates." Explaining in another tweet, "For those who need an idea of what I mean - Bill and Melinda Gates own several foundations and organizations that fund public health research, business ventures, and more. Their announcement was basically a PSA that everything is going to be okay. Wow. lol."
For those who need an idea of what I mean - Bill and Melinda Gates own several foundations and organizations that fund public health research, business ventures, and more. Their announcement was basically a PSA that everything is going to be okay. Wow. lol— Anna Gifty (@itsafronomics) May 4, 2021
With so much tied to them, it is natural to debate why the couple is getting a divorce. the Gates' divorce news also comes two years after billionaire and philanthropist, Amazon.com Inc founder Jeff Bezos made the announcement that he and his then-wife MacKenzie were getting divorced.
Pro-Trump comedian Terrence K. Williams, who has repeatedly snubbed Bill Gates and his efforts for vaccination, had something to add. "Why is Bill Gates and Melinda Gates trending at #1 for getting a divorce? He was too focused on trying to force us to take the Vaccine and should have been focused on his wife BUT honestly I don’t care Who’s with me."
Why is Bill Gates and Melinda Gates trending at #1 for getting a divorce ?— Terrence K. Williams (@w_terrence) May 3, 2021
He was too focused on trying to force us to take the Vaccine and should have been focused on his wife
BUT honestly I don’t care
Who’s with me ✋
And along with him, many of his followers chimed in with comments and speculations along similar lines.
Why are Bill and Melinda getting a divorce?
Comments from haters aside, some social media users were genuinely interested in the 'why'.
"Oh why Bill and Melinda? 27 years! Why file for a divorce?" one asked. "I wonder why bill and Melinda gates getting a divorce," another user tweeted. One tweet asked, "I don’t understand why a couple who lived for 27 good years and never lacked anything wake up and divorce like that, I mean why,Bill Gates and Melinda?"
Oh why Bill and Melinda? 27 years! Why file for a divorce?— Adventures of Tintin (@tinfresh) May 4, 2021
I wonder why bill and Melinda gates getting a divorce— Serial Hustla💰 (@K00LLL) May 3, 2021
I don’t understand why a couple who lived for 27 good years and never lacked anything wake up and divorce like that, I mean why,Bill Gates and Melinda?— GIRLING 🤍🤍🇬🇭 (@AbenaPerfecty) May 3, 2021
No longer 'grow together as a couple'
In the statement, the couple together announced that "we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives". At the same time, the pair "will continue to work together to shape and approve foundation strategies, advocate for the foundation’s issues and set the organization’s overall direction."
Marriage 'inevitably broken'
According to the filing, obtained by TMZ, it was Melinda who filed for divorce from Bill and provided the reason that the marriage was "irretrievably broken".
It should be also noted that the pair has a "separation agreement", but not a prenup, according to the documents filed in King County Superior Court in Seattle, Wa., on Monday, May 3, 2021.
Work over family
According to insiders who revealed to The New York Times, "there were several times when the relationship neared collapse, but they worked to keep it together." The article also mentions that Gates stepped down from the boards of Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway, in part, "so he could spend more time with his family".
Melinda found her marriage with Bill 'incredibly hard'
In a 2019 interview with the Sunday Times of London, Melinda had shared how the balance between work and family life has always been a concern in their relationship. Even back Bill was still weighing the decision, unsure, even penning pros and cons on a whiteboard, this was an issue. "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.
"And, believe me, I can remember some days that were so incredibly hard in our marriage where you thought, 'Can I do this?'"
So perhaps, this end to their marriage was a long-time coming.