According to an article by journalist Belinda Luscombe in the magazine “Time“(Time) America; there are a number of speculations about what this divorce means for charitable work, global health, the future of technology and the stock market, and in addition to that; there was a quieter and sad debate.
what happened? Since the Gates – with all this wealth – the owners of a joint project that had a real impact, and they had 3 children and a unique coexistence experience that lasted 27 years, and yet they were unable to succeed, so what is the hope remaining for us?
In recent years, the divorce rate has decreased for all couples, with the notable exception of those over the age of 50.
While most people who want to divorce do so during the first few years of their marriage; The generation over 50 (Melinda, 57, Bill 65) is more likely to divorce than the previous generation when they were 50 and over, a trend noticeable enough to have its own name “gray divorce.”
“It is becoming more and more common among people who live longer and enjoy better health marriages. Thus, people are becoming more careful about their level of personal happiness, they do not want to compromise,” says Israel Helvand, who runs 3-day camps with his wife Cathy in Vermont. For high net worth individuals whose marriages are about to fail, and note that many of their clients are in retirement.
Bear the psychological impact
And the author explains that while no one knows what actually happened in the Gates marriage except for them; There are topics that psychologists have found frequent among couples in the current life of the Gates.
Topic one; Is that people can bear the psychological impact of separation, at this advanced stage in many marriages – especially if both partners are working – each party may be wealthy enough to see that separation does not cost it much. The couple Melinda and Bill Gates together own $ 130 billion.
Luscombe quotes a research professor and co-director of the Center for Marriage and Family Studies at the University of Denver, Colorado, as saying that when people have lots of alternatives – including physical ones – they will find it easier to abandon marriage when the distance between them becomes too great.
The author explains that, however, recently last year the spouses (Melinda and Bill Gates) appeared close to each other in celebrating their 26th wedding anniversary, as Melinda said that New Year’s Day was always special for her because it was an opportunity to celebrate the wedding anniversary as well, Adding that she still marvels at her love for the man who makes her dance all life.
Another factor is the so-called “empty nest syndrome”, which means the end of parenting and intensive care; As the author points out, when many husbands stop raising children together, they have few projects or other interests in common, and others find that it is time to take another look at what they really want from life.
“It is time to reevaluate what the relationship holds for each of them as individuals,” the writer quoted John Gottman – who runs a training with his wife Julie and whose 2015 book “Seven Principles for Successful Marriage” is still one of the best-selling marital affairs books – as saying. “An erosion of part of the relationship – such as romance, passion and shared adventure – many couples see this as a time to end the relationship amicably. I think in many ways, they may have been living apart for a long time.
Last year, Bill Gates announced his intention to step back from the boards of directors of Microsoft and Hathaway, and his hope to spend more time in his work in the field of giant global aid that he and his wife started, but – even within the “Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation” – the two were interested in different fields of work. Bell focuses on climate change and health, and Melinda is increasingly active in issues affecting women and girls, and has also owned her own charity since 2015.
And as John Gottman says, their work for the foundation may have contributed to their split. And they may not have had enough time to give each other what a practical marriage would need. “They had the courage as well as the resources to tackle the greatest problems facing humanity,” says Julie Gottman, adding that it must be difficult to prioritize your spouse over issues such as poverty and disease in the world.
Several experts say one of the main reasons this old-fashioned husbands quit is because one of the two was having an affair, but there is no hint of this in the Gates news.
Expert Daphne de Marneve says she was shocked by the wording they used in their mid-life divorce decision, adding that when they say they no longer believe they can grow together as a married couple, they may express a lack of hope for restoring harmony and pleasure in teamwork and emotional intimacy.
Marnev rejects the possibility that this could be a hasty divorce, similar to a midlife crisis, and suggests that it might actually be a good outcome and could make them happier. It seems – at least based on their statement – that the Gates did indeed try to improve the situation, but were unable to continue on the same path.