• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Bill and Melinda Gates’ divorce would not rewrite our understanding of marriage

Bill-Melinda Gates

An online search of the word, divorce came with several results, including the short twitter announcement on the 3rd of May, 2021 of Bill Gates and Melinda Gates’ desire to divorce after 27 years of marriage. According to news reports, the said divorce became official in August 2021. The short announcement showed that there has been a lot of thought, and work put into the relationship as well as their final decision.

While the understanding of marriage varies among cultures and religions, the union of the Gates represented the age-long universal and arguable definition of marriage as a legal union between two individuals, typically between a man and a woman beginning a family. It entails opportunities, rights, and obligations between couples, their children, and in-laws.

Prior to a marriage, the man and woman must have gut feelings, mutual acceptance, and realisation, defining moment, and turning point. An inexplicable sparkle!

For instance, Bill and Melinda were reported to have met at a dinner for Microsoft employees in 1987. “It took him quite a few months before he asked me out,” Melinda was reported to have said. While Gates said, “You know we cared a lot for each other, and there were only two possibilities: either we were going to break up or we were going to get married.”

What happened was, 38-year-old Bill asked 29-year-old Melinda to marry him. In 1994, they tied the knot in Lanai, Hawaii.

Read Also: Bill and Melinda Gates divorce after 27 years of marriage

This feeling might continue for a lifetime. It may last for a while or decline gradually, and eventually into a desire to part ways as presently experienced by Bill and Melinda.

Meanwhile, marriage comes with selflessness, connection, commitment, respect, trust, and intimacy. These are what most people seek in marriage, and their true meanings. Some people may see or perceive all of these in the form of materials or other contexts. This is natural.

Melinda was reported to have walked into the bedroom where Bill was making a list of the pros and cons of a marriage on the whiteboard. Bill said, “I took the idea of marriage very seriously.”

The news would probably trend for some days. Also, their divorce would continue to make news. This won’t be the last to be heard of it.

The joint statement released by the duo exposed some considerations, and efforts couples who are about to divorce should note. Divorce is never a simple or quick resolve. The thoughts and work were probably to make it work or reduce the negative impacts of the realities that come with it.

Bill and Melinda’s marriage and divorce are not the first in the world. And theirs won’t be the last, the worst or the most beautiful. Marriages, bad or beautiful, have been contracted globally by the rich and the poor. They are in the best position to tell whether they had a bad or beautiful marriage.

Most importantly, their marriage of 27 years, just like any other marriage, had its challenges and blessings. Melinda, in her book titled, The Moment of Life: How Empowering Women Changes the World wrote about the struggles of being a mother and wife of one of the world’s richest men. She confirmed that those issues exist in every single marriage.

One should also consider the blessings to each other, which include the opportunities, goodness, and inexplicable sparkles of their union before the need for separation. In the documentary, Inside Bill’s Brain, Bill said, “It is a truly equal partner. She is a lot like me in that she is optimistic, and she is interested in science. She is better with people than I am. She is a tiny bit less hard-core about knowing, you know, immunology than I am.”

Their union also produced the blessings of the gift of incredible children. The several projects on global health and development issues like eradicating polio, improving sanitation systems in impoverished countries, and developing clean affordable energy through their foundation are also the products of their union.

Their marriage, divorce, and whatever they decide to do along the line will not, in any way, rewrite the human understanding of marriage and divorce. It would only add to the list of well-known couples who were married and divorced in human history.

Luckily, there are no limitations to finding a partner as long as there is life. One can only wish Bill, Melinda, and others going through a similar phase the best and sparkles in their future phases of life.

Adekola is a legal practitioner and head, Probate Services, Greenwich Registrars and Data Solutions Limited. You can reach him on 08165299774 and 08150373535