It is no longer news that Microsoft founder Bill Gates is divorcing Melinda Gates, his wife of 27 years. Perhaps what is news is the unfolding reason for their divorce and the lessons we can learn from it.
Although we don’t have all the intricate details, various media sources have made sure we are not left in limbo with respect to the possible reasons the Gates gave for their divorce announcement.
While publicly announcing that they would be getting divorced, the Gates stated that, “We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”
The whole world is waiting for the full import of that statement. But it is not a joke when two billionaires who have lived together as husband and wife for twenty seven years decide to take the divorce option in settling their marital conflicts.
Bill had informed the world via his verified tweeter handle that, “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage.”
I bet the decision to end a marriage would not be made at an impulse. So I will agree with Gates without question that he had adequate time to talk think about the divorce before he decided to walk down that road.
We don’t have to dig too deep to realise that there are many lessons one can learn from the Bill and Melinda Gates divorce announcement.
A catchy divorce phrase in the mix
When couples get divorced, they usually cite different reasons for the decision. With the Gates, we can guess that it was note because of substance abuse, domestic violence or financial stress.
Infidelity? Neither of the couple made any such allegation. So why are they disolving their marriage after close to three decades of being married to each other?
As pointed out earlier, the partners informed the world that they have reached a point in their lives when they realise they no longer believe they could grow together as a couple in the next phase of their lives.
They had come along way together. Now they feel it’s time to go seek their separate marital fulfilments in other people. Does that suggest a possible remarriage for any of the two? Perhaps yes. But time will tell.
When celebrity couple divorce each other they can say it was due to irreconcilable differences. We have heard that phrase too often not to be so acquainted with it.
For Bill and Melinda Gates, a similar reason has been stated. It was Melinda who threw more light on the reason for the divorce when she stated in her divorce filing that her marriage to the world’s number four richest man alive is over because the marriage is “irreconcilably broken.”
At what point did the marriage become “irreconcilably broken”? No one knows for sure. All we hear in the public domain are mere conjectures not yet validated.
What “irreconcilably broken” actually means
I am not sure if the Gates have any belief in God. But one thing is clear to me: by saying their marriage is “irreconcilably broken,” they have left God out in the picture.
It seems the Gates have reached the point of no return in their decision to enter their marriage. So in a sense now, it’s too late to cry when the head is off.
But if you are experiencing any difficulties in your marriage now, don’t leave God out of the equation. And don’t throw in the towel.
A marriage may be broken but with God, no marriage can be “irreconcilably broken”. As believers in Christ, we are convinced that nothing is impossible with God to fix, including restoring broken marriages.
A broken marriage can be fixed. Even a dead marriage can be revived – if God gets involves. If you have done all you can, leave room for God to do all He would.
It takes more than money to keep a marriage
There are many people who believe that if they had more money, they could sustain their marriages. But with the rich regularly getting divorce before our faces, it doesn’t take rocket science to understand that when it comes to preserving a marriage, money is not the ultimate saviour.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not underestimating the importance of adequate finances in marriage. What I’m saying is that if you trust only in money to salvage your marriage, you will be disappointed in the end.
On the other hand, if you think not having money can sustain your marriage, you are weird. (I can’t believe I said that, because it sounded so odd).
Even a long term marriage can crash
The Gates’ marriage crashed after 27 years of being together. One would think that having lasted that long as a couple and with all the billions at their disposal, divorce would not be an option for them. But see where they are today?
No matter how long you have been married to your spouse, please don’t take each other for granted. By all means cherish and protect what you have.
If any of you begins to engage in unwholesome behaviour, for example, infidelity, then you will get to realise that even a long-term marriage is not divorce-proof.
I’m not saying this to scare you. Far from from it. Rather, you and your partner should demonstrate unalloyed commitment to your marriage to the extent that divorce is not an option for you irrespective of whatever happens.
We can see from the experience of Bill and Melinda Gates that it takes more than a fat bank account to keep a marriage for life. This is one lesson that is so obvious for all to see.
Money is good, but a couple can still grow apart – even if they are as wealthy as the Gates. And when husband and wives begins to grow apart, they begin to rock the foundation of their marital edifice to the extent that it will lead to divorce if care is not taken.
Even a long-term marriage is not immune to divorce. Couples should be committed to each to other, be faithful to each and show genuine concern and care for each other so that the marriage can last forever as it should be.