Bill and Melinda Gates Announce Divorce

Bill and Melinda Gates have announced they are getting a divorce. Both their twitter feeds have the same message. They say they will continue their work together at the Gates foundation, but won't continue to work together as a couple.

The Seattle-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the most influential private foundation in the world, with an endowment worth nearly $50 billion. It has focused on global health and development and U.S. education issues since incorporating in 2000.

Melinda Gates has been heavily involved in gender equality initiatives in the past few years. Maybe she wants to start her own foundation. Given they are announcing a divorce, not a separation, I suspect they have already settled their financial affairs.

It may be the largest divorce settlement in history, since they are reportedly worth $150 billion. I found this part of their announcement curious:

‘We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in the next phase of our lives

They've been married for 27 years. What kind of continued growth as a couple were they expecting? [More...]

I would expect long-term married people to place more value on their ability to grow as individuals, in tandem with their partner, who does the same. Otherwsise, doesn't it become stifling to do everything in unison?

After 27 years, I would imagine most couples have settled in for the long-haul and are content to just enjoy each others' company, their families and their hobbies. How would a couple "grow together" after all that time? Let's say a couple took a cooking course together and mastered french cuisine, and then opened a french restaurant to local acclaim. I guess that could qualify as "growing as a couple".

I haven't paid much attention to the topic, but I think I just assume that by age 65, married long-haulers stay married because they are used to each other, mostly fond of each other, and have learned to adapt to each other's idiosyncratic habits. At age 65, wouldn't they be more interested in seeking ways to express their individuality rather than coupleness? (We have several long-married readers, maybe they understand and can explain what growing as a couple means after 25 or more years).

Perhaps the shorter version is that the Gates have different projects they want to spend their remaining time and their fortune on, and they are very cognizant that this next phase of their lives could be their last productive one. (Even billionaires don't have the ability to see into the future and know whether they will be alive in 15 years and even if they are, whether they will have all their faculties.)

In the past, they had time to jointly focus on one of their pet projects and then jointly move to the other's priorty project. Many philanthropy projects take years to see fruits. Perhaps the Gates are simply realizing their time on this earth is dwindling, the projects they are mutually interested in have been established don't need their continued participation and they don't want to spend whatever productive time they have left on projects they are not individually invested in.

Or maybe, it's as simple as one of them fell in love with someone else.

Whatever the reason for their split, I think it's sad and I wish them well. As for respecting their desire for privacy, I think they forfeited that when they each announced on Twitter they are getting a divorce. If they truly wanted privacy, why not just hold the news until TMZ stumbles across the court filing and then respond "No comment"?

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    Off Topic. (5.00 / 9) (#4)
    by Chuck0 on Wed May 05, 2021 at 05:39:53 PM EST
    I am home!!! On oxygen and still long way to go. But it's wonderful to not spend another night in a hospital bed.

    There's no place (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 05, 2021 at 05:58:08 PM EST
    Like home

    So wonderful (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 05, 2021 at 07:33:09 PM EST
    Great news! (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by ruffian on Wed May 05, 2021 at 09:26:55 PM EST
    I haven't been commenting much but I have been keeping up and was worried about you. Very glad to see you are not he mend.

    *on the mend! (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by ruffian on Wed May 05, 2021 at 09:29:53 PM EST
    oh how terrific! (none / 0) (#6)
    by leap on Wed May 05, 2021 at 06:25:26 PM EST
    Not another night in a hospital bed -- with no dinging and beeping and alarming going off at all hours. And the smell of disinfectants. And now your own bed and bathroom and kitchen and home smells. Yay! Good for you for getting out of there.

    Great news Chuck0!! (none / 0) (#9)
    by desertswine on Wed May 05, 2021 at 09:17:29 PM EST
    Much more important (none / 0) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 05, 2021 at 09:36:49 PM EST
    Than a Gates split! So glad for you and your family.

    Great news! (none / 0) (#16)
    by Steve13209 on Thu May 06, 2021 at 10:18:46 AM EST
    So very (none / 0) (#17)
    by Zorba on Thu May 06, 2021 at 12:07:12 PM EST
    Happy for you, Chuck!

    I knew you could do it (none / 0) (#29)
    by jondee on Thu May 06, 2021 at 05:16:38 PM EST
    Bills are starting to arrive. (none / 0) (#37)
    by Chuck0 on Tue May 11, 2021 at 09:47:18 AM EST
    Sure could use that "covid relief payment" Joe promised me. I file a joint return, my gross income is below $150K. I filed my 2020 return and enclosed a check. So Joe, where is my payment?

    The delays seem (none / 0) (#38)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue May 11, 2021 at 11:43:31 AM EST
    Completely arbitrary.   I mean the people who's checks are still "in the mail"

    May 28. (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by Chuck0 on Sun May 23, 2021 at 10:29:18 AM EST
    Finally got info from the IRS website. Check to be mailed 5/28. That will cover my portion of two ambulance bills. Most of my medical is covered at 100%. One benefit of working for large defense co. I have good benefits.

    Read article in NY Times yesterday hiw Covid is breaking many people financially. No one should be bankrupted because of Covid. My bills are already over $400K. We need universal healthcare.


    Yes, we do need universal health care (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by MO Blue on Sun May 23, 2021 at 11:47:37 AM EST
    Unfortunately, too many politicians in both parties care more about receiving money from the health care cabal than keeping people heathy and free from bankruptcy due to medical expenses. Waving the Lucy football of scam public options that will not actually fix the problem is all even the Dem establishment is willing to do.

    Aren't you glad (none / 0) (#40)
    by leap on Tue May 11, 2021 at 12:33:27 PM EST
    that you now can -- and have to -- worry about bills?

    Yahoo money yesterday (none / 0) (#51)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 13, 2021 at 08:13:58 AM EST
    I can't speak for marriage, but as one getting (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by ruffian on Wed May 05, 2021 at 09:39:29 PM EST
    close to 65 myself I do know that I am increasingly aware of the limited time remaining to me. It is all I can do to make myself work any day I don't feel like it. I can imagine if I was not content in a  marriage it would seem like life is too short to stick with it if I did not have to. They obviously don't have financial considerations that keep many couples together at that point in life.

    I wonder if their friends have to choose a side - hopefully more civilized a situation than that.

    65 is middle aged. (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by oculus on Thu May 06, 2021 at 03:38:41 PM EST
    Maybe not so complicated (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 07, 2021 at 08:12:11 AM EST
    Melinda Gates met with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein alongside her husband Bill in New York City and soon after said she was furious at the relationship between the two men, according to people familiar with the situation," The Daily Beast reported Thursday evening. "The previously unreported meeting occurred at Epstein's Upper East Side Mansion in September 2013, on the same day the couple accepted the Lasker Bloomberg Public Service Award at the Pierre Hotel and were photographed alongside then-mayor Mike Bloomberg."

    "Gates' friendship with Epstein--who for years was accused of molesting scores of underage girls--still haunts Melinda, according to friends of the couple who spoke to The Daily Beast this week in light of the pair's divorce announcement, which had been weeks in the making," The Beast reported. "The ties between Gates and Epstein ran much deeper than the tech mogul first admitted. As The New York Times reported, starting in 2011, Gates met with Epstein on numerous occasions. This was three years after Epstein pleaded guilty to soliciting an underage girl in Florida; by then, accusations that Epstein exploited girls and young women were widely reported in the press."

    Good enough reason for me.  

    Ten years ago, (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Zorba on Fri May 07, 2021 at 03:46:10 PM EST
    In 2010, when he first started meeting with Epstein, and most certainly, after 2013, that would have done it for me.

    virtue signaling (none / 0) (#46)
    by thomas rogan on Tue May 11, 2021 at 06:48:36 PM EST
    If Melinda Gates were so upset at a meeting with Epstein then she would have gone years ago.  I suspect that they are divorcing for another reason and the leaks about Epstein are meant her look good (and Bill look bad) in 2021.

    "Virtue signaling" (5.00 / 4) (#47)
    by MKS on Wed May 12, 2021 at 02:19:56 PM EST
    is one of the most annoying, and trendy, conservative tropes.  

    A way for conservatives to summarily dismiss among themselves any attempt at justice or true progress on any number of fronts.

    Almost as grating when conservatives refer to the "Democrat" Party instead of referring to it by its real name, the "Democratic Party."


    Definition of (5.00 / 4) (#49)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 12, 2021 at 03:13:04 PM EST
    "virtue signalling"

    A virtual world created by racists in which any criticism of their world can't possibly be because they are wrong, but because their critic is "virtue-signalling".

    It is yet another nonsense phrase from conservatives trying to deflect from their own shortcomings and blame someone else for their behavior.


    Yes, you certainly (none / 0) (#52)
    by MKS on Thu May 13, 2021 at 12:45:25 PM EST
    nailed it.

    Happy Mothers' Day (5.00 / 5) (#35)
    by Peter G on Sun May 09, 2021 at 05:11:20 PM EST
    to all you Mothers-lovers.

    Off Topic (No Open Thread) (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by CST on Tue May 11, 2021 at 11:58:22 AM EST
    The Biden Administration just approved the nation's first large scale offshore wind farm - Vineyard Wind - in Massachusetts.


    Only 15 years after Cape Wind got it's first state approval, Offshore Wind is finally going to be a reality.  The one upside of the delay is that the technology has improved considerably.

    "In addition to Vineyard Wind, a dozen other offshore wind projects along the East Coast are under federal review. The Interior Department has estimated that by the end of the decade developers of offshore wind projects could install at least 2,000 turbines from Massachusetts to North Carolina."

    Bring it on!

    Some of the hurdles to offshore wind farms include visual blight and loss of commercial fishing areas.

    At 12 NM offshore of Cape Cod, the wind turbines will be visible from shore, especially on clear days.

    Also, at night, most turbines have bright red blinking lights on top to alert passing  aircraft. There is a large inland wind farm that I pass by at night several times per year and the hundreds of randomly blinking red lights are quite obvious and can be quite intrusive.

    However, I read that Vineyard Wind's lights will only activate when an aircraft is near, which is only something like a dozen or so hours per year, which seems very reasonable.

    The loss of commercial fishing areas is a two-edged sword imo.

    Ocean wind farm turbine towers are generally anchored into the ocean bottom much like any kind of inland towers (wind, electrical, radio, etc.) are anchored into the soil. This dictates that ocean wind farms are built in fairly shallow waters. Unfortunately, ocean fish species generally live in fairly shallow water, and often specifically directly above any underwater hill or mound, thus the wind farms built in shallow water reduce available commercial fishing areas.

    On the other hand, our oceans are generally being over fished by the commercial fleets and the turbine towers (like offshore oil drilling platforms) are often a literal fish oasis in what is generally a "desert" of ocean floor and thereby become remarkable fish habitats that are protected from the commercial fleets.


    I don't get the visual blight thing (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue May 11, 2021 at 03:24:59 PM EST
    I think they are cool looking.  I used to love riding my bike through the one north of LA.  

    It feels like a Cristo art project.

    Also, they look like clean energy.  A smokestack is visual blight IMO


    Over the past years stacking stones, (none / 0) (#43)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue May 11, 2021 at 03:51:37 PM EST
    aka building cairns, has been all the rage in the back country around here. Some people love them and other think they're graffiti, that they ruin the natural landscape.

    Everyone has their own personal opinion, and there's no accounting for taste I suppose.

    The wind farms I pass are all over the hills of Mojave. They are kinda cool to look at, at first, but for me, after a while, given a choice, I'd rather just see the nature.

    However, we need them, so...


    For what it's worth (none / 0) (#44)
    by CST on Tue May 11, 2021 at 05:42:07 PM EST
    It's actually 12 NM south of Martha's Vineyard not the Cape.  That's relevant because the Cape is closer than 12 NM to Martha's Vineyard and while it is visible on a nice day I wouldn't say anyone on the north shore of the Vineyard is complaining about the view.

    Personally I'm with Howdy and I think they look pretty cool.  I'm somewhat partial to the "nature is nicer" argument and don't get me wrong, the south facing beaches of Martha's Vineyard are unbelievably stunning, but I don't think it will be an eye sore that far out.

    As for commercial fishing I think it could end up being a boon for the reasons you mention but I'm sure some people will be annoyed with the restrictions.


    US Wind Turbine Database.... (none / 0) (#45)
    by desertswine on Tue May 11, 2021 at 06:09:10 PM EST
    An interactive map, it's pretty fun to play with.  Zoom in where you live.

    They are going (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by MKS on Wed May 12, 2021 at 02:55:01 PM EST
    put them just north of Lordsburg, NM, I hear.

    That will mar one of the more breathtaking views imo.  On the road north out of Lordsburg, you can look 360 degrees around and see nothing but grassland and mountains in the distance--for miles and miles-well over 20 miles in every direction--and close to 40 miles toward the north.  And see nothing man made.

    When you drive through this grassland, it is like being on another planet.

    Wonder if it is really needed--solar is really all over NM.  


    Sun and wind in abundance... (none / 0) (#50)
    by desertswine on Thu May 13, 2021 at 12:43:44 AM EST
    The wind was incredible last night. It came out of nowhere and blew my potted plants over. It seems like its been the windiest spring ever.  

    I've never been in the Lordsburg area, but I don't doubt that its beautiful.


    Spent many nights in Lordsburg. (none / 0) (#53)
    by Chuck0 on Thu May 13, 2021 at 06:13:51 PM EST
    It is the perfect stopping point if you're driving cross country from San Diego.

    As someone (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon May 03, 2021 at 07:51:35 PM EST
    who has been married for 35 years I can only say I have no idea what growth as a couple would mean at this point. I think that ended for us at about 10 years. Growth is for the newly married. Now we just do our own thing not doing a whole lot together. The doing things together is for retirement.

    Just my opinion but it sounds like the Gates just don't like hanging out with each other anymore and want to go their separate ways.

    My amazing wife and I will have been married (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by Peter G on Wed May 05, 2021 at 08:47:35 PM EST
    45 years this August, and together ("going steady," we like to say) 48 this fall. As she puts it, "Who else would put up with either of us?" I am very lucky.

    We will be (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by Zorba on Thu May 06, 2021 at 12:12:53 PM EST
    51 years married in July.  Dating for three years before that.
    Mr. Zorba says much the same thing as your wife.  :-D
    Keep up the good work, the two of you!

    Restores my faith in the institution. (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by oculus on Thu May 06, 2021 at 03:35:31 PM EST
    That is (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 06, 2021 at 02:06:55 PM EST
    what my husband says about himself and he tells people that we have been married so long only because he is in sales and is gone 1/2 the time. I have to say this last year of him being home all the time has been an adjustment.

    My Lord tell me about adjustment LOL (none / 0) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 06, 2021 at 02:22:31 PM EST
    This deployment thing that happens in military marriages becomes something some of us came to rely on. You throw out silly things your spouse hoarded, they come home from eating dinner in the dirt every night, and they don't care, they don't even remember their hoard.

    Does your spouse hate a certain vacation place you love? Just wait until they deploy again LOL.

    It's all messed up now. Now he wants to come with me to NYC. No men!


    Hey. My hero snagged two taxis in (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by oculus on Thu May 06, 2021 at 03:37:53 PM EST
    sub-zero temps. Remarkable and very much appreciated.  

    Well he better work on his drag (none / 0) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 06, 2021 at 04:48:12 PM EST
    Outfit, because in my mind NYC is for me and my girlfriends. Not my boyfriends LOL

    He never used to want to go before. But then we allowed him to sit on a stage when Bryan Cranston was on it, and now he's permanently broken.

    He has that photo from HS when he played Toto. I should have done a better job of assessing the risk :)


    If Network reopens, they'll comp him. (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by oculus on Thu May 06, 2021 at 04:52:41 PM EST
    So everyone can understand this comment (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 06, 2021 at 05:44:57 PM EST
    Oculus gave me the quick and dirty course on theater etiquette, which is very important and a serious thing in NYC.

    Ruffian could not make a NYC trip that I bought tickets to Network for. They were premium tickets that had been placed a bit on sale. It did say that they were on stage in an area designated "the bar". Because Ruffian couldn't make it, my husband took the ticket. Oculus emailed me about the possible need for dark clothing, to not distract from the actors. We dressed accordingly.

    It was really a wonderful experience. The bar served you a couple of comp adult beverages and a light chefy dinner while Network was performed feet away from you.

    NYC after generations of deeply ingrained theater etiquette was really struggling with yelling out "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!" You could feel the unsureness in the air, The first and second time it was almost excruciating  how much the audience was struggling with this audience participation piece.

    Luckily oculus and I had brought this box checker with us. He could yell anything on demand. YES DRILL SERGEANT! HOOAH! I'M MAD AS HELL AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE! All from his diaphragm.

    He loved Cranston in Breaking Bad when he finally started watching it. Breaking Bad was genuinely difficult at first for my husband to watch because of the methamphetamine element of the story. But he did get to where he could appreciate the story and he thought Cranston did a spectacular job.

    So when Bryan Cranston needs some support in hollering something from the diaphragm, my husband did finally let loose while the rest of us were holding back. When Cranston gave him a thumbs up from the darkness of the wings, THAT'S IT...we are never getting rid of him now.

    He really is the heart of my heart. Who wants to live without this? Not me


    They will (none / 0) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 06, 2021 at 04:53:58 PM EST
    For the record, (5.00 / 4) (#25)
    by Chuck0 on Thu May 06, 2021 at 04:27:10 PM EST
    my wife, who is my 1st wife and now 3rd has been amazing thru this debacle.

    I married her in 1993 I. Baltimre and then again 4 years ago in Las Vegas. Some things were just meant to be.


    Yer killin me (none / 0) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 05, 2021 at 09:39:21 PM EST
    You do nothing but grow :) You always about something with your people, and/or your boys.

    LOL (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 06, 2021 at 02:07:26 PM EST
    but I don't call that "growth". I call that keeping up with life.

    Bill and Melinda Gates Announce Divorce (none / 0) (#2)
    by CHANCE1998 on Tue May 04, 2021 at 12:02:04 AM EST
    I am weeks from celebrating my 30th Anniversary with a man that I adore and love and cannot imagine  loosing,    Though due to health issues, facing up to this is becoming very real.

    This spit for some reason, really stunned me.  

    I wonder if (none / 0) (#3)
    by CST on Wed May 05, 2021 at 10:21:57 AM EST
    The inability to travel freely and the fact that COVID may have forced them to spend more time together was the breaking point. I know it has been for a lot of couples.

    He also stepped down from Microsoft to spend more time on the foundation and with Melinda.  Maybe they both needed that space to function as a couple.

    After basic needs of food and shelter, etc (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 05, 2021 at 10:31:33 PM EST
    Are met, marriage is about intimacy. And if that intimacy is being violated or denied it isn't much of a marriage.

    If you have a new couple around though and you love them together, buy them a book from the Gottman Institute titled 'The Science of Trust'. Wonderful book, even if you are a nerd like Bill Gates...especially if you are a nerd like Bill Gates. It is utterly a not emotional research book.

    We have been together for 24 yrs. We made it past the 4 yr challenge and the 16 yr challenge that crazily the Gottman Institute has discovered through solid research exists for married couples, all of them. The 4 yr challenge is researched down to weeks and months. I read the book long after we survived it, but it was frightening accurate down to the weeks. The 16 yr challenge point isn't so easy to determine, mine was closer to 17.

    But if they are unhappy at 27 (someone is obviously unhappy), something chitty is going on. Read the book. I thought maybe it was Bill's workaholism, but cheating probably isn't off the table.

    Marriage is about intimacy and trust though, not years chalked or money or projects once basic needs are met. Intimacy and trust allows us to grow no matter what our challenges are. And you never know exactly what challenges will be thrown at both of you.

    And don't settle for less. Being single has a lot of perks too. No need to put up with anything.

    But who, I wonder, is going (none / 0) (#32)
    by desertswine on Fri May 07, 2021 at 12:27:22 PM EST
    9 East 71st Street (none / 0) (#34)
    by KeysDan on Fri May 07, 2021 at 05:10:07 PM EST
    seems more manageable.

    Instagram for preteens and children (none / 0) (#36)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 10, 2021 at 08:36:51 PM EST
    that Zukerberg is a regular visionary

    A bipartisan group of 44 attorneys general has written to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg urging him to drop company plans for a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced Monday.

    The attorneys general in the letter said they are concerned about social media's effects on the physical and emotional well-being of children, the potential for increased cyberbullying, possible vulnerability to online predators, and what they called Facebook's "checkered record" in protecting children on its platforms.

    "It appears that Facebook is not responding to a need, but instead creating one, as this platform appeals primarily to children who otherwise do not or would not have an Instagram account," said the letter, signed by the attorneys general of 40 states, the District of Columbia and three U.S. territories.