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Bill and Melinda Gates’ divorce after 27 years of marriage highlights a powerful about this pandemic.

After 27 years of marital bliss, what was the last straw that split Bill and Melinda Gates?

We have all had those moments over the course of quarantine where we have re-evaluated and reassessed our lives. At least the majority of us have. It doesn’t matter whether we have done something drastic to change the course of our lives or gone about things as usual, but almost all of us have had those thoughts.

After almost 3 decades together, here is why Bill and Melinda Gates got divorced

Most of our lifestyles have changed from social to homebody with a lot of people spending more time with themselves and their immediate loved ones. For some relationships, the lack of outward social impact has been a good thing, but for others, it has not. At this stage in the pandemic, we have seen many long-term relationships come to an end, break up, or divorce. While the surge in relationships coming to an end has been trending since 2020, it doesn’t make some breakups any less surprising to those who are outside of the partnership.

Bill and Melinda Gates have announced the end of their marriage. The former couple released a joint statement saying, “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.”

The Gates’ continue saying, “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 the next phase of our lives.”

The pandemic added immense pressure to their relationship

Divorce is not a failure. Divorce is a dissolution of a marriage because one or more individuals who are a party to the legal contract no longer want to be a part of the union. It takes two to work a marriage, and when one or both the people wants to get out of the dynamic for good, there is no turning back from that moment, only forward.

Divorces and breakups have been on the rise since the beginning of the pandemic. According to Carly Kinch, a partner from top British law-firm Stewarts:

I don’t think that the reasons that people are divorcing have necessarily changed. You’ve always had the underlying current of I’m unhappy with this or that at home. But I think it has just brought the focus on domestic arrangements really into much more sharp focus than they would ordinarily be.

Carly Kinch and her team at Stewarts were not surprised by the spike in divorce applications after England’s first lockdown. According to Kinch, even under regular circumstances divorces and break-ups trend after families spend extended periods of time together. She says, “I think lockdown is essentially like those prolonged periods, but with enormous added pressures.”

Divorce does not mean you have failed in that relationship

There are many good reasons to divorce, in fact Huffington Post lists eleven. A few of those reasons include gaining a new lease on life, focusing on yourself, and clearing a new path for a new partner.

Whatever the reasons for dissolving a relationship, it is always better to pick growth over stagnancy, especially in your romantic life. Personal growth is almost always stunted when in the wrong company, especially when that company is your significant other. People naturally change over time but definitely can change with stimulus or even a lack of it. Quarantines, lockdowns, and social distancing has altered our lives in so many ways that it only makes sense that perceptions and commitments could change as well.

I think lockdown is essentially like those prolonged periods, but with enormous added pressures.

Carly Kinch, lawyer at British law firm, Stewarts.

While this time period in all of our lives has been challenging for most, it has also been a catalyzing agent for growth and self-actualization for many. When you are left to your thoughts, you dare to think and see life in different ways, especially when something as big as a pandemic occurs.

Melinda Gates has filed for divorce citing the marriage irretrievably broken. Once you get to that stage, moving forward on your own is better than maintaining the status quo. When the norm of your relationship has become a situation that makes you unhappy, it is healthy to reassess the connection. If you took an oath or you love someone, you should definitely do whatever it is within your power to try and make it work, but once it is broken there is only moving on.

Bill and Melinda have nothing but love for each other

Epiphany moments are rare in life, but not as uncommon during times of solitude. Many of us have been left to our own devices inside our homes for months on end learning about ourselves. In that process, you can change, and it is also natural that your feelings for others may change as well.

Breakups are difficult no matter who you are. A billionaire couple experiences stress in divorce as much as a non-billioniare couple does. But where there is stress there is also the release of your old partner and the gaining of the freedom to live life on your own terms.

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

from the Gates’ joint statement

The Gates were together for 27 years, almost 3 decades of being someone else’s partner on this ride we call life. The ride has been a little bit different since 2020 and a little bit bumpier for most, but we’ve all adjusted as best as we can. Sometimes those changes have been small and sometimes they have been life-altering, but we make the best decisions for ourselves in any given moment.

It would seem for Bill and Melinda, that decision would be to depart from the norm which is being with each other. There is bravery in stepping forward into the unknown with the belief in a better partnership being out there.

Bill and Melinda have three children together and have had 27 years of romantic partnership. There’s more success in that than failure. For couples going through breakups or divorce, one journey may be ending but another is certainly beginning. When one door closes another one opens, and there you are, standing on the other side.

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