All The Signs Bill And Melinda's Marriage Was Doomed

On May 3, Bill and Melinda Gates' decision to divorce sent shockwaves through the entertainment and news industries. "After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage," the former couple shared in a joint statement via Twitter. "We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life."

In many ways, it was a surprising admission from the billionaire pair, who have been together 27 years since marrying on January 1, 1994, per TMZ. Bill and Melinda share three children and are known for running the eponymous Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which works to tackle some of the world's greatest inequities. (Since 2000, the foundation has spent a whopping $53.8 billion, according to its website.) To the world, Bill and Melinda seemed like the classic committed couple, albeit one of the richest duos in the world. Leading up to the split however, it seems that there were plenty of signs pointing to trouble in paradise. Here's a look at the signals that proved Bill and Melinda's marriage was doomed.

Did Bill and Melinda Gates struggle to prioritize their relationship?

In 2019, Netflix dropped the docuseries "Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates," which delved into the couple's relationship. In the final episode, Bill Gates was asked by the director about "one thing he'd wished he'd done [more of]," and his answer was surprising! "You know, thanking Melinda," he answered. The response becomes even more telling when viewed in light of a 2019 interview Melinda Gates gave to the Sunday Times of London. Speaking of the pair's struggles to balance work and family life, Melinda got candid about the challenges of marriage. "Believe me, I can remember some days that were so incredibly hard in our marriage where you thought, 'Can I do this?'" she revealed. (Could it be she didn't feel appreciated for the role she played at Bill's side?)

While she didn't elaborate on the hard times, sources close to Bill and Melinda shared that they found it difficult to balance their personal and professional lives. In "Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates," viewers learned that the billionaire was hesitant about marriage. "Bill wasn't sure he was ready to make that kind of commitment because he wanted to be married, but he didn't know whether he could actually commit to it and run Microsoft," Melinda said. The tug of war between these two spheres perhaps pushed the relationship towards collapse, as The New York Times reported.

Bill Gates made a pros and cons list about marrying Melinda Gates on a white board

In the aforementioned documentary "Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates," viewers learned that Bill and Melinda Gates met after being seated next to each other at a Microsoft business dinner in 1987. "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," Bill said of their relationship crossroads, per CNBC.

Melinda recalled walking into Bill's room and seeing a list on a whiteboard. "His whiteboard had the pros and the cons of getting married," Melinda said with a laugh, per CNBC. While some may find it an odd way to decide whether or not to spend the rest of your life with the person you love, Bill defended the process saying, "I took the idea of marriage very seriously."

The pair seemed to hold each other in high regard, with Bill discussing Melinda's strengths in the documentary. "In the case of Melinda, it is a truly equal partner," Bill described. "She's a lot like me in that she is optimistic and she is interested in science. She is better with people than I am. She's a tiny bit less hard core about knowing, you know, immunology, than I am."

Bill and Melinda Gates' relationship started off casual

Both Bill and Melinda Gates recalled that their relationship started off as casual. "She had other boyfriends, and I had Microsoft," Bill said in "Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates." "We were like, 'Hey we are not really serious about each other, are we? We are not going to demand each other's time.'" Melinda echoed the sentiment, saying, "I was new to Microsoft, there were a lot of men there and ... you are still looking around," per CNBC.

A year into their relationship, "sort of to our surprise, certainly my surprise, we said, 'Hey, I love you.'" Bill said. "And she said she loved me and then it was like, 'Wow, and now what is going to happen?'" What happened was that the pair got engaged and tied the knot in Lanai, Hawaii shortly after. Bill was 38 and Melinda was 29, per CNBC.

Three kids later, Melinda stepped back from her position at Microsoft, but continued working with her husband at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, per Us Weekly. "Working together as well as raising a family together, there's a certain intensity to that," Bill said in a Facebook Live interview via Us Weekly.