You might assume that as someone who’s worth a whopping $130 billion, Bill Gates doesn’t have many regrets. But it turns out that there’s one thing the business mogul wishes he can go back in time and change — and it’s something he would have liked to have done before his marriage to wife Melinda Gates came to an end.
Bill and Melinda Gates opened up about their relationship in 2019
In 2019, Bill and Melinda Gates appeared on the Netflix docuseries Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates, where they got candid about various topics surrounding their lives.
In the final episode of the three-part docuseries, the couple opened up about their relationship, which started on a very casual note, according to the software developer.
“When we first met, she had other boyfriends and I had Microsoft,” Gates recalled. “We were like, ‘Hey we’re not really serious about each other are we? We’re not going to demand each other’s time.’”
Melinda — who had landed her first job out of college as a product manager for Microsoft in 1987 — shared that Gates wasn’t “spontaneous” enough for her and that she had turned him down when he first asked her out on a date.
“I was new to Microsoft. There were a lot of men there,” she said, laughing. “You know, you’re still looking around, you’re still figuring it out.”
But as time went on, the pair began developing feelings for each other and eventually fell in love.
“After about a year of that, sort of to our surprise, certainly my surprise, we said, ‘Hey, I love you,’ and she said she loved me, and then it was like, wow. Now what’s going to happen?” Gates shared.
Melinda then added, “Bill wanted to be married, but he didn’t know whether he could actually commit to it and have Microsoft.”
Bill Gates wishes he thanked Melinda Gates more
In the end, Gates decided to settle down with Melinda, and the two tied the knot on January 1, 1994, in Hawaii.
Over the next few years, the couple welcomed three children: Jennifer Katharine, 25, Rory John, 21, and Phoebe Adele, 18.
They also established various charities together, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is a “nonprofit fighting poverty, disease, and inequity around the world,” according to its website. The foundation itself is now worth over $40 billion, according to reports from People.
Though the pair have accomplished a lot together over the years, Gates revealed during the docuseries that there’s one thing he regrets not doing more of during his and Melinda’s decades-long relationship.
When asked by the series’ director, Davis Guggenheim, “If you got hit by a bus today, died, what’s the one thing, the one thing you said, ‘God, I wish I had done that I haven’t done?’” the business magnate answered, “You know, thanking Melinda.”
Bill and Melinda Gates recently announced their separation
Though it seemed like Bill and Melinda Gates would be together forever, their relationship recently come to an end.
On May 3, 2021, the couple announced on Twitter that they are separating after 27 years of marriage.
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the couple said in a joint statement. “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.
“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 this next phase of our lives,” the statement continued. “We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”
As of this writing, the details of Bill and Melinda Gates’ divorce are still unclear. However, insiders tell People that the couple doesn’t have a prenup but plan to split their assets, which sounds like a hefty burden to take on for multibillionaires like the couple.
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