Melinda and Bill Gates have been married for twenty-five years now.
A balanced approach to their relationship is the secret to their successful marriage. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which features in the world’s biggest charities is run by this couple. The co-founder of Microsoft is also Bill. Despite all these, like any other family, they wash the dishes together every night.
According to Melinda, the key to a successful marriage is a balanced division of household responsibilities while talking about her book- The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World.
In 1987, they first met at a post-work dinner while sitting next to one another. Two weeks after this meeting, Bill Gates had asked her out for a date. St first, Melinda had said no saying that Bill wasn’t spontaneous enough.
The couple has raised 3 children together- Rory, Phoebe, and Jennifer in the 25 years following that date. The charity foundation dedicated to solving social issues, especially poverty was founded by them.
They always clean up after dinner together despite the busy schedule they have. You might think that there’s nothing important in this. But it helps reduce gender inequality, saves the time and energy of women, and boosts the country’s economy too.
According to Gates, a woman spends 7 more years on average of her life doing these unpaid household chores than men do. Women work for at least 7 hours a week for which they don’t get paid. Workforce productivity can be boosted by 20% if this time can be reduced to even 5 hours a week.
By doing such small household work together, it strengthens the bond between the couple.
Melinda mentions in the book that she felt lonely in the marriage when pregnant with the first baby. Bill was mostly traveling being the Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft. She didn’t know what role she intended to play in the marriage as written in the book.
They understood each other better by having conversations as time passed and became more balanced as a couple.
She cites an episode that she was cleaning up in the kitchen for more than 10 minutes after everyone was done eating. Then, she got frustrated and said that no one is to leave unless she leaves the kitchen.
After this incident, everyone realized that they should help her. Then the cleaning-together became their family tradition.
We know that a family that eats together stays together. But now, there should be a family that cleans together stays together.