Ms. French Gates

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Divorce isn’t such a tragedy.

A tragedy is staying in an unhappy marriage,

teaching your children the wrong things about love.

Jennifer Weiner

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“Why would he want a divorce?” My husband wondered aloud, having just read about Bill and Melinda’s decision to part ways. “What’s he going to do at his age,” he added, “Chase 30 year olds?”

“What makes you think he wants the divorce?,” I asked, skimming the headline and noting that we, like the Gates, have been married 27 years. “She must be the one who’s tired.”

Goddess knows what women silently endure in their youth or lifetime, socialized to serve and be agreeable; politely allowing others to claim the spotlight and get the credit we deserve; letting them be right and believe they have the right to define our happiness; allowing them to steamroll our priorities in the name of peace, love and family harmony. We carry the extra burden of diplomacy in much of the relationship, blaming ourselves for the subtle or overt abuse we take and enable, unable to articulate and act on our own wants and desires–making a mystery of what gets masked as the illness of depression. Often, our kindness and willingness to be accommodating get mistaken for weakness, too.

So when a woman’s patience runs out, it can appear unexpected and unreasonable. Especially by those who have benefited from our silence, our bending backwards and forwards to make everyone else’s lives easy. There comes a time when we simply grow too old to keep up the charm and the charade required of the unpaid slavery called marriage and motherhood.

While many continue to live in the shadows, playing second fiddle to the spouse’s plans and schemes, efficiently cleaning up the messy consequences of their bright ideas, I applaud the woman who finds her voice and the courage to stand in her own light, speak her mind, and pursue her own agendas. One might say this is easy for a woman with billions in settlement to make such a move, but we know that not all women who have the means actually do.

Thank you, Melinda French Gates, for rising, for creating your own true Moment of Lift. In your wake, the rest of womankind is lifted by your inspiration and courage, your leadership through your foundation and Pivotal Ventures, your drive for contraception gives women worldwide the gift of control over their destinies. Thank you for walking the talk, standing up for the rest of us while creating possibility for those who don’t or can’t–yet.

Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share how you have honored your voice and strengths thus far, married or not. Melinda’s photos on this page are my favorites from Google Images.

xoxox

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xoxox

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Mountain
    Jun 15, 2021 @ 23:46:13

    There are some of us men, I wish more, that appreciate the women in our lives and other women that we don’t personally know for the things they do and have done. It may be the day-to-day or something extraordinary but these things need to be recognized and acknowledged. I’ve tried in many ways to do just that, acknowledge the talents and accomplishments of women around me. I’m a better person because of these women and Goddesses.

    Mountain

    Reply

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