Doing this supposedly menial household chore together means they want to ensure balance in their relationship even after three decades of togetherness.
Founders of the world's largest private charitable foundation in the world and one of the richest couples, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates and wife Melinda Gates are like any other couple when it comes to ensuring balance in their relationship. They have been married for 26 years now and still seem to give their hundred percent to the marriage and responsibilities they have towards one another.
In an interview with Business Insider, philanthropist Melinda revealed a secret of their marriage which proves that being billionaires does not stop them from drawing happiness from the simple moments of life. In fact, it's these simple moments that make their bond so strong. She revealed that despite their busy schedules they make time to wash dishes together every night and they haven't broken this ritual for a long time.
One of the cornerstones of a strong and healthy marriage is "balance." The mother-of-three believes that when both the partners share responsibilities together it adds value to the relationship and creates a healthy environment for the family to nurture. There is no blaming each other or feeling captive in the marriage. When both partners step up to do household chores together it assures them that they can fall back on each other and a sense of guardianship forms.
But the Gates, who got married in 1994, have made sure that this ritual should not be broken and they share each other's household burden even after 26 years of marriage.
In her book, The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World, the billionaire philanthropist revealed the incident that gave rise to this ritual and it will resonate with all the mothers and wives out there.
"One night I realized I was still in the kitchen a good 10, 15 minutes after everybody else doing the last-minute things," Melinda told Business Insider. "Sometimes in the moment my frustration or anger just comes out. So one night we stood up after dinner and people in the family started to melt away, like, off they go upstairs. So hand on my hips, I'm like, 'Nobody leaves the kitchen until I leave the kitchen!'" she added.
This incident started the dishwashing ritual in the family as they realized that this is not just her work to do.
Like this ritual of theirs, Bill and Melinda have formed beautiful moments and features in their relationship that has kept them happily together since 1987 despite going through some really tough times as a couple.
“We’ve just gotten to a point where Bill and I can both laugh about more things,” the 55-year-old said. “And, believe me, I can remember some days that were so incredibly hard in our marriage where you thought: ‘Can I do this?’” the Independent quotes Melinda.
From the very beginning, they knew that they cannot let their family life suffer because of work. Therefore, when they took the step, they sorted out these concerns and worked out their own set of relationship rules that would help them double the happiness in their marital life.
“When he was having trouble making the decision about getting married, he was incredibly clear that it was not about me, it was about ‘Can I get the balance right between work and family life?’” She went on to credit Bill for treating her as an equal in their marriage and that helps them stay on track.
Bill too acknowledges the fact that they are partners in all aspects of their lives and that keeps them so invested in the marriage. In one of his annual open letters, Bill wrote, “Some people see Melinda as the heart of our foundation, the emotional core. But just as she knows I’m more emotional than people realize, I know she’s more analytical than people realize. When I get really enthusiastic about something, I count on her to make sure I’m being realistic," the Microsoft CEO wrote, according to Goalcast. “We are partners in both senses that people use the word these days: at home and at work.”