We’ve seen some high profile divorces. Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, readily comes to mind.
One of the most enduring questions has yet to be answered. Why do billionaires have successful careers but fail miserably in marriage? This question is recurrent due to the number of billionaires getting divorced.
From a study, America’s billionaires’ divorce at the same rate as the average person. These billionaires got married 72 times, with 35 of those marriages ending in divorce, placing their divorce rate at 49%.
Here in Africa, we’ve seen some high profile divorces. Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, easily comes to mind. In 2021, Bill and Melinda Gates separated, becoming the latest billionaires to become divorced.
According to experts, billionaires get divorced for different reasons. Let’s have a look.
Incompatible money values
One of the major reasons billionaires are getting divorced is due to unsynchronised financial priorities. This is usually due to one partner being a saver and the other a spender. It, therefore, becomes harder to maintain an expensive lifestyle.
A similar case is when one spouse earns a lot of money, and the other doesn’t work. The underlying economic difference becomes an issue. According to Federal Reserve Board research, “the greater the credit score disparity between a couple, the more likely they will divorce within the first five years”.
The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, as the economy improves and revenue increases, more couples may face difficulties. From the study, during an economic boom, the divorce rate increased rather than decreased during an economic boom.
Too much separate time
When the high-income earner has a profession that involves travelling and long hours, this may strain their marriage and force them to spend a lot of time apart.
When one spouse is never around, it’s tough to salvage a rocky relationship. Also, billionaires travel extensively. They’re continuously flying from one place to the next, conducting business all around the globe.
This is not a good environment to build a healthy, balanced relationship. Even if the relationship maintains contact, it can be difficult to get back into the same rhythm when one of the partners returns home.
This is because everyone must have adjusted to a new pattern when the spouse returns home, which can be highly demanding on any relationship.
Having opposing viewpoints
Most marriages reach a point where their future goals diverge. It’s one of the most popular grounds for divorce among billionaires. Having divergent perspectives about the future might lead to arguments and dissatisfaction.
One of the partners may like to take a break from work to travel or spend time with the children; the other wishes to continue generating billions and working long hours.
Is it possible to reconcile these two opposing viewpoints? Most of the time, it leads to divorce.
Billionaires have a lot on their plate
One of the common reasons high net worth people get divorced is because one partner is always working while the other is not. This is because high net worth individuals are always busy. They have a lot to do.
Some neither have time for themselves nor their families. They work round the clock. Although their money is working for them, it comes at the expense of their time.
Imagine having billions worth of investments with people depending on you to ensure their jobs are still there. All these and more are dependent on you and your everyday decisions.
Jam-packed social events calender
A billionaire’s work and social calendar are always jam-packed with dinners, gatherings, galas, among other things, on top of being extremely busy with business. This is a lot of work.
These events are always exhausting as you must always present yourself in the best light, relate with the best behaviour, speak to people you may like or not, and play a part. The excessiveness of this tends to lead to divorce decisions.