Melinda French Gates reveals her "lowest moment" was making the decision to leave Bill Gates

Melinda French Gates reveals her "lowest moment" was making the decision to leave Bill Gates

The 57-year-old started by reflecting on her work before diving into some of the personal challenges she has faced in her life.

Melinda French Gates has recently shared some details about her commitment towards her philanthropic efforts and some of her personal challenges in life, including her divorce from Bill Gates. After being named one of USA Today's Women of the Year, a title that recognizes "women across the country who have made a significant impact," on Monday, Gates shared a little speech that included these details. 

The 57-year-old started by reflecting on her work of making investments towards helping advance equality for women and people of color. She went on to share her hope of creating a change in the lives of women and families around the globe through her work. Ultimately, she opened up about a few of the personal challenges that she has had to face throughout her life. 

Source: Getty Images | Photo by Leigh Vogel/WireImage

"We all have low moments," the billionaire philanthropist said during an interview. "I would say probably, though, for sure, my lowest moment in life was when I finally reached the decision that I knew I needed to leave my marriage." Her divorce from Bill Gates was finalized in August last year, according to PEOPLE.

"That wasn't something I ever thought would happen to me. It certainly wasn't what I thought on the day I got married, but I realized for myself, I needed to make a healthier choice. That was just a very, very sad day," she continued explaining. In a bid to get through these tough times, Gates said she relied on people she can "be authentic with" and continues to do so.

"I surround myself with people who have good values and are like-minded in the sense of caring about others. A group of people that I can be authentic with and I can pick up the phone in tears and talk to them or say, 'Can we go for a walk?'" she added. "They're there on my saddest days and my most joyful days and vice versa. I'm there for them."


"Without that group of people around me, friends and a few colleagues, I don't know how I would've gotten through some of my toughest days, particularly in the last couple of years," she said of the people who have always been there for her. She also loves spending time outside in nature and reflecting on things that she's grateful for. 

"I learned maybe a decade ago that no matter what your day has been like — good, bad, highs, lows — if you write down three things that you're grateful for, every day, just having that simple gratitude practice, it just fills you with joy," shared Gates, who is committed to helping women. "What I know about women is that when you invest in them, they invest in everybody else. They lift their kids up, they lift up their community, they lift up their society. So I get a lot of passion and excitement when I see women who are becoming empowered," she added.

Cover image source: Getty | Photo by Leigh Vogel/WireImage

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