By Francis Ewherido
“Some years ago, a 99-year-old Italian man filed for divorce of his 96-year-old wife of 77 years. Reason: The wife had an affair over 60 years ago, but the man just stumbled on the evidence, letters she wrote the lover boy. Only God knows why she was still keeping those letters! When he confronted her, she owned up to the affair.
Swiftly, the man filed for divorce…. Al Gore’s, former US Vice President under Bill Clinton, and his wife, Tipper Gore, separated after 40 years of marriage! In 1998, the 38 years marriage of Frederik Willem de Klerk, the last President of apartheid-era South Africa, to his wife, Marike de Klerk, collapsed due to the former’s infidelity.
Marriage always reminds me of St. Paul’s admonition: ‘whoever thinks he is standing firm had better be careful that he does not fall’ (1Corinthians 10:12).” These are excerpts from my first article on this column, November 16, 2013.
Last week, the world was jolted when Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man and founder of Amazon,announced via twitter that he and Mackenzie Bezos, his wife of 25 years, were divorcing. Ironically, it was in September, barely four months ago, when they went partying to celebrate their silver jubilee. People who saw them then said they seemed to be happy. So what went wrong less than four months after?
Undoubtedly, what broke the camel’s back was the emergence of Lauren Sanchez, a former television Presenter, in the life of Bezos. Sanchez and her estranged husband, Patrick Whitesell, have been socialising with Mr. and Mrs. Bezos for a while now.
They are friends(?)as well as neighbours. Once Sanchez and Whitesell separated, a relationship soon developed between Bezos and Sanchez. Fresh revelations say the relationship started before the separation and Whitesell and Mackenzie were painfully aware.
Apparently, either Bezos or Sanchez had been eyeing the other, or the eyeing was mutual long before the affair started.No be today.Most times, the threats to your marriage are not far away: they are family, friends, neighbours and things around you.
I have spent time examining the photos of Mackenzie and Sanchez. Sanchez, though glamourous, does not look more beautiful than Mackenzie to me. Age wise she is older; Mackenzie is 48, Sanchez is 49. So we cannot say it is the lure of a younger blood that took Bezos away from Mackenzie to Sanchez.
So why would Bezos risk losing half of his fortune in divorce settlement by dumping his wife for a slightly older woman? Financial analysts have said the stakes could even be higher than that. The bulk of Bezos’ fortune is in his shareholding in Amazon (about 16 per cent), a company he founded from his garage in 1994.
Half of it can go to Mackenzie in divorce settlement. It means Mackenzie can decide to offload the shares into the market; it will have far reaching implications on the share price of Amazon, which stood at $1670.98 as at January 15, 2019, and the current value of the company. The ripple effect cannot be predicted by a layman like me.
Bezos will likely lose his number one position as the world’s richest man by the time he is through with the divorce. If Mackenzie decides to sell her shares in Amazon after the divorce settlement, Bezos net worth might plummet further. Yet all these earth-shaking possibilities are not enough to deter him; he is going ahead with the divorce.
What can be pushing him into travelling this risky road? If it was in Africa, some people will say juju, but that does not apply here. Sanchez, is a very adventurous woman and Bezos is definitely adventurous. You do not get that rich by being conventional. So is the pull the mutual trait for adventure? Or is Sanchez doing things to Bezos in the other room that he neither knew existed, nor experienced with Mackenzie?
Is it lust or infatuation? Wealth, knowledge, intelligence and position do not cure people of these two. Is Bezos unhappy in his marriage and in search of “happiness” or is Sanchez a gold digger, who lured Bezos away from Mackenzie? Enwer’ohwofaberien (It is very difficult to understand what goes on in another person’s mind), so we would not know what is pushing Bezos into throwing away his 25-year-old marriage and potentially half of his fortune.
As at January 15, 2019, Bezos was worth $146.45b, with Amazon shares accounting for $131.83b (90 percent) of his net worth. If his wealth is evenly split with Mackenzie, he will be down to $73.22b, while Mackenzie’s net worth will be up by the same figure, of course, minus taxes and lawyers’ legal fees. You can see the stakes are up there, but Bezos does not seem to be deterred. Whatever he is left with after divorce will remain gargantuan anyway.
The fragility of marriage is scary. You would think that a marriage that has survived for 25 years would endure to the end, but it does not always work that way. Sometimes, the marriage has been on sick bed or life support. Unless those involved make deliberate efforts to revive it, a gentle breeze called Sanchez can easily tip it over. Breeze Sanchez will become the proximate cause of the death of the marriage, but there were underlying factors. The scarier scenario, however, is when one spouse wakes up with a brainwave and before you blink, marriage is over.
One of the dangers of extramarital affair is that it easily exposes the flaws in your spouse that you were either not aware of, glossed over, or ignored. Things can just get complicated thereafter. Imagine your wife is an average cook. Over the years you have gotten used to her average cooking. Then you get entangled with a great cook.
All of a sudden, the scales fall off your eyes and you realise you have been with a “lousy” cook. If you are not careful, you forget about all the other great attributes of your wife and focus on her lousy cooking. Before you know it, resentment builds and if you do not arrest the drift, your marriage is over in a twinkle of an eye.
Marriage has its troubles, but what about divorce or separation and other options? Do not be rash or superficial in taking fundamental decisions concerning your marriage? Do not also take decisions about your marriage while in a whirlwind romance with another party.
Only the test of fire makes fine steel and that your new, sweet relationship has not gone through that test of fire. Unless for really hellish marriages, the grass is scarcely greener on the other side; be well advised.Read Full Story