According to a recent news article from AL.com, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley's wife filed for divorce, citing an irretrievable breakdown of their marriage.
Both the governor and his estranged wife are 72 years of age and were married in 1965. The couple has four children as a result of the marriage. Specifically, her complaint stated there was a “complete incompatibility of temperament” and they are not longer living together and have not been living together since January of this year. In court filings, her address was listed as being in Tuscaloosa, while his is listed as being in Montgomery.
Prior to the recent filing, the governor and his wife had been seen together at public appearances, and this did not end after the filing, as the state's first couple was seen at an event at the governor's mansion.
The governor was attending medical school, and he met his wife during his first year at the school. The governor's wife earned her degree in bacteriology from the University of Tuscaloosa, and she found a job in the school's medical lab, earning around $300 per month. She used this money to help her future husband pay for medical school. When he finished his medical residency in Birmingham, the couple moved to Tuscaloosa. They lived there and raised their children until Bentley became interested in running for office.
Many might wonder why a couple would stay together as long as they have and file for divorcewhen they have not done so for the many years that preceded the decision to formally dissolve their marriage. As it turns out, it is not uncommon for a couple to decide to dissolve a marriage, even if they have been living together and married for decades. These days, people have realized that if they are not happy in their current situation, it is never too late to consider making a change. Another reason a couple might now be more likely to get a divorce, or at least one party who is unhappy in a marriage might do so, is because there is no longer the same stigma that was associated with getting a divorce. The economy has also recovered, which gives couples the economic independence to feel comfortable with going separate ways.
As for Bentley and his wife, the governor first ran for office with the state legislature in 1998. His wife was at his side the entire time and was again at his side when he ran successfully in 2002. His wife continued to support him through his rise to governor of Alabama. During the 2010 campaign, his wife drove him around the state, so he could meet with prospective voters and gain enough support to win the gubernatorial election.
Some of the governor's political opponents have called for him to resign as result of tough times in the legislature and his pending divorce. They have said there is no way he can effectively do his job while handling his divorce. However, with the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney, most people are able to maintain much of their normal life and handle their professional responsibilities during a divorce.
Gov. Robert Bentley's wife filing for divorce, August 28, 2015, AL.com, by Jeremy Gray