Anthony “Tony” Robbins was first married in 1984 at only 24 years old. He became an instant father to the children of his older wife Rebecca Jenkins. Finally divorcing in 1998, he met second wife Bonnie “Sage” Robbins (née Humphrey) in 1999 and married her in 2001 – getting his personal happy ending.
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Married too young and for the wrong reasons
Tony Robbins was only 24 years old when he married his first wife Rebecca “Becky” Jenkins in 1984. She was not only 11 years older than him but already twice-divorced with three children. Why any 24-year-old would enter a relationship as unbalanced as this one is beyond us.
Tony had a difficult childhood. He was the protector of his younger brother and sister from their alcoholic and abusive mother. And they were poor. He got out when he was 17. His many successes ever since he started his business as a life and business coach are his own. So are his failures, which he admits to freely.
Perhaps he just wanted a family when he married Becky. He even adopted her three children, the oldest of whom only 7 years his junior. And Tony is a self-confessed people pleaser. He knew even as he stood in front of the altar that he was making a mistake. And he married her anyway.
Two years into his marriage, at 26, Tony started his business and became incredibly successful with it. In the intervening years, he had much to say about love, relationships, marriage and loving one another, which is not always the same thing. His marriage appeared stable and successful and it was one of the things his fans admired about him.
But things always appear different on the outside looking in. And inside, things weren’t great at all.
Getting a divorce after much soul-searching
It was roughly in 1997 that it became obvious to Tony that he could no longer live a lie. And that lie was his marriage. He’s held onto it for as long as he could, which also meant seeing to it that his youngest child would reach maturity before Tony would take the step to look after his own happiness.
It seemed important to him to raise his children to adulthood and so he stayed in a marriage that grew more and more unhappy over the years.
He and his wife were probably too different in the end. The age difference may not even have been the deciding factor. After all, it does somehow diminish over the years and becomes less relevant as one grows older. But Tony confessed that he and Becky simply had different life goals.
After much soul-searching, Tony and Becky decided to divorce. But things weren’t exactly smooth on the way out. Rumour has it that the divorce turned contentious and took two years to be dissolved. We have no reliable source for such a claim, but it did take a little while for the divorce to be finalized and the only thing we can think of that may have dragged the proceedings out is money.
Tony did start his business from nothing when he was 26 and he made a fortune in the years he was married to Becky. Obviously, there would not have been a prenup. But at the same time Tony strikes us as such an honourable guy that he would surely have taken care that Becky was looked after financially after the divorce. So was there a problem? And if so, what was it?
We don’t know. Tony only ever admitted that he married for the wrong reasons and that the decision to get a divorce was one of the most difficult of his life. But it was the right one. Otherwise he would never have met the love of his life.
A divorce scandal?
Tony met Bonnie “Sage” Humphrey in 1999. Apparently, they were introduced through a business connection. Some say they met at one of his seminars.
At the time Sage was still married, but she and her estranged husband John Lynch had been separated for some time. Apparently, John only found out that his wife was dating Tony because he’d seen a picture of the two in the tabloids.
Rumours emerged that Bonnie had been cheating on John with Tony, which was supposedly the reason for Sage’s and John’s split.
None of it sounds very likely and none of it can be confirmed.
By that time Tony was divorced from his first wife, but even that was blamed on Sage, even though she and Tony only met after he had filed for divorce from his first wife. And her own estranged husband seems to have been misguided by bitterness and perhaps jealousy. Sage for her part denied any cheating allegations and said that her divorce had nothing to do with Tony.
Not exactly an auspicious start to their relationship.
Married happily ever after
Though perhaps it’s not the worst that can happen to a budding romance: to overcome some of the worst difficulties right in the beginning. At least that way both Tony and Sage know what they are made of and whether or not they truly want to be together.
Clearly, they did. The two married in 2001 and when you hear them talk in interviews, especially an interview they had with Oprah, then the two couldn’t be happier.
According to Tony, his decision to divorce was one of the hardest he had to face. But he also says that he wouldn’t have had the good fortune to be with Sage otherwise. It was, therefore, the right decision to make. A blessing in disguise, as they say.
Tony and Sage do seem very well suited to each other and their happiness is quite obvious. They’ve been married for 16 years now, which is longer than Tony’s first marriage, and they are still going strong.
Chances are that they’ll add another 16 years to that and then another 16 years.