Melania Trump is rumored to be "counting down the minutes" until she could divorce her 74-year-old husband, ever since he lost his presidential chair.

According to ex-Trump aides, the 51-year-old former model had "checked out", mentally and emotionally, from her role as a wife in her "very strange marriage".

The couple met each other in 1998 and got married seven years later.

Former aide and friend of the Slovenian native, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, described their marriage as "transactional".

"Donald got arm candy, the Vogue cover legitimized Melania which legitimized Donald as well, and Melania got two dynamic decades," Wolkoff told BBC’s Newsnight.

"She was a young model, she was striving, she didn’t have the success yet. She met Donald, she married, she had a son, she became an American citizen and 10 years after that, she is the first lady of the United States."

"So I do believe it was a magic moment and I also believe it was a made-for-TV moment," Wolkoff added.

In her book, The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump, Washington Post reporter Mary Jordan wrote that the First Lady intentionally delayed moving into the White House with her son Barron in 2017 so she could renegotiate her prenup, signed 12 years before Trump became the president.

"The reports of his infidelities, his affairs with Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, infuriated Melania. They were so apart that people worried that she actually could walk (away from the marriage)," Jordan told the paper.

"But what I heard over and over again was that a bunker mentality developed, and she felt closer to him because both of them were taking criticism," she added.

The rumors of the divorce have resurfaced after Trump lost his presidential powers.

"If Melania were to try to pull the ultimate humiliation and leave while he’s in office, he would find a way to punish her," Former The Apprentice star and ex-aide Omarosa Manigault Newman said.

If the couple decides to get legally separated, Melania could possibly walk off with a much bigger settlement than that received by Trump’s former wives.

Trump divorced his first wife, Ivana, in 1992. The couple has three children Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric. She got a whopping US$14 million, according to The New York Times.

Marla Maples, Trump’s second wife, who wanted US$25 million finally settled for US$2 million. The couple got divorced in 1999. They have a daughter, Tiffany.

Melania has been married to Trump the longest, and so possibly could have used this to her benefit in prenup negotiations.

However, sources close to the couple say that it is very unlikely that they would separate "legally".

"The likelihood is 99.99 percent they will stay together. I’d truly be shocked if Melania formally separated and divorced from her husband," R Couri Hay, a "friendly acquaintance" of the Trumps, told The Times.

"She grew up in a pseudo-communist difficult life. When she married, she wanted stability, romantic stability, financial stability, and through it all the one thing still standing is that marriage," Hay said.

Kate Andersen Brower, author of First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies, agreed.

"Melania is one of the few people who hasn’t abandoned Trump."

"When you feel like you’re under siege, it does make some marriages stronger," she said.

melania trump and donald trump
Melania Trump and Donald Trump Melania Trump/ Twitter

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