Michelle Obama and Barack Obama have been married since October 1992 and are parents to two daughters.
Marriages are complicated and sometimes, they get so complicated that people decide that it's not worth it anymore. There are numerous challenges that a married couple faces during the course of their relationship but not all couples manage to move past them. Those who have been in longterm marriages are likely to have more insight into what makes it work. Michelle Obama, who will be celebrating her 28th wedding anniversary with Barack Obama in October 2020, opened up about the hiccups in her relationship and how she powered through them.
The former first lady opened up during an episode of The Michelle Obama Podcast while speaking with Conan O’Brien, who has been married since 2002. She focussed on the importance of not giving up when challenges arise. "There were times that I wanted to push Barack out of the window. And I say that because it’s like, you’ve got to know the feelings will be intense. But that doesn’t mean you quit," she said. "And these periods can last a long time. They can last years," she was quoted as saying by People magazine.
Michelle had previously revealed in her memoir Becoming about her difficulty conceiving. The Obamas, who have been married since October 1992, were able to have their daughters, Sasha and Malia, through in-vitro fertilization (IVF), according to People magazine. As new parents, the couple had to balance their law careers and Barack's burgeoning political career.
Speaking about their early years, she said in her Netflix documentary, "He was very different, and he was different from me, and he challenged me in different ways. I knew he was a tsunami coming after me, and if I didn't get my act together, I would be swept up. I didn't want to just be an appendage to his dreams. So that forced me to work and think, and make decisions like leaving law."
On her podcast, she threw more light on what time has taught her about young couples. "Young couples, they face these challenges and they’re ready to give up because they think they’re broken. And I just want to say, look, if that breaks a marriage, then Barack and I have been broken off and on, throughout our marriage, but we have a very strong marriage. And if I had given up on it, if I had walked away from it, in those tough times, then I would’ve missed all the beauty that was there as well," the mother of two said, according to People.
The former lawyer is also very exacting with her advice about finding the right partner. She likens choosing a partner to "picking your basketball team." "We’d have better marriages if you’re looking at a team, the people you want to win with, then number one, you want everybody on your team to be strong, right? You don’t want any weak links, you don’t want somebody that you can dominate. Also, if you’re on a team, you’ve got to be able to do everything —especially in basketball, it’s like, you would never pick somebody that says, 'I only dribble. I don’t shoot, I don’t defend, I just dribble,'" she explained.
Her advice for young people choosing a partner and embarking on a new chapter in their lives shows that she is an independent woman who knew what she wanted. She suggests that people see their partners "in an array of situations."
"There’s no magic way to make that happen except getting the basics of finding somebody, being honest about wanting to be with them, to date them seriously, to plan on making a commitment, to date them, seeing where it goes, and then making it happen," she said. “You can’t Tinder your way into a long-term relationship," she added, taking a dig at the younger generation.
The one half of the power couple has revealed previously that she always wanted to be honest when sharing their story with the world. She said that she wants people to know about the realities of a longterm relationship. "Because we're role models, it's important for us to be honest and say, if you're in a marriage and there are times you want to leave, that’s normal — because I felt that way," she said.