Based solely on the portrayals by the mainstream media, one might assume that former president and first lady Barack and Michelle Obama have always been a happy and loving couple enveloped in everlasting marital bliss.
However, the former first lady recently revealed that there was about a decade of “bad years” in the couple’s marriage during which she “couldn’t stand” her spouse, the U.K.’s The Times reported.
Those were the years in which their daughters, Sasha and Malia, were still very young and the wedded couple were hard at work to “advance their careers.”
“We don’t talk about how much work is required and how hard it is, even when you are madly in love with the person, even when everything works out right,” the former first lady said during an interview to promote her new bestselling book, “The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times.”
Early troubles in the Obama marriage?
The surprising admission from Michelle Obama came roughly two weeks ago in a special televised discussion panel with several other women for Revolt TV that was dubbed “The Cross-Generational Conversation.”
At one point in the discussion, while speaking about her relationship with her husband, Obama revealed, “There were 10 years when I couldn’t stand my husband, and guess when it happened? When those kids were little … but I would take 10 bad years over 30 … it’s just how you look at it.”
“You have to know yourself before you can know who you want to partner with,” she added. “People want to be married and want a partner without knowing [themselves first]. Are you ready for a partner? Are you ready for the compromise, and the sacrifice, and the challenge of it? And then if you are, who do you want to do it with?”
Watching her children grow up
Obama also spent some time during the nearly two-hour event discussing some of the personal issues she has faced while watching her daughters grow up, from protecting them as small children to living in the White House to now being independent young adults who must be allowed to make mistakes on their own in order to learn from them.
“It’s that push and pull of how do I protect my child?” she said. “We feel this until forever, but how do I let them go, so that they can have these experiences? Get bumped on the head, walk off the cliff, walk into a wall? That is the hardest part about parenting, letting them grow and make mistakes.”
Obama further recalled how, during the family’s eight years in the White House, she often thought about how they were “going to exist in the world” once the president’s tenure had concluded.
“Even in their abnormal world, they have to learn how to make friends. They have to learn how to be comfortable at a sleepover. They have to go to prom,” she said.
Interestingly enough, Michelle Obama also revealed that, like many other Americans, she dealt with a deep depression during the height of the pandemic and lockdowns throughout much of 2020, as well as how even after so many years of being a largely beloved public figure, she still gets “terrified” of how she will be publicly received whenever she releases a new book or participates in an event.
“I think there are a lot of young people who look at famous people and think that we don’t experience those doubts,” she said, “but before I put something important out into the world, I am nervous.”
“I just learned to ride that wave [of fear] because what I’ve learned is that what’s on the other side of that wave, as we talk about fear, oftentimes is growth and something good and useful, and it’s worth the risk,” Obama added.