The Obamas are the first family that Americans (and the world) will talk about for years to come. The powerful couple has been an example of relationship goals among all age groups and they managed to successfully fuse politics and pop culture, even more so after former President Barack Obama and his family moved out of the White House.
Former first lady Michelle launched many of her own campaigns and even published a best-selling novel, Becoming, which has raised over $ 60 million as of 2019, NBC News reported.
During her press runs for memoirs, Michelle candidly spoke about intimate details about her family, including marital disputes with Barack. She does not paint the couple as “perfect” in any way and even reveals that she and her husband used the couples’ advice for a variety of reasons. During these sessions, Michelle revealed that she learned a lot about herself and the complexities of her marriage.
Let’s take a closer look at the real reason Michelle Obama went to couples therapy and why she’s opening up about the experience.
Michelle Obama reveals her ‘tacky’ love story
At first glance, the backstory of Barack and Michelle Obama feels like a romance novel waiting to be written. According to Inside Person, they met in 1989 at the Chicago law firm where she worked as an attorney.
Twenty-five-year-old Michelle Robinson was commissioned to advise a 28-year-old law student named Barack. Michelle assumed, according to ABC News, that this pairing made sense to the law firm since both professionals had attended Harvard University. “There was a little intrigue,” said Michelle, but when Barack invited her out a month after the concert, he remembered thinking “no way. This is completely tacky”.
She finally accepted the first date at a museum, and two years and many dates later, Barack and Michelle were engaged. They were married in October 1992. In their wedding vows, “Barack didn’t pledge riches, only a life that would be interesting,” she recalled. On July 4, 1998, Michelle gave birth to her first daughter, Malia Ann, and on July 10, 2001, Natasha (aka Sasha) was born.
In 2004, things really began to get interesting when Barack was elected to the United States Senate by Illinois. Four years later, Michelle stood with her husband when he was elected the 44th President of the United States.
Throughout his tenure in the spotlight, there was never a time when the power couple seemed to fight. However, Michelle then shed some light on the darker corners of their marriage and the advice that helped them endure.
Couple therapy was a “turning point” for the Obamas
During post-launch interviews for her memoirs, Michelle Obama spoke frankly about her experience with marriage counseling. The former first lady told host Jimmy Fallon that she got in thinking that a professional would help her partner change. “I was one of those wives who thought, ‘I’m taking you to marriage counseling so you can be fixed, Barack Obama. Because I was like, ‘I’m perfect.”
“And lo and behold, counseling wasn’t that at all,” she told Oprah Winfrey. “It was about me exploring my sense of happiness and my voice … I couldn’t look to Barack and he couldn’t look to me to be everything.”
Michelle said that learning to root herself and her children was vital. She determined that her life with “this one-person deviant dervish” would require her to set limits (eg, bedtime for children at a certain time), and it would be her responsibility to “catch up with them”.
“Marriage counseling was a turning point for me,” she told Fallon. “I had to learn how to fill myself up and how to put myself higher on my priority list”, Michelle now hopes to help others learn from her experience.
Michelle Obama keeps it real for young couples
While many couples of all ages see Barack and Michelle Obama as the perfect match, the former first lady says she wants to be open about the difficulties and struggles in their relationship because there are so many young couples looking at their marriage through a filter – without their daily relationship dilemmas exposed for the world to witness.
“I want young people to know that marriage is work. Even the best marriages require work,” she said during an appearance on Tonight’s Show with Jimmy Fallon. ”
It’s a choice that you make again and again and again.” Michelle urged young couples to not quit when it gets difficult or problems arise. “If you’re married for 50 years and 10 of them are horrible, you’re doing really good”, she joked.
NBC News reported in 2019 that Becoming was becoming one of the best-selling memories in history. The book was also the inspiration behind the Netflix documentary of the same name, which premiered on May 6, 2022.