“There are going to be tough times, long periods of time where you can’t stand each other,” the former first lady, 56, told Conan O’Brien on “The Michelle Obama Podcast” on Wednesday, September 2. “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. And these periods can last a long time. They can last years.”
She continued, “Young couples, they face these challenges and they’re ready to give up because they think they’re broken. … 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 Conan host, 57, commended Michelle for talking “very openly” about seeking marriage counseling with Barack, 59, in her 2018 memoir, Becoming.
“My wife [Liza Powel O’Brien] and I, at one point, decided we should go talk to someone together — not because we were thinking at all about going our separate ways, not because anything was in trouble, but because I found that the biggest … cancer to me in any relationship is resentment,” he said.
The attorney agreed that communication is a vital component of a strong marriage. She then called her husband’s presidency “the ultimate test” for them.
“As the first lady, I am married to the commander in chief,” she explained. “Everybody [is] saluting this guy. What is it like when your partner is the most powerful man in the house, in the world, and everybody salutes him? And the entire presidency, rightfully so, is set up to protect and make life easy for the president, which means that, in a marriage of equals, the other partner is second because the entire institution says, ‘No, you’re first lady, which means you’re second person under all the rules of life. The commander in chief takes precedent.”
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