Fierce

Barack Obama Opened Up About How The White House Strained His Marriage To Michelle— “my heart would suddenly tighten”

In Barack Obama’s newest 768 page memoir, A Promised Land, the former president sheds some light on his covetable marriage to his wife Michelle Obama. In the honest memoir, the former president recalls the moments that threatened the strength of his marriage to the former first lady recalling how he consulted with his wife about running for president when it was already too late; he’d already done quite a bit of work without telling her.

“She gave me a hard look and got up from the couch. ‘God, Barack…When is it going to be enough?'” Obama explained in the memoir. “Before I could answer, she’d gone into the bedroom and closed the door.”

Speaking about their marriage in the memoir and with People Magazine for a new interview, Obama explains how his role as president created a rift in their relationship that he thought was once impossible to repair.

Obama explains that his time in the White House was wracked with marital tension.

“Michelle very much believed in the work I did but was less optimistic about what I could get done. … She’s more skeptical about politics and more mindful of the sacrifices to the family,” he revealed.

Still, Obama says “I think we came out of it whole… There were great joys in the White House. There was never a time where we didn’t recognize what an extraordinary privilege it was to be there. Most importantly, our children emerged intact and they are wonderful, kind, thoughtful, creative — and not entitled — young women. So that’s a big sigh of relief.”

In an interview with People, Obama opened up about the part his role as president had on affecting the happiness of his wife and the former first lady.

People describes politics as “a blood sport” which Michelle Obama always hated and how Obama’s “preternatural ease” contributed to the feelings of loneliness she felt while in the White House.

“There were times where I think she was frustrated or sad or angry but knew that I had Afghanistan or the financial crisis to worry about,” Obama explaned, “so she would tamp it down.”

Addressing a passage in his latest memoir, Obama recalled “There were nights when lying next to Michelle in the dark, I’d think about those days when everything between us felt lighter when her smile was more constant and our love less encumbered,” he writes, “and my heart would suddenly tighten at the thought that those days might not return.”

Fortunately, People asked if they ever found their way back to those days.

“We did,” Obama told the magazine. “It was like a big exhale right after we left office… It took some time to talk about how she had felt… Once [the presidency] was done, there was possibility of her opening up … but more importantly, just her being able to let out a breath and relax.”

Obama shared that these days the former First Lady is “more relaxed and more joyful since we left office.” The resulting effect has been that it has allowed the Obamas “to just enjoy the deep love that comes with a marriage this long. But also to be friends again.”

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