Every marriage has steep hills to climb, but Michelle Obama said if one keeps trudging along and doesn’t quit, he or she could find a beautiful relationship on the other side.
Michelle, who will be married to former President Barack Obama for 28 years next month, gave advice to young couples on “The Michelle Obama Podcast” about relationships. She used her marriage with Barack as an example of how challenging relationships can be and spoke about a common pitfall that she believes many young couples who raise small children fall into during a Sept. 2 episode of her podcast that featured a one-on-one with talk show host Conan O’Brien.
“I find that a lot of young couples that we know around this early childhood stage, when they’re kind of dealing with these stresses and dealing with the first times that they have to share roles … When kids are babies, when they’re young, it’s not the time to start grading your marriage paper, because these are unique times,” she explained.
“But a lot of times young couples, they hit these hard periods and because they’re short-tempered or they’re tired or their sex life is gone, the romance is out of the picture, they give up, because nobody told them that this time is hard,” added Michelle.
The author and public speaker then said that couples should expect to have strong, negative feelings about each that will linger.
“You’ve got to know that there are going to be long periods of time when you can’t stand each other,” said Michelle. “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.”
She continued. “But that doesn’t mean you quit, and these periods can last a long time, they can last years. But we don’t talk about that so 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.”
It wasn’t the first time that Michelle spoke about the challenges her marriage faced. She opened up about them in her book “Becoming” and revealed in 2018 on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” that she and Barack once had to attend marriage counseling.
In that interview, Michelle said that she initially went to counseling to “fix” Barack but found out that she could also do things in their marriage better. The couple met in 1989 while working at a Chicago law firm and married three years later.
But Michelle doesn’t suggest that people follow her exact footsteps when it comes to marriage. In fact, she said it’s important, especially for women, to wait until they jump the broom.
“I think a man’s inclination to wait and kind of go out there and search, get himself ready, I think is a good instinct that more young women should think about,” she advised. “‘Cause you have to know who you are to know who you’re looking for.”