“I think we came out of it whole,” the former president said in an interview with People magazine.
The Obamas make love look easy but former President Barack Obama says his union with his wife, former first lady Michelle, was anything but during their time in the White House.
Obama recently debuted his latest memoir A Promised Land and he gets real about his marriage to Michelle. He says as he was trying to run the country he could feel the difference in their relationship. He sat down with People magazine to share that despite their struggle he feels they came out stronger.
“I think we came out of it whole,” he tells the magazine. “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.”
But despite the happy ending Obama says when he first disclosed to his wife that he was interested in running for president she didn’t jump for joy. She knew the life of a political wife all too well due to his time as a state, and then a US, senator. In the book, he recounts those first discussions they had about him running for the nation’s highest office.
“She gave me a hard look and got up from the couch. ‘God, Barack…When is it going to be enough?’ ” writes Obama. “Before I could answer, she’d gone into the bedroom and closed the door.”
But he says despite her reservations she always rose to the occasion.
“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,” says Obama, “so she would tamp it down.”
He goes on to say that once their time in the White House came to an end they were able to get back on track in their relationship.
“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 the possibility of her opening up … but more importantly, just her being able to let out a breath and relax.”
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