Michelle and Barack Obama may be one of the examples of a couple goal, but their marriage is not always perfect. In the latest episode of her “The Michelle Obama Podcast”, the former First Lady revealed that she and her husband have had some disagreements that sometimes led to feisty moments between the two.
“You’ve got to know that there are going to be times, long periods of time, when you can’t stand each other… I said it, you know, on the book tour, as a joke,” she said during a conversation with comedian/talk show host Conan O’Brien.
“There were times that I wanted to push Barack out of the window, right,” she continued. “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.”
Noting that a long-lasting marriage endures those difficult times, the 56-year-old shared, “I just want to say, look, 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.”
She went on detailing one of the issues she had in her marriage to the former POTUS, saying having children dramatically changed their dynamic. “I would not trade them in, but whew, they can mess up a marriage,” she confided. While she was ready when they had Sasha and Malia after having fertility issues, she said becoming a mother was the first time that she felt “the sting of gender roles” in their marriage.
“I had to be there, and I had to go, and it was my body, and my husband was still sort of boppin’ around, living his life,” she got candid about her complaints at the time. “The resentment starts to build up, or it started to, it’s like well, what happened to the unit, what happened to my best friend? What happened to my buddy, who’s, at the gym? It’s like, how the hell are you at the gym? You know, dude… I’ve got cabbage on my breast.”
Michelle also revealed their bitter fight when they were still engaged. “I remember, and Barack knows the story when we were engaged, I got mad at him about something, and I took my engagement ring off, and I said ‘Forget this. Who needs this?’ And I threw the ring,” she recalled. “We were in my car, I wasn’t really throwing it out, I threw it where I knew it would go. I didn’t mean it, I wasn’t like, this is it.”
Having gone through those periods, Michelle advised other couples to view marriage like assembling an all-star basketball team. “Because if you’re looking at a team, the people you want to win with, then number one you want everybody on your team to be strong,” she explained. “If we looked at marriage as a real team, you want your teammate to be a winner, then you want LeBron [James, the L.A. Lakers star].”
The mother of two also shared tips on how to find a lifetime partner. “There’s no magic way to make that happen except getting the basics of finding somebody, being honest about wanting to be with them, to date them seriously, to plan on making a commitment, to date them, seeing where it goes, and then making it happen,” she said, adding, “You can’t Tinder your way into a long-term relationship.”