Marriages have ups and downs. That is a fact. And our favorite power couple is no less immune to them than us. In an exclusive report made by New York Daily News, Michelle and Barack Obama speak openly about the rough patch they hit a few years back, just after the birth of their second daughter. Read the excerpts below, and discover how we, just like them, can make it work.
Michelle was the one expected to bear most of the parenting burden that only intensified with the birth of Sasha. A nagging concern she wasn’t afraid to share with Barack was that he seemed willing to put politics ahead of the family.
“You only think about yourself,” she would say. “I never thought I’d have to raise a family alone.” Barack, convinced that whatever time he devoted to his career would ultimately benefit his wife and daughter, shrugged off the criticism.
“Like a lot of husbands,” said one of her friends, “Barack couldn’t figure out what her problem was. All her complaints about him being a slob, he thought they were petty. It was ‘Why are you bothering me with this crap while I’m busy changing the world?’”
“It’s ‘me first’ with him, and that’s how it is with all men,” she said. “For women, ‘me’ comes in about fourth. That’s not healthy, and that’s not the way I’m going to live.”
“I love Michelle, but she’s killing me with this constant criticism,” Barack confided to Madelyn (Toot) Dunham, the white grandmother who raised him. For the first time he wondered aloud, as Michelle did to her mother, if they were going to make it as a couple.
But when they discovered their daughter Sasha had been diagnosed with meningitis, followed by the devastating events of Sept. 11, 2001, the Obamas were brought closer together than they had been in years.
Still, the time would come again when Michelle would reach what she would later describe as “a state of desperation.” Michelle delivered an ultimatum: If Barack couldn’t find a way to pursue his political dreams and make more time for his family, he would have to choose between the two.
In time, Michelle made the conscious decision that, in fact, she would be the one to adjust to the circumstances he created – and not vice versa. “This was the epiphany,” she said. “What I figured out was that I was pushing to make Barack be something I wanted him to be for me. I was depending on him to make me happy. Except it didn’t have anything to do with him. I needed support. I didn’t necessarily need it from Barack.”