Former first lady Michelle Obama discussed her marriage to former President Barack Obama and offered advice to younger couples during a recent episode of The Michelle Obama Podcast, explaining that she has, at times, wanted to “push Barack out of the window.”
With her 28th wedding anniversary just weeks away, the former first lady offered some romantic advice on a recent episode of her Spotify podcast, harping on the realities of marriage and the importance of working through hard times alongside episode guest Conan O’Brien:
Last week on The #MichelleObamaPodcast, Conan and I reflected on our marriages. This relationship can be one of the most foundational pieces of our identities—bringing us so much joy, meaning, and support every single day. But one thing is for sure: It also takes a lot of work; a lot of honesty with ourselves and our partners. That’s one thing I’ve learned. I’d love to hear some of the things you’ve learned about marriage and about yourself. Let me know in the comments. ❤
“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. But that doesn’t mean you quit,” Obama said. “And these periods can last a long time. They can last years.”
“You want LeBron [James]. You don’t want the guy, third row on the bench, who didn’t make the team, but we often don’t think about that,” she said, offering advice to those looking for their partner by likening the process to assembling a basketball team. “What you’re supposed to say is, ‘I have married LeBron. My version of LeBron.’”
“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, right? You don’t want any weak links, you don’t want somebody that you can dominate,” she explained, adding, “also, if you’re on a team, you’ve got to be able to do everything — especially in basketball, it’s like, you would never pick somebody that says, ‘I only dribble. I don’t shoot, I don’t defend, I just dribble.’”
Obama also explained that younger people who hit rough patches in their relationships are sometimes too quickly “ready to give up because they think they’re broken” when faced with challenges. But challenges can make the relationship stronger in the long run, she stressed.
“And 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,” she said.
“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,” Obama explained.
“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 that you “can’t Tinder your way into a long-term relationship.”
Michelle and Barack will celebrate their 28th wedding anniversary October 3.
Obama has made waves since the launch of her podcast, stating she felt as though she, at times, did not exist during her husband’s presidency.
“When I’ve been completely incognito during the eight years in the White House, walking the dogs on the canal, people will come up and pet my dogs, but will not look me in the eye. They don’t know it’s me,” she said.
“That is so telling of how white America views people who are not like them, like we don’t exist,” Obama added. “And when we do exist, we exist as a threat. And that’s exhausting.”