Michelle Obama has never been one to shy away from two things: hard work and the truth. The former first lady got candid about a lot of aspects of her life, both prior to, and then with, Barack Obama, in her upcoming book, Becoming, and in a recent interview with ABC’s Good Morning America, Michelle revealed that their successful marriage is the result of lots of hard work and honesty.
“I know too many young couples who struggle and think somehow, there’s something wrong with them,” she said. “I want them to know that Michelle and Barack Obama—who have a phenomenal marriage and who love each other—we work on our marriage and we get help with our marriage when we need it.”
The couple, who have been married for 26 years, have taken part in marriage counseling, she explained, which was “one of those ways where we learned to talk out our differences.”
Counseling also helped her to realize a lot of things about herself, as well. “What I learned about myself was that my happiness was up to me and I started working out more, I started asking for help, not just from him but from other people,” she said. “I stopped feeling guilty. It’s important for me to take care of myself—that’s not on Barack.”
Michelle, 54, also opened up about another issue that faces many young married couples: infertility. She explained that 20 years ago, she had gotten pregnant and had a miscarriage, and said that the way she felt could have been helped had she known how common that was.
“I felt lost and alone and I felt like I failed because I didn’t know how common miscarriages were because we don’t talk about them,” she said. “We sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow we’re broken.”
Eventually, the Obamas were able to conceive through in-vitro fertilization, and now have two daughters together, Malia, 20, and Sasha, 17. “That’s one of the reasons why I think it’s important to talk to young mothers about the fact that miscarriages happen and the biological clock is real because egg production is limited and I realized that as I was 34 and 35. We had to do IVF,” she said. “I think it’s the worst thing that we do to each other as women—not share the truth about our bodies and how they work and how they don’t work.”
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