What’s the secret to Barack and Michelle Obama’s long-lasting love? We highlight the relationship lessons they have taught us
In the couple’s 21 years together, they’ve shared love and loss, ups and downs and professional and personal highlights. We thought it was only fitting to reflect on their inspiring—and adorable—relationship with 5 lessons they have taught us about love over the years.
1. Don’t Expect It To Be Easy
“It has to be a true partnership, and you have to really, really like and respect the person you’re married to because it is a hard road. I mean, that’s what I tell young couples. Don’t expect it to be easy, melding two lives and trying to raise others, and doing it forever. I mean that’s a recipe made for disaster, so there are highs and lows. But if in the end you can look him in the eye and say, ‘I like you.’ I stopped believing at love in first sight. I think you go through that wonderful love stage, but when it gets hard, you need a little bit more.” — Michelle Obama in an interview with Oprah
“Like every marriage, I think you have your ups and your downs. But if you’ve worked through the tough times, the respect and love that you feel deepens.” — President Obama in an interview with Barbara Walters
2. Be Thoughtful & Willing to Negotiate
“Michelle was trying to figure out, OK, if the kids get sick why is it that she’s the one who has to take time off of her job to go pick them up from school, as opposed to me? What I tried to do was to learn to be thoughtful enough and introspective enough that I wasn’t always having to be told that things were unfair.” — President Obama in an interview with NBC News
3. Always do the Small Things
“We have a ritual where he tucks me in, because I’m usually in bed before anybody,” Michelle told People magazine. “He’ll come and turn the lights out and give me a kiss and we’ll talk. He’s like, ‘Ready to be tucked?’ I’m like, ‘Yes I am.'”
“It’s one of many ways that Barack shows me and the girls how special we are. And that’s the thing that touches me about him. I don’t care what’s on his plate. I don’t care what he’s struggling with. When he steps off that elevator into our residence he is Barack and Dad. And there’s just those little things that you do that remind you, that you know, I still got ya.” — Michelle in an interview with The View
4. Don’t Play Games
“One of the things that attracted me to Barack was his emotional honesty. Right off the bat he said what he felt. There are no games with him—he is who he appears to be. I feel fortunate as a woman to have a husband who loves me and shows me in every way. So yes, I do know that. And now he’ll know I know.” — Michelle in an interview with Prevention.
5. Think Beyond Skin Deep
“Cute’s good. But cute only lasts for so long, and then it’s, ‘Who are you as a person?’ Don’t look at the bankbook or the title. Look at the heart. Look at the soul. When you’re dating a man, you should always feel good. … You shouldn’t be in a relationship with somebody who doesn’t make you completely happy and make you feel whole.” — Michelle in an interview with Katie Couric for Glamour magazine
And of course, remember to gush a little! Here are some of our favorite quotes from the power couple that show how deep their bond is:
• “On Oct. 3, 1992, Barack and I were married in Chicago — and every day since, I’ve grown prouder and more in love with him.” — Michelle told Popsugar
• “Obviously I couldn’t have done anything that I’ve done without Michelle. . . . not only has she been a great first lady, she is just my rock. I count on her in so many ways every single day.” — President Obama in an interview with Oprah
• “If you were going to list the 100 most popular things that I have done as president, being married to Michelle Obama is number one.” — President Obama after his State of the Union address
• “So when people ask me whether being in the White House has changed my husband, I can honestly say that when it comes to his character, and his convictions, and his heart, Barack Obama is still the same man I fell in love with all those years ago … And I didn’t think it was possible, but today, I love my husband even more than I did four years ago…even more than I did 23 years ago, when we first met. I love that he’s never forgotten how he started.” — Michelle in her convention speech
Through it all, though, it seems true love and friendship is the foundation of this union. We wish them the very best!