Barack Obama opens up about how the presidency caused 'tension' in his marriage to Michelle Obama

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Barack and Michelle Obama
Barack and Michelle Obama
Photo: Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images
  • Barack Obama's third memoir will hit shelves on 17 November.
  • The 44th president of the USA addresses everything from Trump's presidency to how his affected his family life.
  • He writes of his marriage to Michelle Obama: "Despite Michelle's success and popularity, I continued to sense an undercurrent of tension in her, subtle but constant, like the faint thrum of a hidden machine."


Barack Obama is opening up about his presidency and how it affected his family life in his new memoir. 

A Promised Land hits shelves on 17 November, but CNN has given readers a sneak peek of what to expect.  

Throughout the book, he refers to his marriage to Michelle Obama, calling her an "original" and tracing how they "became friends as well as lovers". 

Speaking of his stressful time in the White House, he said he picked up nasty habits, which included smoking, and his time as president caused "tension" in his marriage. 

"And yet, despite Michelle's success and popularity, I continued to sense an undercurrent of tension in her, subtle but constant, like the faint thrum of a hidden machine," he writes. "It was as if, confined as we were within the walls of the White House, all her previous sources of frustration became more concentrated, more vivid, whether it was my round the clock absorption with work, or the way politics exposed our family to scrutiny and attacks, or the tendency of even friends and family members to treat her role as secondary in importance." 

He reflects on lying next to Michelle in the dark at night. "I'd think about those days when everything between us felt lighter, when her smile was more constant and our love less encumbered, and my heart would suddenly tighten at the thought that those days might not return." 

Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States, served from 2009 to 2017, before Donald Trump stepped in. He doesn't shy away from Trump's presidency in his memoir. 

"It was as if my very presence in the White House had triggered a deep-seated panic, a sense that the natural order had been disrupted," he says of his time as president. "Which is exactly what Donald Trump understood when he started peddling assertions that I had not been born in the United States and was thus an illegitimate president. For millions of Americans spooked by a Black man in the White House, he promised an elixir for their racial anxiety." 

 

 

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