If you had to name a perfect couple Michelle and Barack Obama would probably be strong contenders for the title. But the former US First Lady has admitted there’ve been times when she hasn’t liked her husband all that much.
"There were times that I wanted to push Barack out of the window,” she says in the latest instalment of The Michelle Obama Podcast, which sees her teaming up with talk show host Conan O'Brien to offer relationship advice to listeners.
Barack and Michelle began dating in 1989 after meeting at a law firm in Chicago and tied the knot three years later.
Michelle says many young people don’t know what they’re letting themselves in for when they get married and are surprised to discover that there’ll be times when they’ll struggle to see eye to eye with their partners.
“The feelings will be intense,” she says. “But that doesn't mean you quit. And these periods can last a long time. They can last years.
“But we don't talk about that, so young couples, they face these challenges and they're ready to give up because they think they're broken. 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.”
This isn’t the first time Michelle has opened up about her relationship. In her memoir, Becoming, she revealed that she and Barack decided to go for relationship counselling during the early years of their marriage.
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this year she said that attending their sessions helped them cope with “tough times” after their daughters, Malia ( now 21) and Sasha (now 18) were born.
"Marriage is hard and raising a family together is a hard thing. It takes a toll,” she says.
But now with both their kids having flown the nest – Malia is at Harvard University while Sasha is at the University of Michigan – her marriage has entered a new phase.
"We have more emotional time, emotional energy. We’re coming back to that point where we see each other again because some of the hardest times in our lives we just escaped, we survived it.”
She and Barack celebrate their 28th anniversary next month, and she has a few regrets.
"We went through a tough time, we did some hard things together. But now we’re out on the other end and I can look at him and I still recognise my husband. He’s still the man I fell in love with."
In her podcast she says she’s grateful that she didn’t give up on him during the early years of their marriage when things were so rough.
“If I’d given up on it, if I’d walked away from it in those tough times, then I would've missed all the beauty that was there as well,” she says.