Michelle Obama Says Marriage ‘Ain’t Always Fun’ But Commitment Is Worth It

The former First Lady spoke with Gayle King on ‘CBS Mornings’ about her experiences and how it shaped her.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama said being married to former President Barack Obama certainly had its ups and downs and that despite difficulties, it’s worth the struggle.

“Marriage is hard, and a lot of young people quit on marriage over things that are just a part of the commitment,” she said in a conversation with CBS Mornings host Gayle King aired Thursday morning (April 20). “We’ve been married for 30 years, if I fell out with him for 10 and we had great 20 years, I’ll take those odds anytime.”

She added that the idea that marriage these days can focus on superficial things but that those with years of marriage should let younger people know that compromise is a part of the commitment and compromise “ain’t always fun.”

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In a wide-ranging interview, Obama spoke about her best selling books, Becoming (2021), and the more recent The Light We Carry (2022). She detailed some of her experiences as First Lady and that both she and her husband, given that they were the first African Americans in their positions, could not afford any mistakes.

“Barack knew he couldn’t afford a scandal,” she said. “I mean, he wore a tan suit and got criticized.” Even during a trip to the Grand Canyon, she said the First Couple debated on whether or not she should wear a skirt or shorts. “We had a long debate on the plane. I said, well if I get off in a dress, I’ll look out of touch because we’re going on a hike, but then if I walk off in shorts, some fashion critic is gonna say, ‘that’s a no-no.’ “

She also reflected on gun violence and how she worries about it with the rest of the country, and that it was something she and her husband struggled with through their time in the White House.

“I hope and pray that at some point, enough becomes enough,” said Obama. “We’re the only developed country on the planet where its citizens can have unfettered access to firearms, that is not a good thing. More of us have to feel strongly about it, particularly our young people. This is where democracy comes in, all this stuff is decided in the ballot box.”

Obama also said that she is not surprised by the current political fight over abortion access, but again it is an issue that the young in America can influence at the polls.

“I can’t tell you how many times we talked about the importance of the Supreme Court, the importance of voting in every election, so now we are here,” she explained. “I am not surprised by it, it was coming. Now the problem is that our young people have to understand that just because an issue doesn’t affect you doesn’t mean it’s not going to matter in five or 10 years.

“Voting matters,” she added. “That’s all I can say.”

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