Michelle Obama talks marriage, menopause, and more in new book

Former first lady Michelle Obama opens up about post-White House life in her latest book and interview with People magazine. 

Loading the player...

We all know the “perfect” relationship or marriage doesn’t exist; however, that hasn’t stopped many of us from deeming the marriage between Michelle Obama and former President Barack Obama #relationshipgoals. But as revealed in the former first lady’s new book,” The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times,” perhaps the most goal-worthy thing about the much-beloved couple is that they acknowledge and even relish how imperfect their love is. 

Michelle Obama The Light We Carry book theGrio.com
Cover: Crown Books; Photo: Getty Images

Obama reveals this and other personal watershed moments, like struggling to make friends, in the follow-up to her bestselling 2018 memoir, out November 15. In an excerpt shared with People magazine, she ruminates on how often fans have approached her for relationship advice through the years. 

“They remark on photographs they’ve seen of me and Barack together—laughing, or sharing a look, appearing content to be side by side.” Obama writes. “They ask how we have managed to stay both married and unmiserable for 30 years now.”  

She admits their longevity has come as a surprise to her, too. 

“I’m not joking. We have our issues, of course, but I love the man, and he loves me, now, still, and seemingly forever,” says Obama. 

She says the secret to their success is quite simple: they are committed. 

“Between us, there’s a loving assuredness that’s as simple as knowing the other person is there to stay, no matter what. This is what I think people pick up on in those photos: that tiny triumph we feel, knowing that neither one of us has walked away. We remain,” she shares. 

Obama goes on to explain that picking a partner shouldn’t be based on any one thing they can do for you but rather on them wanting to do things with you.  

Speaking with People further about the new release, the former first lady says she began writing the book in 2020 along with picking up other hobbies like knitting. According to People, the book was inspired by questions Obama was receiving from her daughters, her friends, and even in letters from people around the country in the early days of the pandemic and the concurrent political unrest. 

“Everyone was searching for some answers of how to cope. And for some reason they were asking me, ‘What do you do?’ I had to start thinking about that,” she explains.

In the book, Obama discusses how she’s learned to overcome a myriad of personal struggles such as anxiety over the sociopolitical climate, marital issues, and even the inevitable changes to her body in the years since leaving the White House. 

“Some of it is menopause, some of it is aging,” she says. “I find that I cannot push myself as hard as I used to.” 

Still, Obama tells People she has much to be grateful for. 

“I think my skin still feels healthy. My hair is still in my head. These are the things that I have to count my blessings for.”

TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. TheGrio’s Black Podcast Network is free too. Download theGrio mobile apps today! Listen to ‘Writing Black’ with Maiysha Kai.