As one of the most visible couples on the planet, Michelle and Barack Obama’s lives are about as public as you can get. Barack, a former Senator and new President-elect and Michelle, a lawyer and mother of two, have made it a priority to have a happy and healthy relationship. Their 16-year marriage has stood strong by dealing with issues that couples both in and out of the spotlight may encounter in their own lives.
After majoring in sociology at Princeton and graduating with cum laude honors, Michelle attended Harvard where she earned her law degree one year earlier than Barack, who attended the same school, yet the pair hadn’t met. After graduation, Michelle worked at a law firm in Chicago. It was there that she was asked to advise a summer associate,
Barack Obama. After holding off on Barack’s requests to take her out because Michelle didn’t want to mix love with the workplace, she finally accepted. On their first date they went to the Art Institute, strolled down Michigan Avenue, had a drink at the top of the John Hancock Center and saw a movie. The two were married in 1992 and have two daughters together, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7.
Not only did Barack and Michelle meet while working at a Chicago law firm, after they married, Michelle has tirelessly campaigned for Barack and will soon be working with him in another capacity – as First Lady of the United States.
If you feel a romantic connection with a coworker, be sure to weigh all the consequences of workplace relationships before moving forward. Your employer could possibly see it as a distraction and other employees may sense favoritism. If you proceed with the relationship, agree to keep it strictly professional in the office and make a decision ahead of time as to how you’ll handle things if it doesn’t work out.
Even with the pressures of running a presidential campaign, it’s been reported that Barack Obama would still do his best to call home every night, especially before the girls’ bedtime. The couple has also talked about setting boundaries with their children, like a small allowance in return for chores.
In a People magazine interview, Barack said the kids do chores like setting the table and rinsing the dishes. Even in his victory speech on the night of his election, President-elect Obama kept his promise and told his daughters (and the nation) that a puppy would come with them to the White House.
Parenthood is a challenge, even if you’re running for the most powerful job in the nation. It’s crucial to find time for family and as a couple. Be sure to set aside date nights, where you can talk about your relationship aside from being parents. The strong foundation as a couple will improve how you relate to your children and what expectations you each carry in the partnership.
Even if one parent has to travel or keep long hours at the office, that person is still a father or mother and must put their children first. That might mean making a nightly phone call, attending the parent-teacher conference or cheering from the sidelines at the weekend soccer game.
Barack Obama called Michelle his “rock” and has said she “had the power of veto,” meaning if she would have told him not to run for president he wouldn’t have. Michelle has revealed that time, love, sacrifice and hard struggles make you stronger and that the pair is “constantly balancing each other.”
One of the most important things in a relationship is to have respect for each other because a respectful marriage is a marriage with integrity. The two of you are in a partnership together and each person needs to be able to weigh in on decisions that will affect the entire family. Be there for one another, back each other up and listen to what your partner has to say.
Michelle has revealed that Barack is still very romantic. They have date nights together and even after 16 years of marriage, he surprises her with flowers. Only a few days after winning the Nov. 4 election, the couple went on a date to one of their favorite Italian restaurants in Chicago.
A relationship that has grown tired and stale may only be inches away from being over. After years of being together, it’s necessary to keep the spark alive. Don’t let your relationship become routine. It can be as easy as sending flowers to say you’re thinking about the other person, or setting aside one evening a week to have a date night or spending time together away from the television.
Respect, understanding, support, communication and romance are all ways Barack and Michelle Obama have sustained a successful relationship in the midst of their wild journey together. Keeping your significant other as the top priority regardless of schedules or other distracting factors in life is a key component for any couple’s long-term happiness.