Barack Obama has opened up about the toll his presidency had on his marriage with Michelle Obama during the years they were in the White House.
In his upcoming, highly-anticipated memoir, A Promised Land, the former president discussed the effects politics had on their relationship. According to excerpts obtained by CNN, he wrote, "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."
"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 said.
He added that there were nights "lying next to Michelle in the dark, 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."
In an interview with People last year, Michelle Obama said she and her husband were able to rediscover each other after leaving the White House and sending their daughters, Malia and Sasha, off to college.
"We’ve rediscovered all these little pockets of time, just me and Barack, that for a couple decades have been filled with school events or sports practices," she said. "We’re taking full advantage of this new normal, simply spending time with each other and remembering what brought us together in the first place."
"Sometimes I’ll get a glimpse of him and just go, ‘Hey you! Where have you been for 21 years?’" the former first lady added. "It’s been fun. The tough part, of course, is missing our girls. It’s an adjustment to see each other for a weekend here, a holiday break there, but the moments we do spend together feel extra special because of it."
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