Michelle and Barack Obama
Photo: Getty

Michelle Obama, whose wise words we live by, has opened up about what she’s learnt from her marriage with Barack Obama.

In a conversation with Oprah Winfrey, the former First Lady discussed the realities of marriage and how it has its ups and downs.

“This is what I keep trying to tell young people,” she explained. “Marriage is hardened, raising a family together is a hard thing. It takes a toll.”

The 56-year-old touched on how building a relationship based on friendship is something that she and Barack relied on during the harder times.

“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 said.

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Michelle and Barack Obama
Photo: Getty

“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.”

Like many couples, the Obamas attended relationship therapy together, which Oprah bought up during her honest conversation with Michelle.

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Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey
Photo: Getty

“Sometimes you need an objective person to just hear you out,” Obama advised. “It taught me that I was responsible for my own happiness. I didn’t marry Barack for him to make me happy. No one can make me happy.”

She explained to the audience how important it is to be responsible for your own happiness first, then the rest comes later.

“If I’m going to show up equal in this partnership, I have to be able to make myself happy and so I had to stop focusing on what he wasn’t doing and start thinking about how to carve out the life that I wanted for myself, with or without Barack.”

She continued: “The more I succeeded in defining myself for myself, the better I was in a partnership.”

This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK

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