Michelle Obama Gets Real on Marriage Counseling, Saying "Bye, Felicia" to the Presidency




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-We are here with Michelle Obama.

She has just extended the tour of her smash-hit book, "Becoming", with 21 days across the United States, Canada and Europe.

When you were--I mean, did you expect--Eventually, you have to write a book, right?


That's sort of along with the assignment.

"And then, you write a book."

-But did you--When did you start putting stories where like, start remembering things.

-It was sort of on going, because I have taken so many swerves in my life, that I find that -- I found that I've had to explain myself to people.

Like, when you leave your law firm, and making a lot of money, and you go and make no money, people want to know, "Well, tell me about you."

"Why did you do that?"

And then, I have to figure that out.

So, so many -- the early chapters of the book are stories that I've already kind of, you know, embraced in understanding my journey.

-I think we all think that we have a great story.

-And we all do.

That's the point.

I think one of the reasons why this book is resonating with so many people is because they see themselves in my little journey.

And the eight years in the White House is really just the last segment of it.

It's really all those stories of growing up in the neighborhood, and playing double-dutch, and having your first fight, and teacher that, you know, punched you in the gut and told you something that hurt your feelings.

I mean, all of those -- that culmination of that journey is all of our paths to becoming, and it's really what connects us.

You know, It's not stats.

It's not, like, "Where did you go to school?

What do you do for a living"?

-Of course.

-It's really that journey.

-I mean, but it really is a great story.

I mean, you came from basically nothing, and you became the First Lady of the United States.

-Go figure.

-It's like a made-up story that you would see in a movie.

Is there anything that you left out of the book? 'cause you were like, "Eh, that's a little bit too personal," or. . .

-I mean, I could have done a whole book on just the White House tears, because there's so much stuff that happened, just unpacking all of that.

And of course, that book would be 800 pages. And then, it would take Barack like, 800 days to read.

But I mean, you talk about having marriage counseling. . .


Yeah. . . . which was -- I didn't -- We didn't know anything about that.


Marriage is hard, even for us.

We have a great relationship.

But the thing about marriage counseling is, like, I was one of those wives who thought,

"I'm taking you to marriage counseling so you can be fixed, Barack Obama."

Because I was like, "I'm perfect."

I was like, "Dr. X, please fix him."

And then, our counselor looked over at me.

I was like, "What are you looking at?

I'm perfect".

But marriage counseling was a turning point for me, understanding that it wasn't up to my husband to make me happy, that I had to learn how to fill myself, and have to put myself higher on my priority list.

So, I share that because there are a lot of young people who look at me and Barack, and you and your wife, and people they see, and they think, "Oh, I want those #relationship goals."

But I want you people to know that marriage is work.

Even the best marriages require work.

I call them a "vexation".

It's a choice that you make again and again and again.

Because I don't want young people to quit the minute they have a hardship.

Because I always say, "Look, if you're married for 50 years, and 10 of them are horrible, you're doing really good."

-Not bad.

Not bad.

-You're doing really good.

Anybody would take those odds.

-This is you, uh. . .

This is after the Trump inauguration, just waving from Air Force One.

Can you just walk me through. . . -"Bye, Felicia."

-What was. . . ?

Is that what was going through your mind?

-A lot was going on that day.

-All right.

-That was a day.

And right before that, my daughter's friends decided they needed a sleepover for the last day.

I was like, "Are you guys kidding me?

We're leaving.

You've got to take all your stuff, pick it up -- the blankets, the bears."

They're all crying, And I was like, "Get out.

We've got to go."

So, there was that, and then the Tiffany's box.

It was just all, you know, a lot.

-Yeah, it was a lot.


-A big point of the book is the importance of being optimistic.


-Optimism is a very. . . -Yes.

-Are you optimistic about our country?

-I am.

I am.

Because, Jimmy, everywhere I go, I get to see young people.

And we owe young people that optimism, that hope.

Because what's the alternative?

And they come into this world, as you see with your little girls, with so much promise and so much openness.

We're the ones that shut them down.

And for the next generation that's coming up, the next leaders, they need to know that their story can be my story.

And that -- That is the truth of my journey.

If you live like I did -- a little working-class kid who made her way up through -- to becoming the First Lady of the United States, being a best-selling author, traveling the world, there is reason for hope.

And I want everybody here to understand that,

You know, there are dark days in so many of our journeys, but you know, we have to, push that arc towards hope.

And that's what I try to do every day.

-You do.

And it's a great book, and a great story.

Thank you so much.


Come back whenever.

Our thanks to Michelle Obama, the book is "Becoming", it is a must-read.