Michelle Obama and Barack Obama
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 29: Former U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle close the Obama Foundation Summit together on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology on October 29, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The Summit is an annual event hosted by the Obama Foundation. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images


  • Michelle Obama said young couples "glamorize marriage" but aren't ready for the reality of it
  • Obama explained her remark that she "couldn't stand" her husband Barack for years
  • The couple has been married for over three decades

Michelle Obama believes some young couples tend to "glamorize marriage" but aren't ready for its ups and downs.

On Thursday, the 59-year-old former first lady appeared on "CBS Mornings" to talk about her new podcast, "Michelle Obama: The Light Podcast," and her Netflix special, "The Light We Carry: Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey," which will premiere on the streaming giant next week.

At one point during their conversation, she and Gayle King discussed the topic of marriage, and the host asked her about her eyebrow-raising remark on her Revolt special last year that she "couldn't stand" her husband Barack Obama for a decade during their 30-year marriage.

Obama questioned where the "controversy" lay in her comment and explained, "I [said] those things because marriage is hard, and a lot of young people quit on marriage over things that are just a part of the commitment."

"We've been married for 30 years. If I fell out with him for 10 [years], and we had a great 20 years, I'd take those odds anytime. But we glamorize marriage," she said.

Obama noted that marriage nowadays is now more about the dresses, the proposal and the honeymoon and that young people "aren't ready for the real of marriage"

She emphasized the importance of people who have "successful marriages" such as herself being "honest about the fact that making a commitment to be with someone means you compromise, and compromise ain't always fun."

In the "Cross-Generational Conversation" special last year, Obama said there had been an imbalance in her marriage to her husband while he was working on his career in politics and she was taking care of their daughters, Sasha, now 21, and Malia, now 24.

"There were 10 years where I couldn't stand my husband. And guess when it happened? When those kids were little," the best-selling author said at the time. "And for 10 years while we're trying to build our careers and, you know, worrying about school and who's doing what and what, I was like, 'Ugh, this isn't even.' And guess what? Marriage isn't 50/50 – ever, ever."

"There are times I'm 70, he's 30. There are times he's 60, 40, but guess what?" she continued. "Ten years – we've been married 30. I would take 10 bad years over 30 – it's just how you look at it. And people give up ... [saying], 'Five years – I can't take it.'"

Michelle and Barack tied the knot in 1992 after two years of dating. The pair met at a Chicago law firm, where she was an associate and was assigned to advise Barack, then a summer associate.

The former first lady is now gearing up for the release of her Netflix special with Winfrey, which was filmed during the last stop of the tour for her 2022 best-selling book, "The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times." The 80-minute special directed by Linda Mendoza is scheduled to air Tuesday.

Barack and Michelle Obama
Former first couple Barack and Michelle Obama have an estimated net worth of $80 million. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images