Barack and Michelle Obama might be one of the most rock-solid couples in the public eye, but the early days of their relationship were marked by uncertainty—at least for the former first lady. Michelle just revealed that she had to overcome a major personal fear and change her outlook on relationships in general while falling in love with her now-husband of over 25 years.
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey for the January issue of Good Housekeeping, Michelle explained that distance and hectic schedules weren't things she initially knew how to cope with. To make the relationship work, she said, she had to learn to communicate how much she missed Barack when they weren't together. "I feel vulnerable all the time," she told Winfrey of that time in her life. "And, I had to learn how to express that to my husband, to tap into those parts of me that missed him—and the sadness that came from that—so that he could understand."
This wasn't something that Barack always did understand, she explained. "He didn't understand distance in the same way. He grew up without his mother in his life for most of his years, and he knew his mother loved him dearly, right?" she continued. "I always thought love was up close. Love is the dinner table, love is consistency—it is presence. So, I had to share my vulnerability and also learn to love differently."
Michelle went to share that she and her husband have faced normal struggles, just like any other couple. "A lot of the reason I share this is that I know that people look to me and Barack as the ideal relationship," she said. "I know there's #relationshipgoals out there. But whoa, people, slow down—marriage is hard!"