Michelle Obama's Wise Advice For Newly Married Couples

Former First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama seem to have the marriage everyone wants, so it makes sense that the couple would be ideal to share a little bit of their wisdom regarding how they make it work. Yet when Michelle shared her best advice for newlyweds with Gayle King on CBS Mornings, what she said may have been a bit surprising.

Simply put, Michelle said that marriage isn't easy and it takes work to make it work. She thinks it's important to know that going into it instead of glamorizing a splashy wedding, as being prepared may stop newlyweds from throwing in the towel when things get tough. After all, most people would rather avoid navigating a divorce in their 20s or 30s, but it happens.

"Marriage is hard, and a lot of young people quit on marriage over things that are just a part of the commitment," she told King on CBS Mornings. "In this day and age, marriage is more about the dress, and the dresses, and the proposal, and the honeymoon, and all the stuff around it. And young people aren't ready for the real of marriage." Still, she wants couples to know that if they are willing to put in the time, marriage can be quite rewarding. 

Commit to doing the work in marriage, says Michelle Obama

The main point that Michelle Obama wants young people to know is not to give up when it gets hard. It's one of the reasons why she is being so transparent about struggles in her marriage. Mrs. Obama has always been one to truthfully tell it like it is, and she knows that there are simply gonna be times you just don't like your spouse.

In a roundtable discussion on Revolt TV, the bestselling author of "Becoming" and "The Light We Carry" shared some straddling truths about marriage. "People think I'm being catty for saying this — it's like, there were 10 years where I couldn't stand my husband," she said. "Ten years!"

Still, Michelle said there is a way to deal with and get past those emotions, so one can approach these situations with a healthier, more rational mindset. She believes the key to getting through the bad feelings is to take stock of your spouse as a whole person. "Do you like him? I mean, you could be mad at him, but do you still look at him and go, 'I'm not happy with you, but I respect you," Michelle said. "I don't agree with you, but you're still a kind, smart person."

Marriage gets way harder once you have kids

Michelle Obama says the years when she didn't like her husband, former President Barack Obama, occurred when the kids were little. Dealing with discord while parenting young children is definitely a common marriage complaint to which all parents can relate. With Barack's political career taking off, Michelle said during her Revolt TV special that she began to feel a bit resentful at the sheer amount of work she was doing day in and day out for their daughters, because she felt that he was not changing as many diapers as she was, or he was going to the gym too much.

When you combine the workload with the ongoing demands of young children, it can be a recipe for agitation. "They don't talk. They're poor communicators. They cry all the time," Michelle said of children in general. "They're irrational. They're needy. And you love them more than anything. And so you can't blame them." That's why, she added, some parents take their frustration out on each other instead.

Michelle says young people considering marriage should have realistic expectations. Marriage is about the long haul but there will be several low moments along the way. After all, she said that it's unreasonable to expect that marriage will be a 50/50 partnership all the time. "There are times I'm 70, he's 30. There are times he's 60, 40, but guess what? 10 years — we've been married 30," Michelle said. "I would take 10 bad years over 30 — it's just how you look at it."