Michelle Obamas's Dad Didn't Think Her Relationship With Barack Would Last

In 1989, Barack Obama met the then-Michelle Robinson after he began working at the law firm where she worked. Since they had both gone to Harvard, the firm asked Michelle to mentor Barack. He was captivated by her from the start, and while she did spend time with him at parties outside of work, as his advisor, she declined to date. "Barack, about a month in, asked me out, and I thought no way. This is completely tacky," Michelle later explained to ABC News. In addition, Michelle had recently decided to take a break from dating. Barack was persistent, however, and she finally agreed to a low-key outing. After getting ice cream, they shared their very first kiss. Soon after, Barack and Michelle spent an entire day together: visiting a museum, taking a romantic stroll, having lunch, and going to a movie. However, Michelle was still uncomfortable with the fact that they were in a relationship while working together. In contrast, the firm's senior partners thought they were a great match — and they weren't the only ones.

From the start, Michelle's parents, Fraser and Marian Robinson, along with her brother, Craig Robinson, also approved of Barack. However, they believed the relationship was doomed. In her book "Becoming," Michelle explained that her family had seen her quickly dump various boyfriends in the past, which is why they didn't want to get their hopes up about Barack. "My father appreciated Barack instantly but still didn't like his odds," she recalled.

Michelle's dad was worried on Barack's behalf

In his memoir, "A Game of Character," Craig Robinson recalled the first time Michelle Obama brought Barack Obama home to meet her family. Barack quickly made a positive impression. Besides appreciating his height, good looks, smile, and confident handshake, the Robinsons respected some of Barack's deeper qualities. "He asked questions and answered them with ease as if he was used to jumping into new situations and genuinely liked people," Craig wrote. However, after Michelle and Barack left to go on a date, the family voiced their disappointment. Marian Robinson bet they'd break up after six months, and Fraser Robinson commented, "She'll eat him alive."

When the couple was together for almost a year, the family was still taking bets on when it would end. However, Craig was slightly more confident from that initial meeting than his parents. Looking back in his memoir, Michelle's brother was impressed by Barack's connection to his own family and his family values. Michelle later came to the same conclusion after Barack took her to Hawaii to meet his extended family. "Helping them ... he was the rock of their family," she explained on her podcast "Michelle Obama: The Light."

Another point in Barack's favor was Michelle's close relationship with her father. Speaking at the first Obama Foundation Summit, Michelle noted that Barack "reminded me very much of my own father in his decency and his honesty and his compassion."

Michelle and Barack have cultivated resilience in their relationship

Sadly, Fraser Robinson, Michelle Obama's father, died before Michelle and Barack Obama married in 1992. While her approach to relationships has changed since her youthful strategy of ending things quickly, Michelle doesn't want people to idolize her romance. Over three decades of marriage, she wants people to know it wasn't as easy as it may have appeared. The former first lady has been candid that she and Barack have had their share of difficulties. For instance, when their daughters were young, and Barack was becoming a successful politician, Michelle admitted she struggled with anger and not liking Barack for a decade. For a time, they sought couples counseling to help them work through their difficulties.

Although Michelle's parents were role models and instilled strong values like honesty and respect, they didn't divulge their marital struggles. "By not knowing, you hit in your relationship some natural, like understandable, rough patches, and you want to quit," Michelle explained on the "Jay Shetty Podcast." Instead of giving up, Michelle believes many situations require working together to solve the issue. "I know how to talk to him about it and when because we've practiced it." Looking back at her marriage, Michelle's glad she and Barack made the effort. Even with the difficulties of life and the stress of Barack's presidency, "if we hadn't hung in there, we would have missed all the good," Michelle noted.