The New York Daily News ran an interesting excerpt from the new Christopher Andersen book about President and Michelle Obama’s marriage — “BARACK AND MICHELLE: Portrait of an American Marriage” (HarperCollins, September 2009). I have no idea how accurate his portrayal of their marriage is but it sure sounds familiar!
You can read the entire excerpt at this New York Daily news link. Here are a few paragraphs from the story:
“You only think about yourself,” she would say to him again and again in a tone dripping with disdain. “I never thought I’d have to raise a family alone.” Barack, convinced that whatever time he devoted to his career would ultimately benefit his wife and daughter, shrugged off the criticism….”
“In the face of running a household, raising two small children and trying to find ways to make ends meet, such soul-searching struck Michelle as self-indulgent. Even though her mother was on hand to help, Michelle felt overwhelmed, and she let her husband know that she felt he was not holding up his end of the bargain….”
” ‘I love Michelle, but she’s killing me with this constant criticism,’ Barack confided to Madelyn (Toot) Dunham, the white grandmother who raised him. ‘She just seems so bitter, so angry all the time. ’ “
Angry, resentful wives saddled with all the home duties taking care of the kids with no help from their husbands. Hmm, where have I heard that before?
I think this is a very common scenario for many families. The Obamas sure seem happy now. I wonder what changed that dynamic for them. (The end of the excerpt talks about their child being sick pulling them together but I think you would need more than that to change an entire dynamic.)
What do you think of the book excerpt and what it reveals about their marriage? Can you relate? How do you think couples can turn that type of frustration around and truly be partners in raising the kids and caring for the home?