In an excerpt from his upcoming memoir obtained by CNN, former US president, Barack Obama, opened up on how his time at the White House took a heavy toll on his marriage with his wife Michelle due to pressures and demands of the job.
Obama served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017 in what was a largely controversy-free tenure. Behind the spotlight, however, he admitted the strenuous nature of the job impacted his marriage, leaving him concerned about not being able to reignite the lost spark in their once lively relationship.
“And yet, despite Michelle’s success and popularity, I continued to sense an undercurrent of tension in her, subtle but constant, like the faint thrum of a hidden machine,” the 59-year-old wrote in the upcoming A Promised Land book.
“It was as if, confined as we were within the walls of the White House, all her previous sources of frustration became more concentrated, more vivid, whether it was my round the clock absorption with work, or the way politics exposed our family to scrutiny and attacks, or the tendency of even friends and family members to treat her role as secondary in importance.”
He also went ahead to admit that there were nights “lying next to Michelle in the dark, I’d think about those days when everything between us felt lighter, when her smile was more constant and our love less encumbered, and my heart would suddenly tighten at the thought that those days might not return.”
Elsewhere in the book, Obama also revealed the stressful and demanding nature of the job caused him to go back to some of his old bad habits, including smoking, CNN reported. According to the former president, he could smoke between eight to ten cigarettes in a day at a certain point, adding that he would look for a “discreet location to grab an evening smoke.” He, however, said he quit smoking and started chewing nicotine gum after his daughter Malia put him in check after smelling cigarette on his breath.
Michelle also touched on their marriage during their time in the White House in her 2018 book, Becoming. In an interview with O Magazine, the former first lady spoke about why she decided spill the beans on the ups and down of their marriage.
“One of the reasons why I chose to share so much about our marriage is because I think about young couples and how little we know when we get married about what marriage is,” she said. “I mean, nobody’s giving us a guidebook on how to do this thing called building a life with a whole ‘nother person.”
A Promised Land, which is the first of two volumes set to be released by Obama, will hit the shelves on November 17.