In mere weeks, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama will bid farewell to the White House and return to living their private lives. But before doing so, the couple sat down with People to look back at the past eight years in office and how they have affected their marriage and their relationship.
“It has definitely brought us closer,” Michelle said of the pressure and scrutiny that comes with holding the highest office in the nation. She went on to explain that although Barack’s already-busy schedule grew busier with his election to office, his position as POTUS allowed him to see more of his family.
“It wasn’t until the White House that we were together seven days a week, that we could have dinner together, he had time to coach the girls’ teams and go to all their events,” she said. “Yes, the job carries its stresses for sure. Nobody knows what it feels like to wake up and look at the morning paper and know that every headline, good or bad, is your responsibility. Wherever it’s happening in the world.”
The first lady also hinted that the responsibility of the office can be isolating. “There is a weightiness to that that no other person really understands,” she said.
“You really have to fall back on the normalcy and the love of your family,” he said. “I also think that watching Michelle as First Lady has just increased my awe and respect for her.”
The 44th President of the United States even touched on the possibility that life in the spotlight might not have been Michelle’s cup of tea, but she made the most of it with things like her Let’s Move campaign.
“She had to adapt to a life that she might not have chosen for herself, but also there’s no blueprint for being first lady. And to see her and her team be, at once, really impactful on policy but also fun? You know, it’s fun when you see your spouse shine. And she’s shone.”
The issue of People featuring the Obama’s joint interview hits newsstands Dec. 19, 2016.