Michelle Obama says she went to marriage counseling to 'fix' her husband, but therapy made her realize she's not 'perfect'

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  • During an appearance on the "Tonight Show" Tuesday, Michelle Obama spoke about going to marriage counseling.
  • She said when she first started therapy, she thought she was "perfect" and that it was really to "fix" her husband, former President Barack Obama.
  • The former first lady soon learned that she had room for improvement, as well.
  • Sharing the story in her new memoir "Becoming" was important because she wants "young people to know that marriage is work."

Michelle Obama spoke about her experience going through marriage counseling with her husband during an appearance on the "Tonight Show" Tuesday.

The former first lady said that when she first decided to go to therapy, she thought it would "fix" her husband. At the time she thought she was "perfect," but soon learned she had things to work on to improve their marriage.Advertisement

"I was one of those wives who thought, 'I'm taking you to marriage counseling so you can be fixed, Barack Obama.' Because I was like, 'I'm perfect.' I was like, 'Dr. X, please fix him,'" she said with a smile. "And then, our counselor looked over at me. I was like, 'What are you looking at? I'm perfect.'"

She continued: "But marriage counseling was a turning point for me, understanding that it wasn't up to my husband to make me happy, that I had to learn how to fill myself up, and how to put myself higher on my priority list."


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Obama said she wanted to share the experience in her new memoir, "Becoming," so that young people know that marriages take effort and nobody's relationship is perfect.

Read more: Michelle Obama reveals she and Barack have gone to marriage counseling: 'We get help with our marriage when we need it'"There are a lot of young people who look at me and Barack... and they think, 'Oh, I want those #relationshipgoals,'" Obama said. "But I want young people to know that marriage is work. Even the best marriages require work."Advertisement

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She concluded:

"I don't want young people to quit the minute they have a hardship. Because I always say, 'Look, if you're married for 50 years, and 10 of them are horrible, you're doing really good.' Anybody would take those odds."Advertisement

The Obamas celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary in October.