Today, October 3, 2012, marks the twentieth year of marriage for President Barack Hussein Obama and his beautiful and brilliant wife, First Lady Michelle Obama. Twenty years ago, the couple committed their lives to each other – choosing to stand together, never alone. Their amazing union has birthed more than just their 2 precious (and rapidly growing!!) daughters, Malia and Sasha; it has birthed the realization of the hopes of many, many generations of African Americans. Arguably the most high-profile love affair in the world, it is amazing to see that the Obamas are role models in much more than leadership and style, but in true love as well. At a time in which many African Americans (and, indeed, all Americans) stand in need of marriage role models, the Obamas’ visibility could not have been better timed.
As we celebrate their 20 years of wedded bliss, let us not forget that their bliss is so because they have done more than celebrate each other’s achievements together – they have weathered countless storms. As Michelle so eloquently stated during the Democratic National Convention, the couple started from a place of idealistic love: choosing to love each other and commit, even when their combined student loan payments were higher than their loan payments! They chose to love and commit through the instabilities of running a successful campaign. They chose to love and commit through the never-ending, backbreaking work that is running the world’s most powerful nation, while simultaneously raising intelligent, well-adjusted children. Their love is not blissful because it has always been perfect; it is blissful because they have had to work at it. That’s why, when Michelle says that she loves her husband more now than she did when they first met, it’s said with a profound depth built on hard work on dedication, instead of ease and fairy tales. When she recognizes her husband’s sacrifice in choosing to have dinner with his family at the same time every night, she says it with respect for the amazing choices they have made together for their family.
As you acknowledge the Obamas’ 20th year together, stop and remember that wedded bliss is never truly blissful until it has been solidified in the place of sacrifice, dedication, commitment and a love that refuses to back down!
Congratulations President and First Lady Obama!