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First Couple Had to Negotiate Their Roles in Marriage

Last night, President Obama spoke to NBC about how he and Michelle had a discussion about gender roles and marriage once they had kids. He explained:

"Michelle was trying to figure out, OK, if the kids get sick why is it that she's the one who has to take time off of her job to go pick them up from school, as opposed to me? What I tried to do was to learn to be thoughtful enough and introspective enough that I wasn't always having to be told that things were unfair."

Based on the Obamas's visibly happy marriage, and the new study that suggests splitting housework leads to a better sex life, it seems that sharing responsibilities for the family and house can only be a win-win for spouses. Still, the president admits that because she's a woman, Michelle still had to make sacrifices he didn't have to. Have you ever spoken to your partner about expectations based on gender roles?

To see video of the president talking about his relationship with Michelle,


Image Source: Getty
Camarogirl67 Camarogirl67 8 years
When I read this post, I thought of the story more as a gender role piece, not a president's family piece. If anything, his position brings more light to this matter, which is often swept under the rug. So good for him. One almost never hears of men/husbands/boyfriends discussing gender roles and the burdens women still bear in the home whilst also working. I think it's unsettling for a lot of folks to have a First Lady in the spotlight again. Oh well!
Ac2366 Ac2366 8 years
All these personal attacks are getting really old and it's making reading and contributing to this site far less fun. I care about discussing gender roles with my partner, but I don't care about gender roles in relation to the first family. Sloane, you start a lot of needless fights on here. Your opinion is not the only one that matters. Everyone is free to "speak" on here whether you agree with them or not.
PhillyEagles1 PhillyEagles1 8 years
It just irks me when people discuss non-crucial issues about the political family.. like what Michelle Obama is wearing these days. I guess I felt that this fell under that category. I don't think if you enjoy that kind of thing that you are stupid. I was not trying to be negative about the prez. Just that his life was not on the forefront of my interests. Sorry if it came across any other way.
PhillyEagles1 PhillyEagles1 8 years
So try not to bite my head or others heads off at the drop of a hat. Thank you and goodbye.
PhillyEagles1 PhillyEagles1 8 years
Also, see what I wrote to Yoga. I do not have a problem with Obama. I like to know facts and figures. And I am weary of polls and opinions.
PhillyEagles1 PhillyEagles1 8 years
Obvs you were offended or you wouldn't have told me to grow up and keep going on about it. Point is, I made a simple comment about who cares about his personal life and YOU have the nerve to tell me to grow up. Many americans feel the same way as I do and do not care about his marriage. (I apologize about my lefty comment)
sloane220 sloane220 8 years
oh i meant, really, that little diatribe wasn't meant to be personally offensive?
sloane220 sloane220 8 years
"I can tell you are a left winger who is having a love affair with the president and can't take anybody saying anything somewhat "negative" about him. YOU grow up " really, that little diatribe wasn't meant to be personally offensive. and don't assume what does or doesn't offend me because of my political sensibilities. i found your original post ridiculous because it sounded immature and petulant, and i would have thought that no matter WHAT my political beliefs were. the president is a public figure and sorry if it hurt your little right wing eyes or ears, his personal life is GOING to be discussed.
PhillyEagles1 PhillyEagles1 8 years
Who are you to say I should "grow up" when I am perfectly entitled to not care about the presidents personal life. SHEESH
PhillyEagles1 PhillyEagles1 8 years
All I said is that I could care less about his family life. I dont care if he is republican/democrat or whatever the hell. You take it to heart when you shouldn't bc you feel it offends you in some way being a liberal. It was not meant to offend YOU.
sloane220 sloane220 8 years
@spacekat- i love you, lol.
sloane220 sloane220 8 years
phillyeagles1- no i can't take the IDIOTIC hostility and negativity from right wingers agaisnt the president for NO F**KING REASON any longer. if this story was written about george w. bush, who i can't stomach, and his wife, i would think it's positive because it encourages people to rethink set gender roles and work out a situation which is amenable to both parties and thus preserve marriages, which if you didn't notice are breaking up at a rate of 50% in this society. you grow up.
trippytexan trippytexan 8 years
My political feelings about our current administration aside, I do like to hear about the personal life of our President and his family. They have to strike a balance between keeping private things private and being a role-model family for young people who are coming of age during his term(s) in office. Negotiating changing gender roles and expectations is something that all couples who hope to last must take care of early on in their relationship.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 8 years
My bad then - sorry to assume that. Guess we'll learn more about you as you comment more on here.
PhillyEagles1 PhillyEagles1 8 years
Actually Yoga, I don't have anything against Obama. I like to see things from all sides. I am just not interested in his family life nor do I think it is important. I just want to know facts and figures. Regardless of which political side.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 8 years
This is pertinent to any happy household. My husband and I split chores depending on how stressful our jobs are going. When he was working and had mandatory overtime, I picked up some of his chores to make it easier. When I"m under deadlines or he's laid off, he picks up more of the chores. It's a constantly shifting line between who does what - if it was rigid, I'm sure there would be resentment. Philly - who said anything about being a left-winger or love affair. Regardless if you voted for him, you're stuck with him as your president. Many people are interested in how the relationship of the (any) president works. If you think it's hard to balance family and work in your life, try being president. Seeing your comments about the polls showing a majority in favor of a public health option, I think you may have a strong dislike of the Obama administration, which is preventing you from objectively evaluating anything related to him or the current administration. It's one thing to disagree with someone on something, but another thing to let it become a bias against anything related to that person.
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
All relationships should be like this.
PhillyEagles1 PhillyEagles1 8 years
Sloane- There is more to worry about in the world then the presidents marriage. Say healthcare reform. What are you talking about grow up? I have an opinion and I stated that i didn't care about his marriage. I can tell you are a left winger who is having a love affair with the president and can't take anybody saying anything somewhat "negative" about him. YOU grow up
sloane220 sloane220 8 years
anyway, the pres and his wife are adorable and totally realistic. i have never lived with a partner before but if i did, i know that making housework and childcare equitable or at least agreeable to both parties would more likely help the relationship and lead to less resentment.
sloane220 sloane220 8 years
@phillyeagles1-people care because: 1. he is the president 2. gender roles, work, and childcare and relationships affect pretty much everyone in society oh and 3. grow up
GrandEntrance GrandEntrance 8 years
i do the laundry, and he puts the clothes away :-)
AujahAcorn AujahAcorn 8 years
Yes and that is why I wash the dishes and he puts them away :)
Fitness Fitness 8 years
My husband, although raised by a working mother, had no idea how much I did around the house when I only worked 3 days a week. He thought the other two days were play days. When I started working full time, he figured it out and has certainly stepped up. Even in this post-post feminist world, I know so many moms who stay home with sick kids, even though they work and earn nearly what their husbands make. The childcare/ running a household dilemma with two working parents is tricky and requires a lot of negotiation.
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