The Major Differences Between Barack And Michelle Obama's Love Languages

Barack and Michelle Obama's romance began in 1989. Since their 1992 wedding, the couple have raised two daughters, experienced life in the White House, and adjusted to post-presidency life. While their life together looks glamorous, Michelle doesn't want people to idolize her romance. "Marriage is hard," Michelle explained to "CBS Mornings." "Making a commitment to be with someone means you compromise, and compromise ain't always fun."

Barack and Michelle have different outlooks on life and different approaches to their marriage, including their preference for different love languages. The same year they got married, the idea of love languages originated in Gary Chapman's book, "The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts." According to Chapman, these five distinctive approaches to love are acts of service, physical touch, quality time, gifts, and words of affirmation. 

Michelle's noted that one of the complications of marriage is that couples come from different family lives and have different personalities, which can have an impact on how they express love. Since Barack's family lived in Hawaii and he didn't get to see them as often, Michelle noticed that he prioritizes physical touch and verbally telling people he loves them. Michelle, on the other hand, likes acts of service. "Stop kissing me. Just do the laundry." The former first lady explained on her podcast "Michelle Obama: The Light." However, since people typically use more than one love language, Barack and Michelle have been able to find common ground.

Differences aside, Michelle and Barack both appreciate quality time together

Even though Barack and Michelle Obama have their differences in love languages, there's one area where they overlap: quality time with loved ones. Michelle grew up with many of her extended family close by, and they regularly enjoyed each other's company. "We were always together," she said on her podcast "Michelle Obama: The Light." "So it was like, 'Mmm, bye. I don't have to tell you I love you because I'm going to see you Saturday.'"

While Barack didn't get to spend time with his relatives as frequently, he gave them his full attention whenever he visited — something Michelle noticed when she met Barack's grandparents on their first trip to Hawaii. Throughout their marriage, Michelle has seen Barack maintain this same loving dedication to her and their daughters. She was also impressed at her husband's thoughtful plan to celebrate their 30th anniversary by revisiting the places that they went on their honeymoon. 

Even though the anniversary trip necessitated a Secret Service entourage, both Barack and Michelle have appreciated how post-White House life has given them time to reconnect. After his second term was over, Barack noticed that Michelle seemed happier and more at ease. "That allowed us to just enjoy the deep love that comes with a marriage this long, but also to be friends again," Barack informed People.

Barack and Michelle prioritize their commitment to get past their differences

Despite their disparate personalities and occasionally divergent approaches to love languages, Barack and Michelle Obama are steadfast in their relationship. "I love the man, and he loves me, now, still, and seemingly forever," Michelle wrote in "The Light We Carry." "Between us, there's a loving assuredness that's as simple as knowing the other person is there to stay, no matter what."

According to The Washington Post, research has indicated that couples don't need to have the same love language to have a successful relationship. In addition to communicating love, couples also need other tools, like the ability to navigate conflicts.

Michelle has admitted to past marital struggles, however — after 30-plus years of marriage, she recognizes disagreements are bound to pile up. "But you don't quit on it," Michelle explained "The Jay Shetty Podcast." "That's what sustaining a relationship is. It's the choice to figure it out." The former first lady acknowledges that relationships take practice, and she and Barack learn from their mistakes. Time and experience have made her aware of these transgressions more quickly, so she can apologize faster. Michelle also observed that her approach to conflict has changed over the course of her marriage. She's inclined to want to release her emotions, while she feels that Barack is more methodical with a problem-solving approach. To compromise, Barack gives her time to process her feelings before they logically discuss the issue.