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Barack and Michelle Obama have been married for 31 years. Here's a timeline of their relationship.

Barack Michelle Obama
Barack and Michelle Obama in 2008.Alex Brandon/AP Images
  • Barack and Michelle Obama met at a Chicago law firm where she was assigned to mentor him.

  • They wed in 1992, have two children, and spent eight years in the White House.

  • Michelle has been candid about rough patches during their 31-year marriage.

Barack and Michelle Obama celebrated 31 years of marriage in October.

The couple met in 1989 when Michelle was assigned to mentor Barack at a Chicago law firm. They wed in 1992.

Here's a timeline of the former first couple's relationship.

1989: Michelle Robinson was assigned as Barack Obama's mentor at their law firm, and he said he was immediately smitten.

Barack and Michelle Obama in 2005.
She said it was their Harvard connection.Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Barack Obama, then 28, and Michelle Robinson, then 25, met at the Chicago office of the law firm Sidley Austin LLP, where Robinson was assigned to be his mentor.

"Because I went to Harvard and he went to Harvard, and the firm thought, 'Oh, we'll hook these two people up,'" Michelle told ABC News in 2008.

In his 2020 memoir, "A Promised Land," Barack Obama wrote he "was smitten almost from the second I saw her."

1989: They had their first date, which included lunch, a walk in the park, and a movie.

Barack Obama kisses Michelle Obama on the cheek
Michelle eventually said yes.Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Though she was his mentor, that didn't stop the future president from asking Robinson on a date. She said she was not so keen at the time.

"Barack, about a month in, asked me out, and I thought 'No way. This is completely tacky,'" she told ABC News in 2008.

But eventually she relented, and the pair went on a date. They started by having lunch at the Art Institute of Chicago, taking a stroll, then ending up going to see the Spike Lee film "Do The Right Thing."

"He showed all the sides — he was hip, cutting edge, cultural, sensitive. The fountain — nice touch. The walk — patient," Michelle Obama told The Telegraph in 2012.

"Take tips, gentlemen," Barack Obama added, smiling.

The date was eventually immortalized in the 2016 film "Southside With You."

1991: They got engaged in a simple and sweet way.

Barack and Michelle Obama in the Red Room of the White House.
Barack and Michelle Obama in the Red Room of the White House.The White House

The pair got engaged at Gordon's restaurant in Chicago. The dinner was supposed to celebrate Barack Obama passing his bar exam, they told ABC News.

"And then the waiter came over with the dessert and a tray. And there was the ring," Michelle Obama said. "And I was completely shocked."

She told ABC News that he simply got down on one knee and asked. She, of course, said yes.

1992: They got married at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

Michelle Obama wears a wedding dress, pictured with Barack on their wedding day
Barack and Michelle Obama on their wedding day.Obama For America/Handout/Reuters

The couple married on October 3, 1992. Michelle Obama later noted that her husband's vows contained a glimpse at what was to come.

"Barack didn't pledge riches, only a life that would be interesting. On that promise he delivered," she recalled, according to the Obama Foundation website.

After the ceremony, their reception was held at the South Shore Cultural Center and they honeymooned along the California coast, Brides magazine reported.

1998: They had their first child, Malia Ann Obama.

Michelle and Barack Obama with Malia Obama at a campaign event
Michelle Obama holds a young Malia Obama at a Senate campaign event.AP

Malia was born on July 4, 1998.

2001: Their second child, Natasha Obama, was born.

Barack and Michelle Obama with their daughter Sasha in 2004.
Barack and Michelle Obama with their daughter Sasha in 2004.Scott Olson/Getty Images

Natasha, known as Sasha, was born on July 10, 2001.

Barack Obama said in a 2013 interview that he thinks that his relationship with his wife has set a great example for their daughters.

"The great thing about the girls is they've got a wonderful role model in their mom," Obama told Essence. "They've seen how Michelle and I interact — not only the love but also the respect that I show to their mom. So I think they have pretty high expectations about how relationships should be, and that gives me some confidence about the future. I joke about this stuff sometimes, but the truth is they are smart, steady young women."

2004: Barack Obama was elected to the US Senate, beginning their life in the spotlight.

Barack Obama is sworn into the US Senate in 2005.
Barack Obama is sworn into the US Senate in 2005.Alex Wong/Getty Images

Though he was a state senator for several years, Barack Obama became the US senator for Illinois in 2004, catapulting the family into the national spotlight.

Michelle Obama was a notable figure on his campaign, but she had her own impressive role as vice president for Community and External Affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals, according to the hospital's official website.

2008: Barack Obama was elected president of the United States, making Michelle Obama the US first lady.

barack michelle obama
Barack and Michelle Obama dance on the night of his inauguration in 2009.AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Though he had a notable term, he once joked that being Michelle Obama's husband was what people loved most about him.

"If you were going to list the 100 most popular things that I have done as president, being married to Michelle Obama is No. 1," he said during a State of the Union address in 2010.

2012: Barack Obama won re-election, and Michelle Obama — whom the president called "my rock" — became an advocate for healthy eating.

The Obamas dance at the 2013 inauguration
The Obamas dance at the 2013 inauguration.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Barack Obama won a re-election bid against Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. By then, the couple was a household name, with Michelle Obama being known for her healthy-eating initiatives. The president noted that he couldn't have done nearly as much in his time in office without the support and guidance of his wife.

"Obviously I couldn't have done anything that I've done without Michelle," he told Oprah Winfrey on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 2011. "Not only has she been a great first lady, she is just my rock. I count on her in so many ways every single day."

2017: The Obamas departed the White House after President Donald Trump was sworn in on January 20.

The Obamas and the Trumps at the 2017 Inauguration
The Obamas and the Trumps on Donald Trump's inauguration day.JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Both Barack and Michelle Obama made clear that although they enjoyed their time in the White House, they were ready for a bit of normalcy after eight years.

"I want to open my front door without discussing it with anyone — and just walk," Michelle Obama told Oprah Winfrey at the United State of Women summit in 2016, People magazine reported.

"I want to go to Target again! I've heard so many things have changed in Target! I tell my friends they're going to have to give me a re-entry training for like, 'OK, what do you do at CVS now? How do you check out?'" she joked.

"All the women in my life are looking forward to being able to live a more normal life," Barack Obama also told Jimmy Kimmel on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" that year.

2017: After leaving the White House, they took an extended family vacation.

The Obamas white water rafting in Indonesia, summer 2017
The Obamas white water rafting in 2017.AP

Once they left office in January 2017, the Obamas took some time off. They traveled to Italy, Hawaii, and Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, a spot owned by billionaire Sir Richard Branson.

2017: As they marked 25 years of marriage, Michelle Obama called her husband "the most extraordinary man I know."

Barack and Michelle Obama in 2017.
Barack and Michelle Obama in 2017.Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The political powerhouses celebrated 25 years together on October 3, 2017.

"Happy 25th anniversary @barackobama. A quarter of a century later, you're still my best friend & the most extraordinary man I know. I <3 you," Michelle wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

2018: Michelle Obama released her memoir "Becoming" and embarked on a book tour, where her husband surprised her with flowers at an event in Washington, DC.

Michelle Obama meets an admirer on her book tour for "Becoming."
Michelle Obama meets an admirer on her book tour.Richard Drew/AP

While talking about her time in the White House with Valerie Jarrett, Barack Obama emerged from backstage with a bouquet of pink roses.

"You don't get this at every show!" Michelle Obama told the audience.

"This is like — you know when Jay-Z comes out during the Beyoncé concert? … Like, Crazy in Love?" Barack Obama said. "It's the same thing. It's just a little sample to enhance the concert."

2020: Barack Obama released his own memoir, "A Promised Land," in which he wrote about their love story.

Barack and Michelle Obama's memoirs side by side in a bookstore
Barack and Michelle Obama's memoirs.Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Barack Obama dedicated his book to "Michelle — my love and life's partner, and Malia and Sasha — whose dazzling light makes everything brighter."

In "A Promised Land," he wrote about his courtship with Michelle Obama and the early days of their relationship, as well as her initial opposition to his political ambitions.

"She was tall, beautiful, funny, outgoing, generous, and wickedly smart — and I was smitten almost from the second I saw her," he wrote.

2021: They attended President Joe Biden's inauguration.

Barack and Michelle Obama at Joe Biden's inauguration in 2021
Barack and Michelle Obama at Joe Biden's inauguration in 2021.Rob Carr/Getty Images

Michelle Obama wore a plum monochrome look comprised of pants, a sweater, belt, and jacket that were all created by American designer Sergio Hudson.

2022: The Obamas made their first joint return to the White House for the unveiling of their official portraits.

Former President Barack Obama kisses his wife former first lady Michelle Obama after they unveiled their official White House portraits during a ceremony for the unveiling in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022, in Washington.
Barack Obama kisses Michelle Obama after they unveil their official White House portraits.Andrew Harnik/AP

Barack Obama said that Michelle Obama's portrait by Sharon Sprung encapsulated everything he loves about her: "Her grace, her intelligence, and the fact that she is fine."

The former president's portrait was painted by Robert McCurdy.

2022: While promoting her new book, "The Light We Carry," Michelle Obama revealed she "couldn't stand" her husband for 10 years after the birth of their daughters.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama speaks onstage during the Michelle Obama: The Light We Carry Tour in November 2022.Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for Live Nation

On the Revolt x Michelle Obama special hosted by Angie Martinez and featuring panelists Tina Lawson, Kelly Rowland, H.E.R., and Winnie Harlow, Michelle said she was often frustrated with her husband when their daughters were young.

She said the tension between them stemmed from "measuring" tasks, like how many diapers each changed, until she realized that "marriage isn't 50/50, ever."

The former first lady added that it's important to "know your person" in order to get through those rough patches.

2023: In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama said that she and Barack Obama differ in "how we show love."

Former President Barack Obama leans in to give his wife, Michelle Obama, a kiss at the Obama Foundation Summit in 2019.
Barack Obama gives Michelle Obama a kiss at the Obama Foundation Summit.Scott Olson/Getty Images

When Winfrey asked Michelle Obama about the differences between herself and her husband on "The Light Podcast" featuring conversations from her book-tour events for "The Light We Carry," she pointed to the ways that they show and express love. 

Michelle Obama said that she experiences love as spending quality time together since she grew up in the same neighborhood as much of her extended family. Barack Obama, on the other hand, had to "learn to love at a distance" since his family lived far away, and expresses affection through words and physical touch, Michelle Obama told Winfrey.

2024: Michelle Obama once again spoke about struggles that she and Barack Obama have faced in their marriage.

Barack and Michelle Obama at the US Open
Barack and Michelle Obama at the 2023 US Open.Jean Catuffe/GC Images

Michelle Obama told "On Purpose" podcast host Jay Shetty that she doesn't want people to view her relationship as "hashtag couple goals," and that "broken things" happen "even in the best of marriages."

She also shared that she speaks candidly about navigating "natural, understandable rough patches" in her marriage in order to normalize the effort that goes into sustaining long-term relationships.

2024: The couple celebrated Michelle Obama's 60th birthday.

Michelle Obama speaks in 2023
Michelle Obama speaks in New York City.Joy Malone/Getty Images

In an Instagram post, Barack Obama called Michelle Obama "my better half" and "one of the funniest, smartest, most beautiful people I know."

"@MichelleObama, you make every day better," he captioned a photo of her at the edge of a pool. "I can't wait to see what this new decade brings you."

Read the original article on Business Insider