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Michelle Obama's Happy Marriage

If you, your spouse, and your kids are the only ones who care if your marriage is a happy one, count your blessings. Over a third (35%) of women in a September 2007 Ladies Home Journal survey said their vote for president in 2008 would be influenced at least somewhat by how happy they thought the candidate's marriage was.

Coming in second in perceived marital happiness, right behind John Edwards, whose wife supports his candidacy despite her own grave medical problems, was Barack Obama.

That happiness comes both from how much each loves the other and from how much love each is capable of receiving. Michelle Obama gets it. In 2000, she was furious about getting stuck with all the parenting responsibilities while he ran for Congress. And then she wasn't. From the November issue of O, the Oprah Magazine:
"'The big thing I figured out,' she says, 'was that I was pushing to make Barack be something I wanted him to be for me. I believed that if only he were around more often, everything would be better. So I was depending on him to make me happy. Except it didn't have anything to do with him. I needed support. I didn't necessarily need it from Barack.'"

Like the rest of us, when she quit being angry about what she wasn't getting, she got more. She started going to the gym before dawn. When she came home, he would have the girls up and fed before he started his day on the campaign trail. Looks like the 43% who believe theirs is a happy marriage are right.

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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