Obviously, I think that President Obama is a disaster in terms of policy, but I do appreciate how he (and the First Lady) handle talk about their marriage. Take this quote from Michelle Obama from a recent interview:

“The strengths and challenges of our marriage don’t change because we move to a different address,” she told Kantor. Mrs. Obama said “the bumps” happen to everybody all the time “and they are continuous.”

“The last thing we want to project,” she said, is the image of a flawless relationship.

“It’s unfair to the institution of marriage, and it’s unfair for young people who are trying to build something, to project this perfection that doesn’t exist,” the first lady said.

Admitting there are “bumps” along the road isn’t just honest, it really is an important message for people (particularly young people) to hear.  Those who have researched marriage and the increase in divorce often cite how people’s expectations for marriage have changed:  what once was an economic partnership is now all about finding a soulmate. 

And of course it’s a good thing that love is now central to marriage, but it’s also important for young people to understand that even the best marriage isn’t all the end of a movie, swooning love.  Keeping a long-term perspective on marriage and recognizing that ups and downs are inevitable is key for lasting stability and happiness.  The Case for Marriage is the best source of information on this topic; I also cover it in my book.