Barack and Michelle Obama are said to be the most romantic ever First Couple to lead America. But now a new book has claimed that it was not always wedded bliss for them -- their marriage was once on the brink of collapse.
The book, Renegade, about Barack's unlikely run for the presidency, recounts a tense period in 2000 when the Obamas' marriage was on the verge of collapse because of his restless political hunger and the family's shattered finances.
"There was little conversation and even less romance. She was angry at his selfishness and careerism; he thought she was cold and ungrateful," the Birmingham-born Richard Wolffe wrote in his book.
At the time, Barack was stuck on the lowest step of the political ladder. As a mere state senator in Illinois, he had challenged a popular incumbent in a Democratic primary by running against Bobby Rush from Chicago. He was trounced by a dismal 2-1 margin.
Michelle was new to motherhood, at home with their first daughter Malia, just two years old at the time.
"She (Michelle) hated the failed race for Congress in 2000 and their marriage was strained by the time their younger daughter Sasha was born. Politics seemed like a waste of time to Michelle," according to the book.
And, Barack's troubles were compounded when he found that he was not on the guest list for 2000 Democratic National Convention that year as he had annoyed party officials.
The book has also described the moment Michelle first realised she was in love with her future husband -- it was 18 years ago and he was being paid to train some 120 black church leaders how to be community organisers in the church basement, The Daily Telegraph reported.
"There was really something powerful there. And I was like, 'This guy is different. He is really different in addition to being nice and funny and cute and all that'," the US First Lady has recounted in the book.