New York Times Magazine has a feature story on the Obamas’ marriage. Naturally, I (Anna) had to check it out. What does this happy couple DO?

The cover of the magazine states that their marriage is, “an ongoing negotiation.” Regardless of your political ideas, I think most of us in relationships would agree with that statement. Relational partners are constantly (re)negotiating all kinds of things: Who takes the dog out? Who makes the coffee in the morning? Will we have kids? When? Who will drive the kids to piano lessons? How open will we be with others about our relationship? How will we show our appreciation and affection?

When you really think about it, we spend most of our time negotiating in relationships. Thank goodness! Because if something isn’t going the way you want it to (“I despise taking the dog out in the cold weather! Can we rotate?”), why let it continue? Imagine doing all of these negotiations in the White House. No thanks! It’s hard enough as it is, don’t you think?

In the article, Michelle Obama is quoted as saying that the image of a perfect marriage, “is the last thing we want to project . . . It’s unfair to the institution of marriage, and it’s unfair to young people who are trying to build something, to project this perfection that doesn’t exist.”

Right on, First Lady. No marriage is perfect. All marriages are ongoing negotiations. And it’s all up to us!

P.S. I want her arms.