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Michelle came close to walking out over Barack's absences claims new book

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No one watching the Obamas on election night could doubt the strength of their union, but author Christopher Anderson claims that his political ambitions almost tore them apart
 Photo: © Getty Images

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Now the couple say that seeing each other every day in the White House is one of the benefits of him becoming president
 Photo: © Getty Images

23 SEPTEMBER 2009

Theirs is known to be one of the strongest and most loving unions in the political world.

Even so both Michelle and Barack Obama have always been frank about the difficulties they've overcome in balancing home and work.

On the campaign trail the first lady opened up about how their relationship improved when she reconciled herself to his frequent absences.

"I came to realise that he was there in the ways he could be," she said.

"If he wasn't there, it didn't mean he wasn't a good father or didn't care.

"I saw it could be my mom or a great baby-sitter who helped. Once I was OK with that, my marriage got better."

Meanwhile, her husband has praised the sacrifices she made while he was from away from home pursuing his political dreams.

Now, a new book has claimed tensions between the power couple grew so bad at one time, the woman - whom he described on election night as his best friend of 16 years - was ready to quit the marriage.

In Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage, author Christopher Anderson writes that the mum of two nearly walked out after eight years.

"You only think about yourself," she is quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, the politician apparently told his beloved grandma: "I love Michelle, but she's killing me with this constant criticism". 

The book also reveals that fears that couple's daughter Sasha had life-threatening spinal meningitis helped bring them back together.

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