The Obamas: Why Their Marriage Works


What we can learn from the state of the first family's union.

The results are in: Barack Obama will be our president for one more term! To us at YourTango, that means four more years of observing the adorableness that is Barack and Michelle's relationship. But the first couple's devotion runs way deeper than fist pumps and flirtatious interviews might suggest. There are important lessons to be learned from the Obamas' relationship dynamic, and — according to Dr. Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist and chief scientific advisor to — scientific evidence to explain just why the state of their union is so solid.

Dr. Fisher says it's all in the genes. Barack is a classic explorer/navigator, a personality mix that's indicative of high levels of dopamine -- the 'happy hormone' associated with spontaneity, creativity and optimism. He also operates on copious amounts of estrogen, which accounts for strong big-picture thinking, long-term views and the captivating public speaking skills he's become famous for.

In Michelle, he's found his perfect complement. Dr. Fisher regards her as a builder/director personality type, meaning her personality is guided by serotonin, which indicates a healthy level of social conformity and a more measured attitude that's respectful of authority. She's also high on testosterone, which introduces tough and analytical elements into the mix.

In short, Barack isn't afraid to go out on a limb, as long as he has Michelle to keep him in check.

Of course, none of this would matter if it weren't for the deep love and admiration each has for the other. Michelle once shed this light on her marriage to the president: "Trust your instincts...good relationships feel good. They feel right. They don't hurt. They're not painful. That's not just with somebody you want to marry, but it's with the friends that you choose. It's with the people you surround yourselves with."

What are your thoughts on the Obama marriage -- and the decision to keep Barack in the White House for four more years?

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