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Barack Obama Gives Daughter $1 Allowance a Week

07/23/2008 at 07:00 PM EDT

Barack Obama Gives Daughter $1 Allowance a Week
Michelle, 44, and Barack Obama, 46, with daughters Malia (left) and Sasha outside their Chicago house June 19
Martin Schoeller
Barack Obama Gives Daughter $1 Allowance a Week| Barack Obama, Michelle Obama

This relaxed 1992 wedding portrait sits on the Obamas' living room mantel.

Courtesy Obama Family

Can you tell me how this experience has changed your marriage?
Barack: It's made it stronger. The tough times for us were when the kids were real small, I was away a lot and Michelle was still working. So, the burden on her was enormous, and I think there's a feeling that maybe I didn't fully appreciate that burden. That was something we worked through. And I think we're both more patient with each other. We both know how to avoid making the other person feel aggravated. And I'm so proud of her and I think she knows how much I love and appreciate her. So, she puts up with me.
Michelle: I think it has made us stronger. Time and love and sacrifice and hard struggles, I think, make you stronger.
Barack: I also think that she knew at the beginning when I was doing this that if she came to me and said don't do it, I wouldn't have done it.
Michelle: That's the key, for sure.
Barack: And if I ever thought that it was ruining my family, I wouldn't do it.
Michelle: We're constantly balancing each other. I know that if I were to say, "I can't take this," it would be over.

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