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People for the most part we are social animals who need each other for support and love. We do not enter the world all by ourselves via osmosis. Watching my wife, Ella, in the delivery room give birth to my two children was an amazing sight to behold.

Our love brought us together to be a couple and the children were a bonus in our lives.

There are two must books for you to read : Jean Chretien " My stories, My Times" and Michelle Obama’s best selling book "Becoming."

Jean & Emile Chretien fell in love on a bus when she was 13 and he was 16 years of age. The " little guy" from Shawinigan was known as a street fighter who was not afraid to stick up for himself and his family who were for the most part poor. Hand me down clothes from his older brother was the norm. To help with his aggression and give him a good education Jean entered a school run by the Jesuits. He beat the odds and went on to Laval University to complete a law degree. Aline finished high school and enrolled in correspondence language studies in French, Spanish, English employed as a secretary.

Aline took a chance with Jean who ran/ was elected to the Federal Liberal Party of Canada all the way to the Prime Minister office for three terms. "Aline was his rock" and constant confident who even protected him while he was asleep to take on an intruder with a lamp- in- hand before the RCMP officers arrived.

She moved to Ottawa to be with her husband while being obliged to keep their home in the riding of Shawinigan. A drive of 750 K from Ottawa with three children in the car in the winter was not fun. It was common knowledge that too often male members of Parliament who got lonely ended up divorcing their wives.

"As a rule men do not choose a decadent desert when they have the option of a nutritious breakfast at home."

Jean, had three bosses in his life while he was the PM: Queen Elizabeth 2nd, Adrian Clarkson the Governor General of Canada and of course Aline Chretien,

Jean at age 84 is still working as a lawyer in Montreal and Aline 82 years young are still happily married and grandparents.

You can learn a lot about how to have a successful marriage from reading Michelle Obama’s book "Becoming." She was raised in a warm African American home in Chicago’s tough South Side. Her dad, Fraser Robinson, was a blue collar worker who worked for the city and her mom, Marian, was a stay- at-home parent with two children to care for until they went to high school and then she was an assistant manager of a bank.

Fraser was plagued with the deadly disease of Multiple Scholosis for many years that along with Cancer took his life at the age of 55.

Marian searched for the best public schools for her two children to attend so that her offspring would have a good chance of attending Princeton University. Michelle went on to the prestigious Harvard University to study/ graduate in Law. Craig, her older brother, graduated from Princeton and went on to play/coach basketball in Europe.

Barack Obama’s father was a graduate student from Kenya that for three short years was married to his mother. Stanley Ann Dunham, She was a life long travelling student. Thank God for her parents Madelyn and Stanley, who lived in Hawaii that agreed to raise and educate their grandson so he could go on to attend Harvard and hold the prestigious position as Editor of the Harvard Review.

Barack in his first year of school was a very bright, engaging young handsome man who in the summer had an internship with a prestigious law firm in Chicago; Michelle was his mentor and boss. Barack asked her out for coffee and she told him that :"She did not go out with her employees." She relented when he offered to quit.

They went out on their first date in Barack’s broken-down- wreck of a car with holes in the floor; Michelle was smitten with the young man from Hawaii. They fell in love; Michelle was the perfectionist and Barack although he always had good intentions had far too many cookies on his plate to juggle to be on time and attentive to the needs of his new girl friend.

Michelle had to learn that if she could not change Barack that she would have to ultimately change herself if she wanted the relationship to last and their marriage to endure. Barack successfully ran for a seat in the United States senate. "Must have been a good speech" at the Democratic Convention and the wheels were set in motion to elect Barack to be the first Black American President of the US of A. Two beautiful talented daughters, one mother- in-law in the White House originally built by slaves and the couple made it all happen.

There are lessons to be learned from reading their books. Commitment, compromise, patience & respect. No I in the word QUIT. "Yes we can" find the critical balance to a successful career and marriage. To try and do it all you both have to commit 51% of yourselves.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com