BARACK and MICHELLE OBAMA’s 20-year marriage is a loveless sham – a secret they’re keeping from the American people, The ENQUIRER can reveal exclusively.
The president’s marriage has been hanging by a thread since Michelle met with divorce lawyers not once but THREE times and even had them draw up legal papers to make the split official, say sources.
“Barack and Michelle put on a good show when they’re out in public, but as soon as the cameras are off they are at each other’s throats,” revealed a Washington insider.
“They make a lot of political capital about how close they are and how important their marriage is to them – but the reality is that it’s been a sham for a long time.”
Their relationship deteriorated so badly while they were living in Chicago that a distraught Michelle prepared divorce papers in 2000 following her husband’s failed attempt to win a House seat.
In his book “The Amateur,” best-selling author Ed Klein wrote that Michelle was furious the future commander-in-chief had entered the race against her wishes and accused him of putting at risk their “stable and secure future.”
One of the first lady’s friends told Klein that Barack, 51, was so depressed his pals feared the worst.
Although she never served the legal papers, The ENQUIRER has learned that Michelle, 48, also consulted divorce lawyers before her husband launched his successful 2008 bid for the presidency.
“Michelle didn’t want all the attention and she didn’t want to raise their children under such magnified scrutiny,” explained the insider. “But she was eventually persuaded to go along with Barack and support the campaign.”
But just last year, Michelle had a secret consultation with a divorce lawyer because she was at her wits’ end over the marriage.
Insiders say that despite what she says in public, Michelle wanted to return to Chicago to give their daughters Malia, 14 and Sasha, 11, a normal life.
“She was also under public attack for wasting taxpayer dollars on her lavish vacation and spending sprees – and she just couldn’t take another minute living in the fishbowl,” a Washington, D.C., source told The ENQUIRER.
“She didn’t want Barack to seek re-election at the time. She’d had it with everything and that’s when the never-before-disclosed second conference with the divorce attorney took place.
“She was told, however, that it would destroy the White House if she took things further, and she was advised that if it helped, she should move into a guest bedroom or seek therapy.”
Another source claims Michelle blew up just days after the couple’s 20th wedding anniversary, which fell the same day as the president’s disastrous performance in the first debate against Mitt Romney on Oct. 3.
When she heard Barack was heading to Hollywood on a fundraising trip, she demanded that he stay away from “Scandal” beauty Kerry Washington – who’s become one of the most familiar faces on Team Obama – or their marriage was definitely over!
“First Mitt Romney cleaned his clock on the debate floor then Michelle kicked him in the head over her fears of him cheating with Kerry,” said an insider.
“The guy just couldn’t get a break!”
The dispute continued as the couple celebrated a tense anniversary dinner in Georgetown on Oct. 6.
“On the ride home their marriage exploded again because Michelle is jealous of Kerry being around Barack,” said a source. “She warned him, ‘If I hear you’re seeing her behind my back, we’re through!’”
In a recent report, sources revealed that the president had a meltdown and blasted Michelle, saying it would be her fault if he loses the election on Nov. 6.
Body language expert Dr. Lillian Glass reviewed recent pictures of the couple together and told The ENQUIRER the tension in the relationship was clear. “In one picture, Michelle really looks on edge and Barack looks like he resents her,” said Dr. Glass.
One of the major causes of their ugly confrontations is the millions in taxpayer dollars Michelle spends holidaying with daughters to escape from Washington.
“Close aides say their screaming fights behind closed doors are so loud they can clearly hear the shouting,” said a source.
Added the insider: “If the election goes badly for Obama, his job might not be all he loses. His marriage may be over as well.”