This is how Melania Trump really feels about her husband

When it comes to First Lady Melania Trump, there's something about her — whether due to her cursory, though obligatory, appearances with her husband President Donald Trump, her propensity to speak less rather than more unless absolutely necessary, or the seemingly separate lives she and her husband lead — that's perpetually inscrutable. But a new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mary Jordan which attempts to decode the inner workings of the Slovenian-born model-turned FLOTUS has possibly, finally given some insight to Melania behind her almost monolithic veneer — and how she might really feel about the world leader she's married to

Jordan's The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump, published June 16, 2020, has already skyrocketed to the top of Amazon's bestseller list, and for good reason: the Washington Post journalist has provided the first truly deep dig into the making of the woman, born in the former Yugoslavia in 1970 into a family of little means, per The New York Times. It also explores how she was able to break from the mold of a typical upbringing in Soviet-era Eastern Europe and become, decades later, the wife to a (supposed) billionaire tycoon and ultimately America's first lady.

According to Jordan, the mindset of the current administration's FLOTUS, while veiled by a "poker face," is all about pure ambition. And her marriage, like her goals, was supposedly a part of that ambitious trajectory.

Melania Trump is the polar opposite of Donald Trump

As Slate columnist and critic Laura Miller wrote in her review of Mary Jordan's Melania Trump tell-all, the woman who launched one million "Free Melania!" memes seems to describe herself in comparison to what she is not.

During the sole telephone interview Jordan was able to obtain with Melania, she said of herself, as relayed in the book, "I know what I want, and I don't need to talk, and to, you know, be an attention seeker. I'm not that way. But when Jordan asked her to explain who she is rather than what she isn't, she was apparently "baffled" by the question.

"I live meaningful life," she ultimately replied with insistence but added quickly that, "I know that talking every time, blabbing something around isn't good. That's not my style." Considering her husband's penchant for ranting — especially on Twitter — it's an answer that casts a stark contrast between the two halves of their coupling, and possibly alludes to how Melania approaches life in general: with considered calculation.

Melania's stoic veneer and outward appearance seem to fit with the nickname her stepdaughter, Ivanka Trump, gave her — "The Portrait," as Jordan alleged in the book. 

Melania Trump and Donald Trump's courtship was romantic at first

As Laura Miller stated in her Slate article about Mary Jordan's Melania Trump biography, "many of the qualities that lead people to declare Melania a cipher, an enigma, or even a ghost" can probably be reduced to one thing: money. But while wealth might have factored in her marriage to current President Donald Trump, love was seemingly one as well.

When Melania left a highly competitive architecture program at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, she pursued a career as a high fashion model, NBC News noted. Although the "supermodel" label might be a stretch, with even Melania realizing "she was, despite her beauty, merely one more specimen of an interchangeable type," as Miller described a conversation between FLOTUS' former roommate and Jordan, which is featured in the book. Melania then met Trump in 1998, and many of the former model's friends told Jordan that they witnessed affection between the two firsthand.

One fashion photographer interviewed for the book, Antoine Verglas, told Jordan about the pair's six-year relationship before their marriage in January 2005: "She was always looking at him like he was God, and he was looking at her like she was a goddess."

But while the romance might've been genuine at the beginning, there's a chance their marriage eventually morphed from romantic to one that was more or less contractual — and according to Jordan's book, one that nearly fell apart amid Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump's presidential campaign almost caused Melania to seek divorce

Mary Jordan's The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump painted Melania and Donald Trump's marriage as a double-edged sword. As Laura Miller wrote in her review for Slate, "Her husband is a boor and a pig, but unlike supermodeling, with its demands for ineffable charisma, he and his requirements were straightforward."

That being said, Melania got some of her requirements met as well — including her desire to have a child — their son, Barron Trump. "She spends much of her time with Barron and her parents," The New York Times reported about Jordan's portrayal of Melania's parenting. "Barron speaks Slovenian and, like his mother, is a dual citizen — he carries a Slovenian as well as a United States passport."

Another point of interest? Melania had been able to create a sort of equanimity for herself from careful observation. As Jordan reported in The Art of Her Deal, Melania Trump purportedly read all 17 books Trump has had ghostwritten about himself, studying how Trump's previous wives (which include Ivana Trump and second wife Martha Marples) clashed with Trump, all in order not to repeat the mistakes they've made, per Slate.

But despite her research, it almost all was done in vain.

Melania and Donald Trump 'live parallel lives'

Despite Melania Trump's careful diplomacy, she supposedly almost failed to keep their marriage intact during the 2016 presidential race. As Mary Jordan explained in The Art of Her Deal, it was a battle of wills in the name of exchanging commodities: During the election, Melania sought to renegotiate her prenup with President Donald Trump during the days leading up to the win and after his inauguration, per The Washington Post.

She purportedly was on the brink of divorcing him, and her feelings, usually well-hidden, were in retrospect pretty palpable. According to Jordan, this was when the "Free Melania!" meme was born, inspired by seemingly somber pictures of the two during the campaign.

So what's the status of the marriage between the president and First Lady Melania? It's hard to say if anything has changed since the early days of Trump's presidency. However, it appears the two continue to live "parallel lives," as Jordan noted in her book. They seemingly prefer it that way, and that their appearances together are more for the sake of saving face in front of the American public, obligatory at best. As Jordan wrote in the expose, per Slate, both are in a sense in cahoots together, committed to a "marriage that seems to thrive on husband and wife maintaining parallel lives that barely intersect."

Will their relationship continue, or will Melania, pun intended, break "free"? Only time will tell.