It's easy to look at Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard and think they live a charmed life as one of the most entertaining, adorable couples in Hollywood. But in reality, both actors admit their relationship takes a significant amount of conscious work. They believe that's the key to a healthy marriage, as opposed to falling into a perfectly fated pairing where smooth sailing is the status quo.
"We don’t believe in The One," Dax explained exclusively to Us Weekly in an interview last week. "We don’t believe in the fairytale. We don’t believe that you can meet someone and you have a perfectly matching personalities. We are opposites, and it has taken a tremendous amount of work and therapy for us to coexist.”
The dad of two opened up in part, because he wants to clear up any misconception that what they share is effortless. “My only fear is that people see us and think, ‘Oh, I just need to find my Kristen Bell.’ That’s not true. You’ll find your Kristen Bell but guess what, now the work starts,” he noted. “[Relationships] are labor intensive. If you want them to last they are labor intensive.”
Both Dax and Kristen have been candid about going to therapy as a couple and doing the work to keep their partnership solid. Back in 2015, Kristen told Good Housekeeping that they learned to argue better by going to their therapist, concluding, "Therapy is not something to be embarrassed about." And in March, she told People: "We have a very healthy marriage and we got there by doing therapy when we needed it, and constantly doing fierce moral inventorie. We both take responsibility when we are wrong, and I think it is easy to work with him because I married him, because I enjoy spending time with him and I trust him. That is exactly what I want in someone that I work with."
As parents to Lincoln, 4, and Delta who turns 3 tomorrow, they not only work together as parents and significant others, but as colleagues at times. Dax told Us that they "love" working together professionally. "It’s wonderful because we get to spend time together, which is lovely, but it’s also rare that in a relationship both people have the exact same goal,” he noted. “Which is kind of what’s great about kids, too. We have the shared goal of getting them out of the house. And when you do a movie together or an ad campaign or whatever it is you have the exact same goal of making it great. It’s actually fun to have a shared goal.”
Part of hitting those shared goals and doing the work to keep their marriage firing on all cylinders is a "family rule" that Dax explained: "No more than two weeks a part no matter what. There isn’t an excuse.”
Sounds like solid advice from a seriously aspirational -- albeit far from perfect! -- pair.