Kristen Bell’s Secret to a Healthy Ten-Year Marriage Is One Simple Phrase – And It Is Eye-Opening
In Hollywood, everything seems picture perfect, but Kristen Bell opened up about the secret to her not-so-perfect marriage and why it works.
Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard are two of the funniest actors in Hollywood and they’re close to celebrating their 10 year wedding anniversary. But behind the Hollywood glamor and media headlines, the couple has admitted to struggling in their marriage, with Shepard at one time calling it a ‘disaster’.
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These types of declarations are rare amongst celebrities who are often reluctant to discuss their marriage woes, instead choosing to make their lives seem picture perfect. But for Bell and Shepard, they’ve made it a a shared goal to be candid about their relationship while discussing the key to making it all work.
Keeping it Real
In an interview with ITV, Bell, 42 and Shepard, 46 sat down to discuss their marriage and how they make active choices to improve it each and every day. The pair, who met back in 2007 at a dinner party dated for two years before officially becoming engaged in 2009. However, they decided to postpone marriage until same-sex marriage became legalized in the state of California.
They finally tied the knot in 2013 and have two children, Lincoln Bell Shepard and Delta Bell Shepard.
Shepard, most noted for his roles in comedies like Old Dogs and When in Rome, joked, “The marriage is a disaster but when we work together it’s very harmonious.” The pair are currently co-hosting NBC’s Family Game Night.
Bell shared her reservations about keeping her marriage struggles a secret. “It felt very inauthentic to pretend like it’s easy, because it’s not, it is so hard,” said Bell. “It’s a beat down,” added Shepard.
So, how does the couple maintain their relationship despite their differences?
Two Simple Words That Make For a Great Marriage
Kristen Bell has shared that her biggest advice to couples out there is to “Stay vulnerable.” In an interview with ET, Bell said, “You’ve gotta be vulnerable,” and says that she and her husband have learned to be vulnerable even when they don’t want to be.
Is that the magic solution to a healthy marriage? Not exactly. The saviour for the marriage has been therapy. “We need a bigger toolbox — everyone’s born with a tiny toolbox — so we went to therapy, we figured out how to disagree but still love each other,” Bell says.
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The actress, who rose to fame for her role in the hit TV series Veronica Mars, says that it became embarrassingly simple for the couple’s therapist to pinpoint the source of their marital problems after listening to them argue for six minutes.
The couple also discussed their ‘toolboxes’ on the first episode of Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast, co-hosted with Monica Padman. Today, they have learned to ‘grow towards’ one another, while understanding that they have individual needs that stem from their diverse upbringings.
Why Vulnerability Matters
Social media has undoubtedly given the impression that long-lasting Hollywood marriages are easy work. While some couples, like George and Amal Clooney have said that they’ve never experienced an argument in their 10-year marriage, this isn’t always the case for all celebrities.
Kristen Bell had a wake up call to be more vulnerable with the public, and it happened in the most unexpected way. After seeing themselves posted on social media constantly under the popular hashtag, “#relationshipgoals”, she and Shepard began to wonder if they were a part of the problem.
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Afraid of deceiving their fans, Shepard said, “We were afraid someone thinks they’re gonna meet their Kristen Bell and it’s all going to be easy. We just wanted to say it is awesome and it requires daily work.”
They even likened a marriage to going to the gym. “If you want to change and get a six pack…you have to do the work.”
Now, Bell is no longer afraid of addressing therapy and completely ignores all of the stigma that comes with it. “I am not at all embarrassed to say I go to therapy, solo or with him,” she says. “I almost feel like, if you’re not in therapy, that’s embarrassing.”
Why It’s Okay to Need Help
No matter how many years you’ve been together, whether you’re a celebrity or not, marriage is not an easy journey. But if you and your partner are dedicated to finding common ground and understanding one another’s needs, the rewards can be great.
Getting outside help is absolutely okay, and it can improve your relationship in ways that you’ve never imagined, but the important first step, as seen with Shepard and Bell is to be vulnerable, and admit that your current toolbox might not be enough.