Adorable and sloth-obsessed couple, Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, seem like they have it all figured it out when it comes to love. They have two adorable children, they have nothing but respect and adoration for each other, and, as a bonus, they make some pretty ridiculously cute commercials together. They’re just the sweetest — and in an interview with Good Housekeeping this month, the couple divulged the unexpected thing that makes their relationship work so well: they go to couples therapy.
“[In the beginning,] there were hurdles, things she didn’t trust about me, things I didn’t trust about her,” Shepard told Good Housekeeping. “I just kept going back to ‘This person has the thing I want, and I have to figure out how we can exist peacefully.’ So we started [seeing a therapist together] right away.”
The two are refreshingly honest in the interview, and we couldn’t help but have a “Celebrities: They’re Just Like Us!” moment. But perhaps the best part of the whole thing is their acknowledgment that even the most wonderful, fulfilling relationships take work and compromise. Even more than that, having to work in your relationship doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with it. We’re so often conditioned by films and television shows and books that a perfect relationship comes easily if it’s with the “right” person, but that’s not always the case — and that’s totally OK.
“I thought I had this life thing down pat when I met Dax,” Bell said. “I didn’t realize that I needed a much bigger toolbox to have confrontations and disagreements with people.”
Even if counseling isn’t the right fit for you and your partner, we can all learn something about the importance of good communication for a good relationship from Bell and Shepard’s interview. But that being said, the two were quick to clarify that going to therapy isn’t a sign that their marriage is on the decline by any means.
“You do better in the gym with a trainer; you don’t figure out how to cook without reading a recipe,” Bell said. “Therapy is not something to be embarrassed about.”
“There’s such a negative connotation,” Shepard said. “In my previous relationship, we went to couples’ therapy at the end, and that’s often too late. You can’t go after nine years and start figuring out what patterns you’re in.”
Bell goes on to remind us that everyone will go through rough patches, no matter how amazing your relationship is. Arguing is inevitable, but it’s how you argue that matters.
“The way Dax and I argue now — and we argue a lot; we disagree on almost everything! — is so healthy,” Bell said. “If something pisses you off, you’ve got to find the [courage] to bring it up immediately, and say it in a way that the other person can hear.”
It’s no secret that Bell and Shepard are total opposites (in the words of Bell, they’re “the Paula Abdul video ‘Opposites Attract’ personified”), but that hasn’t stopped them from maintaining a super healthy and loving relationship, and it’s super rad to know that the two are so open to constantly bettering it. And in case you needed extra reassurance that the pair are as happy together as ever, fear not: the interview was also pretty incredibly aww-worthy.
“Dax helped me learn that I don’t have it all figured out,” Bell said. “Sometimes that’s the greatest gift someone can give you.”
Read the rest of the interview for yourself right here.