Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard may be Hollywood’s realest couple. You’ve probably seen them poke fun at each other on social media, and in April of last year, they admitted to being “at each other’s throats” at the start of quarantine. But they still love each other deeply, which has taken lots of hard work and most importantly, compromise.
That includes acknowledging that although they love each other, they’re people with normal attractions and desires—everyone is! So it works for them to talk about others they find attractive, rather than burying it away.
“He can tell me someone he finds attractive, female or male, ‘cause he pauses the Olympics on a lot of runners, but it doesn’t make me feel like he’s going to leave me for that person because I’m not allowing my self-esteem to be affected,” Bell explained to Self in a new interview. “I know there are people on Planet Earth that are more attractive than me, and well, we’re not dead. I have to acknowledge we’re monkeys.”
She added that while they were recently watching Friday Night Lights, “we were moments away from picking up the phone and asking both Minka Kelly and Taylor Kitsch if they wanted to join our marriage.”
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She also admitted to sometimes having to schedule sex to keep the intimacy alive. “There are some times when it’s in the calendar,” she said. “You’re like, ‘I know you’re tired, but it’s been two weeks, so we really got to get to it.’” And although Shepard frustrates her often, she said it’s “the stupid s*** he does just by being him [that] is so attractive to me.”
It’s clear that the actress likes to make light of her marriage’s surface elements, but she means business when it comes to the more serious conversations they’ve faced—like when Dax relapsed after 16 years of sobriety in September, or when she fell into a mid-pandemic depression.
When she was feeling down, Shepard approached her frankly and said: “Either get up and donate money or donate your time or do something to help, or take that story in, give it some love, and come out here and be a good mom and a good wife and a good friend and live your life in honor of the suffering that happens in the world,” Bell recalled.
And when Shepard relapsed, her response was equally terse. “I mean, he admitted it so quickly. It was like, ‘I did something that I don’t want to do. I’m going down a bad road. I want help. I want your help,’ and I looked at him and I said, ‘Okay, you come up with the new math,’” she said.
The pair have made it through eight years of marriage and overcome so many hurdles not because they’re lucky, but because they chose to do the work and acknowledge that they’re human. “I don’t want any young person feeling like there’s a fantasy out there that they just have to find the right person,” Bell said. “Relationships aren’t a puzzle. You cannot pick them up and put them down.”
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