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The pandemic has proven difficult for couples everywhere, as they are spending an unprecedented amount of time in each other's company — and Hollywood's "it" couple Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard is no exception.
"My husband and I, we were just at each other’s throats," Bell told Self of the time just before quarantine, which only became more difficult once they were at home 24-7 with their two daughters, Delta and Lincoln. But with therapy, communication and scheduled intimacy, the pair made it work.
"There are some times when it’s in the calendar," she said about sex. "You're like, ‘I know you’re tired, but it’s been two weeks, so we really got to get to it."
As unsexy as it sounds, the 40-year-old actress admitted that "the stupid s*** he does just by being him is so attractive to me," which has kept the romance alive. Still, their commitment to one another isn't always easy, as they've been open about in the past. In fact, it's the result of a lot of hard work to ensure that they don't end up divorced like both of their sets of parents.
"Do you want to be on the porch with someone when you’re 80?" Bell asked. "We both want that." She even joked that getting to that end goal means looking past a lot of the superficial things, like attraction to other people.
"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," she explained. "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."
When it comes to self-esteem she's also learned a lot from being the primary provider for their family. "I think I’ve always out-earned him," Bell said about their careers. "I got a lot of opportunity, you’re sharing in it, we’re able to provide for a ton of our family members who may or may not be struggling," she continued, as if addressing Shepard. "I don’t look at it like, 'This is mine and this is yours.' I’m like, 'This is ours. Get over it.'"
That mutual point of view is something that the couple has also incorporated in other areas of their relationship, most notably when it comes to mental health. Bell even shared Shepard's frank response to a bout of depression she was experiencing during the pandemic. "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," she recalled Shepard saying to her, admitting herself that she has a problem of "distinguishing between my emotions and someone else’s emotions" which became a source of great stress in 2020.
Quite similarly, when Shepard relapsed after 16 years of sobriety, Bell provided some tough love. "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."
All of this goes to show that no relationship is perfect, even the glorified celebrity ones — something that Bell wants to be transparent about.
"I don’t want any young person feeling like there’s a fantasy out there that they just have to find the right person," she said. "Relationships aren’t a puzzle. You cannot pick them up and put them down."
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