Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell have found the good place… together. The Hollywood power couple are celebrating six years of marriage on October 17, and while that time has been blissful at moments—the two are parents to two beautiful young girls—both have openly admitted that their relationship requires work and unwavering devotion.
From emotional sloth surprises to their shared sense of snarky humor, the actors have redefined “relationship goals” especially by speaking candidly about their relationship and commitment to each other. In honor of their sixth anniversary, The Knot rounds up the couple’s sweetest (and funniest) quotes about their love story.
Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard’s wedding was personal and understated, making it a perfect representation of the couple. When Shepard proposed to Bell in 2009, they immediately agreed on one important detail. “We did not want a wedding,” Shepard previously told The Knot. “We spent a hundred bucks at the courthouse. The last thing we wanted to do was take something and add stress—Who’s invited? What’s for dinner?—since we’d rather buy a family member a house.”
Bell added, “The total was $147 and I believe that included the gas in the car and the playlist,” Bell adds. “He bought all of my favorite songs from high school on to play in the car on the way there and those $1.99 single tracks, the total for the day was $147.”
On Their Wedding Registry
While the duo didn’t create a wedding registry back in 2013, Bell knows exactly what she would register for today. “I would absolutely divert—as we do for our birthdays and Christmas presents to each other—it to somebody who actually needs it,” she told The Knot. “I would create a registry [that includes] Donors Choose, which is a website where you’re allowed to see a list of what teachers need in the United States and you can see what they’re buying on their own dime.”
But beyond linking her registry to a charity, there is one practical household item Bell would add to her wishlist. “I would say, practically, I would want to register for anything that caught my eye because I am especially susceptible to impulse buying. I would make a list ahead of time and pick the 25 most practical items that I needed like pans or light bulbs. I know it’s not sexy to put light bulbs on your registry, but you need light bulbs!”
Shepard and Bell are honest about compromising to prioritize their relationship—and this started with their 2013 wedding. In 2019, Shepard told People Magazine that he never wanted to get married, but he knew how much how much a formal ceremony meant to Bell. “Ultimately, I was like, ‘Well, I’m doing it because my partner wants that,” he explained. “Forget the tradition or history of marriage as a concept, you knowing I was doing something that I didn’t want to do because I loved you was a big sign for you.”
According to marriage health app Lasting, only 14% of couples say that they are very satisfied in how they communicate with their partner. For Shepard and Bell, communication is a factor of their relationship that they consistently seek to improve.
“The first year, you are working out your kinks. I loved it,” Bell said on the Harry Connick Jr. Show in 2017. “We’d get in a fight, because we would fight a lot, and I’d, like, yell something then slam the bedroom door. Then I’d slam the front door, then I’d get in my car, and then I’d skid out the driveway and I would sit around the corner in my car and it felt so good.”
“I realized how incredibly toxic it was only after he pointed it out,” Bell noted. “Three months into our relationship he was like, ‘You can’t leave anymore during fights. I’m not going to do that.’ I was like, ‘What?’ He’s like, ‘You can’t do that, I’m not going to have a relationship… He has a very high standard and a strong code of ethics. He was like, ‘No, I have more respect for myself, I love you but I’m not going to do that my whole life.’”
On the Origins Of Their Relationship
Shepard and Bell may serve up relationship goals now, but the beginning of their romance wasn’t so sweet. “When I met her and her friends, I was suspicious of their unbridled happiness,” Shepard joked to Good Housekeeping. “I thought, ‘Something stinks here; they’re in a cult.'”
Bell continued the story in a post on Instagram. “Two weeks later I saw him at a hockey game and he asked for the gum in my mouth,” she wrote. “I was like HELLO… truly, his first text to me was: ‘Hi. My name is Dax. I violated your privacy and got your number from Shauna. How do you feel about that?’ And I thought… what the h—? This kid is sassy.”
On Valentine’s Day 2018, Bell took to social media to share advice with a stranger who requested marital tips ahead of his wedding day. The Veronica Mars star replied by posting an extended note on her account page, writing: “Life is a crazy ride. It’s a privilege to go through it with a partner.” Read her tips below:
I was writing a note 2 friends who were getting hitched. I wrote congratulations then thought “Kristen! Arent u old & married? Dont u have any wisdome to share?!” When i was done, I realized Id written the A-Z of what keeps my marriage w/@daxshepard1 healthy. #HappyValentinesDay pic.twitter.com/d0ew7hydUL
— Kristen Bell (@IMKristenBell) February 14, 2018
Lasting reports that 70% of couples say they are best friends. Additionally, findings show that the healthiest relationships are built upon partners who make sacrifices for each other—a sentiment Shepard echoed on The Today Show in 2017. “If I had to sum it up in one word, it’s work,” he said of his marriage. “Not unlike your body, which won’t just stay in shape on its own volition, you really have to be maintaining the relationship, and it is work. And it’s often uncomfortable work, but it needs doing or we won’t stay together.”
“I think that we’ve all consumed a lot of fairytales and romantic comedies and sitcoms,” he mused. “In that architecture, it seems that your main job is just to select the right person, and I don’t really think that’s the main job. I think that’s maybe the least important aspect of it, truly. I think it’s far more about the work that goes into it to make it good.”
On Their Devotion to Each Other
“When setting aside the love we had for each other, I recognized he made a decision to choose me,” Bell previously said in a 2016 interview with Glamour. “I recognized he made a decision to stay in this relationship. Because actually, at our hardest times, at the times we were screaming at each other, I recognized he was the one because he wasn’t leaving.”
The couple shares two daughters together: Lincoln, born in March 2013, and Delta, born in December 2014. They’ve opted to raise their children out of the spotlight in favor of giving them a private upbringing with strong values. “We have very strict rules in our family about how we treat people with respect, especially our family members,” Bell told Us Weekly. “We are going to be with each other in the long haul, so it’s important to always be respectful and treat your sister the way you want to be treated.”
When talking to the publication about balancing life with two young children, Bell explained that it all comes down to cultivating a good partnership with Shepard. “We tag team. We switch kids all the time… It’s not about perfection, but it is about being thoughtful and not reactive. So in order to not be reactive, we switch kids a lot.”
Lasting finds that only 25% of couples say they prioritize date night—but Shepard and Bell have taken steps to incorporate alone time into their nightly routine after they put their kids to bed. “There are two hours of mommy and daddy binge-watching TV time,” Shepard said. “We get that couple hours at night where we fantasize about other people on TV.”
On Finding Their Perfect Match
A match made in heaven? Bell thinks so—but she also knows that her strong relationship with Shepard is a result of the hard work they put in together. “We have a very healthy marriage and we got there by doing therapy when we needed it, and constantly doing fierce moral inventories,” she told People magazine. “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.”
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