One of Hollywood’s most beloved couples once again wants to make sure that we realize how much work it takes to keep a happy marriage, well, happy.
Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell might seem like a couple that has it all figured out — but they’ve done their best to dispel the belief that they are so in love because they’re simply soulmates. In a recent interview, Dax said that there’s a reason that he and his wife try to be as honest about their struggles as a couple as possible in interviews and to the world. It’s because they don’t want people to think they have the perfect marriage — and that marriage isn’t made up of a lot of work.
“We don’t want anyone to think we met and it’s been easy,” Shepard said during an appearance on Sunday Today with Willie Geist. “Because if that’s someone’s expectation of a relationship, and certainly marriage, it’s a bad expectation to have.”
Shepard and Bell have never been shy about opening up publicly about the hardships they’ve faced as husband and wife, even discussing Shepard’s recent relapse after 16 years of sobriety. During an interview on Ellen shortly after news of Shepard’s relapse broke, Bell did not shy away from discussing what their family was going through at the time.
But unfortunately, their radical honesty is a bit of a double-edged sword, as part of what makes so many people romanticize their marriage is the fact that Bell and Shepard are so transparent about their struggles. That’s not their fault — it’s on the rest of us. By admitting they aren’t perfect, Shepard and Bell have accidentally developed a fanbase that is convinced they have the perfect marriage. In reality, they’re just like us.
And while it is hard not to get at least a little bit swept up in the magic whenever Bell or Shepard get real about their marriage or raising their kids, it’s important to remember that they are just two people trying to figure their shit out like the rest of us. And putting their marriage on a pedestal isn’t only a disservice to them, it’s a disservice to yourself and your partner as well because you’ll naturally end up comparing your relationship to the idea of an idealized marriage that does not actually exist. Either way, it’s refreshing to see two people be honest about therapy, fights, and how love is a choice, not a destination.