Kristen Bell Reveals That Her 'Perfect' Marriage Is Just As Tough As Everyone Else's

by Ashley Austrew

Kristen Bell admits her marriage to Dax Shepard is harder than it looks

Love is a many splendored thing, but it’s also a lot of really damn hard work. It’s easy to let your relationship fall into a rut, especially once kids are in the picture, and it’s tempting to look at other marriages and think the grass is infinitely greener. The truth is, even the best relationships require a lot of compromise and sacrifice. Surprisingly, no one knows that better than our favorite celebrity couple, Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell.

Dax and Kristen are basically the definition of relationship goals. They have two adorable kids, and they’re known for their cute social media posts and hilarious antics. A few months ago they shared a hysterical YouTube video of themselves dancing and lip-syncing to Toto’s “Africa,” and six weeks ago Kristen joined Instagram with this adorable picture:

They’re the sort of couple we all envy — but even they have to put effort into staying happy. In a recent interview with Bustle, Bell opened up about how hard she and Shepard work to keep their relationship healthy, and says she’d never want to give anyone the idea that hers is some sort of fairytale romance.

“I think there’s a bit of personal responsibility. I need to remind people that you don’t just find one person and then it’s all peaches and cream for the rest of your life… we do fight,” says Bell. “We love each other to the moon and back, but we do have a lot of road bumps. We make funny videos like ‘Africa’ and the sloth, but we also go to couple’s therapy because we disagree on 99.9 percent of issues.”

We tend to think happiness in relationships means the absence of conflict, but nothing could be further from the truth. Being together longterm means seeing all the “ugly” parts of one another — the bad moods, the dirty socks thrown on the floor four inches from the hamper, the complete lack of grace under pressure. Sometimes it even means not liking each other all that much.

“There are days when I’m completely sick of him, and there are days when he is completely sick of me,” admits Bell. “But we’ve chosen to love one another and to be a team… Marriage and a relationship is hard work, and it’s a lot of compromise. But if you compromise a lot, it’s worth it, and you’ll be able to make African vacation music videos.”

It’s rare for celebrity couples to speak openly about their relationships at all, let alone admit that they fight, go to therapy, and have to work damn hard to stay together. It’s refreshing, though, because that is the reality of marriage and pretty much any committed relationship.

Choosing to spend your life with someone doesn’t mean it’s all hearts and rainbows and happily ever after. Sure, there are high points and there should be lots of happy moments, but there are also days when pretty much anything seems easier than having the same argument for the 400th time.

A good relationship isn’t the same thing as an easy relationship, and as you grow older together, you start to see the subtle romance in compromise, in working towards common goals, and in striving to be the best possible versions of yourselves. Sometimes love means putting in a little effort, and as Dax and Kristen’s relationship shows, the positive outcome is more than worth the work.