Kristen Bell
With celebrity marriages failing left and right, there must be something different about Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard’s relationship. (Image via Entertainment Tonight)
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Kristen Bell
With celebrity marriages failing left and right, there must be something different about Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard’s relationship. (Image via Entertainment Tonight)

Here’s how they’ve kept their relationship going for 11 years and counting.

Marriage and divorce are common among celebrities in the media; some couples survive, while others perish too soon. Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard are two movie stars who have succeeded in making a relationship work. Meeting in 2007, the couple has dealt with their fair share of troubles throughout their relationship, but because they figured out what works best for them, they have just celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary on top of a total of 11 years together.

A strong relationship is a goal for many people, both celebs and average Joes alike, and with Bell and Shepard’s long journey thus far, the couple can give those people some tips. So, open your iPhone notes, and write down these four tips you need to follow to make your own love life succeed.

1. Honesty is important.

Several interviews that Bell and Shepard partake in mention their relationship, and one quality they focus on stands out more than others: honesty. On “The View,” Bell said, “I think that one thing that marriages don’t have any more is honesty.” People might not be open with their partner about certain things for various reasons, but Bell has emphasized how honesty has strengthened her marriage to Shepard.

Talking about who they are attracted to, besides each other, is one subject the couple is honest about, and though it may seem strange, it has allowed the two to better understand any narcissistic qualities they have. They even bond over admiring the same people, such as Jennifer Lopez and Taylor Kitsch.

Their honesty has also helped in times of struggle, beginning at the start of their relationship. Just three months into dating, Shepard told Bell the truth, “I can’t have this right now. I think you’re wonderful, but I am still dating other people.” Bell said she respected him for having the courage to be honest with her, and just a few days later, Shepard admitted breaking up with her was a mistake.

So, the honest talk began when the relationship started, and it has continued throughout the years, leaving the couple happy to share their thoughts and feelings with one another. Clearly, it is one of the most important practices that everyone should do with their partner.

2. Set rules in a relationship isn’t a thing.

Does every couple need to spend a certain amount of time together each week? Each day? If you don’t, will your love life end in ruins? Of course not. In fact, thinking that all relationships should be the same and all couples should act the same is far from the truth in Bell’s eyes.

On “The View,” she said, “We’re playing this sort of Ken and Barbie game, like, ‘These are the rules and they should be applicable to everyone.’” Not everyone can successfully go by the same set of expectations in relationships. Something that works for one couple might not work for another, and Bell knows that her relationship with Shepard differs from others in many ways.

Going back to the tip on honesty, the couple talking about who they think is attractive is one example of a practice that some people might not agree with. It is part of Bell and Shepard’s honesty, but that specific topic might not be a conversation every couple is interested in having. Relationships don’t need to have the rules that everyone thinks they should have, and following this tip will allow you to determine what works best between you and your partner.

3. Walking out during fights does nothing.

All couples have arguments, and everyone has different ways to deal with them. Bell had her own way of taking on fights with Shepard that didn’t help anything: slamming doors and walking out. In an interview with Business Insider, Bell said, “Three months into our relationship he was like: ‘You can’t leave anymore during fights. I’m not going to do that.’”

Because Shepard dealt with emotional issues while getting sober, he knew running away from their fights wouldn’t be healthy for their relationship. Bell realized that Shepard was right, so she changed the way she faced their disagreements.

Shepard told People Magazine that their way of dealing with their arguments is healthy now and that he told Kristen, “We should try hard to police ourselves about becoming contemptuous of each other. If I ever see you roll your eyes at me, we need to hit pause and figure out what’s going on.” Slowing down to figure out what’s wrong during the situation might be hard, but with practice and understanding of the other person, Bell and Shepard agree that it’s possible.

Of course, this particular way of dealing with an argument might not work for everyone, but slamming doors and walking out didn’t help Bell and Shepard, so it’s probably not doing much good for you and your partner either. At least slowing down to evaluate the issue can allow for some talking.

4. Trial and error is the way you’ll figure out what works.

The struggles in a relationship test couples on how they will handle situations and what the outcomes will be. Will you and your partner come out stronger after a fight, or will your relationship be damaged after you make up? How can you, as a couple, change how you react to tough situations in order to make your relationship stronger?

The takeaway is exactly that in Bell and Shepard’s relationship. They had to test out different ways of dealing with their struggles before they reached a result that fit their relationship best. Through the arguments, they learned that being angry and walking out wasn’t the best for them, so they tried other methods that would make their relationship stronger.

Without trial and error in any relationship, you won’t find what works best for you and what could help you and your partner work together to get it right. Leaving a relationship when times get tough will only damage those involved; fixing what’s wrong will keep you together. “I don’t mind advertising a healthy marriage,” Bell said, “I’m trying just like everyone else.” All that she and Shepard have been doing proves to be working, and it is something everyone can learn from.

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Michelle Dreyer

Southern New Hampshire University

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