Kristen Bell has opened up about how therapy has helped her and husband Dax Shepard’s marriage, revealing that they use their solo sessions to “talk sh** about each other”.
The Frozen actress spoke candidly about the realities of making a relationship work during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where she spoke with guest host Chelsea Handler.
According to Bell, she and Shepard found that, at the beginning of the pandemic, they were constantly annoyed with one another, prompting the actress’s therapist to suggest they go to therapy sessions separately.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, we were at each other’s throats. And then all the doors locked in our house, like, we had to stay inside, and we were like: ‘Woof. We need to get a handle on the annoyances,’” Bell recalled. “And our therapist, Harry, who I love so much… Harry suggested, since we were both so annoyed with each other… He suggested we go to therapy separately so that we could talk sh** about each other.”
“And we did. And it’s been great,” Bell continued, adding that every two weeks or so, she’ll see her therapist via Zoom to complain about her husband and that Shepard will then do the same.
The tactic allows the couple to air their grievances with one another without taking them out on each other, with Bell noting that it means she and Shepard “love each other” by the time they reconnect at night.
“By the time we meet up in the evening, we love each other again,” she told Handler.
During the interview, Bell also noted that relationships of any kind take work, especially when you are spending all of your time together, and that it can help to have a third-party to “moderate”.
“The reality is, if you’re living with one human being, I don’t care if it’s your partner or your husband or your wife or whoever it is, your roommate, you need to brush up on your toolbox because you will find that person annoying,” she explained. “Relationships take work.”
This is not the first time that Bell has spoken candidly about the benefit therapy has on her marriage, as she and Shepard previously told People that they go back to therapy every couple of years when they realise that they are being “antagonistic” towards each other.
According to Bell, when this happens, the couple relies on therapy to find out what they can do to better suit one another, and work together as a team.
“Every couple of years, we’re like: ‘We’re being very antagonistic towards each other,’ and we don’t want that,” the 40-year-old told the outlet in January. “We go back to therapy and figure out what I’m not doing that’s best for you and what you’re not doing that’s best for me, and how we can serve this team goal better. It’s been incredibly helpful.”