11 Marriage Rules Kristen Bell & Dax Shepard Follow To Survive Addiction, Relapses & Arguments

Relationships take a lot of work, theirs is no exception.

Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard Rena Schild/Shutterstock/Instagram

Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell are one of Hollywood’s cutest couples.

With all good marriages, however, comes a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to make sure that it thrives and lasts as long as possible.

Having been together since 2007, the couple have faced a lot of hurdles from Shepard's substance abuse to Bell's anxiety issues.

But it seems like Shepard and Bell have got it figured out thanks to the rules they’re learned to follow along their journey.


Here are 11 rules that Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell follow for a long-lasting marriage.

1. Kristen Bell says you can’t walk out during fights.

In 2017, on the talk show “Harry,” Bell revealed that she “loved the dramatic exit,” meaning that she would often leave fights in the middle of them dramatically.

"The first year, you are working out your kinks. I loved it," she said. "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 then I would sit around the corner in my car."


"And it felt so good, and I realized how incredibly toxic it was only after he pointed it out."

She only stopped doing this when Shepard put his foot down and told her that she couldn’t leave fights like that anymore.

"Three months into our relationship he was like, 'You can't leave anymore during fights. I'm not going to do that,'" Bell added.

"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.'"

2. They both agree that relationships are hard work, and treat it like a job.

You will commonly hear people refer to marriages or relationships as “work” or “hard work,” well Shepard takes that kind of advice seriously.


Their marriage and their relationship is treated like a priority, like a commitment you would have for any job.

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"You do have to take it as seriously as you take your work commitments," he told People Now in 2017.

"It has to be scheduled and you have to prioritize it or it doesn't happen."

“I think it is easy to work with him because I married him, because I enjoy spending time with him and I trust him,” Bell told People in 2017. “That is exactly what I want in someone that I work with.”

3. Kristen Bell remembers that having a partner is a privilege.

On Valentine’s Day in 2018, Bell posted on Instagram a list of wisdom that she has carried with her throughout her marriage with Shepard.


“In 10 years, when the dopamine has waned, remember: Life is a crazy ride," Bell wrote in the post. "It's a privilege to go through it with a partner."

Whenever she feels like the sparks start to dwindle, she remembers that she’s lucky to be in the position she’s in at all — she found the person to spend the rest of her life with.


4. It’s important to be vulnerable with your partner.

While communicating with your partner is the most important rule in any relationship, adding a layer of vulnerability makes it all the more intimate and special.

During a 2017 interview with Women’s Health, Bell said “If you're in a fight with your husband, just stop and be vulnerable. Say, 'I'm so scared this fight is going to lead to us breaking up and I don't want to break up with you.' Like, say that in the middle of a fight about the garbage and s--- is gonna change."

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"Vulnerability always begets connection and intimacy," Bell wrote in the same 2018 Instagram post. "Stay vulnerable with each other."


5. It’s okay to have separate interests and hobbies — you should encourage them.

Even though you’re going to be spending the rest of your life with this person, that doesn’t mean you have to be with them or do everything with them 24/7.

In the Valentine’s Day Instagram post she also wrote, "Take necessary separateness. It will make your marriage better."

"Rejoice in what makes the other person happy,” she added, “and allow them their individual interests."

Growing while you’re apart is just as important as growing together, so make sure you don’t lose yourself in the other person.

6. There’s no shame in the therapy game.

There is absolutely no shame in couples therapy or even going to therapy individually — if you need the help, you should take it.


"We have a very healthy marriage and we got there by doing therapy when we needed it, and constantly doing fierce moral inventories," Bell told People in 2017. "We both take responsibility when we are wrong."

In a 2015 interview with Good Housekeeping, Bell addressed it even further, saying “Therapy is not something to be embarrassed about.”

"There may be something that really hurt your feelings that you're scared to bring up,” she added. “Go talk about it with a therapist who can mediate. You'll walk out of the room feeling like you're [on the same] team."

During the same interview, Shepard said “In my previous relationship, we went to couples' therapy at the end, and that's often too late. You can't go after nine years and start figuring out what patterns you're in."


7. Leave no room for contempt in your relationship.

You might feel like rolling your eyes at your partner is inevitable, but it’s actually a sign that you hold contempt for that person.

"I said to Kristen, 'We should try hard to police ourselves about becoming contemptuous of each other,'" Shepard told People in 2015. "If I ever see you roll your eyes at me, we need to hit pause and figure out what's going on."

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Bell agrees with her husband and doubled down in her 2017 interview with Women’s Health.

"If you have contempt for the other person — if you roll your eyes or you disregard something they said — your relationship will fail. You might as well get out of it now," Bell said. "We've made a commitment, a verbal commitment, and an active one, to never have contempt for each other."


8. Bell says you need to be empathetic during arguments.

In 2017, Bell told US Weekly that she makes a very large effort in being empathetic towards her husband during an argument, even if she disagrees with him.

"I do disagree with him on 90% of the issues on the planet," she said. "But we have really wonderful, intense valued conversations about things, and I always see his point, even if I disagree. It's hard to do."

It’s important to make your partner feel seen and heard, and understand that while you might not agree with everything that comes out of their mouth, it’s important to understand where they’re coming from.

"I disagree with him on almost everything, but I have intense respect for his critical thinking skills and the fact that we were raised differently," she added. "I always see his point."


9. Shepard shows a continued interest in Bell.

On Valentine’s Day in 2018, Shepard went on the Ellen Degeneres show and gave advice to an audience member who wondered how to keep intimacy alive in a relationship.

"In my experience, your lady wants to know that you're still very interested in her as a human being," Shepard said.

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“You need to, you know, go to dinner and actually be interested in follow-up questions and spend the time as if you just met this person at a bar. That's what's exciting I think."

Let your partner know you’re still just as interested in them as you were when you first met.

10. Jealousy is not allowed in their relationship.

While some people think that jealousy is a good sign that your partner actually cares about losing you, Shepard heavily disagrees.

"The least attractive thing for your partner is jealousy, so if what your goal is is to keep them interested — and not interested in other people — it's not an option," Shepard said. "You gotta go, 'No, that's actually a repellent.'"


Bell explains that when the couple watch their performances on shows or movies together, they often root for each other to end up with their love interest.

“We’re storytellers, and we have a trust in our relationship,” Bell said.

11. Bell prefers not to have a perfect relationship.

People often approach Bell and Shepard for advice because they think that they’re the perfect couple, but Bell actually sees it differently.

"We have a perfect relationship because we both aren't afraid to admit that we're not perfect," Bell told Men's Health in 2014. "Once you can admit that you're not perfect and you mess up all the time, it's so incredibly freeing."


They know that they aren’t perfect, and they’re okay with that.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Since graduating from Rutgers University, he spends most of his free time gaming or playing Quadball. Keep up with his rants about current events on his Twitter.