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Kristen Bell was on Ellen’s show, with Chelsea Handler hosting, to promote her “Happy Dance” CBD line. Kristen’s segment airs today and I’m not going to pretend like I’ve watched all of it. I’m just going by the four minute preview clip on E!’s site, which was plenty for me. There’s only so much Kristen I can take. Of course Kristen talked about how much she and her husband, Dax Shepard, annoy each other as that’s a talking point for both of them. Dax just told a story on Kimmel about how Kristen always gets more attention than he does. On Ellen, Kristen said that their therapist told them to do separate sessions from their usual couples therapy so they could “talk sh-t about each other.” Supposedly that worked for them. Here’s some of what she said:
On how she makes it work with Dax
At the beginning of the pandemic we were at each other’s throats, like we had to stay inside, and we were like, ‘Woof, we need to get a handle on the annoyances.’ And our therapist, Harry… suggested since we were both so annoyed with each other… because the reality is, if you are living with one human being, I don’t care if it’s your partner or your husband or your wife or your roommate, you need to brush up on your toolbox because you will find that person annoying. Relationships take work. He suggested we go to therapy separately so that we could talk sh-t about each other. And we did and it’s been great.
Every two weeks or so, I’ll see Harry via Zoom and complain about Dax. Then he’ll give me all the reasons why I’m wrong, and then Dax will do the same. Then, by the time we meet up in the evening, we love each other again because our toolboxes are bigger. When you have a third party moderating any disagreement it’s always a safer place. Because when two people are talking, defense mechanisms and cortisol and all that stuff it just messes up the situation.
Read that last sentence. She’s saying they still have trouble discussing things after about 14 years together. They’ve admitted they have spent multiple days not talking to each other despite living together and having kids. It doesn’t sound healthy, but at least their therapist helps. I think the therapist realized that these two weren’t able to be in the same room together and discuss their issues so that’s why he split them up. Plus now he can charge for two sessions.
As for the quote in the title, about people getting annoyed with each other when they’re living together, it’s somewhat true. I think it’s just a matter of degrees. I’ve never gone a full day without talking to someone I live with.
Truth, that is all I have.
I adore my husband of 20+ years, and also, he has some very annoying habits. I’m sure he says the same of me, lol. But we’ve never not spoken for a whole day. That’s hard to do.
Same. 20 years this summer. He’s allergic to dirty dishes. I’m allergic to taking out the trash. We have long since learned to live with each other’s bad habits. And they sort of balance each other – I’m willing to do what he will not (kill bugs); he’s willing to do what I cannot (reach anything stored more than about 6 feet off the ground).
I think the only times we have gone more than 24 hours without talking to each other, he was traveling for work. He would call home every night to talk to Kiddo before bedtime, but there were times he called while I was out walking the dog and I was too tired to call him back. So I’d text him to say good night and I’d talk to him the next day.
Same. I’ve been married 29 years this month and I adore him to pieces. But there are some days he just annoys the hell out of me. And I’m sure he’d say the same. But we’ve never gone a day without talking. We don’t go to bed angry either. We don’t ignore the issues that caused the argument but, if they’re large and important ones, we table them until the next day (and however long it takes) and agree we love each other, apologize for any harsh words, and say I love you. My dad died unexpectedly and the comfort I had was that our last words we I love you. I don’t want my last words to a loved one to be in anger. Or to have spent our last day(s) together not talking. Covid brought that home even more as things could take tragic turns so easily.
I don’t live with either of them and they annoy the sh*t outta me.
👍🏻 100% what I was thinking also.
Relationships should not be that much work. Especially after 14 years.
eh, different strokes… never ‘should’ on yourself or others, ha!
For people who have trauma in their backgrounds, relationships are often this much work. Any intimate relationship with anyone. It’s not necessarily indicative of the people being wrong for each other.
Thank you for saying this! I mean really, thank you. <3
Very important input. Thanks for adding that for us traumatized folks.
Yeah they really shouldn’t be. I can’t stand her and I don’t agree with anything she says. I’ve been married 13 years and I don’t find him annoying at all. He’s the only one that I can be with 24/7 without anxiety.
He recently mentioned on Armchair Expert that he had to go to a hotel for a few days because he was being so triggered and angry being in their home and he needed a time out. It feels like the bulk of their public stories lately are about how difficult living together is…
What strikes me is that they seem to have a NEED to blame and shit talk each other. Like some of this is relatable to a point, but then it crosses a line. Sometimes we need time to ourselves, but like, we don’t leave in anger and go to a hotel for DAYS. And usually we can all put our annoyances in perspective and not blow our tops. We can usually dismiss it with a veiled eye roll. It’s weird to me that their constant bickering is what they want to put on display, especially after so many people were like “Umm, what?” This isn’t relatable, it’s a pissing contest.
Everyone gets annoyed or is annoying at times, but that seems pretty extreme.
Their relationship just sounds exhausting.
Dude, it doesn’t have to be this hard. Yes, other people will irritate you, usually because you are tired/grumpy/hungry/sick and your tolerance levels are low, but it shouldn’t be this much.
I totally agree, it just shouldn’t be this hard all the time.
And I don’t agree that everyone is going to be annoyed by the loved one they live with, especially if it’s a spouse you chose. I CHOSE to marry my husband and his presence never annoys me. If I was constantly annoyed by him, or if I found being around him too long to be annoying, I wouldn’t have married him.
These two as usual need to just STOP. Stop acting like constant bickering and constant issues is normal or acceptable for you or the children who have no choice but to live with you.
I can’t imagine needing to bitch to a therapist about my husband on the regular. If he does something over and over that truly bothers me, I approach him and talk to him about it. It’s not that hard! It shouldn’t be that hard.
Yeah like, my husband and I have had one little snark session at each other this entire time. If it was at the point these two seem to be at where their whole relationship is propped up by constant therapy I’d honestly just chuck it in, it sounds awful.
I was a late bloomer at the healthy, adult relationship thing. But when i finally got there- that was the offhand remark advice my mom gave me: Anyone you live with is going to get on your nerves with some point.
She slipped into dementia not long after that, and so i treasure that simple, true advice, and it did give me clarity.
She and my dad almost never fought (they only disagreed over money and my sister’s failing grades), so it was nice to hear that they got on each other’s nerves occasionally.
Kristin and Dax are a lot. But i still find her charming. I think it is a residual Veronica Mars thing for me.
Agree with getting annoyed with whoever you live with! Especially when you don’t have a huge home and staff to help out with kids and chores. And she is selling CBD now? Is there anything she won’t sell?! I feel like every other commercial is her trying to sell me furniture or baby stuff or something else. These two must need a lot of money to pay for therapy to constantly have to do cheesey commercials. The constant shilling annoys me.
Maybe I’m naive, but if I ever choose to live with someone again, it’s not going to be someone whose regular behavior feels so harmful to my mental well being that I have to leave for a few days…
what is the deal with these two? like, really?
Honestly I think they got a lot of attention and praise early on for being so open about their relationship and its struggles, and now they can’t stop oversharing. It’s become their brand now.
Also, it’s common knowledge that addicts/alcoholics are pretty hard to live with, even if they’re in recovery. Healing happens, but it’s a long and bumpy road. The spouse often has to absorb the stress of living with someone with a chronic relapsing illness especially with kids. It’s a hard decision to make when you have to decide when the stress outweighs the good times with a person you love and also the effect a divorce would have on the addict and in the kids. Has she ever said anything g about getting g into recovery herself (Al-Anon)?
If someone annoyed me to the levels they describe of each other, I would not live with that person.
Sometimes I wonder if they embellish how difficult it is for them because that’s their brand.
“We want to kill one another but we’re committed to sticking together so we’re making it work.”
They are both so exhausting. I mean, sooo exhausting. They make dysfunctional relationships “quirky” like they are both so creative and special that OF COURSE they’re going to fight and disagree. It might be an occupational hazard of the entertainment industry, that if you hook up with your peers you will constantly have these incendiary matches that are never destined to be happy. And yes, I know, there are exceptions, but they are so rare as to be true anomalies. In general, putting two narcissists together is a recipe for disaster. Add to that a thriving industry around selling your relationship, we are now witness to the packaging and commodification of “family”. And what sells? Controversy, conflict, anger, and then of course the making up.
Even should they break up, expect the attention seeking behaviour to explode to levels we haven’t witnessed yet. Their livelihood is their lives.
I’m trying to think of the last celebrity couple where both partners seemed to constantly publicly complain about each other the way Bell and Shepard do. Yeah, couples are not going to get along all the time and there may always be things about your other half that will annoy you, but you should be able to enjoy your relationship for the most part. These two seem miserable together. And I question whether this is all meant to slowly prep the public for an eventual divorce. Although I never got the impression that a family image was really important to either of their public personas, so now I don’t even know if that makes sense.
My husband gets on my nerves sometimes, and the Pandemic wasn’t always easy because he worked from home for more than a year. He still is. Sure, sometimes I would like a couple of days to myself. But I’m like that. I enjoy people, but I need alone time to power down and recharge.
But unlike them, I don’t feel the need to talk about it all the time. That’s what I find weird.
I just feel like at some point they are definitely going to split and it is going to be nasty and one of the other of them is going to make allegations of some sort of abuse.
They didn’t pick easy partners in each other. It should not be this much work, you shouldn’t need to refresh tools every other week to not fight. I wouldn’t recommend a lifetime of fighting hard to stop fighting as a relationship goal.
But they do work that hard, which says that even though they’re not exactly well suited for each other, they still care and want to make it work. I guess that’s something.
Yikes, all the “shoulds” in these comments! I admire that these two talk about the challenges of their relationship. I admire the work they do on their relationship even though it is hard.
You know what? It’s hard having a relationship with people who are recovering addicts, or who have anxiety and depression struggles. A lot of people recognize that and are willing to put in the effort and/or get outside help. To write it off as “unhealthy” or “a marriage shouldn’t be that hard” reeks of ablism — especially when they are so obviously actively working on it.
People with addictions and mental health struggles are harder to live with. It’s a fact. Please stop judging it.
I agree, and thank you for saying that Silent Star!
They open themselves up for judgement when they publicly disclose every minute issue in their marriage.
If it’s so hard, why stay? All they talk about is how difficult it is and through the prism of “Dax/Kristen did this toxic thing”. I can’t remember a time either of them said something affectionate or gentle about the other without it being filtered through sarcasm, irony, or a story about how much they annoy each other. Of course relationships can be difficult, but if there are MANY more rough patches than smooth ones, then leave and find someone better suited to your needs.
I love this! I admire them for working through it. 14 years is nothing to scoff at, clearly they are making it work. It’s true that addicts or those suffering from any illness deserve just as much love, and hopefully they can fight through these challenges together. It helps to have someone by your side, as long as they aren’t being burdened unfairly. My SO and I are both addicts and so we’ve had our challenges because of that, yet are able to offer each other a specific type of support that someone else might not. That said, staying together isn’t the only measure of success. Most relationship beyond a certain point have to enter a balance based on mutual attachment. It’s not all peachy, that’s for sure. Every couple has its challenges, fights, misunderstandings and big disagreements, including some that are never resolved.
The steroids have given him a ham-faced look to rival Sean Penn, he has aged 15 years overnight, WTF? I feel like he’s on a trajectory to looking like Dog the Bounty Hunter.
His face looks hammy angry. If my husband disliked me that much I would be hurt and embarrassed. It’s not normal to be pissed off all the time.
My husband and I went to marriage counseling for years and while it kept us together through some hard times, I don’t think it was the best way for us to make major improvements – because no matter how carefully and calmly you word a complaint or issue, it’s really hard for the other person not to feel like they are under attack and become defensive. So he started just seeing someone privately and that person offered to talk to me as well and now we both talk to the same person, separately. Sometimes we talk about the other person but most times we talk about ourselves and work through our own things. I’ve noticed a greater shift in our relational and individual contentment in the past 9 months doing it that way than I did in 5 years of couples counseling.
This is completely true. My partner gets up for work a few hours earlier than me. Because of this, he tries hard not to make noise, so he brushes his teeth outside our bathroom, which I appreciate. However, it usually means I have to send a search party for the tube of toothpaste. Obviously first world problems. But it proves you can get on each other’s nerves, even when you’re trying to be nice!
Living with someone makes them your roommate, best friend, romantic partner, financial partner in some cases, daily sounding board, dinner date, etc. It’s a lot to manage together, especially with kids. If you’re sad you expect them to listen. If you’re happy you want them to be in a good mood too. If you want them romantically, you hope they reciprocate in that exact moment and vice versa. It’s a wonder any couple works!
Oh, I have figured this out! Two tubes of toothpaste, one in each location. *thumbs up*
Haha, we’ll have to try that and see how we fare.
For two people who have claimed over and over again to want privacy, they sure talk a lot about their relationship, good and bad. My husband and I also did couples counseling. but our therapist refused to let us talk about the other person in the few solo sessions we had. She said it wasn’t fair otherwise and I agree. She must have been right because we recently celebrated 22 years and things are better than ever. Marriage is never as easy as movies make it out to be, but it’s not terribly hard, either.
I’ll never live with a man again. Right now I am living with my lifelong bff, due to covid circumstances coupled with passing of her dad. It’s temporary. But a romantic relationship, no. My grandmother had it right many, MANY years before the NY Times started writing about these kind of couples like they invented something new. She had a long term, very late in life, relationship. Obviously they were both widowed. Anyway, she never gave up her apartment, and he had a house. She would stay there for a few days, and then call my my mom from her place. “I’m home, I told Richard to take me home I’m tired of him”. And then my mom would go get her and take her over our house for dinner etc. That relationship lasted until the day he died, and that was the third one my grandma outlived. One day, at 92, she had her hair done, went to lunch, put her head down on the table, and passed. We always said she had her hair done because her 2 ex husbands, and Richard, would be fighting over her in heaven. And she would LOVE it.
What an inspiration she was for me. And I learned the hard way, you know what? Grandma was right. NO moving in.
Your grandma’s Living Apart Arrangement sounds like a dream! She is so right too! Men take such emotional labour that sometimes you just need a lil break from them. This story is honestly inspiring!
I know these two often say stuff like this to be “relatable” (it’s pretty much their brand at this point), but they talk badly about each other so often it feels contentious. Gottman has said once of introduce contempt into a relationship it’s pretty much a circle down the drain until the relationship ends 🤷🏻♀️
The only time I’ve ever gone a full day without talking to someone I live with is when I literally lost my voice.
Theirs sounds like a truly miserable relationship.
You can be slightly annoyed at your partner and recognize it and deal with it in a healthy way, or you can stew about it and let it fester. OR YOU CAN ASK A HOLLYWOOD THERAPIST TO DECIDE WHO NEEDS MORE ATTENTION that day, take their money, and hope they don’t break up. Cause those checks clear.
They are acting out like annoying little children. That’s what they need to work on in therapy – extinguishing the behavior, not encouraging it. Fire your therapist.