The coronavirus pandemic pushed many couples to their limits, and Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard were certainly no exception.
Fortunately, the couple got through their rough patch thanks to therapy — but not just couples therapy! The pair apparently enlisted their own individual therapists on top of their couples therapist so they could vent about each other in their own private therapy bubbles!
The revelation was made by the Frozen 2 star during Tuesday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. When asked by guest host Chelsea Handler how she and her hubby find time to work on their relationship with such busy schedules, Bell admitted she and Dax do solo therapy sessions so they can “talk s**t” about each other to a professional. Smart!
Related: Kristen Experimented With Hallucinogenic Mushrooms To Manage Depression
“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.’”
We actually witnessed this, unfortunately. As we reported last March, right after lockdown began, the couple were very obviously getting on each other’s nerves — so much that they actually started quarreling during a virtual interview with Katie Couric.
At the time, Kristen admitted to the journalist that she and the actor had been “at each other’s throats” amid lockdown and were starting to find “each other revolting” before Dax threw some shade right then and there, saying:
“America’s sweetheart has some character defects.”
The CHiPs star then left the interview, but could still be heard nearby doing some kind of wookiee mating call off camera, which Kristen said he was doing just to “poke” her. When Katie suggested they take a timeout and spend “some time apart” in separate areas of their house, Kristen replied wearily:
“It’s impossible. He’s too big, Katie. He’s too loud and too big. He’s everywhere.”
So, yeah. These two were not on the best of terms at the beginning of quarantine. But thankfully, having solo therapy sessions really helped them get through it!
Crediting their couple’s therapist Harry for suggesting the idea, Kristen told Chelsea during Tuesday’s chat:
“Harry suggested that since we were both so annoyed with each other — because the reality is, if you’re living with one human being, I don’t care if it’s your partner, your husband, your wife, whoever it is, 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 kind of so that we could talk s**t about each other.”
And it worked!
The Veronica Mars star continued:
“And it’s been great. Currently, right now, what we’ve been doing the last couple of months is every two weeks or so, I’ll see Harry via Zoom and complain about Dax, and then he’ll give me all the reasons why I’m wrong and then Dax will do the same. And then, by the time we meet up in the evening, we love each other again because our tool boxes are bigger.”
The 40-year-old went on to commend the idea of having a “third party moderating any disagreement,” adding that “defense mechanisms and cortisol” can always “mess up” a one-on-one convo.
The mother-of-two was also asked who the “alpha” in the house is when it comes to their two daughters, Lincoln, 8, and Delta, 6 — to which she mused:
“It depends. We both make the rules and we do a good job of passing off the power, but I definitely am more of the pushover. I try to make rules but I’m also a big fan of ‘Make a better argument.’ If you make a really good argument of why you should have a cupcake before bed, ‘Okay.’”
We love that these two are so open and honest about the work it takes to keep their relationship healthy!
Ch-ch-check out a clip of Kristen’s interview (below) for more.
[Image via Patricia Schlein/Avalon/WENN]