Kristen Bell has no interest in pretending that her marriage to Dax Shepard is absolutely perfect. While sitting down with actor Justin Long for his podcast, Life Is Short With Justin Long, she detailed how she and her husband got into a massive argument over housework and Kristen's mental load.
"Something happened with Dax and I early on where we decided we were never going to not be asked about our relationship," she told Justin. "So if we were going to talk about it, let's make sure we show the good, the bad, and the ugly, and how we handle it. Let's not make it saccharin, and we really try hard to not make it saccharin, and we talk about the fact that we do fight, we do go to therapy, we dislike each other a lot sometimes."
"We had this pretty incredible fight recently. Incredible. I mean like top-of-the-lungs screaming," said the 39-year-old mum of two. "It was about things around the house that I felt I needed help with. We have a relationship where you are supposed to be able to say, 'I need your help with this.' For those of you listening, I'm telling this from my perspective. He's not here, he can't defend himself."
The star of The Good Place explained that the disagreement stemmed from how overwhelmed she felt by what needed to be done around the house right before she was about to leave for the day. "I left a note and I was like, 'Hey dad! Would you mind taking the two towels in the dryer and folding them?' And then like one other thing," she explained. "I thought, 'That's 10 minutes of work, I can say that.' At that point, the housework was getting to be a lot for me. The keeping up with the mum stuff, the shoes being outgrown . . . all of that."
"Monday night we're laying in bed . . . and he goes, 'When you leave me notes, yeah, I feel really controlled.'"
Things came to a head while Kristen and Dax were lying in bed the day after she left him the instructions. "So I left this note and I came home on Sunday, everything was fine," she said. "Monday night we're laying in bed, and he turns over . . . and he goes, 'When you leave me notes, yeah, I feel really controlled,' and he launched into how he felt about it. . . . And I said . . . 'OK, I totally hear you. It will never happen again. If I need something to be done around the house what is a way that I could do it, that you'd be OK with hearing?'"
Despite their best efforts, both Kristen and Dax's emotions got the better of them, and soon enough, they were in a knock-down-drag-out argument. "Somehow, then we both blacked out and got into a fight and I don't actually remember what happened but what transpired was a lot of volume, a lot of harsh words being thrown around, and it was an angry, angry fight, right, about how nobody does anything for anybody else," she said. "I grabbed my pillow and I stomped down the hall and I sleep in the front room and I'm crying. We don't talk for three days."
While Kristen admitted her husband didn't formally apologise, they did have a conversation about how to ask about each other's needs in the future, rather than attempting to notice what the other is noticing. Then later, they adopted a rescue pup named Frank from a dog café, which was even better in her mind. "I didn't get an apology, but I got a dog!" she said, noting that getting a family pet was a big surprise given the fact Dax is allergic. "This is so much better than an apology. So I bring the dog home, it's great."
As for how things are going now for the pair? Swimmingly, according to Kristen. "We never talked about that fight, ever, but I will say this: every single thing that I have needed done or thought, 'I'd want help with this,' since that fight, he has been ahead of," she explained. "I couldn't complain about him if I tried right now."