Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard just got candid about their 12-year-long relationship—and they weren't afraid to admit it hasn't always been easy. "We definitely had to work really hard at being a couple because we're both incredibly, painfully stubborn, and we're pretty much opposites," Shepard told People in a joint interview with his wife.
Even from the beginning, the couple faced plenty of challenges. After just a few months of dating, Shepard broke up with Bell, deciding he wasn't ready to settle down. But it only took him a few days to realize that she has "the best personality" and he ultimately wanted "to be around it when [he was] 80," he explained to the outlet. Now, over a decade and two daughters later, the couple attributes their successful marriage to trust, honesty, and "a little couple's therapy."
There was, however, a point when Bell accepted she would never even marry Shepard, since he didn't believe in marriage at the time. Bell said that her now-husband once argued that an official document doesn't promise a healthy relationship or prove "the commitment" they have to one another. She eventually "surrendered" to this idea, she said, because she trusted Shepard and believed they "were going to go the long haul." The former Parenthood actor ultimately changed his tune, knowing how important marriage was to Bell: "[Her] knowing I was doing something that I didn't want to do because I loved [her] was a big sign for [her]."
An intimate courthouse marriage was the ultimate middle ground for the couple, says Bell: "It just felt normal." As for their current marital status? The two are deeply in love. But they can honestly look back at their years together and know that they worked "really, really, really hard" to "yield the best results."