Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard seem to have one of the best and most long-lasting relationships in Hollywood, but their journey to wedded bliss wasn’t always easy. Here, a look back at their 12-year-long relationship.
2008: After meeting in 2007, the couple first stepped out in public in early 2008, taking vacations and attending Hollywood parties together.
2009: The following year, the couple starred in the romantic comedy When in Rome together, and Bell opened up about their relationship. In an interview with Women’s Health, Bell talked about creating a “safe zone” with Shepard.
“I’ve learned the necessity for healthy communication. How important it is to talk about your deepest, darkest fears and feelings,” she said. “Your partner should hear your most embarrassing insecurities, because once you say them out loud, you’ve created a safe zone.”
2010: The couple got engaged over the holidays in 2009, but Bell first showed off her engagement ring on the red carpet in February 2010. Later in the year, Bell revealed that she was happy to be officially done with dating.
“I never loved dating. I think it’s very uncomfortable to put yourself out there and be vulnerable,” she told People. “I’m much more comfortable in a relationship and I’m very happy.”
August 2012: The couple reunited on-screen for the film Hit and Run, which Shepard directed, wrote, and produced.
September 2012: In an interview with Playboy, Shepard opened up about his wild past and how his relationship with Bell was initially a struggle.
“Kristen’s a good girl. She grew up very Christian, went straight to college, did great in school and started work immediately. She’s charitable and philanthropic and rescues dogs,” he said. “All the things I’d done were terrifying to her, and she had a hard time believing I would ever be able to stay married and monogamous and a father and all those things. For the first year and a half we were together that was what we battled over almost weekly.”
January 2013: Bell showed off her baby bump at the Golden Globes in 2013. The couple welcomed their first child, Lincoln Bell, on March 28, 2013.
October 2013: The couple, who previously said they would not get married until gay couples were given the right in the state of California, finally tied the knot in October 2013.
“We wanted the lowest-key day possible,” she later told Jay Leno of their courthouse wedding. “Then we got sandwiches and called it a day. We called that our wedding brunch.”
October 2014: During an appearance on Conan, Shepard revealed just how close he and Bell are. He explained that his wife had helped him prepare for a nude scene in the film This Is Where I Leave You in the most intimate way.
“The beautiful Kristen Bell, that people can already not understand how she’s with me, got the pleasure of [shaving me],” he said of Bell prepping his, um, backside for the movie.
December 2014: A few months later, the couple welcomed their second child, Delta Bell.
March 2015: In an interview with People, Shepard revealed the surprising celebrity who pushed him to settle down with Bell.
“Jason [Bateman] was first to go, ‘Stop fucking around and marry Kristen,’” he said, turning to Bateman. “You immediately transitioned into ‘Get her pregnant.’ I would say you were at the very forefront of cracking the whip on that. And you were dead right.”
November 2015: Bell credited therapy for her happy marriage with Shepard in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. She also acknowledged the “growing pains” in the beginning of their relationship.
“Our relationship wasn’t perfect,” she said. “We had a couple years of fighting and of growing pains and hating each other, then loving each other and going to couples therapy and we worked it out…We earned each other.”
July 2016: In 2016, Shepard celebrated 12 years of sobriety, giving partial credit to his wife for helping him along the way. In an interview on Ellen, Bell opened up about how Shepard’s struggles encouraged her to help others.
“My husband is in recovery and is almost 13 years sober,” she said. “Seeing the world through his eyes has really opened mine to knowing that it is a disease and nobody is choosing to drink more than others. They are doing it because of a variety of reasons and they deserve the attention of a mental health professional, and not the county jail or however else we’re choosing to pretend we’re fixing the problem.”
December 2016: At the end of the year, Shepard reflected back on his initial meeting with Bell and her friends, telling Good Housekeeping he was surprised by their “unbridled happiness.”
“When I met her and her friends, I was suspicious of their unbridled happiness,” he said. “I thought, ‘Something stinks here; they’re in a cult.’”
August 2017: Both Bell and Shepard have been open about the turbulent beginning of their relationship. In a 2017 interview with POPSUGAR, Bell revealed that the couple had actually broken up for a brief period after dating for a few months.
“We were dating for about three months, and I already knew that I was in love with him and he was hesitant because he knew he was still dating other people,” she said. “He sat me down and said, ‘I can’t have this right now. I think you’re wonderful, but I am still dating other people.’ And then I, like, liquefied and fell to the ground, but I felt incredibly respected that he had the balls to tell me we weren’t in the same place.”
Obviously, things worked out.
She continued: “He called me and he was like, ‘I don’t know what I was thinking. I was dating someone else, but they’re just not as interesting as you, and I don’t know what I’m doing,’ and he came back. But I still always remind him of when he broke up with me.”
September 2018: After telling Marc Maron that she openly smokes weed around her sober husband, Bell was on the receiving end of the Internet’s ire. Shepard came to her defense on Twitter, writing, “That would be like a diabetic expecting their partner to never eat dessert. Get real!”
December 2018: There was more drama for the couple at the end of the year after Kayti Edwards, the step-granddaughter of Julie Andrews, claimed that Shepard had cheated on Bell with her in 2009. Shepard denied the claims in a post on Instagram.
“Hey Daily Mail, that photo is 13 years old, not 9,” he wrote about a photo that showed the two kissing. “Also, Kayti has sold stories to tabloids about Matthew Perry, Jack Osbourne, Kid Rock, and now me. I look forward to her next one. Fingers crossed it’s about my #1, Brad Pitt :)”
January 2019: Earlier this year, Shepard opened up about the moment he knew he wanted to be with Bell for good in an interview on Off Camera with Sam Jones.
“I never, ever was like, ‘Oh, I hope I can keep Kristen,’” he said. “I was going, ‘Do I want to be with a Christian, who has eight people living in her house for free? Who has to get out of a car when there’s a dog that doesn’t have a leash and ruin her whole day to rescue this dog? … That’s great and she’s good, but that’s not what I wanna do, I’m not that good, I don’t want to spend my day finding the owner of a dog. I wasn’t fearful I would lose her. I wasn’t certain I wanted to be with someone like that. And then what happened, which could’ve only happened the way it did is that she never, ever said to me, ‘You could be a little better of a person.’ She never, ever suggested that I should do that.”
February 2019: The couple joined together to launch Hello Bello, a line of plant-based baby products including shampoo, diapers, and sunscreen.
“As a mom of two, I know how beautifully messy parenthood can be, and that’s why we created Hello Bello—a line of premium, super-effective baby care products to take care of your kids from head to butt to toe,” Bell said. “Our products are fresh and fun. More importantly, we use plant-based ingredients and organic botanicals that are better for our kids and better for our world.”
March 2019: The couple covered People magazine this March, and discussed the work that goes into keeping their marriage on the right track.
“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 said. “I was like, ‘That’s the best personality I’ve ever seen on a woman. I need to be around it,” recalls Shepard. “I want to be around it when I’m 80, but how?”