Dax Shepard welcomed a special guest back to Armchair Expert: his wife, Kristen Bell.
The actress joined the podcast on Monday to discuss their new game show, Family Game Night, as well as other things, such as their adorably favorite quality in one another.
The question was prompted by Shepard’s co-host Monica Padman, whom they affectionately refer to as the “third wheel” in their marriage. Shepard said it was “hard to articulate” after making a sex joke, but it centered on her positivity.
“I am a cynic to the core and you were so positive that even I couldn’t punch a hole in it,” he said. “And I witnessed the crazy … benefits of it — or rewards of it. I was able to learn I was wrong by watching you. That’s a crazy gift to give somebody. It changed my worldview. I don’t know what quality that is, but that is it.”
Bell asked, “Impenetrable optimism?”
He answered, “Yeah, or benefit of the doubt. But really it’s just kindness. You give everyone the benefit of kindness — and I do not.”
While he said the kindness she shows everyone “annoys” him sometimes, “as you know,” because not everyone deserves it, but she always shows “the benefit of kindness.” When it was Bell’s turn, she said it was Shepard’s “fierce moral inventory.”
“It’s a little bit more than that,” she continued. “Your ability to self-assess and pivot. But it’s also an addiction to evolving” and “getting better.”
She said Shepard “is very hell-bent on opinions you have, but it’s not a stake in the ground that can’t change with new information,” due to his introspection.
Bell said also what’s been “very attractive” to her about her husband of seven years is that “as of recently” he’s allowed that “introspection to be pointed at other people in our lives.” She said it’s helped him to be able to give good advice to his friends by sharing his own relatable experiences.
The parents of two children have long used therapy as a tool in their lives and in their marriage. The pandemic, according to Bell, put them at odds, prompting their couples therapist to start separate sessions with each of them in order to “talk sh** about each other, and we did! And it’s been great!”
Another stumbling block was Shepard’s drug relapse during the pandemic, which he revealed in September. When she appeared on his podcast in December, he said her understanding response “saved my life,” and Bell praised him for being honest “even in [his] most shameful moments.”