"I wasn't fearful I would lose her. I wasn't certain I wanted to be with someone like that," Dax Shepard says
During a sit-down interview with Off Camera with Sam Jones, Shepard, 44, discussed the early days of the pair’s relationship — and why he ultimately “chose to move more in her direction” after observing the positive ways that Bell, 38, lived life.
“I have this very weird mix of not thinking I’m good looking, general low self-esteem, chip on my shoulder that I’m dumb because I was dyslexic, all these things, yet, unbridled arrogance in relationships,” the Parenthood star shared in a clip of the discussion. “I’ve always been that way, I don’t know how to explain it. I’ve always felt very confident in relationships.”
“So I never, ever was like, ‘Oh, I hope I can keep Kristen,’ ” he explained. “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.’ “
Shepard went on to admit that he “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.”
Rather, it was over time and through observation that Shepard was drawn to Bell, who he praised as “endlessly generous and loving.”
“Instead, I just slowly through time watched what fruit she bore out of the way she moved through life. I looked at the results of how she lived. And they’re pretty undeniable. So here’s me who thinks she lets people take advantage of her and live for free off of her and maybe she pays this manager too much or whatever the cynical, protective part of my brain was saying. I could also acknowledge: She’s bringing in a lot more money than you. She’s getting ahead. For all these people that are making a fool of her, she’s doing a lot better than you are.”
Said Shepard, “I just couldn’t deny the reality of how her life unfolds. There’s something charmed about it. I think it’s charmed because it starts with her being just endlessly generous and loving and giving people the benefit of the doubt and believing in people and believing the world’s a wonderful place and all these things. And then down river it proves to be all those things to her.”
He also disclosed that his perspective on life changed for the better as a result of Bell.
“I just over time was like it doesn’t really matter what case you can make intellectually. You can’t deny what the outcome is and it’s so drastically better for her,” he explained. “More people care about her, more people will be there for her. It’s just a better life — and I wanted that. And so I chose to move more in her direction.”
“She didn’t ask me to,” Shepard said of Bell, who was the first person that he dated that he “made a real conscious decision that I wasn’t going to try to make her into the person I wanted to date.”
“I wanted what she had and I replicated it,” he said.
In October 2013, the couple, who got together in 2007, said “I do” in Los Angeles.
And for mother of two Bell, watching Shepard be a father to their little girls is one of the sexiest things she’s witnessed.
“[I’m] decidedly confident I chose the right person,” she told PEOPLE in November. “He does almost everything in a ‘manly’ way. He can put a pony tail on our 5-year-old’s hair as manly as he can change his break pads in the driveway.”
But in the end, “nothing is sexier than him being a good human,” she said.
“When we first got together I had a lot of trust and jealousy issues,” Bell admitted.
“Over the years I have realized what a waste of time these emotions are because he has shown nothing but consistent love, and conducts himself in my absence exactly how he does in my presence,” she shared about her husband. “I also think he has gotten funnier over the years!”