Kristen Bell is a champion for mental health awareness. She’s open about her struggles with anxiety. She works tirelessly to break the stigma of mental illness. Anxiety is just the beginning. In addition to her honesty about her mental health challenges, Kristen is an advocate for marriage counseling. She speaks about her experiences in couples counseling with her husband, Dax Shepard. It’s important for high profile people to talk about marriage counseling because they have a platform to do so. It normalizes therapy and makes the public more likely to seek help for their relationships when they need it. Whether they’re actors, directors or dancers, celebrities are real people, and the more we read about their experiences, the more we humanize them.
Shepard discusses finding “the one,” in US magazine, and says he doesn’t believe there’s one person for everyone. In the same article, Bell confesses that relationships take a lot of work, and part of that is marriage counseling. The couple is candid about their problems, and admit that marriage is the opposite of easy. They’re right, and the more dialogue about the challenges of staying married, the better. The reason is that people might believe there’s something “wrong,” which isn’t true.
Marriage is extremely challenging
You may be wondering, why is marriage hard? It’s challenging because people are different. No matter how many coincidental similarities we have, we’re fundamentally different and living with those differences takes compromise. Some of us are stubborn and set in our ways. We don’t want to let go of our freedom. Some people are like things in a certain way, and when you’re married, it’s difficult to break from your perspective and meet the other person halfway.
Seeing things from the other person’s point of view
In an article from Refinery29, Kristen Bell says she disagrees with her husband “on 90% of the issues on the planet.” It’s refreshing to hear that as a couple you don’t have to agree on everything. If you agreed on all subjects, it wouldn’t be a “real” relationship. The couple disagrees, and sometimes those disagreements are the start of a productive dialogue. They can learn what’s working and what isn’t. A trained counselor can help them learn to be empathetic and see things from the other person’s point of view.
The stigma of therapy
Some couples are afraid to seek therapy because of the stigma associated with it. They might not want their friends to know that something is “wrong.” They might be afraid to face that their relationship isn’t working. It’s easier to live in denial than confront severe issues in your marriage. That doesn’t mean that it’s healthy to deny what’s going on. It means that people choose to look the other way rather than face hard truths; however, when a couple takes a leap and goes to see a counselor, their marriage will inevitably improve. Kristen Bell says that she feels no shame in asking for help with her mental illness and her marriage. When things aren’t working, some experts can support you get through tough times. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help with your marriage if you need it. Marriage counseling can help a couple grow closer and understand each other better than before. To learn more about it click here.
Text: Marie Miguel. Marie has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.