Shepard revealed to PureWow that he attributes a couple of factors to the success of their marriage: “I can only speak from my point of view, which is the more I’m focused on my end of what this equation is, the better off I am,” he said.
The 44-year-old Bless This Mess star admits that being honest with himself about why and how he’s reacting to a squabble with his wife comes from a lot of hard work. “I have to give 1,000 percent of the credit to [Alcoholics Anonymous, Shepard is in recovery]. It’s a program that taught me how to recognize that when I’m resentful, 99 percent of the time a fear of mine is being triggered,” Shepard shared.
He also explained that he and Bell have found couple’s therapy to be “incredibly helpful” in their quest toward equanimity.
Thanks to their ability to do the work, Shepard says he’s gotten a lot better at recognizing his own part in arguments. “Now, out of muscle memory or habit, knowing that if we’re arguing about how the dishwasher is loaded, we’re probably not arguing about the dishwasher being loaded, there’s probably something underneath that,” he said. “I find that if my breathing changes and I start caring a lot about this point I have to make, I have to recognize, ‘Oh, I’m emotional about this, so something bigger is happening.’” Been there, felt that.
Shepard went on to give another example of owning his own part of a fight: “We’ll argue about a character in a TV show but I never get emotional about that. My chest doesn’t constrict with that unless we’re doing some kind of character assessment that I’m fearful she has of me. On the surface, I’m defending some reality TV star, but in fact I’m, of course, defending my own character. And then I have to go, ‘Now, why do I care right now?’ and it always ends back with me,” he said.
This honesty is something that rings true not only in their relationship, but also their new Lightlife partnership, which highlights the relatable brushes with brutal honesty that all parents have. He and Bell starred in and created an exclusive video for their partnership, which basically mirrors their own parenting style with their daughters, Delta (4) and Lincoln (6).