Dax Shepard Recalls Being in an Open Relationship for 9 Years Before Kristen Bell

The actor was in an open relationship for nine years before meeting his now-wife.

Dax Shepard is opening up about a past relationship. On Wednesday's episode of The Drew Barrymore Show, the 46-year-old actor discusses the nine-year-long open relationship he was in, before meeting his now-wife, Kristen Bell.

"My wife is incredibly confident as she should be," Shepard says of Bell, 41, who was also present for the interview. "There was a ton of jealousy at the beginning of the relationship, for pretty good reasons. I had been in an open relationship for nine years. I was blacked out a big chunk of my life. There were a lot of things for her to be concerned about."

That all changed when they got engaged in 2009, and went on to tie the knot in 2013. 

"I’d say once we got engaged some kind of switch for me seemed to change," Shepard says. "I find her to be incredibly not jealous, which is a very hot characteristic in a partner."

While on the show, Kristen also opens up about her initial decision to date Shepard, and how he's continued to grow, especially since welcoming their daughters, Delta, 6, and Lincoln, 8.

"I’m a big believer in forgiveness and second chances," she says. "In the beginning it was nerve-racking dating Dax knowing his history of recovery and that he’s just this big force, but I was like, 'No, he’s got it inside of him. He’s got all this goodness.'"

"I have been proven right, because nobody is more affectionate. I’m not even as affectionate with our girls as he is," Bell continues. "Hopefully they will grow up healthier and happier and safer."

One way they're both committed to teaching their daughters is by not shielding them from the disagreements they have and the resolutions that follow.

"That was actually Dax’s idea. We don’t play games. There's too much data that tells us that the kids know what’s happening, no matter how you are playing it. They can sense the tension," Bell explains. "... It’s not always possible to alleviate it in the moment, because we are too pissed at each other. But he said, 'Let’s always make sure we do it in front of them the day after.'" 

"So we just model the behavior of conflict resolution in front of them," she continues, "because what no one has really talked about much is that you have a fight and then you close a door and resolve it."