If you’re not familiar with the term, “acts of service” are one of author and pastor Gary Chapman’s five love languages (in addition to words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch and receiving gifts). As Chapman previously told HuffPost, acts of service are “anything you do to ease the burden of responsibility” for your partner that “make their life easier.” That might mean shopping for groceries, filling up their gas tank or picking up their dry cleaning.
For Bell, it’s all about having a partner who’s willing to lighten her load however he can.
“My husband literally said to me this morning ― I mean, we’re 13 years in but he’s gotten it now and it was kind of recent ― he woke up 10 minutes after I did and I was scrambling to get out of the house and he was rising out of bed, he was like, ‘Is there anything I can do to help you get out of the house on time?’” Bell told ET. “And I was like, ‘Are you trying to make me horny right now? What are you doing?’”
Later she added, “If you pour your coffee and hand me a mug as well, I’m there.”
While many fans regard Bell and Shepard as “relationship goals,” the pair are frank about the effort they’ve put into their marriage.
“All these movies from the ’80s taught us that it’s love at first sight, and it is supposed to be easy and [that] all you have to do is find that person,” Bell told People in March. “It took me a while to realize, ‘Oh, that was such a lie,’ because things that you work really, really, really hard for always yield the best results.”
“We’d get in a fight, because we would fight a lot, and I’d like yell something, then slam the bedroom door, then I’d slam the front door, then I’d get in my car and then I’d skid out the driveway and I would sit around the corner in my car and it felt so good and I realized how incredibly toxic it was only after he pointed it out,” she revealed in an interview with Harry Connick Jr. in 2017.
Thanks in large part to couples counseling, Bell and Shepard learned to communicate in a more respectful way.
“We have a very healthy marriage and we got there by doing therapy when we needed it and constantly doing fierce moral inventories,” Bell told People in 2017. “We both take responsibility when we are wrong.”