Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell have given us #couplegoals for years, but that doesn’t mean their relationships is always smiles and pure bliss. In an interview with TODAY’s One Small Thing, Shepard shares that even in the midst of their humorous videos and seemingly ideal social media feed, marriage is not always easy.

“If I had to sum it up in one word, it’s work,” he says. “Every couple has their own battles, whether that’s finding the equality balance with the parenting load in the household or trying to figure out child care. Maybe it’s handling bitterness or resentment that you don’t want to admit.”

Shepard says there are often no easy fixes, but the effort is worthwhile because of the love you have for your partner.

“Not unlike your body, which won’t just stay in shape on its own volition, you really have to be maintaining the relationship,” he says. “And it’s often uncomfortable work, but it needs doing or we won’t stay together.”

Shepard says this is worth talking about to counteract the “fairtytales and romantic comedies” we’re all familiar with. At the end of the day, he says it’s not about searching the world for this one person. Instead it’s much more about the work that is put into building the relationship.

Here’s what that work often looks like:

More communication

As much as we wish our partners could read our minds, we have to share what we really need.

Giving ourselves (and our partners) a lot more grace in our day-to-day

Yes, we’d love them to pick up their clothes off the floor. But sometimes it’s just not worth an argument

Taking time to step back when we feel frustrated to ask ourselves what is really going on

After going back and forth with Bell about the placement of a chair, Shepard recalls it helped to ask himself why he was getting so emotional about it—and answering that question helped him and Bell work through the rearrangement.

Remember what you love about them—and share it!

For Shepard, he adores Bell’s kind and generous heart, which not only made him fall in love with her, but allows him to trust her completely.

Write a sweet text message to your sweetie during the workday. Plan a date night. Or just take a few extra minutes before bed to say “thank you.” Those reminders go a long way. ❤️