How the art of listening helped Denise Van Outen overcome conflict with partner Eddie Boxshall

Jayne Cherrington-Cook
·4-min read

Watch: Denise Van Outen and Eddie Boxshall meet couples counsellor, Keeley Taverner

Thanks to a psychotherapy session for their new podcast Before We Say I Do, Eddie Boxshall and Denise Van Outen say that they can move forward with their relationship.

The pair were having counsellor with psychotherapist Keeley Taverner. As a trained therapist who specialises in intimate relationships, she was able to dig deep into the couple’s gripes about each other.

For Van Outen, her irritation lies in Boxshall’s stubbornness.

She told Taverner: “The thing that really bothers me the most, within this relationship and just generally, is I think that Eddie is a very stubborn man and just the smallest things, it's just with everything, it has to be his idea.”

Listen: Denise Van Outen reveals the one major thing that partner Eddie has done to annoy her

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And while she may struggle with his stubbornness, Boxshall said his big bugbear was that the West End star won’t just let him get on with the chores!

Telling the therapist that he got stressed even talking about it, he said: “Denise has a tendency to machine gun those chores. That's my biggest bugbear that she can't just sit back and just say something once…”

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Despite these annoyances coming up time and time again – often causing arguments – Taverner was able to get the pair to come out feeling like there was a resolution. How? By getting them to listen to each other.

Speaking to Yahoo! after recording the podcast, Taverner said as humans we’re really bad at listening to each other, which can often impede relationships.

“I think we are bad at listening because we don’t tend to ‘actively listen’,” she said.

The couple admit they've not been very good at listening to each other previously
The couple admit they've not been very good at listening to each other previously

“Sometimes we respond to what we think someone has said, as we don’t take the time to truly listen, nor do we check out what the other person has actually said.”

It’s something that the pair are only too aware that they don’t too that well.

“We are very quick to defend ourselves because that's the person that we are,” said Boxshall.

Read more: Denise Van Outen admits that very few people ever see her 'vulnerable side'

“I am quite proud of myself and for you to sit here and say nothing and the other person saying their piece — and it is hard, but ultimately it's like a massive bridge that's been crossed.”

Taverner’s one top to take away from an active listening session is that repeating back what your partner has said to you can really help with understanding each other’s needs.

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She advised: “As silly as it may seem, there is a massive benefit to repeating back our partners words and asking, ‘if we have understood’ to ensure we are truly hearing each other, and NOT assuming we know what another person is thinking.”

Van Outen, who will be seen on The Celebrity Circle this month, said that being able to bring up their gripes in a session meant that it didn’t end up in a massive argument, as it normally does!

Read more: Denise Van Outen and Eddie Boxshall say therapy sessions have made them closer

“It's weird - had we've had these conversations without the therapist being present that would have ended up becoming a bit of an argument,” she said.

“There's now a mutual understanding, and so I feel like it was a weight lifted off both our shoulders. I feel like we can move forward, now with that armour of knowing that we sort of understand each other a little bit more”

Denise Van Outen and Eddie Boxshall try out psychotherapy in the latest episode of their podcast Before We Say I Do (Image: Getty Images)
Denise Van Outen and Eddie Boxshall try out psychotherapy in the latest episode of their podcast Before We Say I Do (Image: Getty Images)

Taverner, who said she thought it was courageous of the couple to talk about such sensitive issues for their podcasts, hopes that they will go away with a deeper trust of one another.

“I hope they took away that under each niggle, frustration or annoyance is usually a highly personal vulnerability,” she said.

“The more we can talk about those vulnerabilities in a safe, caring environment, when our defences are down, the more we’ll develop a deeper trust and knowing of each other.”

Hear Denise Van Outen and Eddie Boxshall listen to each other under the watchful eye of therapist Keeley Taverner in this week’s episode of Before We Say I Do. Listen now on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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