West End star Denise Van Outen and partner Eddie Boxshall have been dating for seven years now. Aside from the usual couple bickering, there are no major problems in their relationship, but the pair have still decided to go through various types of therapy for their new podcast Before We Say I Do.
Watch: Why Denise Van Outen and Eddie Boxshall are having couple’s therapy
Speaking on the first episode, which goes live on 22 February, Van Outen said the reason she wanted to go through such an experience was to help them reach the next step of their relationship – marriage.
“I think – after being together for nearly seven years – it's a really good idea if we are going to take that next step into marriage that we just iron out any flaws that we've got in our relationship,” she says.
“And then we just get everything sorted out before we say I do!”
During the six-episode series, the couple who met on a blind date back in 2014, try out various therapies from standard psychotherapy to the more unusual, like laughter and cooking therapy.
Listen and subscribe now to Denise Van Outen and Eddie Boxshall’s brand new podcast
Boxshall, 47, reveals that he has some anxieties about bringing their issues out into the open, partly because he’s never had therapy before, but also because he’s worried about the effect it may have on their relationship.
In episode one, where the pair explore psychosexual therapy, he asks Van Outen: “But are you not anxious in case things do come out that maybe wasn't a problem that could multiply into a problem?”
However, Van Outen, who turns 47 this year, is a big believer in therapy and thinks it can only help them both in the long run.
“I want them to be a problem now and not a problem when we're married,” she answers.
“We're in our 40s. I think it's just sensible to have therapy knowing that if we can just discuss our feelings, any fears we have about making a full commitment to marriage, then let's just deal with it now.”
The pair, who appeared on Celebrity Googlebox together last year, admit that lockdown hasn’t helped with the minor irritations they have about one and other.
“I do feel like, particularly over the past few months, we've been in quite stressful situations,” admits the Dancing On Ice star.
“Like we've been pretty much locked down together 24/7. But it's not a normal situation and a few things have come up in our relationship.”
Van Outen was previously married and has daughter Betsy, now 10, while Boxshall has two children from a previous relationship.
While the pair both agree that real life, including family and work, have interfered with their relationship, they also both agree that there are things they really love about each other. For Boxshall, it’s Van Outen’s independence, while she adores his sense of humour.
“The one thing I do love about you is — it doesn't matter what situation we're in — you always make me laugh,” she confesses.
“I could be so angry, and you could be really irritating me, which is quite a lot recently, but you just say one thing and that just makes me remember that there is hope!”
While viewers of Celebrity Googlebox have witnessed their shared sense of humour and love of banter, Before We Say I Do aims to show a different side to the couple - one that’s honest and a little revealing.
Over the series, Boxshall talks about his disrupted childhood years and how his parent’s divorce has lead to a fear of failure, while Van Outen admits her independence and workaholic tendencies do have an impact on their relationship.
In a future episode, Van Outen admits she is just used to getting things done her way.
“I was a single mum for five years on my own living in a house - I am a very independent person,” she tells couples counsellor, Kelley Taverner.
“I have had to provide for myself and look after myself for a very long period of time. When I do ask for help, I feel like it's sort of thrown back in my face if I don't get the help.”
Hear how Denise Van Outen and Eddie Boxshall get on with psychosexual therapy in the first episode of Before We Say I Do, out on 22 February.
Watch: Denise Van Outen talks about how they want to get married once the pandemic is over