As Denise Van Outen's ex makes dig: Why break-ups should be private

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·5-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Watch: Before we say 'I do'

Until recently, actor Denise Van Outen and her fiancé Eddie Boxshall were happily podcasting in their regular show, Before We Say 'I Do'. The couple, who had been together for seven years, were keen to stress-test their relationship, trying out different kinds of therapy, and opening up about difficult issues.

It all fell apart, however, when Van Outen allegedly discovered that Boxshall had been seeing and messaging other women and the engaged couple split early in January.

But while most stars hide away after a split to lick their wounds, it seems Boxshall had no such reserve.

This week on Instagram, he pointedly shared a picture of a letter reading "I'd rather be alone than be with someone who makes me feel lonely".

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 02:  Eddie Boxshall (L) and Denise Van Outen attend the Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women Of The Year Awards at One Mayfair on December 2, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Happier times at an awards ceremony in 2015. (Getty Images)

Reflecting a line from Succession spoken by Tom to Shiv - "I wonder if the sad I'd be without you would be less than the sad I get from being with you," the meaning was seemingly clear.

Denise did not respond, though with her autobiography due out in March, she may be saving up a few choice words.

For followers though, the split may not have come as a terrible shock. Over time, the pair admitted to various problems and annoyances with one another.

Denise revealed that she never flirted with Eddie, but would happily banter flirtatiously with others in her life - "It's flanter – flirty banter. I don't mean anything by it," she insisted.

She also admitted that she had not been very affectionate as the relationship wore on. "I'm very aware of me putting us in ­situations where I'm not giving enough. I'm not as affectionate as I should be and I feel like I've lost my way a little bit within the relationship," she admitted.

During lockdown, she added, "We've been locked down together 24/7 and a few things have come up. If we try and sit down and talk about things, we'll end up bickering."

Though the various experts they met for the podcast suggested ways to communicate and techniques for improving things, clearly, it didn't work out.

During an episode of Celebrity GoggleBox, on which the couple appeared, as they watched a show about sex, Denise told him, "I've got to be honest, at the beginning maybe [our sex life did change] but not now Boris has eased the lockdown. I'd rather go shopping!"

She also said, "It's a good relationship but I think it could be better if we take the time to discuss what is bothering us about each other so we can move forward.'

Read more: Denise Van Outen pens autobiography in lockdown

But in January she posted: "Over the past couple of months, there has been much speculation regarding my relationship with Eddie.

“It saddens me to confirm that we are no longer a couple. I had to make the difficult decision not to continue in our relationship.

"I will always treasure the good times we spent together, and the memories made. We ask that you please respect our privacy at this time, especially for our children.”

Denise has a daughter, Betsy, 11, with ex husband Lee Mead. and Boxshall has two children with his previous partner. .

File photo dated 6/2/2020 of Eddie Boxshall and Denise van Outen attending The Sun Military Awards 2020 held at the Banqueting House, London. Van Outen has announced she has made the
Eddie Boxshall and Denise van Outen attending The Sun Military Awards 2020 (PA)

Early this year, Denise hinted that all was not well. She told The Mirror, "We’ve not really been focusing on organising a wedding because we’ve been trying to get the house finished and get final things done, like a new patio.

“Besides, you can’t plan for anything at the moment so there’s no rush to do anything."

The star, 47, went on, "Young people plan weddings because they want to crack on and start a family but that’s not going to happen. It’s not like we are having any more children."

But as for the subtle dig post-split... relationship experts agree that public sniping is not the way to manage a happy outcome.

Read more: Denise Van Outen announces split from partner Eddie Boxshall

"When we feel hurt after a break up, especially one where nasty comments have been uttered, it is easy to act impulsively and say or do things we then can't take back," says Clinical Psychologist Michaela Thomas. "But public retaliation doesn't make the hurt go away, even if it releases your anger in the moment.

"Reach out to trusted friends to vent the frustration over what the other person has said and done, to think through if or how you wish to respond publicly with a more measured approach," she advises.

Watch: Denise Van Outen gets hypnotised to help relationship

"The nasty comment will reflect badly on the person who made it, so consider how you can rise above it and respond in a way which puts you in a better light. Think about your values - what kind of person do you want to be? Don't let your ex push you into behaving like someone you don't recognise." She suggests three steps - "Acknowledge your hurt, validating how most people would feel the same as you are right now.

"Show yourself some compassion, telling yourself how it is human and understandable to want to retaliate when someone you loved has hurt you.

"Follow the 24 hour rule, of giving yourself time and space to think before you respond, so you can calm down and think clearly about the consequences of your actions. Check out your plan with a trusted friend before you do anything. Then allow yourself time to heal and recover from the difficult ending to your relationship, giving yourself permission to grieve what you have lost."

Watch: We sent these former lovers on a date to see what would happen

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting