Whitney Dean’s (Shona McGarty) pain began when Callum Highway (Tony Clay) confessed that he had an affair with Ben Mitchell (Max Bowden). It was the night before their wedding. Whitney was enjoying her “Hen Do”. Callum wasn’t enjoying his “Stag Party” without Ben.
That night ended with a tearful confession and a half-hearted promise by Callum that he would change. Welp…since that moment we’ve seen a cancelled wedding, a gunshot, and the promise of a pint date. (Callum missed that pint date because he was saving Bobby Beale.) The #Ballum journey has officially begun. Whether Ballum fans like it or not, Whitney is still part of that journey. She’s not the enemy. The pain she was caused just won’t disappear at the stroke of a fan-fic pen.
Journey of Pain & Joy
Now that the wedding has been cancelled, Callum will begin to navigate his “coming out” story. He will go through the awkwardness, uncertainty, and eventually, the relief of finally living his truth. Callum will also deal with the guilt he feels about Whitney (as he should). He wasted her time by his hiding his sexuality.
We will also see the joy Callum and Ben feel at getting to know each other and eventually becoming a couple. However, Whitney’s pain, heartache, and healing are equally important to watch unfold.
Whitney’s experience is not unusual in real life. There are many women and men who’ve been blindsided by a partner’s admission that they are gay. It’s one thing hear from your partner that they’ve broken your trust and cheated on you. It’s even more excruciating to hear that they’ve lied about their sexuality in addition to the infidelity.
Callum may have thought he was doing Whitney a favor by not telling her initially. He said that he truly loved her and wanted to marry her. He was also confused since Ben first tried to “help him” not hide his sexuality. (What’s a little threatening blackmail between mates. ?) Either way, Callum’s actions caused a tremendous amount of pain to Whitney. He will have to deal with the guilt from causing that pain.
As fans of EastEnders, we should want to see the entire storyline unfold between Whitney, Callum, and Ben. I want to see how Whitney and Callum come to terms with their situation. Callum may eventually be happy with Ben. However, he still needs to grieve the end of is his relationship with Whitney. Eventually after all of that pain, Whitney and Callum may build a new friendship.