My Issue with Ben & Callum: EastEnders

Wheeeeeewwww! A lot has happened since Ben Mitchell laid his eyes on Callum Highway. It’s been messy and a little pretty. But now it’s a whole helluva lot messy! Callum needs space to experience a normal relationship.

T.Lanette

I used to like the idea of Callum Highway (Tony Clay) and Ben Mitchell (Max Bowden) becoming a couple. It was hard to root for them while watching Whitney Dean’s (Shona McGarty) dealing with a broken heart. 💔 However, I joined the other EastEnders fans in rooting for ‘Ballum’.

Now that I’ve watched their relationship blossom, I believe that Callum and Ben are doomed to have a toxic relationship.

Both Ben and Callum grew up in homes with abusive and toxic fathers. Callum was able to escape his father’s grip. However, Ben spends most of his time trying to please his father and gain the love he thinks he’s missing. In spite of Phil Mitchell’s (Steven McFadden) influence, Ben has turned into a selfish, controlling, and abusive adult.

From the beginning, this was about Ben’s needs, wants, and feelings. What about Callum? That’s been my main issue with their relationship. The focus has been on whether Callum can “be Ben’s light from out of the darkness”.

T.Lanette

Callum has been dealing with that version of Ben during this relationship. Ben’s had his “cute and cuddly” moments with Callum. However, most of the time Ben wants to control honesty in the relationship. He wants Callum to do what he says and not ask too many questions. He thinks he’s protecting Callum. However, Callum is a former army veteran and a future police officer. He can handle himself. Callum is also not as stupid or unaware as people think. What this really is about is Ben trying to keep his illegal work from Callum. He doesn’t want Callum to think less of him, so he’d rather lie to him.

Ben is also an emotional abuser. He was the one who broke up with Callum. Yet, he wants Callum to be waiting around for quick sex and no questions asked. Ben has played emotional mind games with Callum from the beginning. He started as supportive of Callum “coming out”, then turned to emotional blackmail threatening to tell Whitney about their night of sex in the park. It was a game for Ben until he actually fell in love with Callum.

Ben needs the time to sort out his issues and inner demons before he can be on Callum’s level. Callum deserves more than what Ben has offered.

T.Lanette

From the beginning, this was about Ben’s needs, wants, and feelings. What about Callum? That’s been my main issue with their relationship. The focus has been on whether Callum can “be Ben’s light from out of the darkness”. What about Callum’s needs and feelings? Why must Callum diminish his moral beliefs to fit into Ben’s life? Why should he be Ben’s therapist to help him fix his issues?

I see Callum giving up so much in the long run if he is in a relationship with Ben now. Their relationship will continue to be toxic if Ben doesn’t take care of his issues and demons. Both of them need time apart. Callum needs to experience normal, nontoxic relationships by dating other men. Ben needs the time to sort out his issues and inner demons before he can be on Callum’s level. Callum deserves more than what Ben has offered.

Signature in Burgundy cursive spelling out T. Lanette.
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