When they got married, Rainie could never imagined the torment ahead in her life with Stuart Highway (Ricky Champ) as they were thrown into a crisis when her husband fell ill with cancer.
And EastEnders star Tanya Franks has reflected that they make a strong and united couple despite everything – until Rainie realises that she has been lied to.
The secret to their unwavering love and strength is a relationship built on honesty; throughout the surrogacy, Rainie has decided to be truthful, telling the truth to Bernie about Stuart’s illness and his way of handling it.
With Stuart confronting his battle with surgery and treatment, Rainie is proud of him; but with both having addictive pasts, Stuart conceals his increasing use of painkillers.
It’s not him taking them that is so upsetting, Tanya tells Metro.co.uk during an exclusive chat, but the fact that he is concealing it from her.
‘The main problem with it is that Stuart’s been keeping it a secret,’ the actress sighs.
‘She was prepared to help him through if an addiction started with the painkillers. She wanted him to have the surgery, and she knew that painkillers were going to be part of the scenario.
‘She understood his fear with her having gone through the same addiction. She’s been there with the painkillers and she became addicted to them.
‘She understands what the predicament is, but she was prepared to help him through that, and knew how important it was for him to have the surgery.’
Having vowed to confront the issue when it arises, being a former addict herself and understanding, it knocks Rainie for six when she feels that Stuart isn’t trusting her with this, as Tanya explains.
‘The fact that he’s kept it secret, that’s the problem,’ the star clarified.
‘An addiction will tend to be kept secret if it’s going into the realm of addiction, so therefore that’s a signal for her. She can’t help him if he keeps it secret.
‘ She was prepared to help him through this no matter what and be by his side and take the ramifications as they come along. So, the fact he’s kept it secret means she can’t help him, so that’s why she’s angry and upset.’
This will create more turbulence as time goes by for the couple, as more struggles threaten to crumble them.
Can they survive this and what happens next?
Tanya teases: ‘It’s not going to be plain sailing. I mean they are a very bonded couple but they are having to face some hurdles.
‘This whole thing with the painkillers is going to be part of some tests, really! It’s a testing time!
‘It’s a whole new thing, going into parenthood, and Stuart also having to get through the cancer surgery. It’s very testing.’
As for whether they can pass these tests, that’s what the tense audience will be rooting for.
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