LISTEN: Man Left Sleeping In Van After Relationship Breakdown

During a discussion about couples forced to live together after relationship breakdowns, one caller shared his story showing how difficult situations can be.

The caller, who gave his name as James, started by thanking James O’Brien for a show he did the other day discussing mental health, saying “that actually prompted me to call my doctor.” Like so many men, he says he struggles to talk about how he feels.

“The problem is I’m a man’s man. I won’t talk to anybody about my problems. Not only that, I don’t know how to talk about my problems either. I’ve always put on a big front.

“It’s only now dawned on me that it’s having a very, very big effect on my life.”

James has a 3-year-old child with his ex-partner. His relationship faltered a few months ago, which led to him sleeping on the couch in the same house as his ex-partner and daughter. He says the relationship has now officially ended and his ex-partner has told him to get out.

James works full-time, but he says pretty much everything he earns goes into buying things for his daughter, for the flat they all shared together, for a car for his ex, all of which has left him with nothing. This has led to the terrible situation of James having to sleep in his van. He says “I’ve got no one to go to.”

“I feel like I’m at rock bottom, but no one from the outside would ever see me and think that.”

James’s need to maintain the appearance of someone with no problems has meant he can't turn to anyone, saying “I don’t want anyone to know I’m in this situation.”

Having a daughter and wanting to be there for her makes the relationship breakdown so much tougher, as he can’t, and neither does he want to, walk away from the life he worked to build.