Ryan, England discussed on Woman's Hour

Woman's Hour
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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

That's just the norm. Ryan lives in a two bed flat above a shop in a village in the east of England. We talk in the kitchenette come sitting room while his kids are sleeping. There's a table chairs are sofa and boxes and boxes of toys. The only pictures on the wall are those drawn and painted by his kids. After his ex moved out, he stayed in the family home for three months before he moved here. That was a really lonely time that was. And actually he was better than when I moved out of the family home and moved to a new place because it was mine. It's just the memories, isn't it? You sort of rattle around a big house because you've had a family home and you do go down that sort of dark, lonely road. You've got friends and family, but at the end of the day is your battle, isn't it in your head and you do have to deal with that on your own? Just takes time. Did she take a lot of the stuff out of the house? I sort of was so not in the right frame of mind. I remember she said, and we're still amicable at the time. She said, well, my dad's going to help me move. I was at final take kids out for the day, you know, take what you want, but when I got back, the house was literally like stripped. I wasn't too impressed, but looking back on it now, am I bothered now, you know, is what it is. She was acting stressful time as well moving, et cetera, so. As a man, I definitely think you sort of give up at some point. I certainly was just like, do you know what is possessions? I'm not bothered. I had a few sentimental things and a TV and that was about it. A lot of the stuff had gone. Most of the kids stuff. And even things like little ones passports and that and birth certificates which I didn't really think about at the time, but I also need them and have a right to them and we didn't even discuss that. It was just sort of like taken. It's still that old stigma, isn't it that the mother has more rights and as a dad, you are on the back foot still. Why do you say that you're on the back foot? You just feel it. You still feel it. Absolutely. I know I didn't physically give birth to them. But I've been there from day one. I do everything for my children, so. You had to fight quite hard to get 50 50 with the kids. Not really. I think originally when we split up, we sort of had that conversation and my ex was very much. You shouldn't have them 50%, et cetera. And then all of a sudden, she sent me a parenting plan. These are your days, 55th no conversation. It was just like these are your days. It's 50%. I think it was, he's not going to be able to do that. So she had moved the children about 45 miles away, so on my days. I was getting up driving them to school. Then driving a 50 miles to work the other way, then in the evening driving 50 miles back to get them and then 50 miles again, which wasn't fair on the kids. And I'd done that for three months because I was like, I'm not giving up..

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