Dear KiKi/Advice/Relationships/Divorce/Custody/Life Lessons

Dear KiKi: My Newly Divorced Friend’s Ex-Husband’s New Girlfriend Tells Their Daughters She Loves Them (and Wants Them to Say It Back!)

My friend is uncomfortable with this and doesn’t know what to do….

KiKi Walter
4 min readDec 27, 2021

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iStock Illustration Credit: drante

Dear KiKi,

I recently had my best friend(newly divorced) ask me what to do about this situation.

She left her abusive and alcoholic ex-husband. He did get the wake-up call with the divorce and now is in recovery, thank goodness.

They have two beautiful, young daughters, aged 8 & 5. Her ex-husband met someone and has allowed this new woman into the lives of the girls. This new woman has started telling the girls she loves them and asks for them to respond in kind. My friend knows this because she has heard it on FaceTime calls with their dad and the new girlfriend.

She is uncomfortable with this.

She is scared to address the issue with the ex-husband because they are not on good terms and she doesn’t feel like she can address it with the girlfriend because the girlfriend has no interaction with her whatsoever. (She hides in the bedroom when they do custody exchanges.)

Advice? Thank you.

Signed,

Friend who wants her friend to stand up for herself

Dear Friend,

Hoo-boy. There’s a lot to unpack here.

You are a good friend for wanting to help your friend. That said, divorce sucks and so can custody issues. Let me address the harsh reality first. Without knowing anything about their custody agreement (permanent, temporary, or otherwise) or what state they live in, there is one overarching fact when it comes to co-parenting: you cannot dictate or control what another parent does. It isn’t our place to judge the other parent’s decisions — no matter how heinously stupid they are—or call them out for their blatant narcissism and gaslighting, or try to school them on how best to parent your child(ren). It’s basically a right of passage to try and fail. Bring it up in court and the judge…

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KiKi Walter

AKA "The Memoir Queen." Ki is the founder & co-publisher of The Memoirist, Age of Empathy, Black Bear, Dear KiKi, QuickTalk, The Mayhem, Songstories, and more.