The Kids Aren’t All Right

11 Feb

Dear LetterBalm: My boyfriend is a great guy, and we have a terrific relationship. We’ve been together for two years. He’s divorced; he and his ex-wife share custody of their two kids. I thought they and I had forged a good bond, but I just found out they are making up lies about me and badmouthing me to their mother. She’s threatening to sue my boyfriend for full custody. She and he didn’t have a great relationship before, but now they’re fighting all the time. What do I say?

–Stumped in Scranton

Your boyfriend’s kids are little troublemakers, and Ms. L.B. says there’s not too much you can do. She hopes your boyfriend is talking with his lawyer. You might have a calm, kid-free, private conversation with your boyfriend, during which you do not disparage his children, thusly:

Honey, I know things have been rough lately. It must be hard on you to be fighting with Ellen all the time. And, her threatening to sue for custody of Luke and Jenna must be very hurtful, especially since we all get along so well and you know that I love them as my own. Do you think the kids love Ellen so much that they might be saying negative stuff about me because they want to get you guys back together? Should you talk with a child therapist about what’s going on? Maybe you can get some help to deal with all this. And, you know I’ll support you no matter what.

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