My friends are going through a nasty divorce, and the husband has asked me to write a letter stating my observations about his parenting skills. I think he's a great dad, but I don't want to get involved for fear I will lose the wife's friendship. What do I do?
Some people apparently don't realize that divorce isn't a game you play with friends. Allegiance issues during breakups are tough on the best friendships, and, as you are discovering, it's difficult for bystanders to remain neutral. The couple you know is clearly battling over child custody issues. The wife may be trying to restrict her soon-to-be ex-husband's involvement with, or rights to, the kids by arguing that he's a bad parent. Or, perhaps, the husband is trying to prove he's the better parent so he can obtain sole custody and avoid paying child support. Who knows! The reasons needn't be any of your business.
Still, you worry that if you write a letter saying he's a good dad, she will view this as taking sides. And that means you can kiss your girls' nights out goodbye. But if you refuse him, it's so long to your (or your husband's) good golf buddy.
What's a girl to do? Your best bet is to be honest. Explain to him that you want to maintain your relationship with both him and his soon-to-be ex-wife, and that his request puts you in a lose-lose situation. Tell him you're more than willing to help him -- and her and the kids -- through this rough patch, but not in this way. Make them meals and offer to care for the kids occasionally -- but stay out of their game.