A friend (not a great friend, not a best friend, just a friend) of mine found out her husband had been serially cheating on her throughout their marriage. At the time she had two young boys and was pregnant with her third. They have been divorcing. She claims he never wants to see the kids or be involved. He does not have any formal custody rights. I don’t excuse his behavior and definitely don’t think he is the perfect dad.
I do think he is selfish, and a flake, and could be better. I know he has canceled and been a no-show on scheduled visits. But he still reaches out to her and tries to see his kids. She does make it difficult for him: refusing weekend or overnight visits or purposefully saying the kids are busy on days he asks to see the kids. Now that he says he is in a serious relationship and wants his new girlfriend to meet his kids, my friend has gone ballistic. She is now forbidding him from seeing the kids in any fashion at all.
The kids (all under 10) have made comments saying that their dad is going to go to hell because he is bad. She is essentially practicing parental alienation. I tried compassionately telling her the kids should have a right to have a relationship with their father, and she dismissed this notion entirely. What are my moral obligations here?