Was I wrong to make contact with neighbours following incident?

(69 Posts)
Petal02 Wed 08-May-13 11:53:29

I’ll try and keep this brief. We’ve lived next door to Jim and Sue (not their real names) for five years, husband and I get on really well with them, we’ve had BBQs together, we chat in the garden, we’ve got each other’s door keys and water each other’s plants. It’s basically a very pleasant situation and they’re a really nice couple.

On Thursday, Jim’s dog bit DH. DH was a bit miffed, and just put this down to animal behaviour. But on Saturday, the dog bit DH again, but quite badly and he’s had to see the doctor. At the time of the second bite, DH challenged Jim – who had a complete meltdown, pushed DH against the side of the house, tried to punch him, and kept saying to DH “you’ve had it in for my family for years.” God knows where all this came from, but DH was quite shaken. All this was a real shock.

Now whilst I’m totally on my husband’s side, we really did need to get this sorted out, on the grounds that we all live next door to each other, and I was feeling very awkward about being the in the garden, on the driveway etc etc, in case I bumped into either of them (even though I hadn’t been involved in the incident). And then there’s the issue that Sue and I are quite good friends.

So this morning I decided to try and broker some sort of peace – I texted Sue and asked if she wanted to meet up, on a 1-2-1 basis, to clear the air. She came straight back to me, and said that yes, that was a good idea, and that she didn’t have a problem with me, and that life was too short to fall out. I got the sense she was relieved I’d been in touch. We exchanged a few more texts about a TV programme we’d both seen last night, and it seems that at least Sue and I are OK with each other.

So whilst obviously we’ll both side with our respective husbands, Sue and I can at least live comfortably next door to each other by the sounds of it.

However part of me feels slightly disloyal to DH; he TOTALLY has the moral high ground here, and I’m not disputing this, however if this didn’t get sorted out/dealt with fairly promptly then positions would get entrenched and we’d potentially have two household totally at odds with each other. I will certainly back him up when I see Sue (and I suspect Jim probably hasn’t told her the whole story) I’m not getting in touch with her to apologise, simply that this does need sorting out.

So am I wrong to have made contact with Sue? It’s just that we’ve all got to live next door to each other. I should add that I’ve been really upset about the whole issue, obviously that DH had such a rough time, and also that now everything’s really weird with next door. I’ve never had neighbour problems before, and even if DH and Jim never see eye to eye again (DH is definitely owed an apology) at least Sue and I won’t feel awkward hanging out our washing.

rubyslippers Wed 08-May-13 11:55:59

your neighbour assaulted your DH?! he has been bitten twice by their dog

i wouldn't set foot in their house ever again

DoingTheSwanThing Wed 08-May-13 11:58:35

You are being rather charitable not to have called both police and dog wardens!

Petal02 Wed 08-May-13 12:00:14

It's just all so weird, god knows what got into their dog, he's normally fine, and Jim is normally very placid. However I know that DH can be a bit hotheaded too, and whilst he had every right to challenge Jim over the bite, I do wonder if the challenge was a little more robust than has been reported, if you see what I mean.

rubyslippers Wed 08-May-13 12:01:58

but "jim" was physical with your DH ...

Petal02 Wed 08-May-13 12:01:59

I think DH would have felt embarrassed calling the police about such a small dog, even though the damn thing clearly needs some training. It's just that these people are (or so I thought) quite good friends of ours.

Petal02 Wed 08-May-13 12:02:54

Jim isn't off the hook and he definitely owes DH an apology.

loler Wed 08-May-13 12:03:23

Whilst I agree with the comments below - I think you've done the right thing - living nextdoor to neighbours you've fallen out with is really really stressful. You and Sue get on with it - leave the 'men' to sort it out themselves, they are grown-ups and you and Sue don't need to get involved.

However, make sure you and yours stay away from the dog - I wouldn't trust it.

the dog bit him twice though! so bad the 2nd time he needed treatment. When you're in pain, you do lash out, 'Jim' should have been all apologies, not pinning DH up against anything?! Strange man.

rubyslippers Wed 08-May-13 12:03:55

he sure does

and for the dog bites

you don't need to be friends - you can be cool and polite with one another and not socialise

confused How come the dog managed to bite your dh? Was it in your garden/drive? Was dh petting it? Playing rough and tumble with it?

I think you did right sorting it out with sue though, what did your DH say?

musicismylife Wed 08-May-13 12:04:25

There is no need for you and 'sue' to fall out. But you do sound a bit 'me, me, me' in your tone.

And just because you and 'sue' have cleared the air, it does not mean that your husband challenged 'jim' in a more robust way.

Sorry but you sound a bit flaky to me.

beautifulgirls Wed 08-May-13 12:05:12

You need to hear her side of the story out to ensure you have all the details too. I think though you did the right thing. If I were you then I'd try and get both the men together with both of you there having decided between you what should be expected - an apology from one or both of them for the thing(s) that were said and done. Maybe a token gift if it seems appropriate would help too. Maybe plan this and then a trip out for a meal together and ensure that you find something nice to talk about while you are out then so that the next meet up afterwards has already moved on properly.

Genuinely not trying to make excuses for your neighbour here, but could there have been any extenuating circumstances for the bites? Was dog ill, hurt? Had he accidentally stepped on it's paw? If so, I can sort of see why neighbour was upset, although his behaviour was obviously a massive overreaction & completely unacceptable behaviour from a supposed friend. If not any 'reason' for the dog, I'd be inclined to refuse to speak to the male neighbour until he apologises.

Petal02 Wed 08-May-13 12:06:52

Libertine – I totally agree that Jim should have been making apologies, not pinning DH against the wall.

Loler – you’ve hit the nail on the head, I don’t want the stress of living next door to neighbours we’ve fallen out with, and whilst I have no plans to be exchanging pleasantries with Jim, I just wanted to reach a position where Sue and I didn’t feel awkward with each other, as we see each other a lot in passing.

Booyhoo Wed 08-May-13 12:06:59

hmm.

where was the dog/DH when the bites happened. did jim witness it? i'm think you know your dh might have been a bit more 'robust' than he's letting on. which would piss me off if it were my dh.

personally unless you fully believe your DH's account as he said it then i wouldn't get involved and would refuse to discuss it with any of them.

bigfuckoffpie Wed 08-May-13 12:07:59

I think YABU OP. While I can see it might be tempting to brush the whole thing under the carpet, your first loyalty should be to your DH, and I wouldn't have tried to get back in touch with Sue to have a friendly chat until they apologised for the dog bites and the assault. Even if your DH had gone off in one, they were still in the wrong over the biting.

They need to get the dog sorted, otherwise it will bite something that it can do more damage to, like a child or another small dog.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Wed 08-May-13 12:09:18

You were sensible. You're right.

I think when you talk to Sue maybe suss out what she's heard/been told, she may know nothing of Jim assaulting your DH.

I would concentrate on the dog problem & see how the land lies & then see if you feel comfortable raising Jim's aggressive behaviour. Not that it excuses either party but if your DH had kicked out at the dog in his pain Jim might equally have lashed out at your DH hurting his dog.

More to this story than you or Sue know I suspect with both DH's behaving like schoolboys TBH.

Music the OP is trying to sort out a difficult situation can't see anything flaky about that!!

Petal02 Wed 08-May-13 12:11:35

I suspect that when the dog bit DH, DH would have reacted quite strongly (understandly, IMO), and that Jim reacted to DH's reaction, ending up in an altercation.

But this is very out of character for Jim, but then DH wouldn't make it up either. And it was DH who got bit!

Petal02 Wed 08-May-13 12:13:56

My first loyalty is definitely to DH, which is why I certainly haven't apologised to Sue (heaven forbid), it was just a 'can we clear the air' suggestion.

How come he got bit?

What was he doing to the dog, for it to bite?

You still have not answered that.

Petal02 Wed 08-May-13 12:17:42

On both occasions, DH was in our front garden, when the dog was being walked past on his lead, it's one of those incredibly long leads so the dog isn't really being controlled. Apparently each time the dog went for DH and bit him. Can't be more specific than that because I didn't see it.

Booyhoo Wed 08-May-13 12:19:11

i think all you can really do with sue is say "can we (you and her) just move on from it as neither of us were there and it's between DH and jim." there's no point getting her or jim's side of events because obviously (as dh has done with you) jim will have given it his slant and if they are both immature hotheads then they'll not be budging from their story so you and sue hashing it out wont solve anything. best to just agree to still be friends and let the DH's sort their feelings out between them. you cant make them be friends but you can choose to be friends with sue.

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