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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.

Booyhoo Wed 08-May-13 14:35:34

i dont think that was the point of treas comment at all libertine. i think he/she was pointing out that the DH might have been doing absoloutely nothing to or near the dog for it to have bitten. i think you've misundertsood the comment.

treas Wed 08-May-13 15:17:14

Thanks Booyhoo - you were right on the button with the point I was trying to make.

Maybe I should have stated that although domesticated dog have wolves as ancestors.

Petal02 Wed 08-May-13 15:37:22

I've upset that DH has been bitten, I'm upset that he was 'manhandled' (for want of a better word) and I'm upset that the pleasant domestic set-up I thought DH enjoyed with our neighbours isn't quite what it seemed.

Sue has since reiterated she's got no issue with me, but feels uncomfortable that she heard DH 'slagging off her daughters' (DH and I are completely mystified about this). Sue has now de-friended me on FB.

I feel we've lost good neighbours and friends in one hit, with a nasty incident for DH, and none of it makes any sense.

Petal02 Wed 08-May-13 16:13:33

AIBU to feel upset about the whole episode????

Weird. Best leave it I'd say, say hi over the washing and that's it? No YANBU to be upset about it all, it's a shame.

ChasedByBees Wed 08-May-13 16:53:12

I don't understand why you didn't phone the police - not for the dog bites but for the assault. And yes, if I were your DH I would think you'd been disloyal. You and Sue can still be friends but your DH was assaulted and you seem to think its nothing and probably his fault. hmm

FBmum Wed 08-May-13 17:04:15

OP - this could have been me writing this thread. Last year, we fell out with neighbours who we had been friends with for a long time - I tried to sort it out, DH had more of a sense of injustice and did not mince words - the situation quickly deteriorated. We spent 12 months living with intimidation and threats - the police were involved, and said they would back us up if we took it to civil court, but my mental health was beginning to suffer (I don't do conflict, let alone live with harrassment), so we put the house on the market and moved our family to a different part of the country.

In essence, I really suggest you try to sort this out as quickly as possible, especially if Sue has defriended you - not a great sign. Try to sit down all together, before it gets really nasty. I hear what other posters are saying - it's not about backing down, it's more about seeing where your relationship can go from here. I wish you the best of luck.

Branleuse Wed 08-May-13 17:15:49

maybe was probably devastated his dog bit, and frightened of that it would mean he would need to get it PTS, and acting out defensively in fear?

Wibblypiglikesbananas Wed 08-May-13 17:21:13

I would report the fact that DH was bitten and the fact that he was assaulted. Whether you've been friends for a long time or not, they need to keep their pet and tempers in check.

maddening Wed 08-May-13 17:24:26

I would ask your dh to very clearly and most importantly explain the conversations he has had with Jim. And also to think v hard about the slagging her dc off - if you go into a conversation with Sue you want to have all the facts so you aren't caught off guard.

How you approach Sue depends on what dh tells actually happened - both with Jim and the conversation Sue says she overheard.

limitedperiodonly Wed 08-May-13 17:38:25

YANBU to feel upset.

I think YABU towards your husband. Why is it so important to you to keep friends with your neighbours who don't sound like they give a monkey's about you?

I have also experienced a very nasty dispute with a neighbour and despite us being reasonable there was bugger all we could do about it. It would have made it even worse if either of us had said: 'Do you know what darling, can you just forget it because I feel a bit awkward?'

Sometimes people are in the wrong and unfortunately you have to deal with it.

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 08-May-13 17:44:08

How very awkward.

I'd definitely want a fuller and totally honest account from your DH as it does seem as though more has been said than you know about.

What does your DH think about the neighbour's daughters, has he perhaps moaned about them to someone else and its got back to your neighbours?

suburbophobe Wed 08-May-13 20:23:43

These are not real friends. Their dog attacked your husband twice and he got stroppy about it?

WTF?!

Petal02 Wed 08-May-13 20:55:45

DH is actually fully supportive of my decision to contact Sue (we've just been talking about it) he said that if we never manage to sort it out, at least Sue will have heard his version of events.

Petal02 Wed 08-May-13 20:57:43

PS - I should add that this is not about backing down, it's about having a frank discussion in the hope that we can sort this out.

limitedperiodonly Wed 08-May-13 20:59:16

oh great. So it's all all right then. Problem solved. Next...

Petal02 Wed 08-May-13 21:02:52

No it is not all right - I'm hoping that Sue and I can actually get Jim and DH together, on their own, to sort this out. They are the only two people who know what really happened.

You know the way they say let kids sort their own battles?

You and Sue getting them together and all that will not end well.

Petal02 Thu 09-May-13 08:42:55

Yeah, I think you're right. Having slept on it (again), I'm just going to leave it. I think Sue and I are at the point where we're both backing our own husbands (understandably) but both wish to be cordial with each other. And that's probably the best position for the time being.

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