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about noisy neighbours and DH's attitude to same?

(24 Posts)
RingEir Tue 12-Jul-11 07:16:13

First of all I want to say that I am 8.5 months pregnant so I get emotional very easily these days. However, in this case I feel like I am the sane one and DH is being a complete idiot.

We live in a part of Spain which is very hot (inland, not the coast). We don't have air conditioning, so I have to sleep with the windows open. Lately the neighbours to our left have been having dinner parties in their garden, on weeknights (three times this week) which often go on (with loud drunken laughter) until 1.30 or later. I wanted to go over to say something but DH (who is Spanish) says it is their garden and they are perfectly entitled to make as much noise as they like. He was so against me going that rather than have a fight with him about it I didn't go.

Then, the other night I heard a loud croaking sound coming from the back garden of the neighbours to our right, so loud that I had to sleep in the baby's new room at the front of our house. I thought it was a bird, but DH said it was frogs, which I thought strange because there are no ponds or anything around here. Over the last few days we have wondered about it and have both found it to be extremely irritating. DH even changed his status on fb to say how he couldn't work with the noise of the frogs. So imagine my surprise yesterday when talking to the neighbour, it turns out that he actually brought the frogs to his garden from his village for his sons to play with and because he likes the noise. Then the neighbour asked DH if it bothered him, and he said, 'no, no, I like the noise too.' I know I should have said something but I was literally struck dumb with astonishment and just went into the house.

Afterwards when I confronted DH about what he had said, he insisted that he did like the noise (does he think I am a complete idiot?) and again that this neighbour was completely within his rights to have those frogs there and actually told me to lower my voice in case the neighbours heard. He refused to discuss it further and told me to get a grip and that if I complained to the neighbours it meant I had 'no shame'. He also said that when the baby comes, we will be the ones bothering the neighbours.

I ran upstairs crying and haven't spoken to him since. I feel like shit now and don't know what to do.

tallulahxhunny Tue 12-Jul-11 07:20:30

Your dh has no balls by sound of it. Or maybe its just the spanish way? I would be screaming from the rooftops if someone interrupted my sleep though lol

sausagesandmarmelade Tue 12-Jul-11 07:27:38

It's a very difficult one.

When the weather is hot and you are living in close proximity to others....with windows open, you are going to be disturbed by the noise of others.

I think that other than politely asking your neighbours if they could quieten down after midnight (maybe) there's not much else you can do....other than to move.

It's a different culture with different rules....and your DH has a point. There could well come a time when your baby is the source of irritation to them.....

EveryonesJealousOfWeasleys Tue 12-Jul-11 07:27:59

Aaah, revenge will be sweet in a couple of weeks time OP, you will look back at the frog and dinner party noise and laugh bwaa ha ha ha ha haaaaa grin

EveryonesJealousOfWeasleys Tue 12-Jul-11 07:28:51

Have you also considered a homebirth for maximum distress to them? Would get you off to a running start before the night waking/crying commences. I predict they'll be in bits by the end of September ;)

sausagesandmarmelade Tue 12-Jul-11 07:30:03

LOLs re the home birthy suggestion smile

lubeybooby Tue 12-Jul-11 07:33:47

Sorry OP but... YABU. With the windows open etc, you will be getting disturbed. I don't see anything in the OP that is excessive noise. And your DH is right about the baby.

Get air con... even if it's just a little unit for your room

bamboobutton Tue 12-Jul-11 07:38:51

get some wax earplugs.

and make sure you comfort your crying baby right next to the open window.

RingEir Tue 12-Jul-11 07:41:49

Ok, I take the point about the open windows, but my nerves are just in tatters at this stage. I haven't had a proper night's sleep for ages. Closed the windows last night and was still kept awake by a group of teenagers in the park across the road. I will get some earplugs and see if that works.

What galls me more than the neighbour's noise, is DH's attitude. He seems to think it's fine that they make any noise they like, but I know if (when) our baby cries at night he will be sweating bricks with the embarassment and will worry about what the neighbours think.

RingEir Tue 12-Jul-11 07:42:37

Oh, and thanks for answering and the funny comments about revenge grin

bamboobutton Tue 12-Jul-11 07:51:57

wax earplugs are the best. i had the window open and my earplugs in and didn't hear the fireworks going off from the mayors parade which was going on nearby.

fatlazymummy Tue 12-Jul-11 07:52:39

I don't understand why people sleep with the windows open, and then complain about the noise outside.
Buy a fan and run it all night. That's what I do.

stupefy Tue 12-Jul-11 08:02:11

Do you live in central Spain fatlazy ?

Op, couldn't you find a way of communicating with the neighbours yourself ? If the noise is annoying you and not your husband it did really ought to be you having a word.

kitbit Tue 12-Jul-11 08:18:06

Totally sympathise, used to get exactly the same when we lived in Murcia. And yes it is a cultural difference.
My best advice would be to get aircon in your room and try to adjust your body clock - get up late and take a long siesta. Go for a walk on the paseo mid evening then cool off late on at the only time you can bear to be outside.

Tis the only way, otherwise you'll be fighting against noise all the time since the timetables are so different.

The neighbours probably won't be bothered by the baby though, they are a lot more tolerant of babies and children and the noise they make, so don't worry about that.

I am puzzled by your dh's reaction to being asked about the frogs though. He had a golden opportunity to be polite yet truthful, however I suppose the polite spanish answer is 'thanks for asking no I'm not bothered'.

So....aircon and closed windows!

kitbit Tue 12-Jul-11 08:20:23

...and remember summer won't last forever, the frogs will feck off and no-one willbe sitting outside in a couple of months! Hang in there grin

RingEir Tue 12-Jul-11 13:43:34

stupefy yes, I should have said something, but I thought it would just cause a huge row with DH.

kitbit thanks for the sympathysmile DH can't tolerate aircon, but I suppose we are sleeping in separate rooms now anyway (so that I can escape from the frog chorus) so I could get unit for myself. I too am puzzled by why he had to lie to the neighbour (and later to me) and say that he actually liked the croaking. He could have been more non-committal even if he didn't want to complain. You are also probably right about the body clock, but as I am still not on maternity leave, I don't have the luxury of that at the moment.

fatlazymummy Tue 12-Jul-11 15:08:23

stupefy what has the location got to do with it? If it's hot [as it often is in the southeast of England] then a fan will cool the air down and the windows can be closed. Common sense really, isn't it?
I would actually prefer air conditioning but a fan is the cheaper option.

RingEir Tue 12-Jul-11 16:08:06

fatlazymummy I see your point, but it's 36 degrees here in the day and the heat accumulates in the house. We keep the windows shut during the day to keep the heat out and then when it 'cools down' (20 at night), open the windows to create a draught and let the fresher night air in. Most of our neighbours seem to have double-glazing and aircon, but we rent, so we won't be installing that and anyway DH gets a cold from ac.

I just managed to have a siesta, so feel a lot saner now. Thanks again to everyone who replied.

Pootles2010 Tue 12-Jul-11 16:15:18

Get yourself an aircon unit for your room, it'll come in handy when the baby arrives.

Tiredmumno1 Tue 12-Jul-11 16:17:59

Fatlazy, fans dont cool the air it circulates the warm air, you need to let normal air in, in that heat anyway.

We open our window and have to put up with 5 dogs barking constantly as they are always out there, a bit of consideration from the neighbours would be good

Op yadnbu your dh could have a nice chat with them, i find it odd that he wont

nomoreheels Tue 12-Jul-11 16:24:59

OP, I have stayed in inland Spain in July and I know how hot and uncomfortable it is - even with the windows open we were tossing and turning, and then the mosquitoes discovered us so we couldn't win! We couldn't turn the a/c on as it was DP's aunt's flat and she'd hid the remote as she thinks it's too expensive to run. (Fair enough - we would have happily agreed to only turn it on as little as possible though!)

So goodness knows how hot you must feel being P as well. My sympathies.

I don't think a fan will help much with super hot weather - and it's noisy compared to a modern a/c unit. If your DH is unwilling to deal with the noise issue then he has to compromise on a/c I think!

As for your neighbours, there may well be cultural differences towards noise problems, but several noisy dinner parties that go on til 1:30 am in one week is a lot I think. They may not even be aware that you can hear them, and if your hearing is anything like mine, you could probably hear the drunken laughter even with the windows shut! I'd have a friendly word but I understand that it's hard to feel you can when your DH objects. However if you pitch it that you are going to be pleasant, and will just ask them to take it inside after a certain time etc (something along those lines) especially given that you are pregnant and need rest, then hopefully he will be ok with that.

boredbroker Tue 12-Jul-11 16:44:36

I think rather than just saying something to your neighbours about the noise & upsetting DH, why not tackle the whole thing another way....go round & invite the neighbours for dinner (early) & tell them how hot & tired you are at this time of the pregnancy, ask if they have any advise & when the time comes for you to go to sleep tell them you have to have extra quiet inorder to get some rest, play the hard done by pregnant lady.....it just might work with sympathy points & remember when the baby arrives & it is crying half the night with the windows open smile , it will be your neighbours who will not be getting their beauty sleep ;)

all the best wishes.

northerngirl41 Tue 12-Jul-11 17:35:09

Culturally I do think that people tend to eat much later, entertain outside and stay up much later in Spain than in the UK. That is the norm and you do need to put up with it.

If it bothers you, then close the windows and go buy an air conditioning unit. And DH has a very good point - if you can hear them, they will certainly be able to hear your baby and babies don't have internal clocks which tell them it's 1:30am and time for everyone to go to sleep...

JanMorrow Tue 12-Jul-11 17:56:39

fatlazy, it's hotter in spain than in SE England.. come onnn.. and they just recycle the warm air when it's that hot.

Either way, I'd be getting aircon!

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