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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.

Petal02 Wed 08-May-13 12:19:43

Sorry, not trying to drip feed, but DH fell out with some other neighbours (who live at the back of us) over a parking issue last year - DH was in the right but did react a little strongly to the situation, and I don't want to end up having fallen out with the whole street, if that gives the situation a little more context.

Booyhoo Wed 08-May-13 12:20:33

so jim was there and witnessed it all?

limitedperiodonly Wed 08-May-13 12:21:43

I'd be a bit miffed if the same thing happened to me and my DH's first thought was 'ooh, better not fall out with the woman next door.'

I wouldn't expect him to go round all guns blazing but I would not be at all happy with him trying to brush it under the carpet so he didn't feel awkward and that's what it looks like you've done.

Booyhoo Wed 08-May-13 12:22:05

hmm. so your DH falls out with neighbours but he's always in the right and reacts a 'little' strongly each time? pattern anyone?

Bossybritches22 Wed 08-May-13 12:22:52

Sounds like your Dh is a bit hot tempered then?

Not that it would be unreasonable if he were bitten.

DoingTheSwanThing Wed 08-May-13 12:23:18

I wonder how "Jim" behaves towards "Sue".

sweetestcup Wed 08-May-13 12:23:26

But I don't see how the air could be cleared unless Jim apologises really.

QuintessentialOHara Wed 08-May-13 12:24:33


Your "reacting strongly" is perhaps another persons "Angry abusive Idiot"?

limitedperiodonly Wed 08-May-13 12:24:34

Just read your last post. What's your idea of 'reacting a little strongly'?

Does DH really over react or are you one of those people who hates any form of confrontation, however mild?

Booyhoo Wed 08-May-13 12:25:50

well the air can be cleared between sue and Op as they havent done anything to each other so they haven't fallen out. it's only the hotheads that have falen out.

QuintessentialOHara Wed 08-May-13 12:30:49

When my old neighbour went over to my other neighbours teenage son and told him he would get his mate from Hells Angels come and Fuzx&^%ing beat the shit out of him if he did not stop revving the engine of his moped at night, there was really no comeback from that.

Petal02 Wed 08-May-13 12:32:11

DH has always been hotheaded - he's renowned for it - he flares up more than he should, but then cools down quite quickly. He had every right to flare up about being bitten, but (having not witnessed any of this) I do wonder if, as someone has suggested earlier, if they both got over inflamed about it.

I'm not smoothing things over to the point that we'll be having a BBQ this weekend (!) just to the point the Sue and I can both hang our washing out at the same time.

If they didn't live next door, it would be different.

ryanboy Wed 08-May-13 12:32:48

Flipping heck talk about victim blaming.The DH was beitten twice by a dog while in his own garden and then assaulted and it is somehow his fault?

Booyhoo Wed 08-May-13 12:35:38

who said it was his fault ryanboy?

Petal02 Wed 08-May-13 12:41:32

So your DH falls out with neighbours but he’s always in the right, and reacts a little strongly each time – pattern anyone?

That’s about the size of it. DH is a little hot-headed which has led to problems with neighbours in the past, and I don’t want to end up being at odds with the whole street. I should add that DH would never harm a fly (and particularly not me) and that his bark is definitely worse than his bite (no pun intended).

limitedperiodonly Wed 08-May-13 12:45:47

Well, I'd have waited until I saw Sue over my smalls and then just said hello. If she wanted to talk about it I'd say I didn't really know what happened, because you don't do you?

For some reason you don't seem keen to back your husband even though you accept he was bitten twice and nearly assaulted by a neighbour in 'meltdown' who's claiming some longstanding feud that's apparently a complete lie.

If that had happened to you, how would you react and what would you expect your DH to do?

DeWe Wed 08-May-13 12:48:17

I think I would be tempted to ask Sue what was meant by "you've had it in for my family for years".
Was it something that Jim said in the spur of the moment. Like a child saying "I won't be your friend ever again..." or has he been chuntering over stuff for years?
Maybe your dh has been making comments that Jim has taken as snide, and the rest of you have taken as banter. Or perhaps something he thinks as a continual joke, really upsets Jim.
Or maybe there's been a few hot headed incidents where your dh has been involved but not told you.

I might also be tempted to drop into the conversation with Sue something along the lines of "When dh was at the doctor getting the second bite seen to, the doctor said it was a good thing it wasn't a child's face..." or similar. Basically letting Sue know that the bite was serious enough to need treatment. Because she may think it's along the lines of a slight nip after a bit of horseplay.

Whatever actually happened, the reality is that the dog should not have bitten. Even if he'd stepped on a paw as someone suggested, a dog should not be biting a person. And Sue and Jim need to face up to the fact they have a dog who is capable of causing serious injury.

sweetestcup Wed 08-May-13 12:55:31

booyhoo I see what you man I just think this will cause some difficulties between them all now, now something has happened. Like dewe I would want to know what Jim meant by "you have had it in for us for years" comment.

treas Wed 08-May-13 13:01:45

confused At all the posters asking what Your dh was doing to the dog for it to bit.

Dogs are domesticated wolves, they don't have to have someone do something to them to bite. It might have just been hot and bothered

Booyhoo Wed 08-May-13 13:35:29

dogs aren't domesticated wolves

Petal02 Wed 08-May-13 13:40:36

DH is far less bothered about the dog bites than Jim's comments/actions, and that's what I want to talk to Sue about - makes me think there's been some massive misunderstanding somewhere down the line and it needs sorting out for everyone's sake. And the dog needs proper training.

Floggingmolly Wed 08-May-13 13:42:53

The ball was in their court to contact you, preferably with an apology to your DH.

Petal02 Wed 08-May-13 13:47:50

Please don't think we've apologised - it was a 'can we discuss this' request, hoping it leads to an apology.

Norem Wed 08-May-13 13:49:44

Hi op do you think your dh threatened in the pain of the moment to have the dog put down?
If so I can imagine Jim getting heated very quickly as soon people really do regard their pets like children.
However the comment seems a bit strange, do jim and your husband have any negative backstory?
What does your husband do? And how does he manage to control his temper in work situations?
I really feel for you not being comfortable in your own garden is horrible sad

LibertineLover Wed 08-May-13 14:22:46

Dogs are domesticated wolves, they don't have to have someone do something to them to bite. It might have just been hot and bothered

hmm shall we have a good ol' fashioned 'dogs are better than humans thread? Haven't had one for a week ages.

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