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Bizarre situation with neighbour and DH - is this inappropriate or am I being silly?(210 Posts)
I had to name change for this one, as I feel like a complete prat asking for help with a sweet old lady. I need a bit of perspective so if you think I'm being ridiculous, feel free to say so and I won't take it personally.
Here's the story. I got married quite recently (I'm 27, DH is 34). We moved into our flat several months ago. There is an older lady (I think in her 60s, though I'm not sure) who lives alone down the hall and I think she has a bit of a crush on DH. That would be completely fine with me, but it's getting a bit too much. Initially she just went out of her way to chat with him every time he was around. Now, though, she has moved on to asking him for help with things in her flat. Sometimes she'll say that she's feeling unwell, other times she desperately needs help getting something fixed. It started to get a bit irritating after a while, but I still didn't mind until she started knocking on our door later and later in the evenings.
She completely ignores me. She's been to my flat multiple times now and knows who I am, but goes out of her way not to say hello to me when we see each other. This week DH was away on a business trip and I was alone. She came by the other day, claiming to be feeling ill and faint and asked if DH was around. I told her that he wasn't but offered to help her myself. She declined and said that she would be fine. I actually insisted (if she was really ill, I didn't want that on my conscience) but she refused my help and left.
Well, he came back tonight and so did she. Knocked on the door about 30 mins ago, claiming to be ill and he went to her flat and is still with her now.
I started getting annoyed so I complained about her behaviour to a friend who I was chatting with online. The friend said that the situation could be much worse than a simple annoyance. She said that the neighbour could cause a lot of trouble, accuse him of assault, or anything she felt like if things turned sour.
I think this is taking things a bit too far but it scared me a little too. Is my friend being completely paranoid or do I have something to worry about?
I'd be a tad worried in your shoes. At the beginning of your post I thought maybe you were being paranoid, but by the end, I see what you mean - bizarre behaviour refusing help from you then waiting til he gets back. Don't know what to suggest really. Move???
Next time he goes round, go with him. It will soon be clear whether she is genuinely in need (possible, maybe her own son has moved away and she's feeling the loss, or she could just need a hand sometimes) or whether she's exaggerating.
Your friend is being paranoid about the potential assault allegation (they're very rare), but I think you should be making it much harder for the neighbour to encroach on your DH's time without you being there.
Brief your DH that every time she wants his help, he should be unavailable and offer your's instead, or he should find that he'll prob need your help too, so you go with him. If she realises that each time he comes to her flat, you'll be coming too, she'll probably back off.
Unless of course she genuinely does just want DIY jobs done, but that doesn't explain why she's so uncivilised as to be ignoring you.
What does your DH say about it?
Why does he not say phone the out of hours doctor if I'll. If wanting help in flat then say too busy. Why does he go round ?
I wouldn't be particularly worried about the neighbour causing trouble, although she does sounds like a pest. I would be concerned that he has been away, has only just returned and is spending time with her and not you. Perhaps she is lonely and has no other support, but it's not ok. You need to be having this conversation with him and devise a strategy together to deal with this. eg, you both escort her back to her flat together to make sure she's ok. Offer to ring NHS direct or something. And then leave. Only if you get your DH on side, are you going to solve this.
I came on here prepared for you to be a bit of a nut job. But it sounds like SHE is the nut job! Oh My Goodness. He has just back from business and is round her place. I think you need to tell him what happened whilst he was away. That's very odd. What does he actually do when she's 'feeling faint'. I agree with going with him from now on, and hope she backs off when she knows she hasn't got him alone.
We've had to deal with this in the past. You just have to draw the line... actually your husband has to draw the line. She's manipulative and she's using her age as an excuse to indulge in her crush. Just say "He's not home" and offer to help instead. She will either get the hint or you will have to think of moving.
Sorry, I meant to say it is definitely inappropriate that he is round there after just getting back from a trip away. You need to speak to him, and if necessary, show him this thread to show you are not being a weirdo about this. How long did he stay there for in the end? And are you in the UK? It's very late now.
Well, DH thinks that she's just after a bit of attention as well.
When she has asked for help with DIY jobs or things in her flat, she has always made it urgent, as if something had broken - but when he got there, he realised that they were things that had either been broken for a long time or didn't really need fixing.
The same with her medical issues. DH has offered to call the doctor for her mutliple times, but she has always refused. She comes over claiming to be feeling very very ill, but is then fine within 15 mins or so. I'm obviously not a doctor but it doesn't seem plausible.
We both feel too guilty to turn her away and I honestly feel really silly posting a this now.
Your DH needs to take a step back and
Call the plumber
Call a taxi
Each time she does this.
He is putting himself into a position where is he rejects an advance there are no witnesses.
Tell him to wise up!
with the unwell thing, i would get dh to say, 'ok you go back to your flat, and i will call nhs direct for you'
he shouldn't go in there anymore, not because of allegations etc, but because she's never going to stop asking if he doesn't stop going.
Have just noticed the time.
Is he still there? !
If so, go round and knock on the door to see if there's "anything you can do to help".
And stay there until your DH leaves with you. You could mention that it's bedtime and you both need to leave soon.
I actually have to go to bed now, will reluctantly drag myself away. Good night.
You shouldn't feel guilty. It is not on. It is not on to blank you. She is not a sweet little old lady. She is not lonely or she would accept company and talk from anyone, including you. She is a middle aged woman with a crush on your young DH. She needs to get over it, and him going round is not going to help that.
I think BBE's advice is spot on. Basically, DH has to make it clear he is not going to condone her freezing you out and that you come as a pair, as it were. Whether she sees your DH as a son or a potential toyboy is not clear, but it all sounds like a huge pain in the arse either way.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
don't feel silly posting op, it's an odd situation you are in.
*He is putting himself into a position where is he rejects an advance there are no witnesses.
Tell him to wise up!*
This is almost exactly what my friend said.
I think it's a good idea that the two of us go together next time. I never went with him because it's blatantly obvious that she doesn't like me and doesn't want to speak to me. Until now, I never saw the need to go.
Oh was going to say you can answer the door in future and say "he's working from home, v. busy on a call to a client atm but can I help?"
Now I'm really off to bed.
And are you in the UK? It's very late now.
Yes I am!! You see what I mean, 11pm and he's still there
I bet if you keep going with him, the demands will magically disappear .
I would be tempted to go knock and say something like "gosh, I was worried, you said you were ill and Dh hasn't come back so i thought it must be really bad! Should I call 101? No? Ok then. Bye. Have a good weekend…"
When she says she's ill, what does she mean exactly? Symptoms? And, what is it your DH does that makes her better?
Same thing every time. She feels weak/faint/dizzy, like she's about to collapse or like throwing up. He obviously hasn't got the slightest idea how to help someone with real medical problems so he has just given her water, helped her get her meds, that type of stuff.
Sorry, btw, your responses are coming in much faster than I could read them. Thank you for the advice though, I'm glad you don't think I'm being a horrible person
OK, I'll go round there now and knock, tell them I was concerned, etc. He has been there for about 45 mins now so I am actually concerned.
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