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(32 Posts)
Oasthouse Sat 26-Aug-23 15:03:36

We moved into our house about 10 years ago and are just one of three properties. Our neighbour who is 20 years our senior and a widow was indifferent to us at first but over the years my husband and I have been kind, courteous and generous to her while still respecting her privacy. I have never had any family of my own and in a respectful way considered her a good friend who we look out for.
I was aware she had an unpleasant side but it was never directed at us except maybe once so we allowed her to vent her frustration about her issues and then move on.
A minor incident happened early this week which had her knocking on my door and spitting with rage, jabbing her finger at me, berating me and accusing me of complete nonsense in front of my husband.
I was deeply upset and embarrassed while my very mild mannered husband was furious.
I half imagined she would go away and reflect then offer up some sort of apology which has not happened.
I feel such a fool as I have always seen her through rose tinted glasses rather than the rather nasty sharp tongued woman that she really is.
My lovely husband in a moment of honesty told me that he had gone along with our generosity of kindness, time and outings etc because it made me happy but he would be equally happy to have her at arms length after this.
I think it would be fair after this to just remain as polite neighbours,
I am writing this just to put my sadness and upset somewhere else and if anyone would like to comment I would welcome any thoughts, many thanks xx

Moonwatcher1904 Sat 26-Aug-23 15:14:51

I think your DH is right and take a step back. I live in a block of 8 flats and I'm lucky that we all seem to get along. However, there is a lady below me that seems to think that I can help her with all sorts of things and keeps me at my front door for ages. My DH uses his mobile to ring the house phone and tells me I'm wanted so that gets rid of her. I'm polite to all but I don't get involved. I've read so many stories of getting involved with neighbours and then it all back firing over something and nothing. Yes be polite and leave it at that.

AGAA4 Sat 26-Aug-23 15:18:17

So sorry this has happened to you oasthouse. It feels awful when people behave as your neighbour has done when you have always been kind and considerate.
You don't say what upset her but I would keep her at arm's length from now on.

M0nica Sat 26-Aug-23 15:29:03

You do not say how old your neighbour is. It could be a sign she is developing dementia.

lemsip Sat 26-Aug-23 15:30:11

arms length is my advice too. you have a wise husband!

Germanshepherdsmum Sat 26-Aug-23 15:33:07

I agree, maintain a polite distance. It’s a shame for you after all your kindness. Maybe she has dementia and that is causing her to imagine you have behaved badly in some way.

Oasthouse Sat 26-Aug-23 15:35:13

She asked my husband to take her somewhere, bearing in mind she does actually drive herself. He agreed but then came to me and asked me to come too as he didn't want to go alone. Politely a few days before the event I mentioned to her that I was coming along as well. She agreed and then it seems she went home and spent a few days working herself up about it. One of the things she accused me of was inviting myself along and my presence was not required.....

crazyH Sat 26-Aug-23 15:46:58

Oh dear - we all have one. I had my drive jet washed the other day, and the chap asked her if he could park his van on her drive . She gave some excuse. If one of her workmen wanted to park on my drive, I would have willingly agreed, but then, I’m a people pleaser.
So now, I have taken a step back. No more asking her over for coffee. TBH, I’m the only neighbour who used to give her the
time of day. She ‘hates’(her words) her other neighbour.
It’s hard Oasthouse, especially when there’s an unnecessary confrontation.
So, just take a step back, is my advice.

Germanshepherdsmum Sat 26-Aug-23 15:48:15

Definitely keep your distance - your husband too. Do you think that, even though much older, she has imagined a romance with him?

AGAA4 Sat 26-Aug-23 15:50:31

What an arrogant woman. She thinks she has the right to tell you you weren't invited into your own car. Keep well away and refuse any more favours.

Callistemon21 Sat 26-Aug-23 15:52:13


She asked my husband to take her somewhere, bearing in mind she does actually drive herself. He agreed but then came to me and asked me to come too as he didn't want to go alone. Politely a few days before the event I mentioned to her that I was coming along as well. She agreed and then it seems she went home and spent a few days working herself up about it. One of the things she accused me of was inviting myself along and my presence was not required.....

That doesn't sound like normal behaviour at all so perhaps, as others have said, she is developing some kind of dementia. It was a very odd reaction and you were right to suggest going with your DH, you never know what accusations she might have made if she is not behaving rationally.

Well, he won't be offering again! She's shot herself in the foot there.

But be aware in case her behaviour becomes more bizarre. Does she have family who visit?

wildswan16 Sat 26-Aug-23 15:55:12

Don't upset yourself about it. Be content with knowing that whatever her character, you have been friendly and courteous to her.

However, you do need to protect yourself from such stressful situations so as others hav advised I would keep your distance.

It could be that her character is becoming more visible as she grows older - and you probably don't want to be drawn in to becoming "needed" by her.

Oasthouse Sat 26-Aug-23 16:04:24

I have long suspected that she has a soft spot for him and simply tolerates me which is partly why I feel so foolish.
It's been good to talk as it feels like a weight has lifted and maybe there's a funny side to it as well.
My husband is delighted at the prospect of going out for Christmas dinner without her this year but not so chuffed that 80 year old ladies are finding him irresistibly!

biglouis Sat 26-Aug-23 16:05:46

Glad to say I have never been a "people pleaser" and consider a good neighbour is one you find under stones in the churchyard. My NDN was a whining b***h who bullied her husband something awful. That never worked on me and I wish I had a £10 for all the times I told her to go forth and multiply, walked off or never opened the door to her. She knew I hated her.

About 3 years ago I noticed the unmistakable signs of dementia. Her husband shielded her from a lot but the poor devil died of a heart attack 2 years ago. Now she is sinking Her adult children visit her about every 2/3 week and want her to sell the house from under her.

If I were a believer I would guess someone "up there" is punishing her.

Germanshepherdsmum Sat 26-Aug-23 16:08:46

It seems to have been a blessing in disguise Oasthouse!

Hithere Sat 26-Aug-23 16:10:30

I don't think it is a minor incident - reacting like that can scare people

Can you imagine it is witnessed by kids?

Oasthouse Sat 26-Aug-23 16:18:20

Biglouis, you're a ballsy lady and i admire you. I am a people pleaser and it irritates me that I do it.

sodapop Sat 26-Aug-23 16:38:07

Speechless biglouisshock

biglouis Sat 26-Aug-23 16:53:42

The best (and quietest) neighbours are in the churchyard with a headstone!

HeavenLeigh Sat 26-Aug-23 17:00:27

Im definitely not a people pleaser. I think you have had a lucky escape oasthouse. Maybe she is developing dementia, as it’s not normal to tell someone that they are unwelcome to come along with their own husband, bonkers! Sorry this happened to you! I would hope she has family that can help her in some way she does sound iLL tjough

LovesBach Sat 26-Aug-23 17:02:07

A nasty time for you; however, remember that you have always done the right thing by her, not listened to others, and decided to brush aside her unpleasant ways. This incident is too much, and in your shoes I would certainly withdraw completely. A polite greeting when you see her would be all that is needed now.

Smudgie Sat 26-Aug-23 17:29:19

Good advice on here as usual. Your husband was very wise to not take her out somewhere without you. She could have alleged all sorts of things and it would be his word against hers. She sounds a bit delusional so the advice to keep your distance is right, she also sounds very aggressive and that can often lead to unpleasant and possibly dangerous situations. Wave from a distance but don't engage from now on !!

hollysteers Sat 26-Aug-23 17:58:53

Does she have any family visitors? It sounds as if she needs some help, possibly a dementia diagnosis as mentioned.
You might not want to be involved in all that entails…

Bella23 Sat 26-Aug-23 18:08:11

I tried when we moved to be friendly with our neighbour.She was scathing and aggressive the first time we met. DH said round one to .... She has a hedge around her garden like Sleeping Beauty. We have been told in no uncertain terms the wall between us is hers. So I keep out of her way. If she accosts you again verbally like she has ,tell her to stop or you will report her for verbal harassment.
I no longer make excuses for her rude behaviour others try to bring it up and I make no comment.

crazyH Sat 26-Aug-23 18:14:03

biglouis - you are one bolshy lady ! I gather you are one of the youngest here - you have youth on your side - you will mellow with age 😂