“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Feb 18, 2014
DEAR AMY: I have been married to a wonderful man, "Steve," for over 10 years, but lately he has become more and more impossible to deal with. The most recent incident has left me completely dumbfounded.

Recently, we had a verbal altercation with the next-door neighbor over several issues, and Steve vented on Facebook (although he never mentioned the person by name).

This caused the neighbor to end our relationship, and for a while, there were no more interactions with him.

However, the other day we were at a party and the neighbor came up and exchanged a few pleasantries with me, I'm assuming in an attempt to clear the air. He completely ignored Steve, however, and now Steve has vowed that he will never speak to the neighbor again, and expects me to do the same.

We see this neighbor in a lot of social situations and now I feel caught in the middle.

I told Steve that I cannot abide by his rule of totally ignoring this person if we see him in a social setting. I feel that would be rude and also continue the spread of bad energy. I do not have a desire to be close friends with this neighbor (and never have) but it doesn't mean I don't want to be polite and let bygones be bygones.

Steve says he is hurt and doesn't understand why I am not standing by him. He says I am aligning with this person instead of him.

This has put a real hitch in our relationship, and I would love your take on it.-- Stumped in Oregon

DEAR STUMPED: "Steve" has had his say. He has reacted and responded exactly the way he wanted to. You don't dictate how your husband acts, even if you don't like his behavior. And he's just going to have to put up with you being a decent person, even if he doesn't like it.

You are not aligning with this neighbor over your husband. You are simply living in the real world, where you get to behave in a way that conveys your own personality, temperament and sense of decency.

If these flares of temper and obstreperousness are an unusual trend for your husband, he really should receive a thorough medical checkup.

DEAR AMY: I am 12 years old. My friend who lives right across the street owns a huge dog. I used to love this dog (let's call him "Rex"), but I'm scared of him now because he has growled, barked, snapped and even chased me at least two times.

I was invited to a sleepover at this friend's house. I would have loved it but I had to say no because Rex sleeps inside their house. I was sad because all my other friends were going.

I am even scared to go near their back door because they let him out many times a day. What should I do when they invite me to play inside or if they ask for a sleepover at their house? Help!-- BCL

DEAR BCL: You deserve credit for being smart enough to avoid this dog, who has been aggressive toward you. Your instinct is excellent.

Now, however, you need to do some hard work in order to get beyond this fear -- because the fear is having a really big impact on your life.

Talk to your parents about this, and ask for their help in talking to your neighbors. They should not dismiss your fear by saying, "Oh, don't worry, Rex loves people!" They absolutely must make sure their dog does not get out off his leash where he could chase and hurt you (or others).

DEAR AMY: Alarm bells went off when I read the letter from "Concerned Mother," whose 10-year-old daughter had started menstruating but didn't want to talk about it.

The reason she doesn't want to talk about it is because she has been abused. I can't believe you missed this.-- Concerned Reader

DEAR CONCERNED: The mother noted that she had also started menstruating at age 10 and that it was "traumatic," but other readers heard the same alarm bells you did, and so I hope the mother takes her child for a doctor's visit.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#2 Feb 18, 2014
1- Stand by your man, how hard is it to ignore your neighbor?

3- How are you jumping to this conclusion?

“I looked, and behold,”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#3 Feb 18, 2014
LW1: I don’t’ agree with posting stuff on facebook and your husband doesn’t seem exactly like a peach, but you seem to care more about the neighbor’s feelings than your own husbands. If your neighbor truly wanted to let bygones be bygones and truly wanted to clear the air, he would have exchanged pleasantries to both of you, dummy.

You feel that ignoring him at a social setting would be rude, but are perfectly okay with interacting with a man who rudely ignores your husband at a social setting all the while making it a point to be chummy with his wife.

LW3: Did she say she was abused? If not, I think it is ridiculous to make that leap.

LW4: Yup, you are.

“I looked, and behold,”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#4 Feb 18, 2014
LOL, ignore letter 4. That was from Abby .. about the uncle Sam snapping at the 5 year old.
blunt advice

Essex Fells, NJ

#5 Feb 18, 2014
1. What was the argument over? If they are doing some type of damage to your property then Steve is correct. If it's something like rooting for different sports teams then there is no reason you can't be courteous to the neighbor.
2. If dog is OK with other friends then the family has no idea of the problem. You have to talk to your parents about why you are so afraid and talk to your friends parents about keeping the dog away when you are there or resolving the problem if you do like the dog and how to repair the relationship. Dogs sense fear/negativity and will react to it.
3. Are you saying early menstruation comes from abuse? Where did you get this information?

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#6 Feb 18, 2014
LW1: It sounds like these men are acting like little boys. Clearly you have to take your husband's feelings into account when you interact with this neighbor, but you can at least be an adult about it. You can be pleasant but not friendly at the same time.

And if this is your definition of impossible to deal with, you need to spend some time in an addicts house. Your situation is just self-imposed drama.

LW2: Geez Amy, this dog does not seem to have mauled all those other kids at the sleepover, perhaps he's not as awful as you think. If the LW previously liked the dog, then he/she can probably like the dog again.

I wonder if the LW has just misinterpreted the dog's behavior...

LW3: Sounds like you need to write your own letter to Amy if you to jump to that conclusion.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#7 Feb 18, 2014
Sublime1 wrote:
LW1: I don’t’ agree with posting stuff on facebook and your husband doesn’t seem exactly like a peach, but you seem to care more about the neighbor’s feelings than your own husbands. If your neighbor truly wanted to let bygones be bygones and truly wanted to clear the air, he would have exchanged pleasantries to both of you, dummy.
You feel that ignoring him at a social setting would be rude, but are perfectly okay with interacting with a man who rudely ignores your husband at a social setting all the while making it a point to be chummy with his wife.
LW3: Did she say she was abused? If not, I think it is ridiculous to make that leap.
LW4: Yup, you are.
1: I really can't give a reply to this one. I don't know what the argument was about and I'd say the husband was out of line posting stuff on fb where it could get back to his neighbor even if he didn't mention the neighbor's name. It wouldn't be hard for other friends to figure it out and then let it get back to the guy. Not knowing the details of the argument and whether the husband had some real "right" on his side of the issue makes a big difference in my opinion. It could be the husband is something of a nut and gives a lot of people a hard time. I had a b-i-l like that and if I'd been married to him, I'd have done my best to keep the neighbors friendly. You'd have to have known this b-i-l to understand.

3: I suspect the lw believes the girl was abused but that possibility was not mentioned by the original lw. She apparently never gave a thought to that possibility. A child that young may very well not have told anyone about sexual abuse for a number of reasons. I know I never told anyone until I was about 20 after my dad had died. He wasn't the abuser but I was very afraid he'd go after the man who was and then end up in jail for hurting him. My mom's only social interactions were with her siblings and their families. They were all very close even though they often had horrible verbal fights. They'd get over them and everything would be fine for awhile and so on. Even at the very young age of 4 or 5, I sensed that if I told anyone about what my aunt's husband had done, there would be a huge family rift that would tear apart the "Family" forever and it would be all my fault - OR perhaps worse, that my parents wouldn't believe me and they'd hate me forever. I guess in effect, I felt the whole future of my family depended on my silence; so I kept quiet. That's a huge burden for a small child to carry. I can see this possibly being the reason for the girl's reluctance to talk to her mom about getting her period. She may feel it's linked somehow to her abuse. BUT, it may not be that at all; the girl should see a doctor who knows how to talk to kids about both the change she's experiencing and the possibility of abuse. A doctor can give her an exam "to just make sure everything is working as it's supposed to" and see whether there's any sign of sexual abuse.
boundary painter

Waco, TX

#8 Feb 18, 2014
Let's hear some reasons LW1 says Steve is "wonderful". Then let's advise her to overlook his faults and respectfully remind him that she'd
rather just let bygones be bygones if Steve brings it up again.

LW2 needs to grow up a little and talk to her neighbors.("I don't think
your dog likes me" is not a declaration of war.)

And I'd thought that poor ten year old daughter just couldn't talk to the
woman who had written that letter.

“I looked, and behold,”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#9 Feb 18, 2014
Pippa wrote:
<quoted text>
1: I really can't give a reply to this one. I don't know what the argument was about and I'd say the husband was out of line posting stuff on fb where it could get back to his neighbor even if he didn't mention the neighbor's name. It wouldn't be hard for other friends to figure it out and then let it get back to the guy. Not knowing the details of the argument and whether the husband had some real "right" on his side of the issue makes a big difference in my opinion. It could be the husband is something of a nut and gives a lot of people a hard time. I had a b-i-l like that and if I'd been married to him, I'd have done my best to keep the neighbors friendly. You'd have to have known this b-i-l to understand.
It doesn't sound like Steve was the only one who got int he argument with the neighbor. The LW doesn't say Steve and the neighbor had a verbal altercation, but, rather, "WE had a verbal altercation with the next-door neighbor over several issues."

If someone can't even acknowledge my wife at a party and is going to rudely ignore her, while making it a point to exchange pleasantries to just me, they can go eff themselves. I have no problem ignoring someone who is rude to my wife. I think the LW is completely wrong to put the neighbor's feelings and her concern about appearing rude above her husbands feelings.

It would be a completely different matter if the neighbor wanted to make peace with both of them, but he doesn't.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#10 Feb 18, 2014
L1: This reminds me of an episode on King of Queens when Carrie makes Doug not frequent the places she's in a feud with. The list was long.

L2: Talk to the owners. If they're your friends they'll try to make you feel more comfortable. If they are able.

L3: I wouldn't have thought of that. It could be. Like Pippa said, it wouldn't hurt to have her get a check up anyways.

“I looked, and behold,”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#11 Feb 18, 2014
Pippa wrote:
<quoted text>
3: I suspect the lw believes the girl was abused but that possibility was not mentioned by the original lw. She apparently never gave a thought to that possibility. A child that young may very well not have told anyone about sexual abuse for a number of reasons. I know I never told anyone until I was about 20 after my dad had died. He wasn't the abuser but I was very afraid he'd go after the man who was and then end up in jail for hurting him. My mom's only social interactions were with her siblings and their families. They were all very close even though they often had horrible verbal fights. They'd get over them and everything would be fine for awhile and so on. Even at the very young age of 4 or 5, I sensed that if I told anyone about what my aunt's husband had done, there would be a huge family rift that would tear apart the "Family" forever and it would be all my fault - OR perhaps worse, that my parents wouldn't believe me and they'd hate me forever. I guess in effect, I felt the whole future of my family depended on my silence; so I kept quiet. That's a huge burden for a small child to carry. I can see this possibly being the reason for the girl's reluctance to talk to her mom about getting her period. She may feel it's linked somehow to her abuse. BUT, it may not be that at all; the girl should see a doctor who knows how to talk to kids about both the change she's experiencing and the possibility of abuse. A doctor can give her an exam "to just make sure everything is working as it's supposed to" and see whether there's any sign of sexual abuse.
Lots of things are possible. I think that is pure speculation.

The last thing I wanted to do when I was going through puberty was talk to my parents about it, and I wasn't abused.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#12 Feb 18, 2014
1 the way to fix this is to work on your husband, not pizzhim off and talk to the neighbor.

2 Sogs smell fear, but maybe your were roughhousing with the kid, and the dog took it personal. Either way, the dogs parents need to be brought into the picture.

3 Glad to see I am not the only one who viewed that as a stretch.
pde

Bothell, WA

#13 Feb 18, 2014
LW2: We have an Aussie Shepherd mix. She wouldn't intentionally hurt any human, but in her brain running or backing away fearfully equals CHASE! PLAY! CHASE! And she gets mouthy when in CHASE mode.

I have to kennel her when some of the kid's friends come over, because their skittishness triggers her into CHASE! PLAY!

There's two things you can do. See if the friend's parents are willing to kennel their dog so you can come over sometime. Or, see if they are willing to work with you and the dog a few times to see if you becoming calmer around the dog means that the dog decides to like you/behave with you.
Blunt Advice

Oakland, NJ

#14 Feb 18, 2014
Something I learned years ago from a dog owner is never initiate petting a dog with your hand up above him. Slowly extend your hand below with palm facing up to let him sniff it first.A defensive dog sees a raised hand as a threat. With any animal, you have to let them make the first move before touching them.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#15 Feb 18, 2014
Blunt Advice wrote:
Something I learned years ago from a dog owner
I learned years ago that dogs are stupid. Never let one outsmart you.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#16 Feb 19, 2014
Dog owner was wrong. You always present the back of your hand, never the palm for them to smell.
Blunt Advice wrote:
Something I learned years ago from a dog owner is never initiate petting a dog with your hand up above him. Slowly extend your hand below with palm facing up to let him sniff it first.A defensive dog sees a raised hand as a threat. With any animal, you have to let them make the first move before touching them.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#17 Feb 19, 2014
Speak Freudian much?
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
I learned years ago that dogs are stupid. Never let one outsmart you.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#18 Feb 19, 2014
Sublime1 wrote:
<quoted text>
It doesn't sound like Steve was the only one who got int he argument with the neighbor. The LW doesn't say Steve and the neighbor had a verbal altercation, but, rather, "WE had a verbal altercation with the next-door neighbor over several issues."
If someone can't even acknowledge my wife at a party and is going to rudely ignore her, while making it a point to exchange pleasantries to just me, they can go eff themselves. I have no problem ignoring someone who is rude to my wife. I think the LW is completely wrong to put the neighbor's feelings and her concern about appearing rude above her husbands feelings.
It would be a completely different matter if the neighbor wanted to make peace with both of them, but he doesn't.
You're right about the "we" of course. I only noticed that just before I had to leave for an appointment. So that does change the scenario from what I thought it was. However, I still think we don't know enough. It could be that the husband is the kind of person who will hold grudges forever. It could be there was more interaction between the husband and neighbor than just that one argument or it could be that the husband said some very unforgivable things either in person or in that fb post. I don't know. It WAS after all the husband who had written the fb post and perhaps that still rankles the neighbor. Maybe the neighbor won't talk to him for this reason. Or maybe the neighbor is striking at the husband by talking to the wife (and getting HER to speak to him) while ignoring the husband. If that's the case, then certainly the wife should stick by her husband. But still, it doesn't hurt to at least be civil to one's neighbors no matter what the problems have been. You don't need to be friends and seek out their company but being in a constant state of "war" with a neighbor does no one any good. So while I agree that the wife should be supportive of her husband, I think just exchanging civil greetings with the man when they see each other in public is not betrayal. I think it is a way of leaving the door open for a return of a better relationship (if not actually friendship) between the two families.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#19 Feb 19, 2014
Sublime1 wrote:
<quoted text>
Lots of things are possible. I think that is pure speculation.
The last thing I wanted to do when I was going through puberty was talk to my parents about it, and I wasn't abused.
Of course it's speculation. I did say it might not be the problem at all and I referred to the abuse thing as a "possibility" not a certainty. I just meant to point out that the lw is not "all wet" in regard to her own speculation. It is simply something to gently investigate. I wish someone had done that for me when I was a child. I am happy you weren't abused as a child. I don't wish that on anyone.

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