September 2015 Moms

NBR feuding neighbors politics... Need some opinions, sorry it's so long but I need help!

BG my DH and I bought our house about 6 years ago,we are very out in the sticks and only a couple of the neighbors reached out to welcome us... We're private people(read friendly hermits) so we haven't bothered go out of our way to make friends with neighbors. One of the families that reached out has 2 daughters about my age and I became very close friends with them, DH and I were in ones wedding and the whole family have been very kind to us. The daughter I'm close with also has a little girl that's only a few moths older than DD. I'll call them family A from now on.

Family A has been complaining about family B since we met them. It boils down to family B's dog is loose a lot and killed some chickens and family A has called the police on them several times... I can see both sides of the feud because I had huskys growing up and they seemed to get loose no matter what we did... But family B's dog was a pain and aggressive and I agree they should have tried a little harder to keep track of it... Also the matriarch of family A is extremely confrontational, opinionated and even we tend to walk softly around her to keep the peace...

I've never really had anything to do with family B, they have always been polite, and while their dog was a pain it didn't really send me over the edge like it did with family A. The boys even helped my husband catch our cows once when they got loose. Family B also has a daughter about my age with a little girl about dd's age. I wasn't aware of this until one of my other neighbors realized we had kids the same age and decided she was going to introduce us so our kids could be friends. Family B has been really nice, and my DD really likes their daughter, also with kids in a rural area the same age growing up across the quiet dirt road from each other it's darn near garrenteed that they'll be friends eventually so I would like to stay on good terms with them.

I have tried a couple of times to bring up family B with family A and I didn't even have time to register an opinion before they lost it and got nasty about them... I can't even seem to have an adult rational conversation about it... This wouldn't normally be a problem, I could just see them separately and keep my mouth shut, but I was going to have DD's birthday party at the house and we have been to both family A & family B's first bday parties and I feel that they will both now expect an invite... I don't want to exclude either one but I'm worried about their ability to be civil and not cause a scene... Family A is more likely to cause a problem but we have been friends a lot longer and I feel like I should be loyal... I also don't think it's fair to any of the kids involved... Help!

Re: NBR feuding neighbors politics... Need some opinions, sorry it's so long but I need help!

  • Personally I would invite both and be optimistic about their ability to act like adults. They may not like each other, but in my experience most people are mature enough to leave their personal stuff alone in group settings for the sake of their friends. If they do start a confrontation, I would politely pull each one aside and ask that they please keep it civil and keep their personal conflict to themselves. It has nothing to do with you and it shouldn't impact your daughter's birthday. If they can't respect that, then I'd probably ask them to leave. And, quite frankly, I would reassess whether they are really the kind of friends I want. As far as I'm concerned, length of the friendship is irrelevant when the friend can't respect you enough to keep things nice. Personally I'd rather have fewer friends than to have more friends who can't be respectful of me and my right to associate with whomever I please.

    **TW**
    Me & DH: 32
    Married 2013
    Kiddo #1: Sept 2015
    BFP: 1/19, EDD: 9/30

    "I'm having fruit salad for dinner. Well, it's mostly just grapes, actually. Ok all grapes. Fermented grapes. Fine, I'm having wine for dinner."
    ElleMF728vibarra27
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  • Seconding all the advice above. Invite both with a disclaimer.
  • FatPonyFatPony member
    edited June 2016
    You're in the middle of a Hatfields and Mccoys situation!  lol.    

  • mrsmctaggart6mrsmctaggart6 member
    edited June 2016
    FatPony said:
    You're in the middle of a Hatfields and Mccoys situation!  lol.    

    I was thinking this myself, lol, my real problem is that they're neighbors that I'm stuck with for the foreseeable future and the ones most likely to cause a scene are the ones I'm closest with... The matriarch is one of those women that thinks she's being straightforward and honest when really she's just devoid of tact but we are really close with the rest of the family... I've tried to bring it up a couple times and the response was way over the top, I can't seem to get a word in edgewise to give the disclaimer or even feel out wether it's an option... I was thinking of writing my friend a letter just to at least get it out there, but I'm not sure if that would be insulting... I just can't seem to get through the fog of hate... It's ridiculous and I should be able to expect them to adult but I'm thinking even inviting family b might put us on the feud list too

    eta pretty sure the Hatfields and Mccoys weren't fighting over a dog and some chickens... So stupid
  • I know I shouldn't care if they can't put it aside for me but they were the first and closest friends I've made since moving here and all of my other friends are at least an hour drive away so it's tough... As I said I'm not super friendly but I do value the ones I have...
  • Honestly, I think if it was me, I wouldn't invite either family. Family B is really lucky Family A hasn't shot their dog yet. 
    FatPony
  • Thanks for the input guys, still not sure what to do as not inviting either one will still probably result in drama I don't want to deal with... Really thought everyone could put aside their respective differences and adult long enough for the kids to have a good time but that seems stupidly optimistic at this point... This just seems so overkill for a couple of chickens and some fines almost 10 years ago... This is some serious grudge holding skill that would be hilarious if I weren't squarely in the middle...

  • Just as a side note, don't get too up in arms about family a's chickens, they've lost all of their chickens to predators every year I've been here, the dog only got them once, completely free range is just not a good idea here... Last year ey lost heart after loosing the first couple and asked me to take in the rest, don't think they've gotten them this year thankfully

  • Gotcha. I was thinking the chicken killing had been more recent or happened multiple times. I have a friend whose neighbor's dogs have killed their chicken several times and her chickens are all very tame and friendly, but she also doesn't let them roam without supervision. Neither family sounds very responsible and it sucks that you and all the kids are stuck in the middle. 
  • Ya it's just a really long held grudge, the dog in question isn't even alive anymore, which is why I was totally unprepared for the impending crap storm... I figure it's time to put on big kid panties for the kids sake and for give and forget, but I'm having a hard time getting a word in edgewise... I'm thinking a letter cuz at least they can't talk over a letter... Maybe sent with the invite? I don't know, all the girls are eventually going to be in school together riding the same bus in the same grade, it doesn't seem fair to them to give them enemies before they even get on the bus
  • I would do just what @ElleMF728 said. When you hand them the invite, tell each of them that the other family is invited and that you expect them to get along at least for the kid's sake for the party, and if they can't do that, they can stay home. I wouldn't write them a letter; people tend to take the written word wrong and can read it differently than you intended. Much better to just tell them in person when handing them the invite. As for Family A who won't let you talk, just interrupt her if she keeps interrupting you until you get your point across. If she starts badmouthing Family B, tell her you're not interested in listening anymore and if she continues, just tell her you're going home. That's the only way you're going to get your point across. Bummer you have to deal with that!
    vibarra27
  • I second all the other advice - they definitely should all be able to get along for the length of a birthday party. The only addition I have is that I may approach one or both of the daughters that you are close with first? I'm not sure if they all still kind of live in the same area or on the same property or not, but I'm guessing if they're women you're very close with they're a bit more reasonable. They may be able to better know how to approach their mom with it being that it sounds like she'll be the largest problem. 
  • Don't write a letter. Pp is right, written words can have their intent read the wrong way. You don't want this lady hanging on to the letter for 10 years and gossiping about it lol
  • I second all the other advice - they definitely should all be able to get along for the length of a birthday party. The only addition I have is that I may approach one or both of the daughters that you are close with first? I'm not sure if they all still kind of live in the same area or on the same property or not, but I'm guessing if they're women you're very close with they're a bit more reasonable. They may be able to better know how to approach their mom with it being that it sounds like she'll be the largest problem. 
    I thought that too but I tried bringing it up and she went off about them too, I might just have my DH hand her the invite with the disclaimer, he's pushier than I am and harder to talk over...
    vibarra27
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