Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Long Island, NY
Need advice from 'older' Jemsiters
...and by 'older', i mean 25+...people who have families, marriages, etc.
The teenagers can move along...nothing to see here...
I live on a nice block in suburbia where the houses are pretty close together, the grass is green and there are sidewalks.
The section of block i live on is home to a LOT of young couples with kids...if you go down 10 houses on either side of the street, you'll find about 25 kids ages 1-13.
Everybody is pretty much friendly and we all have a great time on the block, especially during the summer when all the kids are playing outside and the grownups have someone to talk to...you can run into the house for a minute without worrying that your kid is going to disappear because there are always many sets of adult eyes around.
So along with this utopian-suburbanite description comes the downside. There's also the gossip factor. Who's doing what, who's got an issue with whom and what kind of problems people (and their kids) have.
For those who don't know my situation, i was married and got divorced when my kids were just about the same age, back in 2001. I didnot live here then. I'm the only single parent on the block and I'm recently engaged and will be moving off the block next year. Anyhoo....
i found out yesterday (from someone on the block) that my next door neighbors are on the verge of separating. This was upsetting to me, as i had no clue that anything was wrong in their house. They have a couple of kids, one just started kindergarten and the other is 2.
The dad next door has a schedule not unlike mine, where his work schedule has him home witht he kids more than the average dad. I know him a little better than i know his wife, but i consider them both friends
I knocked on their door today, and I talked to him for a little while as somebody who has lived thru the divorce process and the aftermath and tried to offer some friendly advice. He pressed me a little to find out who had let me know about their problems, but i didn't give it up.
I made it clear to him that I wasn't there to get 'the dirt', only to try to help him/them thru a difficult time with my own experience.
When his wife got home, he had told her that i stopped by and she was anxious to know who told me, but i still wouldn't give it up...i told her what i told him, which was that i wasn't looking to stir the pot or take anyone's side, only to share knowledge from my experience because i give a crap about their family, especially the 2 kids...that i was available if either one of them wanted to talk to me and whatever they said stopped here.
I feel a little funny now though, like i might have pried too far into somebody's family business without being solicited for my advice.
What would you have done?