Need advice from 'older' Jemsiters - Jemsite
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post #1 of 118 (permalink) Old 09-20-2006, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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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 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?

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post #2 of 118 (permalink) Old 09-20-2006, 04:48 PM
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Re: Need advice from 'older' Jemsiters

Personally Kenny,

I wouldnt of said anything, but thats me.. I keep to myself about a lot of stuff..

I dont think you were in the wrong, and they do probably feel there privacy has been violated to a point. But I think they will see you came with good intentions and I bet ya one of them does take you up on your offer to talk.

Imagine you in there shoes, and the neighbor comes over and tells you hes heard the news, your first reaction is going to be shock that someone knows what you have been trying to keep under a blanket.

I think they will come around, you were not in the wrong, but they may still be shocked someone else knows.

Im 33 so I can comment
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post #3 of 118 (permalink) Old 09-20-2006, 04:52 PM
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Re: Need advice from 'older' Jemsiters

hold on... i stopped reading at "you're engaged".

i know your back was bothering you a bit... but did you suffer from a HEAD TRAUMA RECENTLY that we should know about

CALL 911!!!

ok, since you're breathing and typing i finished reading...

i have learned PEOPLE DON'T WANT YOUR OPINIONS/SUGGESTIONS for the most part in difficult times UNLESS they specifically ASK (and even then i'd bet 50% of the time they just want to vent and dont really want your advice)

i think it's admirable that you cared enough to talk about it but you know the old saying... you can bring a horse to water but.

i have nice neighbors and know them all but i don't really discuss personal stuff too much for reasons such as this...glen

Last edited by jemsite; 09-20-2006 at 05:08 PM.
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post #4 of 118 (permalink) Old 09-20-2006, 04:52 PM
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Re: Need advice from 'older' Jemsiters

Well...I don't know that I'm old enough to reply here

I guess my first question would be "How well do you know them??"

If you don't know them at all, then I would see why they we be offended. I would find it quite intrusive. I know you were just trying to help, but some things are not supposed to be anybody's business...

Ya know??
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post #5 of 118 (permalink) Old 09-20-2006, 04:57 PM
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Re: Need advice from 'older' Jemsiters

El Cid 29, 29 and a half if it makes my opinion more valid.

I would've stayed out of it. Your heart was in the right place, but obviously they didn't want that information getting out. Maybe their kids don't know yet and they want to find out who's talking to who to try to help keep it from the kids until they are ready for them to know.
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post #6 of 118 (permalink) Old 09-20-2006, 05:06 PM
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Re: Need advice from 'older' Jemsiters

Yeah Kenny, I agree with everything everyone is saying here. I would've just made small talk or something and if they wanted to bring it up so be it, but it is obvious your intentions were good. BTW, come on, who told ya?
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post #7 of 118 (permalink) Old 09-20-2006, 05:07 PM
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Re: Need advice from 'older' Jemsiters

Originally Posted by jemsite View Post
i have learned PEOPLE DON'T WANT YOUR OPINIONS/SUGGESTIONS for the most part in difficult times UNLESS they specifically ASK (even than probably 50% of the time they just want to vent and dont want your advice).....glen
Words of wisdom.

And people HATE secrets; they always are more interested in who is spreading gossip than listening to someone who may be just trying to help them. And now they'll probably see you as complicit in the gossip, true or not.

On a lighter note, tell them the first one to buy you a new J.Custom will have the gossiper revealed to them.
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post #8 of 118 (permalink) Old 09-20-2006, 05:07 PM
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Re: Need advice from 'older' Jemsiters

^ Exactly correct is my guess in the above post.
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post #9 of 118 (permalink) Old 09-20-2006, 05:15 PM
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Re: Need advice from 'older' Jemsiters

Have to agree with the replies. You learn the hard way sometimes to mind your own business It is re-assuring to know that there are still some people left in the world that care though.
But yeah,it's probably a touchy subject unless it's some-one you've known all your life.
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post #10 of 118 (permalink) Old 09-20-2006, 05:18 PM
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Re: Need advice from 'older' Jemsiters

People in pain typically react by striking out. Ive been thru a divorce myself and when youre in that frame of mind, they best thing people can do around you is not prod and simply listen if you need to talk.
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post #11 of 118 (permalink) Old 09-20-2006, 06:43 PM
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Re: Need advice from 'older' Jemsiters

I always try to help people with their problems so I would have done the same. Nothing wrong with wanting to help ^_^.
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post #12 of 118 (permalink) Old 09-20-2006, 08:49 PM
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Re: Need advice from 'older' Jemsiters

I try to stay out of friends personal/relationship problems unless they bring it up. Even then, I think you can still get to involved or offer too much advice. Best just to be there for a friend without influencing their thoughts. I'm divorced too, and figure that any advice I give would be tainted. After all, who am I to give advice being I couldn't make things work myself. Just be there for them when they need you without getting too involved yourself.
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post #13 of 118 (permalink) Old 09-20-2006, 09:10 PM
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Re: Need advice from 'older' Jemsiters

I don't think I would have said anything to either of them. I might have found the time to be outside if the guy was outside, you know, to be available to chat, but I wouldn't have said anything. They know now that someone they trusted has betrayed one or both of them, and they don't know who; but they have proof. That in itself might become a point of contention between them.

Last edited by jim777; 09-21-2006 at 10:17 AM. Reason: horrible laptop typing :D
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post #14 of 118 (permalink) Old 09-20-2006, 09:20 PM
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Re: Need advice from 'older' Jemsiters

Welcome to Wisteria Lane...... Anyway, I have to agree with the sentiment here also. You have to realize if these people are your closest neighbors and you "didn't know", you might not be in their "inner circle" of friends. You could have used a different approach to your concerns and probibaly had a better reception to your "sharing of experience". Seems like most people are receptive to outside help...... as long as the presentation is subtle and on a one on one basis. Stating you heard it "through the grapevine" only adds to the anxiety and frustration this couple is experiencing. Not to mention the betrayal they must be feeling if the "beans were spilled" by someone from that "inner circle" of trusted friends. This in itself can add to the conflict present in there marriage. Can't you just hear it in one of their fights???..... "you told so and so and now look.... the whole damn neighborhood knows!" Anyway, you've made it apparent you'd like to help, now all you can do is continue to be the neighbor you were before offering this up. Let them make the next move. Don't bring it up again..... let them, if they choose to. Like "Mr WizardNeck" says.... there is nothing wrong with trying to help....... tactfully.
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post #15 of 118 (permalink) Old 09-20-2006, 09:37 PM
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Re: Need advice from 'older' Jemsiters

Unless we were "boys" I would feel awkward. I would feel paranoid everytime I left the house wondering who knew my business.

On the flip side, sometimes I think people need to have someone reach out to them. Some people may thrive or benefit from the un-solicited attention that you're giving to them.
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