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'WIBTA if I showed my neighbor's inappropriate messages to his wife out of retaliation?' UPDATED

'WIBTA if I showed my neighbor's inappropriate messages to his wife out of retaliation?' UPDATED


"WIBTA if I exposed my neighbor 42M to his wife out of retaliation?"

Here's the original post:

My bf 28M and I 24F recently went on a trip. My bf surfs and I surf a little.. I’ve done it for a few years now but don’t get the time and location to progress a lot… anyway, it’s embarrassing but the board hit me in the face. I developed bruising around my under eye and a few cuts/ scrapes.

It fortunately wasn’t super horrific looking, but when we got back home my neighbour 42M saw me and asked about it while I was checking my mail. I told him what happened. He joked maybe my bf gave me the bruise and I’m just “too obsessed with him to care”.

I told him that’s disrespectful— just kept it short and terminated the interaction. He goes on laughing and I walk away. My bf confronted him on his behaviour and told him not to approach me or talk to me. He nodded and agreed, and apologized.

The next day we get police doing a wellness check on me because of an anonymous report (I just know it has to be the neighbour) .. they wanted to make sure no domestic abuse was going on.

* I should add in my state officers are compelled to make arrests in alleged DV cases ("mandatory arrest" law if they feel there is evidence of DV). They questioned me and my bf.. I had to show them GoPro footage to try to prove we went surfing and that's how the bruising occurred.

42M has been super flirtatious with me in the past, and every time my bf is away (travels for work) he seems to take note of this and starts trying to run into me more. Catch me on my runs etc. He has said inappropriate things to me that a man with a wife really shouldn’t be saying. This is just for context.

I have some proof of his inappropriate behaviour because he tried to add me on ig and dm’d me some inappropriate texts while he was supposedly “ drunk “ W I B T A if I show his wife those? I guess it’s petty because I’m retaliating but this has gone too far, I just hate the guy now, and maybe he truly will stay away after that.

I don’t want to start a back and forth war though … I’d feel unsafe during the times my bf is away for work. It was nice to honestly just vent this here .. think about doing it. Maybe I should leave it at that.. But lemme know :)

She then added this further info for clarification:

At this time I am not going to tell the wife, going to look into possibly pursuing a restraining order if the behaviour persists (him approaching me, talking to me). We have told the police that this was a mistake/wrongful report.

In our state due to the laws, they are compelled to make arrests in domestic violence cases so it was a serious situation. Very traumatizing for me personally. I think if we want to pursue a formal complaint against the complaint we'd have to re-contact the police.

We had already installed cameras a while ago when the creepy behaviour began. I also park my Tesla strategically while the weather is good.. so I can place myself near enough for it to record an interaction and also so I can use the app to check the cameras remotely before heading out.

Going to fence the yard for privacy and further security, an awesome Redditor shared a sign for trespassing that we purchased and I am going to probably get a big dog ... maybe a Malinois, a breed which my partner's colleague works with (military).

We are thinking about adding window alarms too since we are redoing windows anyway. I originally felt it was VERY overkill but maybe not given how life's going :')

Do you think she should show the DM's to her neighbor's wife?

Here's what top commenters had to say:

Parkeerrr said:

Do it girl! Is it chaotic? Yes. Is it an inappropriate call to action? I don't think so. And the way I look at things, relationships are all about consent, and consent is informed. She probably needs to know what her husband is like.

flowerstowardthesun said:

NTA. He's being creepy and inappropriate.

PrestigiousTrouble48 said:

Pull out your phone and point it at him every time you see him, say loudly and clearly ‘you are making me uncomfortable I am recording this, I’ve asked you to stay away from me.’ And walk off. Most creepy old men will back off when confronted.

WiseOwlPoker said:

NTA. Fill you boots and out his creepy ass to his wife. Don't be shocked if she already knows what he's like, though. As for you not wanting to get into a back and forth petty battle with this creep...I think it already too late. I doubt he's gonna stop what he's doing now. In fact I'll bet good money he won't stop.

Idk in my 50 years experience I'm not sure how you end this nice and respectfully. Men like this don't understand the words peaceful and respectful. Every guy that's ever harassed and put my wife in situations like this always needed to learn the hard way sadly.

MistaCharisma said:

So it does sound like your neighbour is being inappropriate and it wouldn't be iut of line to talk to his wife. HOWEVER. While I understand how annoying it must have been to have the police come, and I understand that he absolutely might have called them out of spite - calling the police was the roght thing to do.

You had a black eye, and when questioned you were defensive. Then your boyfriend (the supposed perpetrator) came to your neighbour and warned him not to speak to you ablut this. That's pretty much the exact behaviour you would expect from a couple in an abusive relationship, especially your boyfriend warning hin off like that.

Now of course in your case it was all innocent, but that whole story was red flags. Would you prefer to have a neighbor who didn't intervene when he sees obvious signes of abuse?

Going back to the question at hand - the inappropriate behaviour os a separate issue to the police - even if his motives were suspect, don't get him in trouble for doing the right thing. If you feel like his other actions warrant a talk with his wife then 100% go talk to her, but do it because it's the right thing to do, not because you're annoyed.

She has since added this second update:

I will not be retaliating in any way. What I want is him to leave me alone, and i'm not going to achieve that by lighting a fire under their marriage (which i'm sure is already suffering even without my involvement).

I would have maybe been more inclined to be more transparent with his wife if I didn't live next door, had some anonymity, and he didn't have access to me which it feels like he does. If I had answers to a lot of 'what if's but I don't.

And I think ... disrupting their marriage will make my life a nightmare especially when my boyfriend is away and I'm living alone for weeks at a time.

Writing this post itself has been cathartic. But TBH now that I've come down from my anger and feel more clearheaded + having talked to my partner and read all these messages (as many as I can)... it's not a good idea to tangle myself up in this by going to his wife to try and make my point.

I don't think it will give me what I want (which is for the man to never speak to me again). I also don't know how the wife (31F) will react. From the 2 interactions I've had with her, she was very short with me and difficult to engage. She has been from the start. To those who suggested I befriend her, it's not going to happen.

I held back taking the DMs to the wife earlier for reasons like these. I don't want to be involved in other peoples lives. Especially neighbours. In the heat of the police situation, and some girlfriends egging me to go to the wife in the moment..

I felt the urge to retaliate because I was fed up and unfairly emotionally drained. But on reflection... Guys.. It's just not worth it for my safety and peace to inform her. I am sure she has some idea of his behaviours/what kind of man he is.

What do you think about this whole situation?

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