In a now-viral post, a single mom said she put a “dent” in her neighbors’ marriage after they made “judgmental” comments about her being “unmarried.”
Posting in Reddit’s “Petty Revenge” forum under the username u/SiSoJones, the mother wrote: “Shame me for being an unmarried mother in front of my kids. I’ll show you how much of a sham your marriage is.” The post has garnered over 15,000 upvotes and more than 800 supportive comments. You can read the full post here.
Of course, u/SiSoJones wouldn’t be the first person to find themselves involved in a neighborly dispute. A Homes.com survey revealed that 36 percent of people have fallen out with a neighbor and that 25 percent of neighborhood fights have turned into long-term feuds.
Aaron B. Rochlen, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, told Newsweek that there are several methods people can employ, such as sending an honest letter or email, to avoid feuds and “keep the peace” with rude or judgmental neighbors. However, u/SiSoJones thing to get revenge.
In her post, u/SiSoJones said her neighbors, Mike and Sharon, have “rubbed [her] the wrong way” for years.
“[Mike] struck me as a little sleazy, and [Sharon] seemed nosy and judgmental as hell. But I know myself; I know I’m quick to judge and get stuck in a certain opinion of people,” the mother wrote. “My daughter is about the same age as theirs (and let’s call her Maria), and she has a bit of trouble making friends , so when Sharon suggested they have weekly play dates[…]I put my dislike of her aside and agreed.”
The play dates went well for a while; however, u/SiSoJones’s daughter eventually stopped wanting to hang out at Mike and Sharon’s house.
“Apparently, Sharon [watched the girls] play and [directed] them on how to play, and she often [asked] my daughter intrusive questions about our family, especially about my kids’ paternity,” among other things, u/SiSoJones said.
“My daughter still wanted to play with Maria, so we decided the play dates could continue, but only if they were at our place,” u/SiSoJones wrote.
Sharon agreed to the new arrangement, but upon arriving at the girls’ first play date at u/SiSoJones’s house, she announced that she didn’t want to leave Maria with an “unmarried mother.” According to u/SiSoJones, Sharon and Mike felt her relationship status proved she couldn’t “make good choices,” and they feared she would influence Maria to “make poor decisions.”
Upset, u/SiSoJones decided to see if she was right about Mike being “sleazy.” So, she created fake social media accounts “posing as an attractive young lady with lots of somewhat local friends, I followed him on Instagram, he followed back.
“He immediately messaged me, and the messages went from vaguely flirty to obviously trying to get some.”
u/SiSoJones took screenshots of those messages and sent them to Sharon via Facebook. And a few days later, Mike stormed out of the house, suitcase in hand.
“He did come back a couple of days later, so I haven’t destroyed their marriage or anything, but I definitely put a dent in it,” she concluded.
Dealing With Judgmental Neighbors
Rochlen told Newsweek that there are several routes a person can take after being “judged” by a neighbor, and no—revenge is not a recommended route.
“What I might recommend [in a situation like u/SiSoJones’s] is to take some time away from the precise moment where the perceived judgment happens,” Rochlen said. “It can be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to handle this smoothly in the moment. With that said, I think emails or letters can be useful.
“When [reaching out], try not to ‘attack’ the other person. While extremely difficult, try to understand what their ‘fear’ is,” Rochlen continued. “After acknowledging the fear, you can then try to say how YOU were impacted.”
If this doesn’t work, Rochlen said it might be time to “throw in the towel.”
“Some ruptured or never-developed relationships can’t be repaired or created. But it’s key to lower one’s defenses [and] try to find common, neighborly ground before throwing in the towel,” he said.
Redditors, on the other hand, loved that u/SiSoJones thing to get revenge on Mike and Sharon.
“Good for you. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Glad you exposed that chick and that dude,” u/Bright-Durian-501 said.
u/brianfantastic wrote: “In their eyes, you’re already going to hell. You might as well make an entrance!”
Some commenters also encouraged u/SiSoJones to publicly post the screenshots to Nextdoor or some other social media platform, but she refuses to go that far.
“While it would definitely make a good story, I feel it’s too far and could have unforeseen impacts on their daughter, so I’ll be leaving them alone now,” u/SiSoJones told Newsweek.
More Viral Posts
In July, Redditors threw their support behind a woman who said she’d purposely been rude to her new neighbor.
That same month, Mumsnet users bashed a woman who accused her of being “nosy, intrusive and controlling.”
Do you have a dispute with your neighbor? Let us know via email@example.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.