I've mentioned our next-door neighbors before. We don't get along. The conflict stems from a weird parenting-related brouhaha that occurred about a year ago.
Cath and I typically have our kids handle their own shit whenever possible, so as to foster a sense of personal responsibility and avoid rearing snitches. Sometimes, though, other kids' shittiness becomes excessive, and we'll give the parents a conciliatory heads up. This is no big deal and happens constantly among parents.
Once, Cath issued such a notice to the neighbor lady (her kids were being truly vicious). The mom went instantly apeshit scorched Earth. It was something to behold: Facebook blockings, character assassination, awful things said to and about us, our kid, etc. From our other neighbors' behavior toward me, I was probably personally accused of very bad things. We didn't do much in response because she was acting and looking pretty crazy.
Over the months, it sorta blew over. I unfollowed the husband on Facebook but didn't unfriend. He and I maintained an ostensibly cordial bearing, because we're next-door neighbors and realized that an open feud would be inconvenient.
That's the background. A couple of weeks ago, the husband came over and sheepishly asked me if I would be willing to act as a witness for some mortgage paperwork. The notary was already there and another neighbor had bailed unexpectedly. I said sure. I knew that having me in his home would make him supremely uncomfortable, and I relished the idea of my other neighbors watching me go in on the heels of all the shit-talking. I sensed victory. It struck me as slightly odd that he didn't just get his wife to do it, but she takes frequent trips with the kids, and maybe you need an impartial third party or something anyway. Whatever.
So we went over, and the dude was fidgeting uncontrollably. There was a lot of "Sooo, uhhhhhhh, how's it going with you?" jitter. Good. I accepted one of his beers, kicked back in my chair, and dicked with my phone during the proceedings, which visibly pissed off the notary. Sorry, buddy, but refinancing is boring and I'm not going to pay actual attention. The session was interminable, and I completely ignored it, only livening when a paper was slid my way for signing.
During a series of breaks in the action, I made small talk with the neighbor, remarking, for instance, that it was a fantastic move to refinance his home at this point and commenting on the usefulness of having one's finances well in order. The words I was saying were irrelevant to me; I was simply waving my dick around and letting him know that I was at ease in a situation that made him uncomfortable. We talked a lot about mortgages and making sound long-term financial decisions. By the end of it, he appeared completely beaten. I was slightly taken aback -- I hadn't laid it on THAT thick, but I shrugged it off and went home.
Two weeks later, I noticed that he hadn't been mowing his lawn. Also, his wife's car had been noticeably absent for quite some time -- much longer than would be expected for a typical trip. Cath checked their Facebook accounts. Relationship status: Separated. We spoke with another neighbor. This situation was absolutely common knowledge and had been for months.
Worse, it turns out that the refinancing was pursuant to their impending divorce, and I had basically taunted the dude through the entire thing, completely unaware that I was doing so. The horror was compounded by the fact that I have no idea what brutal insinuations I may have made, because dude was operating on a completely different understanding of the situation than I had. I'm pretty sure I went in for the kill more than once, lol. Holy fuck.
I am unsure as to how to proceed. Any advice would be welcome.