Real life MMD: Should I ask my ex for the ring back?

edited 18 October 2011 at 7:27PM in MoneySaving polls
72 replies 22.4K views


  • mh1923mh1923 Forumite
    525 Posts
    The custom used to be that if you promised a woman marriage, you had to pay to get out of it, since marriage was pretty much her only way of having a roof over her head after her parents were gone. If she were engaged to a man for a year before he broke it off, she may have lost other potential suitors as well as becoming less marriageable as she got older. This would be the origin of a man giving a woman a valuable piece of jewellery, as security for his promise. And this is why in some jurisdictions, if the man breaks it off, he has no right to get the ring back, but if she breaks it off, he does. Rather silly these days, but then I think diamond engagement rings are silly as well when there are much prettier and less expensive gems available.

    Someone quoted the law on the previous page, and it looks like the gentleman in question has no recourse. Whether or not she 'owes' the ring back to him in a moral light is hard to say without knowing the couple and what sort of relationship they had. For all we know, one of them lived with the other without contributing to rent or bills, which I think would more relevant to a financial question than the sexual behaviour of either partner.
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  • ThinkingOfLinkingThinkingOfLinking Forumite
    11.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    All this talk of it being a contract etc, makes it rather akin to prostitution and is completely distasteful, IMO.
  • MoreOnMoreOn Forumite
    393 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    All this talk of it being a contract etc, makes it rather akin to prostitution and is completely distasteful, IMO.

    Yep, so is keeping the ring...
  • dimbo61dimbo61 Forumite
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    In the good old days you should spend one months income on an engagement ring for the women you are about to marry, who you love and want to spend the rest of your life with!
    Many people get engagement rings on 0% finance over 2/3 years and have split up before they have finished paying for the ring never mind the wedding itself.
    She wont give it back so move on with your life and thank god you did not marry her !
  • ronangelronangel Forumite
    124 Posts
    Have you got any soft toys of hers? Tell her if she doesn't give you the ring back, then Teddy gets eviscerated.
    About 20+ years ago a relative had a similar problem (not ring or anything expensive) so I sent the lady concerned this photograph ( see scanned photo)It did the trick! (1) It was an air pistol (2) not loaded (3) do you think I am the sort of person that would shoot an innocent stuffed toy? Answers on back of a postage stamp.
    Coming back to question: contact one on those no win no fee solicitors If they cant get it back nobody can! ( or maybe kidnap her garden gnomes,only if she left you):j
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  • When i worked in Hatton Garden we had to know the law on this. The engagement ring forms the physical binding of a contract to marry and is the property of the "proposer " until the wedding. If the contract is " broken ", i.e. the couple separating, the ring should be returned to the owner, the proposer.We often had fiance's attempting to get their partners money back on a ring purchased by the man, especially where there was an infidelity, which was why our bosses explained the law to us.
    As far as i know, this hasn't changed.
  • I'm afraid you've been screwed (excuse the pun).
    She's not letting you have the ring back for one of these reasons:
    1. She hates you, and knowing you want it back, she's not going to let you have it;
    2. She still loves you and is keeping it as a memory of all the fine times you had together;
    3. She's had it valued and is going to sell it, or has already sold it;
    4. She's lost it / someone's stolen it / mugged her;
    5. Someone has told her it's an imitation, so she's chucked it in the bin, and that person has retrieved it later;
    6. The dog swallowed it / it fell down a plug hole or drain;
    7. Following the break-up she's been eating like mad and can no longer get it off her (fatter) finger.
    8. Something even sillier (suggestions welcome)
    Whatever happens, you're not getting it back!
  • TalentTalent Forumite
    244 Posts
    The trick is, don't lend anything you can't afford to write off. You thought you loaned her the ring. You didn't. It was a gift. I also watch Judge Judy now and again. I treat it as a loan of my time, time I can write off. ;-))
  • Money Moral Dilemma: Should I ask my ex for the ring back?

    I recently broke up with my fianc!e and she is refusing to return the engagement ring. I feel this is now my property and should be able to sell it to recoup some of the cost (about £3k).
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    I believe that the ring should be considered as a token of both of you deciding to marry, and be seen as a contractual agreement between you.
    If both parties breaks off amicably (e.g. On good terms and not because of infidelity) then the ring should be returned to the purchaser.
    If your fianc!e has broken off because of your infidelity then no it should not be returned to you - as they are the 'injured' party.
    If you broke up with your fianc!e because of their infidelity then yes, you are the 'injured' party and they don't deserve such a trinket.

    Hope this helps.
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  • Yes she should give it back. You should sell it and use the money to get your head examined for spending £3k on a piece of jewellery (unless you are so rich you can afford to throw away £3k, in which case let her keep it). Also taking into consideration that gold and diamonds are often mined in near-slave conditions and the profits taken by unscrupulous warlords, criminal gangs etc, best to go for something cheaper and less ethically dubious.
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