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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


  • edited 20 October 2011 at 2:51AM
    KillaKilla Forumite
    3 Posts
    edited 20 October 2011 at 2:51AM
    Of course she shouldn't give it back. I am seriously worried that people are actually considering the legal aspect of this.
    I am assuming that you gave the ring to her as a token of your love for her? Or did you really give it to her as a 'deposit' to secure her hand in marriage?
    You haven't got a leg to stand on either morally or legally so you should consider yourself lucky you didn't marry her or you would now be asking for the wedding ring back as well.
  • Judge Judy would say that the ring was given in expectation of getting married, no marriage therefore the ring goes back to the giver. It wasn't a gift.
  • The engagement ring was a token of your affection for her, regardless of its cost, and anyone spending that amount of money on one doesn't need it back, do they? It's her property now, not yours.

    It bothers me that you should be so mercenary about the recovery of property you gave freely with, presumably, your love. Regardless of who was to blame for breaking the engagement, sacrifices need to be made, and your experience might just sound warning bells the next time you get engaged.
  • loopy_lou_6loopy_lou_6 Forumite
    88 Posts
    Car Insurance Carver!
    I have no idea what you should do. i think it's up to you as an individual, whatever is in your heart, not your head, only you know the circumstances of your break up. and even should you decide to pursue getting the ring back, because you feel you've been "had" in some way. And your efforts are unsuccessful, at least you will know you have stood up for yourself, and not been a doormat.
    i want to take this one step further and imagine that the wedding had been booked, organised, invites sent out, and the dreaded "gift list" too. the guests have all been on said department store "gift list" and paid for the gifts and they have been delivered. wedding gets called off at last minute. going with the theory of some people's thoughts on here, that this is a "gift" and therefore the receiver is legally entitled to it, do these same people have a legal obligation to return these "gifts" Surely these gifts were given in the expectation of a wedding? if said wedding doesnt transpire, doesnt that nullify the "gift" aspect of the goods? and does this apply also to the reciprocal arrangement that is inherent in the process of getting engaged? we can apply the"letter of the law of the land", without honouring the "spirit of the law" sometimes, which is there to protect innocent people against people who would seek to rip them off, deceive them, and take advantage. without knowing the ins and outs of this break up, i dont know how the "spirit of the law" could be upheld.
  • daloredalore Forumite
    54 Posts
    In the United Kingdom, the gift of an engagement ring is presumed to be an absolute gift to the fianc!e. This presumption may be rebutted however by proving that the ring was given on condition (express or implied) that it must be returned if the marriage did not take place, for whatever reason. This was decided in the case Jacobs v Davis [1917] 2 KB 532.

  • TimBearTimBear Forumite
    808 Posts
    I wouldn't ask for anything back which I'd given as a gift, regardless of its cost or the situation.
  • RobisereRobisere Forumite
    3.2K Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Photogenic Combo Breaker
    It is over 40 years ago that my then fiancee decided to blow me out of her life, but she actually threw the ring at me. The excuse was that I had been seeing someone else at the start of our 4 year relationship, but she already knew that. She was pregnant, supposedly by another guy and wanted to marry someone older and wealthier.

    Point is, I still remember how much that hurt, although the pain is long gone and I have been married many years to a wonderful woman that I love dearly. So I can sympathise with this couple, whoever ended the relationship. But there are people posting here who are making assumptions, without having the full facts. Whoever dumped who does not matter. The end can leave something nasty and unforgiving behind it, for both parties. The question of whether or not she should give back the ring, may come as secondary to the loss of the actual relationship and its meaning to them both.

    In my own case, I left behind a lot of very good vinyl records. I still miss those records. And the lady has a daughter who is unfortunate enough to look like me.
    I think this job really needs
    a much bigger hammer.
  • The ring is given in anticipation of marriage. No marriage then the ring goes back. It doesn't matter who broke up with who.
  • edited 22 October 2011 at 9:41AM
    11.5K Posts
    edited 22 October 2011 at 9:41AM
    Was it a gift or a loan?

    In the nature of it - ie an engagement ring - then it was a gift and is not therefore returnable.

    The situation isnt totally "black and white" - the one possible "shade of grey" would be if a woman had gotten engaged deliberately specifically in order to get gifts (ie that ring) from the man and had never planned on marrying the man in the first place. In those circumstances - the man would be entitled to the ring back. I havent actually ever heard of a woman doing this - even if the man concerned had lots of money and the ring would therefore cost a 6-figure amount of money. In this case - we were quoting a £3,000 ring - ie a pretty standard price level for such a ring - so I would doubt very much that the ring was the reason for the engagement iyswim.

    However - I estimate that it would be VERY rare for a woman to get engaged specifically in order to get gifts though. The vast majority of women getting engaged would be doing so because they really intended to marry the man at some point and it wouldnt be right to ask for it back in that situation just because she had genuinely meant to marry the man - but had then (equally genuinely) changed her mind.

    Put it this way - which is cheaper? To lose the money spent on a ring or to lose the money divorce proceedings, etc, would cost? Better - if she is changing her mind - for her to do so BEFORE rather than AFTER getting married.


    If the man dumps the woman in reverse - then she keeps the ring (unless his reason for dumping her was one that would have caused most men to dump her). The reasons most men would dump would be, for instance, if he had thought she was a standard/reasonable with money/heterosexual woman and had found out subsequently she had been deliberately lying and was actually criminal/marrying him to cover up being "gay" and hadnt told him/had huge debts she hadnt mentioned or the like. So - if she had been making out she was "standard/conventional/honest" and turned out not to be - then she had gotten engaged under false pretences and should hand the ring back to the man (assuming he is "standard/conventional/honest" himself) - ie because she deceived him.
  • sophlowe45sophlowe45 Forumite
    1.6K Posts
    Even if one person broke up with the other, it doesn't mean they were at fault, maybe they couldn't take the other person's behaviour anymore. Both people have the responsibility of making a relationship work and ending it if it is not working and perhaps one person of the two has the courage to end it before the other one does.

    Was the ring a gift or a loan was my first thought.

    There's no harm politely asking again for the ring back and why you feel you should have it back. It's upto her how she chooses to reply.
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