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Man refuses to buy heirloom engagement ring back from 'cheating, lying' ex. AITA?

Man refuses to buy heirloom engagement ring back from 'cheating, lying' ex. AITA?


"AITA for refusing to buy the engagement ring back off of my ex?"


So I [m23] recently got out of a relationship with my ex-fiancée 'Mara' [f23]. We were together for 3 years and engaged for 4 months. I called off the engagement and eventually broke up with Mara due to her cheating on me and lying about various things unrelated to the cheating.

I think people deserve second chances but my final straw was when I found out she had been cheating on me with her own stepbrother and I knew I had to walk away. In a nutshell, the break-up was very volatile. There was lots of arguing and her trying to bargain with me and I asked her to leave my apartment. My family was very disappointed when they found out.

My parents really wanted me to marry Mara. When we first started dating, my mom gave me a family heirloom ring to propose to Mara with. Its value is sentimental, it's not made of any particularly expensive materials like gold or diamond.

My mom is now asking for the ring back but I never got it back off of Mara. Once things had cooled off I did ask Mara for the ring. She asked why she should give it back, hinting that she wanted payment.

I offered her $40 and she demanded $300 plus my laptop and PS5, and threatened to pawn the ring. I called her bluff and said she's getting $40 or nothing. She said "have it your way" and shut the door in my face, and said she's pawning it.

I explained the situation to my mom. My mom was very angry that I didn't immediately pay up to Mara to get it back by any means necessary and asked if my laptop and playstation were more important than a family heirloom.

I told her that Mara probably wouldn't have given it back anyway and likely already lost or pawned it. She demanded that I contact my ex immediately and offer her what she wants.

I told her no and that I'm not doing it on principle. This caused an argument between me and my mom and she thinks I am being a bad son. Am I the a$$h0l3 for refusing to buy the ring back?

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:


She needs to give it back. An engagement ring is given in "contemplation of marriage". That marriage hasn't happened and isn't going to happen. Tell he she needs to return it intact or you will take her to court to get it back. An engagement ring is not a gift.


This is dependant on where you live. Different places have different laws and customs.


Legally wedding rings are considered conditional gifts; the condition is marriage. Go to the courthouse, file a lawsuit, have her served and get the ring back. In a best case scenario you or your family hire an attorney. NTA, just not aware of your legal rights.


NTA. Generally an engagement ring is given in contemplation of marriage. As there will be no marriage, your ex fiancee should return the ring. This may vary based on where you reside.


Take her to small claims court or get a lawyer friend to send her a letter. Might scare her enough to do the right thing.


It might! Back in the 90s my high school/college BF and I exchanged class rings (which was customary at the time). We broke up, I returned his right away (clearly a mistake) and he kept putting me off about returning mine. At one point, he said it was “lost.” Filed a small claims suit and within a day of being served, he’d magically managed to “find” it and returned it to me.


I would seriously send your mother get the ring back from her. She's going to be awful to you, but your mother might have the ability to shame her into handing it over. What a grifter - asking for money, your computer AND your playstation? Bizarre.

(I suggest this because, years ago, my grandmother was able to gently shame an ex of one of my cousins into giving the family china back. I wish I could remember the details, but the base story is all I can come up with...)


NTA. Start calling local pawn shops with a description of the ring, a brief explanation of the story, and a contact number for you in case they see it come in. Most pawn shop owners/workers are more than done with people trying to sell stolen or "stolen" goods to them, and will probably be understanding.


NTA, i can almost guarantee that the ring is gone already and that this is just her way of getting even for dumping her. If you give her what she asked for, she'd not only refuse to give the ring back, but she'd also probably pawn or trash your laptop and ps5.

Frankly from the way she's acted, i wouldn't even be surprised if she just smashed your stuff right in front of you the second it was in her hands. I would not trust anything she says from this point onwards. file a lawsuit and force her to return it.


Most states the engagement has to be returned if you do not get married. It’s considered contractual obligation. I would call her parents and explain the situation and about the ring and she will not return it.

Tell your ex that due to the law she needs to give it back and she has X days or you will go to court and you are asking for court fees also. That if she sells it she will be in more trouble. If you asking does not work then ask your mom to call her parents. Lots of time this will help.

So what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you say?

Sources: Reddit
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