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return an engagement gift from his father?


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We had been together 7 years, he wrote me a letter to break up back in June, I tried to call him but he would not pick up and I have not spoken or tried to contact him since. I had only met his father twice before, he left his son when he was young so they hardly knew each other. But now, my ex is working for him so I guess they are in contact with each other quite often now.

 

In the aftermath after the break up, I was completely broken down, it's been 7 months now and I pretty much still cry daily. It was a good relationship for the most part, but his life circumstances changed inexplicably almost overnight and he changed his mind about marrying me (or perhaps he was never fully committed, who can know the heart of an emotionally dishonest man?). His father had given me an expensive engagement gift. I have asked my therapist and my best friends and each of them have told me to just keep the gift. The value of the gift is roughly the same amount that I had spent on down payments for the wedding vendors. (My ex told me to pay for the wedding on my own since he has a small family, basically him and his mom and dad, no friends at all).

 

I have already used the gift the same day that his dad gave it to me. I have been turning around in my head the idea of sending his dad a check for the amount but I have to admit that in the back of my mind, my ulterior motive is to get in touch with my ex through his father. When the break up happened, his father offered my parents to arrange a meeting between me and my ex so we could sort things out, to which my parents politely replied that my ex should be the one to contact me of his own accord if he wants to repair the relationship.

 

I know that etiquette dictates that I at least offer to return the value of the gift. But etiquette aside, I do not want to set back my healing. Can you guys help me brainstorm a little, what is the worst thing that could happen? what is the right thing to do? what is the right thing to do for my own healing? Should I just listen to my therapist and best friends and keep the gift and never contact him and his family again (since that is basically the only course my ex left me with).

 

I don't know if this is relevant but I do not speak his father's language, we do not live in the same country, I do not know his address. If I do decide to send a check, I would be sending the check and a translated letter to his business colleague who speaks english and who helped translate for my parents and I when we first met my ex's father. This may be irrelevant as well but I am 100% sure his father does not care one way or the other if I return the gift or not.

 

Am I making a big deal out of nothing? Is this just a way for me to stay in the drama of my relationship which I know has been over for months already (but my heart has still to catch up to this fact). If anyone is wondering, "what about the ring?" It's in a box in my drawer in my childhood bedroom and it will probably stay there awhile. At this time, I do not have the heart to even contemplate what to do with it, maybe a few months from now, I'll post another thread asking what to do with it, haha. I am not too worried about it, it was not a diamond, so it did not cost much (we bought it together), it's value to me is really on what it represents.

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I would only return an engagement gift if I was the one who had broken off the engagement or if the break up had been clearly my fault (I'd been cheating on my fiance, for example).

But, in a situation like yours, no, I would keep the gift..and stay as far as possible from a guy who chose to end a 7yo relationship and an engagement through mail.

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No, no, no. You do not need to return an engagement gift from his father, especially if you were out money from losing wedding deposits. A gift is a gift, and as such yours to keep since it was through no fault of your own that the wedding was cancelled. The only etiquette in play here would be that if you broke off the engagement yourself, you should give him back his engagement ring, but if he breaks off the engagement, then the ring is yours to keep. So there is no etiquette that says you should pay his father back, in fact, etiquette says you should keep it since his son broke off the engagement.

 

My guess is that if he broke the engagement off without so much as a word, there is a very high probability he met someone new, and did not want contact with you because he didn't want the drama of you finding out he cheated/was with a new woman, or he didn't want the new woman to know about your or find out he'd been engaged when he took up with her. So he breaks it off in a hurry and disappears to reduce the changes of that happening. So these kinds of Houdini situations where the guy disappears with hardly a word are best left alone, as in you never contact him again. He knows exacty how to contact you, and doesn't do it because he doesn't want to do it, and may well have moved on to a new woman now or even have already done so at the time he broke it off with you.

 

Here's my advice: Sell the ring and take a nice vacation somewhere to take your mind off this an make a pact to let it go and turn over a new leaf. It has been 9 months and you haven't heard a peep from him, so he has definitely let go and moved on by now, and so should you. If you can't do it on your own, then sell the ring and use the money to pay for continued therapy visits until you can let go. This is your life, and you need to quit wasting it on a man who is long gone and not interested anymore.

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Thanks for your responses, my friends were of the same opinion although presumably they are biased towards my favor so I want third party opinions. I read on another thread on ENA where people said that it is tacky for a woman to keep the ring under any circumstances.

 

Around the internet, I've read that gifts should definitely be returned. I've done my best to handle this break up with as much dignity and grace as I can muster (I've only broken down once inappropriately in front of a client a week after I received the letter), it troubles me that I would be seen as tacky for keeping the gift. Hope others can give their two cents on this.

 

Lavanderdove, it did not even cross my mind to sell the ring for therapy sessions. Thanks for the suggestion although I cannot think of anywhere I can sell the ring for a good price, pawnshop perhaps? I did stop therapy after five sessions as it was getting expensive. I am losing money over a project in my business this year so I feel I don't have the luxury of spending "extra" on myself.

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I think you seem really inclined to return the gift, even though your friends and posters here said you are not obligated to. The broken engagement was no fault of your own.

 

Why do you feel so strongly about this? Does it represent a tie to the relationship for you?

 

My own two cents, is that you do not have to return the gift. If he wants the money back he should contact his son.

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Yes, I do feel inclined to return the value of the gift because in principle it seems the right thing to do. Although the circumstances surrounding it make me unsure if I really want to lose more money on top of everything. At the same time, at the back of my mind I am afraid that perhaps it's just me wanting to get into contact with my ex however indirectly. That's why I haven't done it (returned the gift I mean). But if a lot of people on ENA say its okay not to return the value of the gift then that's a relief too as it is quite a large sum for me. I guess I could return the gift itself but then nobody benefits as he would have no use for it and i have already used it.

 

Yes, you're right in describing it as a tie to the relationship. I wear the gift everyday since it was given me (wristwatch). Everytime I look at it I remember that day when I was so happy. It was the day that his father and my parents met to discuss / ask for permission to marry (old tradition in my culture). It is very pretty as well and I would like to keep it, it is not something I would have bought for myself ever in my life as I am not the type to spend money on expensive things but since it was a gift I used it. My thinking is that if I pay for it then perhaps I can change the association to my ex. Or perhaps, I should just be focusing on my healing rather than getting stuck on this?

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gifts are GIFTS and should not be returned if a relationship ends imo, unless you were the one who ended it and even then, a gift was given as a gift, not a loan..

i recently ended a 14 year friendship, it wouldn't even dawn on me to return all the gifts she once gave me...

especially sinc you say the father wouldn't want it back, then why all the drama? if it reminds you too much off your ex and it is painful, then maybe indeed return it, but since you like the watch, and want to wear it, it seems a little too much to pay for it..

just enjoy the gift and the thought it was given with at the time..just my thoughts...

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No, you don't have to return the gift unless your ex and his family send you a check for the money you already spent on the wedding preparations. Call it even, call it a day and if they ever bring the issue up tell them you'll be glad to reimburse them for that when they reimburse you for the money you spent. But it was a gift and while expensive, if it wasn't a family heirloom there's no reason to give it back. I do find it interesting that your ex was making you pay for the wedding claiming his family was poor and yet the father was able to send you an expensive item. Maybe your ex wasn't quite so honest about that? And no, do not use it as a way to get back with your ex. Sending it back won't change how you feel and chances are when it doesn't bring about the change you want or worse, if they don't even so much as say thank you, you'll switch to feeling bad that now you don't have a reminder. Not that that's any better, but my point is I think you're focusing on the gift too much and too little on your own healing.

 

And it sounds to be me like that wristwatch is to some degree keeping you stuck in what happened and preventing you from moving on. Anyway you can sell it and recoup some of the money OR maybe just take it off and put it away in a safety deposit box or other place for safekeeping? And don't wear it or even take it out and look at it until the day comes when you find yourself over it and can wear it or give it away without any feelings attached to it beyond appreciation of the watch itself.

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If you're going to hold onto the idea of manipulating your ex through a grand gesture of sending his dad money, there's nobody here who can disabuse you of that idea.

 

Some of us need to take the long road and the hard way to learning whatever we need to learn. If you need to learn the futility of 'buying back' love, then nobody here can stop you.

 

I hope you'll consider your therapist's and loved ones' advice carefully and let go.

 

You deserve to begin your healing for real.

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If you're going to hold onto the idea of manipulating your ex through a grand gesture of sending his dad money, there's nobody here who can disabuse you of that idea.

 

Some of us need to take the long road and the hard way to learning whatever we need to learn. If you need to learn the futility of 'buying back' love, then nobody here can stop you.

 

I hope you'll consider your therapist's and loved ones' advice carefully and let go.

 

You deserve to begin your healing for real.

 

 

Catfeeder, your message adds insult to injury,

I half expected for people to slam me for wanting to keep the engagement gift and the ring, what I did not expect was to be judged harshly for wanting to return the value of the gift to his father. I am questioning my motivations as well that is why I decided to post it on this forum for advice. I have been keeping NC and quietly healing. The question of what to do with the ring and gift is one of the last ties to the relationship.

 

Always be kind for everyone is fighting a hard battle.

- Plato

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Catfeeder, your message adds insult to injury,

I half expected for people to slam me for wanting to keep the engagement gift and the ring, what I did not expect was to be judged harshly for wanting to return the value of the gift to his father. I am questioning my motivations as well that is why I decided to post it on this forum for advice. I have been keeping NC and quietly healing. The question of what to do with the ring and gift is one of the last ties to the relationship.

 

Always be kind for everyone is fighting a hard battle.

- Plato

 

No insult or lack of kindness intended; I'm responding to the core of your issue, which in your own words, is this:

 

I have been turning around in my head the idea of sending his dad a check for the amount but I have to admit that in the back of my mind, my ulterior motive is to get in touch with my ex through his father.

 

You might find it helpful to research Elisabeth Kübler-Ross' 5 stages of grief, which she originally applied to death and dying. Contemporary therapists now apply it to all forms of grief.

 

Consider your issue part of the 'bargaining' stage, which has the mind latching to any possible means of eliciting contact with the ex or otherwise pursuing some demonstration to gain the attention of the ex.

 

This stuff is natural, but it's also excruciatingly obvious to others when someone grieving attempts to rationalize a gesture into contact--so it becomes the stuff we may end up cringing over later--and THIS is what adds the insult to healing.

 

Looking back at the ways we behave while in our worst of pain can either be a source of pride or a source of embarrassment. I would reserve any decisions about putting yourself into a deeper financial hole for the far future, long after you're clear about whether your gesture would actually have the intended effect.

 

You may not thank me, and I can live with that--but you'll certainly thank your Self later.

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there are multiple ways to sell an engagement ring... but a pawn shop probably wouldn't be the best way... here's one that i just googled:

 

link removed[min]=&sell_price[max]=&tid_1[0]=23

 

There are many online websites these days where you can list the ring, or auction it somewhere like Ebay or another type of auction. But don't expect to get full value, but don't give it away either. Do research into its value... and its value as a resale. A jeweler could help you with that.

 

You can also take the stone in an engagement ring and turn it into a necklace or have it set in another ring if you want to 're-purpose' the ring into another nice piece of jewelry that doesn't have the meaning the original ring did.

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I agree - you don't need to return it. AND please don't use it to contact your ex somehow. Not a good idea!

 

As for me, I gave back/threw away everything I had from my ex. Just because it feels great to have nothing physically reminding me of him. He told me after the break-up that he burned my stuff, which was a lie - he gave it back to me a year later for some reason, and I wasn't happy about his decision to use a couple of books and some clothing as a way to contact me through my best friend...

 

So I would advice you to just keep the present if you like it, and move on. Good luck!

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I understand you kinda want to get in touch with him, but the best thing you can do is keep focusing on your healing. Sell the gift, get the money, keep no contact.

 

I have the feeling that your ex had one foot out the door (telling you to pay for the wedding, not marrying you by 7 years in ...) for a while now. I'm sorry.

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So I actually returned my engagement ring from the jeweler it was still covered in the return policy… then i gave him back the money…

 

I have to say I did it this to contact my ex and get a response. This probably sealed the break-up though, sometimes I regret doing this because it was telling him I don't have the ring anymore it's over…I wonder if it closed all doors instead of keeping them open like I had hoped.

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Thank you everyone for pitching in your thoughts, it is unanimous so I keep the ring and the gift, stay NC.

I can't wait for the day when I get over this, it's been such an exhausting journey, I can't wait to feel like myself again and be excited about the future.

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>>I wonder if it closed all doors instead of keeping them open like I had hoped.

 

Marla, Ummm, no. If he broke off an engagement, that is a clear sign he doesn't want to be with you. So returning the money from the ring doesn't 'close any doors' because he didn't need any door, he knew exactly where you were and that you wanted to marry him and he walked away. The door WAS open and he chose not to walk thru it, and he knows you want him back and it was STILL open and he chooses not to walk thru it, so frankly once a person dumps you, there is nothing you can do to bring them back if they don't feel like coming. Holding onto the ring for 10 years won't make him come back if he's chosen to break it off and doesn't want it, and if he did change his mind and want to come back, he could just buy a new one.

 

So please don't engage in this kind of magical/contorted thinking that if you're just a good enough girl and hang around long enough pining for him, he'll be back. Odds are good he won't, and you'll have just wasted a lot of time and heart on him for nothing. Better to get on with your life (sell the ring!) and heal and live a happy life than martyring yourself for someone who tossed you over after making a BIG promise to marry you then bolting.

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You entire post made me laugh pretty hard… its like the line from that new movie "Love, It's like a socially acceptable form of insanity"

 

We don't realize how twisted and contorted our thoughts can become, and we over analyze and think and play out situation differently. It's like being completely insane. Your post it 100% correct you make 100% sense, but I can get in these states of such guilt and regret, I could have done this or said that… but when it comes down to it your right.

 

If he wanted me he would have been here with me…

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Sara...

 

I have to respectfully disagree with a gift are gifts statement. A gift is not always a gift if it is a Contemplation of marriage.

If I gave you a necklace for your birthday that costs $2,000 and I said it was for your birthday, then it truly was a gift and you could keep it.

If I proposed to you in a restaurant and gave you a $10,000 ring and I called the whole thing off, I get the ring back because it was a contemplation of marriage.

If I ask for the ring back, legally you must give it back to me. If you sold the ring then you would owe me the price I paid for it, not the value, but the amount I paid for it.

 

Interesting question here with the engagement gift and asking for the return. I dont know if the contemplation of marriage extends to family members or if its only between the two individuals who were engaged.

But if the gift was meant for you or you and your former fiance, and you were inclinded to return the gift, then maybe offer half since half was meant for you also.

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I know that etiquette dictates that I at least offer to return the value of the gift.

 

I may be the only one, but I think the gift should be returned. Take the high road, it can be the most healing route to take. And I think you return the gift, not the value of it.

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I may be the only one, but I think the gift should be returned. Take the high road, it can be the most healing route to take. And I think you return the gift, not the value of it.

 

Hmmm, now I'm getting confused. It really isn't black or white question the way some people make it out to be.

Legally, I believe I read somewhere that an engagement gift is conditional, if the wedding doesn't happen then I don't get to keep it, same with the engagement ring.

Culturally, I am compelled to return it as courtesy to family and elders.

Morally, it is not mine to keep.

But healing wise, I should just stay the hell away from him and his family.

what is a girl to do?

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The gift was to compensate you for the deposits you placed with all the wedding vendors. If you lost your non refundable deposits, I would keep it, unless it was a family heirloom. Yes, it was an engagement gift, but it was really intended to compensate you, as you were to pay for the wedding since his family could not.

 

You do no harm in sitting on it for a little while longer until you are not using the return as an excuse to get a response from your ex. When you get past that - then you can decide.

 

Culturally, I am compelled to return it as courtesy to family and elders.

 

In your cultural or his culture?

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The gift was to compensate you for the deposits you placed with all the wedding vendors. If you lost your non refundable deposits, I would keep it, unless it was a family heirloom. Yes, it was an engagement gift, but it was really intended to compensate you, as you were to pay for the wedding since his family could not.

 

You do no harm in sitting on it for a little while longer until you are not using the return as an excuse to get a response from your ex. When you get past that - then you can decide.

 

Culturally, I am compelled to return it as courtesy to family and elders.

 

In your cultural or his culture?

 

What you said reminded me of what his father said at the time of giving me the gift. He said, "I need to give you something that you can sell easily / right away". At least that's how my ex fiance translated it as. At the time, I thought it was funny that he would say something like that, but considering now, it must have been a premonition on his part.

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The gift was to compensate you for the deposits you placed with all the wedding vendors.

 

Aren't we discussing a watch? Compensation would be money, not a watch. If I kept the gift watch I would constantly be reminded of the broken engagement, and that would not in healing. It's a very symbolic item. I don't understand the popular view of keeping it as compensation, and I think returning it is an act of power and symbolic of removing him from your life.

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