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Man Dragged for Keeping Mom's Engagement Ring After His Proposal Fell Apart

Newsweek 11/19/2022 Matt Keeley
A man is being dragged online for refusing to return his mother's engagement ring after his own relationship fell apart. © iStock/Getty Images A man is being dragged online for refusing to return his mother's engagement ring after his own relationship fell apart.

A man is being dragged for refusing to return his mother's engagement ring after he and his fiancée called off the wedding.

The man, u/RepublicAdvanced5391, shared his story to the popular r/AmITheA****** subreddit, earning 8,600 upvotes and 2,600 comments in two days for his post, "[Am I the A******] for not returning my mom's ring?"

The original poster (OP) says he was with his now-ex-fiancée "Mela" for seven years. He describes her as "obsessed with marriage," citing her having a Pinterest board of wedding ideas for "years," and beginning to ask the OP if he would propose after they'd been together for about four years.

"She started outright saying that she wanted to be married and wanted to be proposed in this way or that way and basically making plans. I told her that I would think about it. While I loved her, I wasn't sure if marriage was for me," u/RepublicAdvanced5391 wrote.

He says Mela finally gave him an ultimatum: either they wed, or they break up. The OP didn't make a decision at the time, so she ended things. After that, he realized he'd made a mistake and proposed.

"My mom gave me her engagement ring which wasn't Mela's style or size but she seemed happy," he wrote, adding in a later comment that she had given him the ring about a year before he actually proposed, and didn't specifically tell him to propose to Mela with it.

However, soon after, the OP got cold feet and he and Mela fought, and ended up breaking up, with Mela returning the ring to him. Now, Mela has found a new partner, "Devin," and they're getting married soon.

Mela invited the OP's mother, as they were close. He says that she wanted to wear her "best jewelry" to the wedding and asked for the ring back. The OP refused.

"I told her I wouldn't give her the engagement ring back as it was mine and I didn't want Mela to see the engagement ring that she was supposed to have since it would probably make her feel bad since she married the first guy who was there," u/RepublicAdvanced5391 wrote. "My mom is upset. My family is calling me an a******. My dad (who made the ring) said I was a selfish brat. I keep getting nasty emails from relatives about the situation."

While weddings can be beautiful, not every couple survives the stress of the main event. One couple broke up after the bride-to-be's fiancé destroyed her wedding dress—which was made by her late brother. Another wedding was likely cancelled after the bride uninvited her fiancé's parents because they didn't like the flowers she picked out. And in one case, the ceremony actually went forward—only for the marriage to immediately end after she danced to a "provocative" song at their reception.

Master Wedding Consultant Alexis Eliopoulos O'Mara told Newsweek that though it "is a disappointing situation all around," the OP should return the ring.

"I would expect the son to ask his mother if she would like to have the ring back or if he should hang on to it," O'Mara said. "Regardless, if his mother asked for the ring back, there should be no questions asked. She should be allowed to wear and enjoy the ring, especially if no one else is wearing it."

O'Mara also shot down the OP's reasoning that it might upset Mela to see the ring on her wedding day.

"I would expect that if the ex-girlfriend had a close relationship tithe man's mother, that she would be happy to his his mother wearing the ring," she told Newsweek.

Redditors agreed that u/RepublicAdvanced5391 should return his mother's ring.

"[You're the A******]. She gave you her ring with a specific purpose in mind. HER ring is not yours if you didn't use it. Give it back," u/WayMoreCowbell wrote in the top-rated comment with over 30,700 upvotes.

"OP is doing some fancy mental gymnastics to justify keeping the ring. My dude, your mom and dad aren't being "tacky and rude" to request their ring back. In fact you're the one being extremely tacky and rude, and an A****** for not giving back the ring. [You're the A******]," u/EmeraldBlueZen agreed.

"Exactly, his ex wanted a commitment from him and he strung her along for 7 years. She doesn't care about the ring. Speaking from experience, we want them to say I do to the full commitment. Seeing his mom wear a ring that he didn't even have to buy and still couldn't go through with getting married is a none issue. OP [You're the A******], give your mom her ring back and get some therapy for your commitment issues," u/weirdonobeardo wrote.

"Heirloom rings meant to propose are not in the same category as gifts. It's totally different etiquette, you can't say that it's yours now. If you had married and she died then yeah it's yours, but now it goes back to mom," u/Different-Leather359 wrote. "Total [You're the A******]."

Newsweek reached out to u/RepublicAdvanced5391 for comment. We could not verify the details of this case.

If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.

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