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Quote this post and reply to it Post#1 @ 04-03-02 , 05:21 PM


Sometime ago, I heard of an etiquette concerning engagement rings when the engagement is broken.

If the woman breaks the engagement, she should return the ring. However, if the man breaks the engagement, the woman could keep the ring.

Has anybody else heard of this etiquette? How do you feel about it? Did you or would you follow this etiquette?


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#2 @ 04-03-02 , 05:23 PM


I think that makes sense. However, either way, I personally wouldn't want to keep anything that was suppose to symbolize our impending marriage.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#3 @ 04-03-02 , 05:29 PM


I think it would be in poor taste to keep something of that expense if the engagement is off. There are exceptions to everything though. If the woman helped pay for the ring (I know this to happen before), I believe then she is entitled to keep it.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#4 @ 04-03-02 , 05:38 PM


I have heard that etiquette statement before.
But I believe many state laws will require the ring to be given back, if he takes her to court. (unless of course she paid for it) The ring is often viewed as a "contract" if the contract is broken the ring needs to be returned.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#5 @ 04-03-02 , 05:48 PM


I have to agree with mgmsrk. An acquaintance of mine broke her engagement with her fiance. I was surprised to learn that she had gone to a lawyer (NYC) to learn what her "contractual obligations" were. She did NOT want to give the ring back. The lawyer told her to hand over the rock, as she would lose the case if the ex-fiance were to sue her for it (it was a V*E*R*Y expensive boulder). I have another friend whose fiance broke the engagement and she returned her ring without hesitation. Personally, I can't imagine wanting to keep the ring regardless of who broke the engagement.

[Edited by Kabuki on 04-03-02 at 04:49 PM]

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#6 @ 04-03-02 , 06:11 PM


Thank you for your input, everyone. Everybody has valid reasons.

Personally, I have mixed feelings about the etiquette. On one hand, it makes sense. On the other hand, it doesn't because the "contract" is broken (like what Mgmsrk said), and the ring should be returned in both circumstances.

Also, I have a third (sentimental) side. There's a part of me that thinks the woman should be able to keep the ring in BOTH circumstances. The engagement ring can be viewed as a gift given (and accepted) in good faith. It's not an entitled item, as engagement rings are not mandatory for marriage. It's a token that's freely given and accepted. Thus, once accepted, the ring belongs to the woman. It's hers. This gift is similar to gifts given during the courtship. If the relationship is over, those gifts are not expected to be returned, as they were given in context of their good relationship at the time.

Overall, I have mixed feelings about the whole situation. I see few valid sides.

However, I am partial towards my last view. If an ex-fiance wants the ring back, he would have to sue me for it. He would be able to get the ring back under man's law, but not mine. Haaahaha . . . ! ^_^

[Edited by empresseva on 04-03-02 at 05:15 PM]


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#7 @ 04-03-02 , 06:18 PM


Believe it or not, I was engaged to another member of the female species of woman about 2 years before (and 2,500 miles away from) my present wife. She dumped me. I never got the *true* story. I just let her keep everything I had given her. As a poor college student I hadn't bought her a diamond, but a very nice pearl ring. I just wanted O-U-T and got in my car, drove away from her house, and never saw her again. I think I called once or twice, and one or two more letters were exchanged and that was that.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#8 @ 04-03-02 , 06:42 PM


Rodentman,

I think my husband would have behaved like you. When we were engaged, my husband and I discussed hypothetically what we would do if our engagement was called off. He said he would let me keep the ring, as he wouldn't care less about that item, and would get over me. If I decide to return the ring, that would be fine with him, too, as it doesn't matter to him either way. He told me the ring would be his last concern.

Call me weird, but I found that very attractive about him. ^_^


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#9 @ 04-03-02 , 06:50 PM


This goes back to 1971. So many years have passed. I was quite upset at the time, and for several months subsequent. But time wounds all heels.

I was in no mood to debate property. Fortunely there was relatively little money tied up and lost. I often search the net and HS class listings for people I knew many years ago. I've reached out and touched a few nerves recently!

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#10 @ 04-03-02 , 07:05 PM


before his wife, my brother dated a woman for almost 9 years. she went through an identity crisis and issues with self esteem/ depression. the next thing you know they break up, but because she wants her freedom, but does not want to pay back her debts to him, or give back the ring. one day, when she went out, my brother decided to take the ring back. she hijacked 2 pieces of my mother's jewlery (mom was in another country and they stored her stuff) in the end, because she was a deadbeat loser, she ended up with the ring etc. because she threatened to sue him as commonlaw divorces allow...he supported her for all those years and he would have to continue supporting her. that makes me sick.

she helped herself to my mother's goose down duvet and a pile of other things that didn't belong to her. mom was really angry when she found her stuff in the clutches of the "ex" but i understand that he did not want to bother asking for the stuff back.

i think it is all about integrity. she had none. i would have left with my dignity and walked away. thank goodness i never saw her in an alley LOL. just kidding.

[Edited by cinnamon girl on 04-03-02 at 06:06 PM]

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Asking For and Taking Gifts Back Is Tacky!
Quote this post and reply to it Post#11 @ 04-03-02 , 07:20 PM


If the enagagement ring was a gift and was given as a symbol of love, I find it really tacky for a guy to ask for it back. That would be very elementary school like. "Oh I gave you something but now since I don't like you anymore or don't want to marry you I want it Back!" HOW TACKY. My boyfriend has told me he would never ask for it back. Thank God for that cause I really have a problem with "Indian givers." And I also think it's big and classy of a guy to not take it back even if you want to give it back. It says a lot about him. Hopefully none of us will be in this situation.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#12 @ 04-03-02 , 07:43 PM


I actually don't think of an e-ring as a gift per se. If it were merely a gift, so many women would be happy to be considered engaged without a ring, but how many times have we heard someone say, "we're waiting to get engaged until he can afford a ring" or something similar. I *do* think of it as a contract and so if a woman breaks off an engagement, it makes sense to me that legally and morally a guy should be within his rights to ask for the ring back. And any woman who would break off an engagement and think she can keep the ring is not someone I'd let watch my house. If he breaks it off, though, there's a moral gray area.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#13 @ 04-03-02 , 07:45 PM


Rodentman, I regret you gone through such an ordeal with your ex-fiancee. I'm glad you overcame it.

Cinnamon Girl, likewise, I regret what your brother and your family gone through. It's sad that your brother's long-term relationship didn't work out. I hope he's doing better now.

Dulcinea, because of my partiality, I agree with you. Maybe I'm overly naive (and selfish) in this matter because I do consider an engagement ring more a gift of love than a contractual deliverable. However, I do see how an engagement can be defined as a contract, and hence, the ring as a "conditional deliverable." It makes sense, even though I don't personally perceive it that way.

Like I said, there are many valid sides. Ultimately, it's subjective.

[Edited by empresseva on 04-03-02 at 06:53 PM]


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#14 @ 04-03-02 , 07:47 PM


How's this for "etiquette": After 2 1/2 years of marriage, my ex demanded both my wedding AND engagement rings back!

Despite my pointing out that this simply wasn't done -- that our marriage was breaking up, not our engagement -- he hounded me until I finally relented.

I wonder what Emily Post would've had to say about that?

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#15 @ 04-03-02 , 07:51 PM


Since we're into ancient history, I've got one going even further back. When I was a soph and jr in HS, I had a "girlfriend." It wasn't "serious" but there was some attraction. We didn't get out much since she was 15 and I 16 with no car, money etc. But we hung out a lot in school, after etc.

That was 35 years ago and after I moved in the summer before my senior HS year, I never saw her again. Now I am going back east for a HS reunion and she lives about 40 miles away. We plan to meet, now both in our early 50's. I am heavy into nostalgia, acknowledging that "you can never go back." I am very much looking forward to this meeting.

Oh, and speaking of rings, I had ordered my HS ring from the school in which I met this girl thinking I would graduate from there. I still have the ring and am strongly considering giving it to this lady. Aint that sweet? Oddly, here's a case where it's 99.9% sentimentality. Oh BTW, she's still single.

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[Edited by rodentman on 04-03-02 at 06:56 PM]


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WELL....
Quote this post and reply to it Post#16 @ 04-03-02 , 07:51 PM


My fiance told me I could keep the ring if anything happened. He said it was a gift for me and he wanted me to have it no matter what. He also said, "what would I do with it?" When I asked him why he wouldn't sell it or save it, he said he wouldn't give the same ring to another person, and he couldn't sell something with any sentimental value (but he's a packrat who attaches sentimental value to boxes and holey underpants).

So, I think I would offer it back, but if he didn't take it I would keep it. I might turn it into a different piece of jewelry.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#17 @ 04-03-02 , 08:01 PM


Maybe Im very naive but I have never thought of an engagement or a marriage as being like a contract. Thats just weird to me. Either way, I still think its tacky.
And how sad that there are people out there that would hound someone for a material object after something after 2 years of marriage. My friend gave me a Tiffany charm bracelet for my high school graduation. We got in a fight shortly thereafter and she asked for the bracelet back because "It was expensive and she didn't want to be ny friend anymore." A grown man asking for jewelry back is just like my friend asking for the bracelet back. They want it back cause it was expensive and they spent their money on it. Is he also allowed to ask back for all the money he spent on dinners, movies, vacations, X-Mas gifts? I think not! ITS JUST PLAIN TACKY. Oh and about my friend... we became friends again and she decied I "deserved" the bracelet back. I threw it at her and called her Tacky. Were not friends anymore.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#18 @ 04-03-02 , 08:01 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by mgmsrk
I have heard that etiquette statement before.
But I believe many state laws will require the ring to be given back, if he takes her to court. (unless of course she paid for it) The ring is often viewed as a "contract" if the contract is broken the ring needs to be returned.



Actually... I heard that if they give an engagement ring on a National Holiday, it's considered a gift and it can't be taken back legally... ? I recall hearing that... somewhere... not sure if there's much truth in it.



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Quote this post and reply to it Post#19 @ 04-03-02 , 08:14 PM


CherylP, I think your ex-husband was out of line for asking the rings back, both contractually and sentimentally.

Emily Post would agree with my sentimental side. Like me, she views those rings as gifts of love. Thus, once accepted, they belong to the woman.

Dulcinea, your friend was tacky and hurtful.

I had a bracelet situation, too. When I was in college, I gave my college sweetheart a handsome bracelet he wore all the time. When we broke up (he cheated on me), he tried to return the bracelet, but I turned it down.

I said, "No, that was a gift to you. It's yours. You could throw it away if you want, but I'm not going to take it back."

Ironically, he kept wearing it. Weirdo.

[Edited by empresseva on 04-03-02 at 07:15 PM]


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CherylP...
Quote this post and reply to it Post#20 @ 04-03-02 , 08:32 PM


...I would think that Emily Post would say he wasn't worthy to lick the mud off your shoes!

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Re: CherylP...
Quote this post and reply to it Post#21 @ 04-03-02 , 08:34 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by Hest88
...I would think that Emily Post would say he wasn't worthy to lick the mud off your shoes!


Haaaahahaha . . . ! So true! ^_^


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#22 @ 04-03-02 , 08:38 PM


Hmmm,

IF someone were to have broken an engagement with me, or I with him, then I would definitely give the ring back. I would want no part of him if he dumped me




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Quote this post and reply to it Post#23 @ 04-03-02 , 08:50 PM


When I was in college, there was a grad student who lived next door to me. She was a sweet, sweet gal. Her boyfriend proposed, and she accepted.

About two weeks later, she walked in on him and another girl. He pleaded for forgiveness, she said that she wanted to break off the engagement. She gave him the ring back and walked away.

About a week later, a small package arrived at her door. Her ex-fiance had returned the ring to her with a nice note. It read something to the effect that it was a gift to her, and that he wanted her to keep it or donate it to charity.

She ended up donating the ring to a local charity. This was a woman with a kind heart, and despite the incident that precipitated the break up, the guy was pretty decent, too. Well, at least not as bad as we originally thought.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#24 @ 04-03-02 , 09:00 PM


[QUOTE]Originally posted by Hest88

...I would think that Emily Post would say he wasn't worthy to lick the mud off your shoes![QUOTE]

You always make me laugh!!!




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Just my opinion....
Quote this post and reply to it Post#25 @ 04-03-02 , 09:06 PM


California law states that if a woman breaks the engagement, then she *must* return the ring. If the man breaks the engagement, then she *may* keep the ring.

This is just my opinion, but I feel it would be cold and insensitive for a woman to break an engagement then try to keep her ring, especially if it is an expensive ring, especially if the breakup occurred soon after she received the ring. It is like kicking someone when they are down. Personally, if that happened to me, I wouldn't care too much either way, but I would think more of my ex if she offered to return it.


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