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Woman Balks After Boyfriend Tries To Propose To Her With His Ex-Fiancée’s Wedding Ring

Woman unhappy with the engagement ring presented during proposal
mediamasmedia/Getty Images

A milestone that many people look forward to, practically their entire life, is finding their life partner and marrying them.

Because of that, they probably have a vision in mind of how the proposal and wedding were going to go, reasoned the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

When Redditor Ringanon432’s boyfriend proposed, she was incredibly excited.

But when she realized what he had proposed with, the Original Poster (OP) seriously wanted a re-do.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for not wanting a ring my fiancé already gave to another girl?”

The OP was excited for her boyfriend to propose to her.

“My now fiancé was engaged a couple of years before we got together, and they broke up and she gave the ring back.”

“We’ve been together a few years, and a few days ago, he proposed and I was super excited.”

But the proposal didn’t go quite the way she was expecting.

“The ring looked kinda familiar and when I asked him where it was from, he said it was the ring he gave to his ex-fiancé.”

“I immediately took it off and was like, ‘I don’t want a ring you bought for someone else, it wasn’t meant for me.'”

“He got upset and said it didn’t matter because it’s not hers anymore, it’s mine.”

The OP’s loved ones were divided.

“My family and friends are split in saying I’m the a**hole and I’m justified.”

“I don’t want him to spend a whole other thousand dollars on a ring for me, but I want a ring that was meant for me, not for someone else.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some completely understood why the OP was upset about her boyfriend’s efforts. 

“My husband had proposed to another girl before we ever met. When we talked about getting married, he knew I wouldn’t accept that ring at all, so we picked out our rings together.”

“But he did ask me if I wanted that ring just as a regular piece of jewelry and I was like hell no, that’s bad juju and I want nothing to do with it. NTA.” – Cayvin


“I literally found my ex’s ring on accident, and was confused, because there’s no way I would have gotten married so young, and I asked him about it.”

“He admitted to plans for proposing, and I let him know I would be more open to the idea in a few years. I was also confused because the ring was not my style and was Gold, which I don’t wear. So I tried to make a gentle comment kind of hinting that the ring isn’t something you’d find in my jewelry box.”

“He said, ‘Oh I know, I bought it for my ex, but it’s still a nice ring.'”

“I HATE that specific ex of his. She ‘didn’t go through with it’ but spent several months online talking to strange men and coaching them on how to approach me, and get my attention. The plan was that I would cheat on my ex with one of these guys she was grooming to be my ‘dream guy,’ have proof to give my ex, and he would leave me.”

“Needless to say, I made it clear I would never be wearing that f**king ring.” – ErisInChains

“NTA. I would have sold it and used the money for another. An engagement ring doesn’t have to be crazy expensive, but it should be personal.” – Stellanboll

“Oh wow…”

“Definitely NTA, are you serious? What kind of guy does that? I would be p*ssed and would have reacted the same way.” – lithorcajo

“I wouldn’t want a ring that was meant for somebody else either. When he picked out the ring years ago he had someone else in mind. NTA.” – xsimosan


“The ring is supposed to be a symbol of love and commitment to/for you. Not something he gives out to different people until someone finally accepts it or goes through with marrying him.”

“He could have taken the ring back or kept it for sentimental reasons, but giving it to another SO is unacceptable. The only exception would be if it’s a family heirloom (which doesn’t seem to be the case here). You’re totally fine not accepting a ring meant for someone else.” – mymorningkiller

“It is a symbol of the promise they are making to one another. I would rather have an engagement ring from a bubble gum machine than one from a broken engagement. All that ring represents is a broken promise. This ring is not a practical gift.”

“I will use anything used and be grateful except underwear and toilet paper. This ring has no use except as a promise. I don’t want someone else’s broken promise. It ain’t no bicycle!” – cranberry58

Others thought the OP was prioritizing material possessions over her relationship. 

“Ummmm… YTA.”

“He bought that ring for his love. She is no longer his love. You are.”

“I bought a beautiful 1920s ring for my girlfriend. We were engaged for two years but decided we were two different people and called it off.”

“You can bet your a** that when I fall in love again, I’ll use that ring because I paid d**n good money for it. You are putting too much emphasis on a material item vs the meaning behind it.”

“Stop being so godd**n ungrateful.” – fixerofthings

“YTA… it seems kind of superficial to me. If it’s that big of a deal, sell it and get a new one. He probably spent a lot of money on that and don’t you think it’s a little ridiculous to ask him to spend thousands of dollars on another?”

“I get the symbolism and all, but it’s just a ring. It doesn’t mean you two aren’t a good match, that he is an AH, or that he doesn’t care about you. It just sounds like a financially sound choice to me.”

“Granted, I think expensive rings are dumb, and I would rather spend that money on an awesome honeymoon or vacation. A sparkly ring isn’t worth mountains of debt.” – paradisemurray

“YTA. I think everyone else is looking way too much into this. At the end of the day, it’s a ring showing your intent to marry. S**t is expensive (and overpriced but that’s an entirely different conversation) so reusing can be a financially sound idea”

“Especially if it’s an engagement ring, don’t you normally also buy a new wedding ring, so it’s not like you’re gonna wear it the rest of your life anyway, right?” – IAmHitlersWetDream

“Jewelry is a scam and a half. Being butt hurt about whether it’s new or used and how it is purchased is even dumber.”

“YTA. His mouth wasn’t ‘meant for you’ either, but you still enjoy its kiss all the same. Did you save your virginity for each other too?” – HelloYouSuck

But some sympathized with both people and hoped they could work it out.

“NAH. He’s not an a**hole for giving you that ring unless he knew ahead of time that it would cause you displeasure. You’re not an a**hole for not wanting a significant possession that was originally given to another person.”

“I think both of you should take a step back and make clear that no matter what the ring looks like, you two want to be together forever. That’s the most important part of the proposal.” – threekidsnomoney

“NTA, and this is coming from someone who thinks engagement rings are a stupid waste of money. I’m sure he could sell the ring and get a new one that would be special to you.”

“I don’t think he’s being TA either though, he’s just not seeing it the same way you do. Selling the old ring would be a good compromise.” – ManiaSky


“I think he is more clueless than anything else. He likely doesn’t hold the same significance to rings as most women do – it’s just an object he was obligated to buy to initiate the next stage of a relationship.”

“He was stupid to not have returned the ring for a refund when the first engagement was broken. So… stupid and clueless, but I don’t think he’s an a**hole.”

“OP is definitely not an a**hole either, because the ring has meaning to you, and THAT ring means ‘he bought it for someone else and not me, there is nothing personal connected to this.'” – Ohcrumbcakes

“NAH. Some people are okay with that kind of thing. I personally am not, but whatever floats your boat. And he should be more understanding of your sentiment.” – wheelman236

“NAH. This is really something he should have discussed with you. You’re both coming from different places. Engagement rings are expensive, and jewelry doesn’t resell well.”

“However, the sentiment of keeping the engagement ring intended for your ex to give to your new fiancee is pretty abysmal.”

“He’s being more frugal than sentimental and you’re being more sentimental than frugal, and that’s okay.” – ProjectKurtz

The subReddit was deeply divided on this one, as everyone placed a different value on the engagement ring and what it symbolized.

Some understood the OP’s concerns and would have wanted a ring that was specifically picked out for them, while others thought reusing a ring was the financially appropriate thing to do.

At the end of the day, though, the sub agreed the most important thing was the relationship’s health and happiness. And the best way to preserve the relationship would be for the couple to be as communicative as possible about what they both need and what will make them happy.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit