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Guy Furious After Ex-Fiancée Donates His Family Heirloom Engagement Ring To A Charity Auction

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Those of us who have a tough dating history more than liking have at least one story of things getting super awkward, like an ex trying to come back into our lives, or us trying to get something important back from an ex’s house.

Whatever the case may be, these stories hardly ever went the way we were hoping, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor aitasoldheirloom gave their ex-fiancé three years of opportunities to retrieve the engagement ring they proposed with before they finally decided to donate it.

But when their ex finally responded, the Original Poster (OP) still wondered if they handled the situation poorly.

They asked the sub: 

“AITA for donating my engagement ring, which is a family heirloom, to an auction fundraiser and telling my ex to bid if he wants it back?” 

The OP tried to return their engagement ring.

“My friend is raising money to build an orphanage in his home country. He’s going to host an auction fundraiser and asked our friends if they had anything they could donate.”

“I had an engagement ring that is very beautiful but holds painful memories for me.”

“My ex and I broke up 3 years ago. I’ve contacted him multiple times in the past, asking him to either take it, to give me his new address so I can send it to him, or to agree to me selling it.”

“He hasn’t responded to any of these requests, so after 3 years, I finally decided to get rid of it by donating it to the fundraiser.”

Then they gave their ex one last chance.

“I sent my ex one final warning that I was going to get rid of the ring, which he ignored.”

“So I gave it to my friend. I even sent my ex a confirmation text to let him know I no longer had the ring.”

“This was a few weeks ago and he never responded.”

The OP received a surprising visit recently.

“On Saturday he showed up at my home, looking furious. I was shocked to see him, and I kept asking him who gave him my address.”

“I guess this annoyed him more because he told me that was a stupid question and demanded I give him the ring.”

“I explained that I no longer had the ring and that I had given him plenty of opportunities over the last 3 years to collect it.”

“He told me to get it back and I told him I couldn’t.”

“He asked me if I had any idea how much that ring was worth and reminded me it was his grandmother’s.”

“I told him if the ring was so important to him that he should’ve responded to my messages or came to collect it, since he obviously knew where I lived.”

“He told me he gave it to me because it was so important, but if he had known t I would be so spiteful to give it away, he would’ve come back for it.”

“We kept arguing and he told me I would regret it if I didn’t get the ring back to him by the end of the week.”

“I told him if he wanted it back so badly, he should bid on it because it was too late.”

“He eventually left after telling me I had a week to get the ring back ‘or else.'”

The OP wasn’t sure what to do.

“Obviously, he thinks I’m an AH and after speaking to my sister he might be right.”

“But I gave him plenty of opportunities to take the ring back, and if it was that important to him, he would’ve.”

“He also can 100% afford to bid and win it back, so I don’t feel as bad about refusing to ask for it back, since his money will go to a worthy cause.”


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 agreed with the OP that they gave him plenty of time and opportunities.

“You gave him 3 years? And he responded immediately after you said it was gone? Meaning he was reading the messages and just deciding not to respond? Lmao. No you’re NTA. If he cared he would’ve gotten it immediately.”Dellidit

“I was so prepared to rule you TA by the title. I was wrong… you did everything reasonable to return it and were more than fair. NTA and I hope it raises a lot of money in the auction.”Dezzys2

“I was ready to say OP was the AH, but in this case nope! You did your due diligence before you donated it. I love that you donated it. NTA.”Blynn025

“OP should definitely save all of those messages in case the idiot ex somehow tries to sue for the ring. In some areas, an engagement ring is considered a gift and you can’t sue for it back, but in others that might not be the case. But if OP has proof that they did try to give it back and the ex ignored them, they’d have the proof”Crafty-Koshka

Others agreed and said the ex was trying to keep his foot in the door.

“Leaving the important family heirloom ring with her, ignoring her messages, keeping track of where she lives…this guy is weird. Was this just an opportunity to make her the bad guy or did he think so long as she had the ring they were still connected?”thistleandpeony

“Yep, that dude just wanted to keep her emotionally hostage. ‘Oh the ring means so much to me she can’t possibly get rid of it and think of us every time she sees it.'”

“Now she’s gotten rid of it, he knows that she’s moved on and he is fuuuurious.”

“OP, in some states the law expects you to return the ring if the engagement ends, so make sure you keep documentation of all correspondence with this guy, detailing that he abandoned it with you for 3 years. Try to avoid talking to him, get it in writing.”Hamajaggah

“I don’t think he dropped the ball, I think it was deliberate. He thought that for as long as she had ‘his’ ring in her possession, she would have an unbreakable string of connection to him.”

“That’s why he ignored her (generous) messages – he thought he could extend that connection into infinity, and that she’d never really be free of him. He’s mad that she proved him wrong. It’s a control thing. A**hole.”icecreamp**is

Some also wondered if the ex was a legitimate threat.

“I am not in any way suggesting that OP has contributed to any delusion he may have regarding the likelihood that they would ever get back together again.”

“I would have expected that if he’d broken things off he’d have been less invested in tracking where she was and would have asked for the ring back at the time of separation. I would also have thought it he’d broken things off she’d have been less concerned about him knowing where she lived.”

“If however she broke it off and had to leave in hurry to get away from an abusive partner I can see why he’d potentially be more likely to think he could get her back – because he would be in denial about the finality of the separation and her retaining the ring could play into his fantasy of it all. Her disposing of the ring would have been a discordant event in his fantasy and potentially make him more dangerous.”Fraerie

“I’m also extremely concerned with the overt threat that she’d ‘better get the ring back by the end of the week OR ELSE’…”

“OP is NTA for sure, and should really consider trying to get a restraining order. The ex clearly has rage/control issues that haven’t lightened up over THREE YEARS.”SnowFox84

“NTA. He’s THREATENING her if she doesn’t get it back.”

“OP, please be on your guard, he could hurt you, damage your car or property, spread nasty rumors, or try to get you fired. If he shows up again to demand the ring, please record it and if possible have a witness.”

“Take care.”Super-Snouter

While they could understand why the OP was worried, the subReddit agreed that the OP had done nothing wrong by donating the engagement rings after three years of holding onto it. Legally, they were concerned, not to mention for safety reasons, but morally, the OP was in the clear.

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