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Grieving Woman Sparks Drama After She Refuses To Give Engagement Ring To Her Late Fiancé’s Brother

Tetra Images-Jamie Grill/Getty Images

A 27-year-old woman who suffered a recent personal tragedy found herself at odds with her deceased fiancé’s family.

So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

Redditor aitaringfiasco asked:

“AITA for refusing to give my engagement ring to [my] late fiance’s brother?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I am really conflicted regarding my decision.”

“Me and my late fiance (Alex) were together for about 12 years. We were high school sweethearts.”

“We were engaged for around 3 years when he passed away due to an accident (in the beginning of 2020).”

“I was really close with his family before everything happened. Once he died, spending time with them was only hurting me with ‘what could have been’.”

“I moved to the other side of the city to be closer to my new job and I still talk to them, but not as much as before.”

“Few weeks ago, Alex’s brother(Ben) came to visit me. He is planning to propose to his girlfriend. I was very happy for him.”

“He asked me if he could have the family’s engagement ring.”

“The ring Alex gave me was a family ring which had been in the family for generations. Alex’s mom gave him the ring when he proposed to me as he was the eldest son.”

“I have been wearing this ring for almost three years. It’s a symbol that Alex wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.”

“It represents our relationship to me.”

“I conveyed the same.”

“Ben lost his calm and he was yelling at me about how it’s his family ring and that it belongs to him now that Alex is dead. I told him to get out.”

“I called Alex’s mom to let her know why I wanted to keep the ring. She told me she wouldn’t have minded if I had been married to Alex.”

“But I wasn’t, so I am not a part of the family and therefore I should return the ring. She also told me that since I am young, I am going to move on and that it’s unfair to hold on to a ring that I will never wear again.”

“Especially a ring that belonged to her family for generations. It belongs to the family and not me or Alex, as Alex didn’t buy it.”

“I would have at least considered giving back the ring if a few years had passed and I had moved on. I just can’t bear the thought of parting with this ring now.”

“So, I told her that I am sorry she felt that way but Alex gave me this ring and I am not giving it back and promptly hung up.”

“Ben and his mom are spamming my phone with messages and calls about how I am trying to steal their family ring. They obviously think I am an a**hole.”

“At first it was just a matter of civil disagreement but as time goes it’s getting more heated and lot more yelling and crying from both sides.”

“As I mentioned in the post, I am not saying that I will never return the ring. I am just saying I am not ready to return it now.”

“So, AITA?”

Redditors were asked to pass judgment by declaring the OP:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A **hole
  • NAH – No A **holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors—like the OP—were conflicted.

The OP and her fiancé were together for over a decade and engaged for three years—during which time she wore the ring—and the mother said the ring would be hers to keep if they married. Depending on if and for how long the couple lived together, the law may see her as his common law wife.

If OP gives the ring to the brother, does she get it back if his girlfriend says no or they break up? Who would get the ring if the brother never gets married?

Ultimately, most people decided there were no a**holes here.

“I’m going with NAH.”

“I understand both sides, but in all honesty; you need to give the ring back. It’s a family heirloom and unfortunately due to circumstances beyond your control, you are not part of that family.”

“This is all clearly still very raw and I understand you not being ready to let it go, but perhaps you could have discussed that with his mother.”

“’I am not ready yet, but please know that in time I will return the ring. I just need time to grieve.’ This way you are not shutting them down and they would likely be open to it.”

“Legally, they can bring an action against you and most likely would win [in some countries/states]. I’m sure no one wants that kind of hurt to be piled on the hurt you are already feeling.”

“Emotions are raw right now. I think you all have valid points and just need a moment to reset and discuss a compromise.” ~ gwacemom

The OP didn’t return to provide an update on what, if anything different, they decided to do. Hopefully all parties can get to a place of peace.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metis Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. She considers herself another proud Maineiac.