in ,

Woman Stirs Family Drama By Pawning The Heirloom Engagement Ring Her Ex Gave Her

Image Source/Getty Images

Heirlooms are heirlooms.  Full stop.  No matter how awful an ex is to you, throwing their heirlooms to the wind really is a jerk move and then managing the fallout from that is really difficult and stressful.

A Redditor whose username has since been deleted found himself having to manage her daughter’s poor treatment of an ex’s heirloom.  After forcing his daughter to pay back her ex, he and his wife got on her daughter’s bad list.

Unsure if he’d somehow crossed a line, he went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” for objective feedback from strangers.

He asked:

“AITA for making daughter pay daughter’s ex?”

Our original poster, or OP, talked about her daughter’s failed engagement:

“My daughter (25F[emale]) and her fiancé got engaged in September last year and he proposed with his great grandma’s sapphire ring.”

“She accepted and wore the ring until they had a disagreement over him hanging out with a female friend.”

“They broke up and he asked for the ring back and she wouldn’t give it back.”

“He begged me because his grandma would have a heart attack if she found out and I asked her to give it back, no matter whatever happened between them it’s still an heirloom.”

But OP’s daughter had gotten rid of the ring:

“She told us she pawned it and my wife and I went to every pawn shop in the city and couldn’t find it.”

“So we told her we were paying back her ex with the money we would have used to pay back her college.”

“She was yelling at us that he was flirting with another girl so how dare we punish her when he was cheating. She went back to the pawn shop but they had sold it.”

“We contacted the boy’s mother to apologize and to ask how much the ring(they have proof of the price from when the ring was bought in 1926) but they weren’t sure of the current value but we settled on $6000 since the stone was 3.8 carat.”

Op’s daughter was furious about the money:

“Now I think she thought we weren’t serious about making her pay until her student loans came out to be 32K so we paid 26K and left 6k for her.”

“She has refused to speak with with us since and my wife wants to just pay the reminder of the loans and but I’m standing firm. AITA?”

Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:

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

Redditors agreed that OP was teaching his daughter a valuable lesson.

“Definitely, my girlfriend lost a sweatshirt from her grandfather who is suffering from depression too an ex.”

“Literally had to ask him for it back for 3 weeks. Spend her money! She did harm her ex, she harmed his entire family on his mother’s side!”-Adventurous_Escape_8

“By the way it was legally his, an engagement ring is essentially a contract, a gift in contemplation of marriage, if the marriage doesn’t happen the ring is returned.”

“That has been held up in court over and over. Daughter is a complete ass in this story and incredibly immature and vindictive.”

“She knew the importance of the ring and chose to pawn it to hurt him.”

“I wonder if he was even really flirting because this sounds like something a teenager would be upset over not a grown woman ‘but he was talking to other women.’ Uugh. NTA”-JuryNo7670

“Definitely. NTA OP. Your daughter is an ungrateful a**hole.”

“Unless given on a gift giving day (Christmas, hanukah, kwanza, birthday, etc…) an engagement ring is a gift contingent on getting married.”

“She had zero right to pawn a family heirloom, even if he had cheated, which she only said to justify her sh*tty behaviour…. She owed him the ring back.”

“She’s lucky you paid off anything so the audacity to be upset for you STILL paying off the majority of her loans…..Keep the ex son in law, ditch the greedy a**hole.”-hazeybop

“NTA – It’s common practice that an engagement ring is returned regardless of it being a heirloom or not if the engagement is broken off.”

“It doesn’t matter if the fiance is at fault or not, the ring should be returned. You did the right thing and your daughter just learned a $6K lesson.”-DarkRogus

And some people were pointing out that this actually constitutes a breach of contract:

“When I was taking contract law (over a decade ago), professor said that in most states in the US, this is true if you propose on a regular old day, but not if you package it as a gift for a birthday, anniversary, or other holiday or special event.”

“A gift does not have to be returned. A symbol of a contract usually does if the contract is voided.”

“Contract law was a really boring class, but I very much remember this lecture because the professor told anyone who was proposing to make sure it wasn’t a gift, and anyone being proposed to to make sure it was lol.”

“If that’s still true, it only covers the legal aspect, not the moral one, and I agree in most cases you should return the ring but ESPECIALLY if it’s an heirloom.”

“And my comment was mostly just taking advantage of a rare opportunity to tell people that fun fact.”-Jade_Echo

“My ex was a real AH, when we finally ended everything once and for all I happened to have some money of his at home (he had given it to me earlier and whenever I paid for something that included him I just took his share out of that money).”

“It really wasn’t much left but I put it in an envelop and dumped it in his mail box, just so we could really be finished with each.”

“This was an heirloom and she SOLD it! Even if she was mad at him and thought he was flirting with other women – this is not OK!”

“He gave her something precious because he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. She SOLD it instead of returning it!”

“Her parents are angels for really trying to correct this as best as they could. And this is in fact irreplacable.”

“I thought I lost my grandmother’s pearl necklace. My husband thought HE had lost it! When we found it TWO YEARS later we couldn’t believe our luck! It’s safe at the bank now.”-Waste-Phase-2857

“NTA. How classless of your daughter to pawn an engagement ring after breaking off the engagement.”

“Especially as it was an heirloom piece. Your daughter needs to grow up and stop playing the victim. You did right by making her pay for it. But the question us, why are you paying for all of this for her?”-Cinderella35

“NTA she should not have pawned a family heirloom, that was incredibly cruel not just to the ex but the entire family.”

“The ex should have taken her to court. You weren’t an a**hole to pay them back with college money as you weren’t obligated to pay off your daughters college debt. Your money, your choice.”-gnimmuc6898

And that OP’s daughter was actually very ungrateful:

“NTA. For those calling the OP TA, and making comments about money they put aside for their daughters college fund. let’s be clear:”

“In most reddit subthreads, most people make it clear that a parents money belongs to them and is for them to decide how to spend it, and have no obligation to spend it on others.”

“The parents have most likely saved their daughter from a lawsuit which may have been criminal or civil, and avoided their daughter having a judgement made against her, sitting on her criminal record/credit score.”

“From the post, they haven’t inserted themselves into their daughters relationship, but have responded to outreach from her exes family, with the intention of trying to return the heirloom to them.”

“They came to their own arrangement, with their own money, to repay the cost and to stop any further action being taken against their daughter.”-A_British_Bobby

“NTA. Just because the ex was supposedly cheated on doesn’t give her the right to sell a family heirloom.”

“And paying the family back with the daughters college money was what she deserved from selling the ring.”-AlarmClockGoBrrr

“NTA. At least in the U.S., engagement rings are considered (in most states) a conditional gift. (The condition, of course, being marriage).”

“If that condition isn’t met, as it wasn’t here, the ring must be returned regardless of why the engagement ended.”

“The law doesn’t care, in this instance, about who ended what or who cheated on who. What matters is that the engagement was ended so the terms of the conditional gift were never met.”-cagedjaybird

“So he just flirted or really cheated? NTA because he contacted you because she was not listening. Why hurt his Grandma because he flirted with another girl.”

“She punished her for him flirting if she wants to look at it like that. How is it fair to the Grandma to lose her ring? That money should go to Grandma. I am on Grandma’s side.”-DarcyElane91

OP has done the right thing, but has a larger reckoning with his daughter.  

Hopefully she will learn something from this, and grow into a more mature version of herself.






Written by Mike Walsh

Mike is a writer, dancer, actor, and singer who recently graduated with his MFA from Columbia University. Mike's daily ambitions are to meet new dogs and make new puns on a daily basis. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mikerowavables.