Should I give back a ring that my ex's mom gave me?
August 16, 2006 9:34 AM Subscribe
Relationship Etiquette Filter: I had forgotten that I still have a gift that an ex's mom gave to me several years ago. It supposedly had sentimental value, and I feel weird about keeping it. Will I offend by trying to return it? Oh boy, there's way
posted by wejones to human relations (43 answers total)
Okay. Thanks for looking. Some back-story is necessary. I'm a straight male, BTW.
My last girlfriend and I broke up in 2000 after living together for two years, dating for three. The break up wasn't on the best of terms, due more to a slow decline of the relationship rather than any real animosity. From my point of view, there wasn't much left to say to one another, and I continue to feel that way, though I wouldn't wish her squished by a bus or eaten by bears.
Around the midpoint of our relationship (mid '98), I became ill, and was in the hospital and in treatment for quite a while. During that time, my then girlfriend and I watched our parents become quite close (our families spent Thanksgiving together), and her mom was especially kind to me. Christmas '98, my ex's mom gave me a hammered gold and jade ring, with a message that indicated that it had belonged to someone special, and that come what may, she wanted me to have it. The ring wasn't my style, so I never wore it, but I was really moved and put the ring in a safe place.
And forgot about it.
Now, there's a lot of water under the bridge, and I am engaged to someone else, and I feel weird about continuing to have this ring. I don't think it was expensive, really; it's the sentimental value to another that bothers me. My ex told me at one point that the ring had been given to her mother by a (boy?)friend before he died. I feel like this ring really belongs with my ex's mom, or that I should at least make the offer of returning it.
But, I don't want to offend anyone, and the situation presents the additional wrinkle of having to get in touch with my ex to try and get the ring back to her mom. I'm not really eager to have contact with this girl, and I am leery of opening a line of communication that I have had to make an effort to close.
So, MeFi, what should I do? Leave it alone, and accept the gift as it was intended? Risk offending (and encouraging continued contact I don't want) by trying to return something that means more to another than it does to me? Your thoughts are much appreciated.