Comments: We Noticed the Ring

Michigan law, at least, holds that a gift, such as a ring, given in contemplation of marriage must be returned to the donor should the marriage not end up happening.

Posted by Geoff Brown at May 26, 2004 09:44 AM

Yes, however SOCIAL law states that you are at risk for female-blacklisting should your soon-to-be ex decide to spread the word that you had the nerve to ask for it back......

I think the lesson is for one to be as certain as humanly possible that the ring is necessary in the first place.....

Posted by simon from jersey at May 26, 2004 12:29 PM

Both are excellent points, Simon, and I agree completely. On the other hand, if I had given a ring to someone who dumped *ME* (because, really, you can't ever be 100% sure), I would damn well ask for the ring back, and I'd actually welcome the scorn of those women who thought I was wrong for asking for it back, because I could more easily identify them as "golddiggers to avoid."

Now, if *I*, on the other hand, broke it off, I'd pretty much not have the gall to ask for it back.

Posted by Geoff Brown at May 26, 2004 01:18 PM

That the solons in Lansing decided to actually pass a law binding upon the people of the Great Lakes State suggests that such conduct was at one time widespread, or at the very least, problematic.

While I must say I agree it would be horribly offensive for a man to ask for his ring back if HE broke things off, one would hope that a woman who dumped her prospective groom would not add insult to injury.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at May 26, 2004 07:47 PM

I would never keep an engagement ring if the engagement itself went way south. Seems kind of ... bad karma or something.

Posted by red at May 26, 2004 07:50 PM

It's not statute, Ben -- it's part of the common law. The idea is based upon contract principles, I believe, which makes sense given that marriage (in the secular sense, at least) is itself a contractual arrangement.

Posted by Geoff Brown at May 27, 2004 09:07 AM