DEAR NATALIE: My fiancée, Diana, and I have been together for six months and I recently proposed. I gave her my grandmother’s ring, which my mother was hesitant about, but saw how happy I was and so she gave in. Well, I just found out that Diana has been cheating on me … possibly the whole time we have been together. I’m devastated and now my mom is telling me that she needs to give me the ring back. I have asked for it back and she is refusing. She doesn’t want to break up and feels that “we can get beyond this.” I have no interest in getting beyond this. I want out of this relationship. I hate confrontation and I am still really hurt by her. How do I handle this? –BROKEN HEART
DEAR BROKEN HEART: An engagement ring is no “ordinary” piece of jewelry. It is a contract of sorts and in many states it is considered a “conditional” gift. You never went through with the marriage, so she doesn’t have claim to this jewelry. In any instance, you should get the ring back. In this situation, so much more is on the line here because it was a family ring. I would bet that she is withholding this ring so that you will have to come and meet with her in hopes that she can convince you to take her back. I’m sorry that she has been deceptive, but I am glad that you found this out before walking down the aisle. You can either go and meet with her to get the ring back – or if you have no interest in seeing her, you may want to contact a lawyer to see what your legal options are. Yes, that may seem intense, but if she digs in her heels, she leaves you no other choice. Hopefully, you can meet with her and let her know that cheating is definitely a dealbreaker for you. She may try to gaslight you. You have to stay strong and firm. Say to her, “I cannot spend the rest of my life worried that you haven’t been honest or true to me like I have always been with you. I don’t want to live like that. We both deserve to be happy. I need the ring back now, too, so that we can both move on.” I wish you the best of luck and that she does the right thing.
DEAR NATALIE: My boyfriend and I have been together for almost three years. He went through a bad breakup prior to us being together and his ex broke his heart. I felt like he was “over her” for the most part. Recently, she has moved back to the city and we ran into her on the street a few weeks ago. Since then, he has been acting strangely. He usually just leaves his cell phone around our house, but lately he’s been taking it with him everywhere – even when he goes to shower. It’s weird and not like him. I asked him if he has talked to her since we ran into her and he said “no” but I don’t believe him. I asked him to show me his phone and he wouldn’t. He told me I was “acting crazy” and to “stop bothering him” about it. But can you blame me? He was totally in love with this woman. I don’t want to lose him but I certainly don’t want to play these games. What should I do? –PHONE TAG
DEAR PHONE TAG: This is time for a heart-to-heart with him. You clearly have insecurities about his commitment to you and this relationship. Maybe he is talking to her again. Maybe he is looking for clarity or closure. Perhaps he is conflicted about his past feelings for her and his current feelings for you. This isn’t fair to you to wonder and sit with this doubt. If he loves you and cares for you, he owes you the truth. If you continue to be plagued by these feelings, then you will never be able to move forward in your relationship. Can you live with these nagging fears or is this a dealbreaker? Only you know for sure, but I know that I couldn’t live with someone wondering if I was playing second fiddle to an ex. You deserve to know the truth.
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