Dear Abby: How to Get Ring Back From Boyfriend’s Widow

dear abby ring back

Getty The Mason ring on the finger of a mason in a temple in Havana, on June 27, 2017.

A woman asked for advice in the popular “Dear Abby” column on how to deal with a particularly sticky situation. She wants to get her ring back from her deceased boyfriend’s wife.

“This is a delicate situation,” she begins. The question was headlined “Dear Abby: How can I get my ring back without tipping off my boyfriend’s wife? I don’t want to cause her any pain, but it’s a family heirloom.” She wrote that she had been dating her boyfriend for more than eight years. He died suddenly, and as she was mourning him, she learned he was married. He had her father’s Mason ring, and she wants it back from her boyfriend’s wife.

“It’s a long story,” she wrote.

She signed the column, “TWISTED SITUATION DOWN SOUTH.

The question was printed in newspapers on Sunday, March 7, 2021, and began trending on Monday.

Here’s what you need to know:

The Woman Seeking Advice From ‘Dear Abby’ Hoped There Was a Gentle Way to Ask Her Deceased Boyfriend’s Wife for Her Family Heirloom

A woman who was asking for advice in a “Dear Abby” column explained the strange situation in which she found herself after her long-term boyfriend died. She and the boyfriend were dating for eight and a half years. Four days after he died, she learned he was married. He’d told her he was divorced, she said, and even showed her documents to prove it.

It’s been five months since he died. She said her boyfriend had borrowed her dad’s Mason ring. Her father died years ago, and she had plans to pass it onto her own daughter. The woman hoped she could find a way to get the ring back without causing pain to her boyfriend’s widow or revealing the relationship.

The question said:

DEAR ABBY: This is a delicate situation. Four days after my boyfriend (whom I had been seeing for 8½ years) was killed in an accident, I found out he was married.

He had claimed for years that he was divorced and even produced a copy of his divorce decree several years ago. It is a long story.

He has been dead for five months now, and I need something back from his wife that he borrowed from me: my father’s Mason ring.

I was devastated when I learned he was married and had lied to me all those years, but I have no intention of telling his wife or causing her pain. (I don’t think she knows about me.)

I would like the ring back because my father passed away many years ago, and I want to pass it on to my daughter, who never knew her grandfather. He died before she was born.
My boyfriend’s sister (who lives with his wife) knows about me. She told me she won’t tell her sister-in-law and that I should leave her alone.

I’m not trying to hurt anyone because I wouldn’t want anyone to do this to me if I was in her place, but I am lost about how to approach this.


‘Abby’ Suggested That the Woman Ask for the Ring Back Through a Third Party, Or to Hire a Lawyer if Necessary

There was at least one person in her boyfriend’s life who knew about the relationship – his sister. “Abby” told the woman she should speak to the sister and ask her for help in returning the Mason ring “without starting WWIII,” she wrote. If that doesn’t work, she continued, she may need to contact a lawyer to write a letter and explain the full situation.

“Abby” wrote back:

DEAR TWISTED SITUATION: I assume you have explained the situation to the wife’s sister-in-law. Contact her once more and tell her you want the ring and need her help to get it back without starting WWIII.

However, if she’s still uncooperative, you may need a lawyer to write the grieving widow a registered letter explaining the entire situation and asking that the ring be returned. (I’m hoping there are identifying initials engraved inside that do not match her husband’s.)

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