[quote="Katie966, post:13, topic:237094"]
While I sort of understand what you're saying, an engagement is in no way equivalent to a marriage. While you should not propose to someone unless you intend to marry her, it's possible that this guy really believed it was the right thing, and only recently decided that it wasn't and that he needed some time to think clearly. I am not excusing his actions or the way he went about it, but it's much better for both of them that he figured this out before the wedding. This is the reason engaged couples are required to go through marriage preparation- just because you are engaged does not mean that it is wrong to break it off.
The pain of breaking off an engagement, though very real, is better than getting married to someone you aren't sure about.
True, it is not even in the same league as the dissolution of a marriage, but it is still very serious. A whole different league than a boyfriend/girlfriend breaking up.
Unfortunately, our society regards it as little more serious than a breakup.
The fact that this is fairly commonplace speaks far more to the degradation of morals in our society than to anything else. We make commitments far too lightly and we break contracts without any sense of remorse.
As somebody who has been married for over 20 years, let me assure you that if emotion or "feeling that it was right" was the criterion for maintenance of a relationship, I would have been divorced several times over the years. That is not to say anything about my lovely spouse, but that's just the way it works. It is something proposed and accepted only with the greatest degree of sobriety and gravity.
If you think about it: a proposal is offering a contract to the prospective fiance(e). Accepting that proposal is agreeing to that contract by the prospective fiance(e). NOT A COVENANT...the covenant between the two happens during the sacrament of marriage, but a contract nonetheless.
Would a person sign a contract for financing a car without taking it very, very seriously beforehand? Would a person sign a mortgage on a house without taking very serious stock as to whether he will be able to make 10, 20 or 30 years of payments? Well, how much more is the value of a human life? With a contract to establish a marriage covenant, that is what we are dealing with...human life.
It used to be taken far more seriously when families were intimately involved in the process. While the children may have stars floating in front of their eyes, the families would deal with the hard, cold realities of life. Before the proposal occurred. It used to be that the man would ask the woman's father for his daughter's hand prior to actually proposing to the daughter. The father would, in turn, assess the young man before giving his assent to the engagement. There is a lot of wisdom in that. Wisdom that should still exist today, but sadly doesn't. And that falls on us parents for not raising our children to keep to the 4th commandment properly. And it is correctable.
I fully realize that this is a generalized rant, but there is a point: the young lady OP could teach her former fiance a very valuable life lesson. By not returning the ring, she could teach him that there is a price to breaking his word. And perhaps he might be a little more sober when making a proposition in the future. (And if she feels bad about having the ring, she could sell it and give the money to the poor). And that, in of itself, would be an act of Christian charity: a spiritual work of mercy -- it would be a very vivid instruction to the ignorant. On the other hand, returning the ring provides its own lesson: that there are no consequences to fickleness.
Just something to consider...