Home · Love & Sex

Ask Dr. Sherry: 'My Fiancé Gave Me A $4,000 Engagement Ring But It Seems Like He's Holding Out On Marriage? Should I Leave'

You’ve seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel Alone in Their Marriages keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show, Braxton Family Values. Now it’s your turn to sit in her chair…

Dr. Sherry, 

I’ve been with this guy that I really love for 7 years now. I moved in with him in 2016 and we have a 12-month-old daughter. Shortly after I moved in, he bought the wedding set for both of us and gave me the engagement ring that April.

Since then, he’s staunchly been against the idea of discussing getting married. Every time I bring it up with him he changes the subject, side steps or turns it into an argument accusing me of things by saying that I try to make everything about me or tells me that I act like nothing is ever enough, not even a $4,000 ring.

Now, he does give me nice gifts and he is really good with our daughter but I’m very unhappy with his lack of commitment to me.

Each time I try to discuss marriage he often distances himself from me. He wants me to enter into agreements such as spending money to repair his house (it’s his house as he was in it when I met him). When I tell him I’m not comfortable investing my money into his house without any commitment from him he gets all upset and tells me how unreasonable I am. I feel like he’s given me a “shut up ring” and was never truly committed to
marrying me.  

When I tell him the ring has no meaning if he refuses to use it for the purpose it’s supposed to be intended or ask whether he expects me to wear the ring indefinitely with no promise of marriage, he tells me nothing is ever enough. I have a $4,000 diamond ring but nothing is ever enough. I ask how can he expects me to feel secure that it’s enough when he’s made it clear he will not marry me. And how he can expect me to walk around with an engagement ring on my finger without feeling like a fool when he’s refused to discuss whether he’s willing to marry me in the near future if at all.

I was at my wit’s end so I gave him his ring back, put down on an apartment with plans to leave by months end but now I find myself feeling depressed.  I cry at the thought of ripping my daughter away because she adores him and is so attached to him. I’m so unhappy and so torn. I just need someone to talk to and advise me whether they feel  I’m making the right decision to leave him.


Hey sis,

You are absolutely doing the right thing by moving on! After 7 years, your boyfriend has put you and the relationship on an indefinite layaway with a $4,000 ring as downpayment and uses your child to secure it. He has not made a commitment to marry you and does not appear to be planning on it. This man has had a 7 years to marry you. The fact that he brings up what and how much money he has spent on you is a clear red flag of possible abuse to come. He is already saying you should shut up and be happy with whatever he decides to give you. You mentioned that he treats your daughter well. He should because she is his daughter also. He will continue to be her father and your leaving does not change that or his relationship. Whatever role he has in her life is up to him. I recommend that you seek individual therapy to process your feelings regarding the relationship. If you want more in a relationship, do not settle for less. –Dr. Sherry

Email us your questions for Dr. Sherry now and be sure to include “Ask Dr. Sherry” in the subject line.