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To force my husband to sell his beloved watch?

273 replies

SummerMonths · 03/09/2015 09:57

My husband and I have been together 12 years, all is good, we are happy. We got together 6 months after he broke up with his ex. During their relationship she had gifted him an incredible watch which she got engraved with both their initials and the date and time they met. The watch is worth more than our car: literally tens of thousands of pounds. When she left him she let him keep the watch.

Fast forward 13 years and my husband still wears this watch every day. He adores it. We got it valued recently and if he sold it we could afford to extend our house with an extra bedroom so that all our children can have their own room. I would also quite like him to get rid of it as it’s a gift from an ex with an engraving about their love. Will he consider a sale? NO.

AIBU to think he is out of order? And if I am not BU how do I get him to see the light?

OP posts:
TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams · 03/09/2015 11:15

The thing is that a half way decent substitute is going to still cost £3-5k.... nice watches have weirdly gone up massively in cost during the recession. Patek Philippe is aspired to by most guys with any interest in watches [not like they have other jewelry to lust after]. If he sells it he is highly unlikely to ever purchase anything of that standard again.

YABU imo. Different if your children needed medical treatment or something. Maybe your husband doesn't see it has his "forever" house too?

Why don't you look into remortgaging while interest rates are so low? We broke our 5 yr fix mortgage [incurring hefty penalties] last year and the monthly savings were still massive.

You may find that planting the seed is enough though but yabu to "force" or make a huge issue out of it.

SummerMonths · 03/09/2015 11:15

Erm, sense of humour failure guys, the night wakings comment was a JOKE. (DH actually does his fair share of interrupted nights thank god).

OP posts:
AngelaRipp0n · 03/09/2015 11:16

I don't think you are being unreasonable at all. I wouldn't like Dh wearing an item with such sentimental value and I would like it even mess if it could be sold and the money out to good use. If money were no object, then fine but in this case he should sell it. Obviously you can't force him, but I can see why you'd be upset.

I have a watch that my exH bought me, not anything like as expensive (tag) but I have never worn it since getting together with DH, if it was worth thousands I'd sell it tomorrow without a second thought.

Spartans · 03/09/2015 11:18

Yabvu and even more unreasonable to say 'if you don't sell it you must do all the night wakings'

If you were my dh and blackmailing me, I would tell you to fuck off tbh

NameChange30 · 03/09/2015 11:18

Maybe you could seriously look into other options for funding the extension, eg remortgage the house or take out a small loan. Find out what it would cost you in terms of monthly repayments and total interest. Maybe when the numbers are on the table your DH will see sense. Would he consider selling the watch to finance the extension if you also agreed to save money to buy him a new watch (eg if he has a big birthday coming up in the next few years)?

Gruntfuttock · 03/09/2015 11:20

"AIBU to make DH do all the night wakes and early rises that result from kids sharing rooms given he won't pursue the solution?????"

OP, I find the terminology you use in relation to your husband, i.e. forcing him to sell his watch " and making him do all the all the night wakes etc. really unpleasant. Imagine a man talking about forcing and making his wife do these things. It isn't a part of my marriage to 'force' or 'make' each other do anything. It's simply not how we think. I don't think it's how many other people think either. I find it quite jarring that anyone thinks about a spouse in such a way tbh.

AuntyMag10 · 03/09/2015 11:21

Honestly the fact that it hasn't crossed his mind to do that tells you not to push the issue. He's had it for 15 years and wears it daily so it must be more than just a possession to him. I get that you feel your kids need the space more, but it's not yours item to make the decision about. If it was a valuable item from a gp or parent would you want him to give it up? I don't think it would be right of you to put him in that position.
That watch would probably we not as valuable as you think, however it's something that is rare and after 15 years much more valuable in sentiment.
Take out a loan instead. It also wouldn't be right to use the money from an ex for your kids why should be provided for by you.

SummerMonths · 03/09/2015 11:22

Guys read my last post! The night wakings thing was a joke. I am not some psychopath.

Anyway, thanks for all the advice. I am off now (will spend a happy lunchtime thinking of new demands to force upon my unsuspecting spouse).

OP posts:
PurpleHairAndPearls · 03/09/2015 11:26

Lots of DC share rooms, I genuinely don't think this is a particular hardship. Your post of 11.06 does sound like you are being quite martyr like I'm afraid.

I sold my wedding and engagement rings last year when we were faced with financial hardship due to serious illness. DH was upset as he knew I loved my rings but I didn't feel nearly as sad as I expected. If my insurance ever coughs up, I might replace them, but for now I am happy with a cheap £20 ring which looks pretty much the same It was really a case of needs must, and prior to this I was a good earner, we had life and critical illness cover, but becoming seriously ill put paid to all this.its scary how quickly you burn through money when you have DC and serious illness strikes.

This is why I am saying this. If the only way you can fund is extension is to sell this one high value item, I would hang on to the watch in case you need it for more urgent and serious needs. There's nothing like being faced with literally no money for food to make you realise what is important! Own rooms and PP watches aren't an essential. If you ever need an essential in the future you will be grateful you have an option. I have to say though, with the engraving and age of the watch, I would be surprised if you actually realised in your hand the figure they have quoted.

PurpleHairAndPearls · 03/09/2015 11:28

Took me some long to type, your 11.06 post was only up.

I think you are now backtracking with the It's a JOKE posts sorry Smile

FreckledLeopard · 03/09/2015 11:29

I can see where you're coming from. I think I would be pretty pissed off in that situation. BUT, as other posters have said, are you sure you could get at least £20,000? I once took my engagement and wedding ring to a cash-for-jewellery place (I was getting divorced) in the expectation I would get an ok price (in total they had cost close to £2000 altogether) - they offered me £75 (I declined the offer).

Also,is there no other way you could raise the money to do the bedroom? Can you not re-mortgage and release equity? Move house?

If you could guarantee the £20,000 and there's no alternative but to extend then I think your DH is being selfish. But I do have some sympathy for him - I'd be upset at having to get rid of something I treasure, even if it was for the good of my family.

SummerMonths · 03/09/2015 11:31

To me the multiple "????s" after my 11:06 post clearly indicated I knew that I was being ridiculous and was therefore JOKING. Obviously my understanding of how to convey humour online is different to many.

OP posts:
ENtertainmentAppreciated · 03/09/2015 11:31

You have my sympathy over the sleep issues Summer

As I said before my answer would be no, keep the watch and let it all drop, but, I have a feeling it won't drop from your mind, so if I were you I'd
a find out how much it would cost to replace the watch new with same or similar as can be
b get an insurance valuation for DH's specific watch
c get a purchase price for someone to hand over cash for DH's actual watch now
d compare all of the above

Given that the watch was free of any cost to either DH or to the family as a whole and because of your financial situation, if this watch were sold it's likely impossible that it would ever be replaced. If the reality is that the sale price would afford you £6-10,000 then unless it was money to actually keep a roof over your heads, selling it makes no sense. You would know the level at which it would make sense.

Does that rationalize it for you?
Although it's only an academic exercise anyway if DH really doesn't want to forgo the watch.

SanityClause · 03/09/2015 11:31

I am see why you would want him to sell it, but it does belong to him.

I do know where you are coming from, because DH has some crap in the loft collectible items that could raise significant sums. He asked me recently if I thought he should sell them. (It's possibly a good time to sell.) He knew my answer would be that it is entirely up to him.

All you can do is put it to him, but it's his decision, ultimately.

GudrunBrangwen · 03/09/2015 11:32

There are two separate issues here (at least)

One is the value of the watch and what you might use that inherent value for

ie cash it in now, make bigger house
cash it in later in times of more desperate need - maybe to fund children's university/weddings/ yunno

keep as family 'heirloom' in case of financial crisis in future ie security

second issue is the attachment to the prior relationship that this signifies, which is a trickier kettle of fish

you say he adores it
does he adore it for its value, for its usefulness, for its status symbol uh...status, or because it's all about his prior relationship?

Break it down

I would have trouble if he loves it because of its provenance but then I wouldn't try and make him get rid. That would be controlling - but if he cares more for someone he was with before, I'd leave the relationship anyway.

I wouldn't find it easy wearing something worth that much to start with - potentil of loss, damage or theft is massive. It would be in a bank safe if I cared about it so much. Not on my wrist. I would just not be comfortable with that.

Swimmingwithsharks · 03/09/2015 11:36

Third world problems. I don't think any kid ever suffered major cruelty by sharing a bedroom with its sibling. Though your marriage could suffer if you keep bleating on about his watch. He doesn't love her anymore, he married you. But he does love the watch. It's really not his fault that an ex girlfriend gifted him an amazing watch. What would be odder is if you made him sell it and everyday you have to thank her for your house extension.

Roseformeplease · 03/09/2015 11:40

Why don't you buy him a watch? Get it engraved for YOUR relationship and then he might begin to detach from the one he has. Cheaper one, obviously.

Squooshed · 03/09/2015 11:44

'Third world problems.'


NoMoreRenting · 03/09/2015 11:44

Cannot believe the op is getting such a hard time on here.
This is one of those threads were the same people saying the op is BU would give a different answer if their sister came to them with the same issue.

Op YANBU. His children need space. This affects all your day to day lives. Why wear the money on his wrist? If someone posted saying they needed an extra bedroom but their dh refused to trade in his very expensive sports car for a family saloon then everyone would call him selfish. I think your dh is being selfish. Not for keeping a gift from an ex; although that is a little weird mainly as it is engraved with a declaration of love. But for not seeing the bigger, family picture.

willconcern · 03/09/2015 11:45

I wear a ring that my ex bought me. I love it, I chose it, he just happened to buy it for me. I would cross the road to avoid him now, but I love the ring. My DP wouldn't dream of telling me to take it off and sell it (but if he did, I'd tell him to get lost).

I think YABU

BowiesJumper · 03/09/2015 11:47

Well I don't think you're being unreasonable. I'd be miffed too. But if he won't engage on the subject there isn't much you can do I guess!

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius · 03/09/2015 11:47

If you were to force your dh to sell this watch, Summer - how would this make him feel? If I were forced to sell something that precious to me (precious emotionally, not value-wise), I would be deeply resentful of the person who had forced me to make that decision.

Yes, your children matter, and more space in the house would be a good thing for the family - but is it really worth the hurt it would cause, and the potential damage to the relationship with your dh?

lavendersun · 03/09/2015 11:49

Haven't RTWT but I would hope that my DH would view something like that as a 'thneed' in Lorax terms. Thing we don't need. I know I would and do in fact.

I have several watches, not PP prices but £4-5k ish - fine when I earned a lot of money and actually went places to wear them. These days I wear one and the dog, nor the dishes appreciate any of them.

If it were his grandfather's watch I would probably feel differently but as it isn't really a family heirloom and your lives would be made a bit more comfortable with the cash I would suggest that he might like to think about selling it to fund the extension.

I have got a horsebox here, horses now retired, DH has recently suggested that I sell it and use the money to reduce the mortgage balance or buy a camper van which we would love. I was slightly uppity about it - but I had a horsebox when we got married, have always had one, etc., etc.. I have seen sense though and plan on selling it and a couple of watches as it would benefit our family.

Squooshed · 03/09/2015 11:51

I don't think you're being massively unreasonable either. I'd sell it in a heartbeat if it meant a bigger home but I can't really relate to being so emotionally attached to an object like a watch.

The engraving would irritate me too if I'm being totally honest.

ExasperatedAlmostAlways · 03/09/2015 11:53

Iv got an expensive watch my husband bought me. I never stuck to wearing a watch before but have every day with this one because I love it. Not because it's from my husband just because I like it. If we were to split up I wouldn't sell it unless it was because we were in dire straits and it was the only option.

If you want an extension then you should save up for it.not essentially profit off his ex!

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