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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:
Minisoksmakehardwork · 03/09/2015 11:54

I'd be torn over asking him too. If it is his only watch, he regularly wears it and enjoys it, then yabu. I'm leaving the engraving issue aside as its really a red herring thrown to get people who wouldn't want a relationship with an ex flaunted to say it would be wrong to keep it.

but then my view may be coloured by my own (slightly similar) experience.

(Now) dh and I found out I was pregnant barely months after moving in together. All our money has gone on buying and furnishing a home. At the time, dh was wearing a Rolex but also had an omega and would sometimes switch between the two.

When it came to finding 'spare' money to buy things for the baby, and we weren't being extravagant by any means, just a cot, pushchair, car seat. Things a baby needs, dh had both watches valued and decided as the Rolex was valued higher and we'd get more for it, that he would sell it. But it was his choice and I wasn't going to suggest anything of the sort, even though he and his ex wife had bought the watches together.
In the end we got a lot more than we thought so we were also able to put down a deposit on a new car for me. But I couldn't have asked dh to sell it. We would simply have managed same as we've had to since.

The only thing you can do is sit down with your dh and work out how else you can either make more room/extend or bring the money in to do the work.

KitKat1985 · 03/09/2015 11:54

I can see where you are coming from but if I owned something like that (fat bloody chance) I'd be clinging onto it too. It's probably the only time he's ever likely to own a really valuable possession like that and he wants to keep it. So on balance I'd say YABU but I can see where you are coming from.

I also think that with the engraving the resale value is likely to be massively less than £20k TBH.

iamanintrovert · 03/09/2015 11:56

It's the sentimental link to the ex that would be unbearable for me.

RandomSocks · 03/09/2015 11:58

A Patek Philippe is a beautiful watch. YABU to want to force him to sell it, even if it was a gift from his ex.

AnnPerkins · 03/09/2015 12:03


We are desperate to move house. If my DH said 'what a shame we can't afford it' whilst wearing potentially the means for us to do it on his wrist I would be mighty pissed off. And I would tell him so.

But obviously you can't force him. Make your feelings known and then drop it.

Chrysanthemum5 · 03/09/2015 12:06

I think YANBU. If your family needs more space (either an extension or moving) then the family needs to fund that. Your DH has an asset that apparently could cover the cost so I would expect him to consider selling it.

I wonder if the fact that it's a watch, so something he wears if clouding things. If it were a car, or a boat, or a collection of expensive bikes maybe it would be easier to consider it as something to sell?

I think you'll have to talk to him about the options for your family e.g. moving etc. and discuss all the options.

Beachcomber · 03/09/2015 12:07


It's just a fancy watch and no doubt an overpriced one at that. If it had family sentimental value that would be different.

But I say that because I don't get expensive watches or jewellery at all. If your DH loves having a fancy watch whilst I think that is silly I can see that you can't push him much on the issue. Would annoy me though.

Moregravyplease · 03/09/2015 12:16

I was given a fake Patek Phillipe watch and it was lovely, lost the bloody thing though. I would love a real one.

Though I don't get the sentimentality it's not yours to tell him what to do with. I had a friend who resented her BF classic car as she saw it as something that if sold would enable her to have maternity leave. It wasn't the only issue but caused a huge rift and they broke up eventually.

If the watch being sold meant it saved you from being homeless or you were in massive dire straits then I would understand resentment but not for an extra bedroom. I would be mighty peeved if my OH told me what to do with my belongings.

ThoseAwfulCurtains · 03/09/2015 12:21

It will have family sentimental value though. His children will have seen him wear it and view it as Dad's watch. They will also know he adores it and so it has already started to be a family heirloom.
There's something about a watch (the time thing), in the same way as there's something about wedding and engagement rings rather than other pieces of jewelry.
I would be tempted to ask if he would like to get the engraving removed before it gets handed down.

I'd second a PP's idea - do what you would have done if he were wearing any old cheap watch.

ChickenTikkaMassala · 03/09/2015 12:22

It's his watch, you can ask him to sell it but you certainly can't force him to. I'd be wary of pushing it too much because if he's anything like most people he'll have a limit and he could tell end up telling you to fuck off.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius · 03/09/2015 12:33

The thing is, it isn't 'just a fancy watch' to Summer's dh - apparently it is really precious to him. I think his feelings matter, and I think that, if he were forced to sell the watch by the OP, that could cause resentment and might damage their relationship.

KevinAndMe · 03/09/2015 12:33

I have some jewellery that would be valued around that sort of price.
I wouldn't sell said jewellery for an extension of the house. I would sell it if it meant putting some food on the table iyswim.

Your DH is clearly putting a different value to children having their own rooms that you do. Just as he is putting a different meaning to the watch than you do (nothing to do with the ex there but this is A big item that he really enjoys a dcwears everyday, probably with pride. Not a ring that never comes put if the jewellery box iyswim).

As for your second question, I would just say
Because you don't share the getting up at night 50/50 already?!?

Oxfordblue · 03/09/2015 12:45

Isn't the point of being married that what's yours is mine & what's mine is yours ?
More like what's mine is mine here !

It's a watch for goodness sake - take a photo of it & sell it on. Husband is being childish..time to get with reality.

Ps my DH had a 2 seater Mercedes. Dad was born, car sold without a second thought & estate bought..times change, time to move on.

NotYouNaanBread · 03/09/2015 12:52

If I had a PP you wouldn't be able to prise it out of my cold dead hands. Or wrist. All heirlooms start from somewhere and when it is passed on to one of your children in due course, nobody is going to say "oh well, it came from your father's/grandfather's EX - it's not like a REAL heirloom".

I know what you mean about the extension, and if the watch was just shoved in a drawer somewhere, then you'd have a point, but as it is precious to him, that should be respected. I would get the engraving removed though, maybe?

Of course, as you have more than once child, the pressure is now on to make sure that both/all of them get something as awesome as a PP when you die! Grin

IKnowIAmButWhatAreYou · 03/09/2015 12:52

Isn't the point of being married that what's yours is mine & what's mine is yours ?

It's marriage, not communism....

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius · 03/09/2015 12:53

How would people be reacting if a man came on here asking if he should 'force' his wife/partner to do something?

SummerMonths · 03/09/2015 12:55

People please read my posts. You can change your settings so that the OP's posts are highlighted. Then you can see that I have already acknowledged that I cannot "force" anything but was really wondering how far to push things. I have also explained that the getting up at night comment was a joke and that DH does his fair share of night wakes.

OP posts:
Squooshed · 03/09/2015 12:56

I'd feel the same to be honest.

Obviously no one should be 'forced' but I'd have a hard time understanding why someone would want to hang onto something so valuable when the whole family could benefit from it.

AdoraBell · 03/09/2015 12:57

OP you say you don't get attached to possessions, fair enough. Then you said that no possession would be more important than your family or home.

So, is your home at risk if he doesn't sell the watch? And has he said he would chose the watch over the family if it came to it? Not than I'm suggesting you ask him that. If not then you don't know that it is more important to him than his home and family.

As nice as it is for DCs to have their own bedrooms many, many families don't have this option, and they manage.

I think YABU to push this after you've suggested it and he said no.

NoMoreRenting · 03/09/2015 12:59

Maybe for me it's because I don't attach sentimental value to anything. The people I love and the here and now is far more precious than any possession.

I don't wear jewellery other than my wedding ring but dh bought me a very expensive eternity ring when ds1 was born. It's beautiful and I love it and wear it on special occasions but if say, I needed a new car and didn't have funds then the ring would go, no question. Living our lives is far more important than 2carats in my finger.

NoMoreRenting · 03/09/2015 13:03

Mn always does this. The op used the word'force' without actually meaning she would force him. So much focus on the word force and suggesting she is controlling and even suggesting she is doing it so she doesn't have to work
Clearly, she just means AIBU to expect him to see that as a family, the money could've used to better our lives rather than sitting on his wrist.

ChickenTikkaMassala · 03/09/2015 13:10

I like how posters who agree with the OP are disregarding any feelings that the DH might have in the matter. It might only be a watch but he obviously likes it and it's his to do what he wants with it. If my wife asked me to sell one of my watches and she asked repeatedly despite me saying no I'd begin to feel a bit annoyed.

Imagine if the genders were reversed.

Squooshed · 03/09/2015 13:13

We've already have the gender reverse thing and I've said I'd feel the same.

I'd suggest it be sold to benefit the family but I'd let the matter drop if it was an emphatic 'no'. So no disregarding of feelings.

Backforthis · 03/09/2015 13:15

I'm imagining it was a piece of jewellery of mine. I wouldn't need it suggesting to me! I would have sold it to give my DC more space.

bigTillyMint · 03/09/2015 13:19

I guess you have discussed this (calmly!) with your DH as opposed to a brief exchange with him about it and you feeling silently frustrated?
If you have fully explored why you think he should sell it, and he doesn't want to, then that is obviously his choice.

Does he have alternative suggestions for raising the cash to extend the house, or does he think it doesn't need extending?

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