Am I Ungrateful for Feeling Conflicted About the Engagement Ring?
December 26, 2014 3:37 PM   Subscribe

My boyfriend finally proposed! The ring is hideous. What the hell do I do?

My boyfriend and I have been planning on getting engaged for a while and recently started looking at rings. (I was iffy about asking him to spend money on a ring and made sure he was comfortable with the idea of engagement rings, saying I didn't necessarily need one. He preferred to propose with an engagement ring. Money wasn't really an object, but I felt weird asking someone to buy me an expensive piece of jewelry while I bought him . . . nothing.) My boyfriend had envisioned a big surprise proposal and surprise ring, but he eventually decided that if he bought a ring, he wanted it to be something I loved and would want to wear every day. He requested my participation in picking something. I was pretty relieved and agreed this was the best course since I like very minimalist jewelry, and I pointed out several items I liked that were way, way under budget and just as understated as I like. He had trouble getting over the idea that I wouldn't get a giant, surprise rom-com proposal and seemed kind of annoyed that I didn't really want one, and I wasn't really sure how to compromise. I thought he was right to suggest I pick my own ring, so maybe I didn't protest the way he wanted.

He proposed on Christmas morning on his father's beautiful farm. I was very, very honored to discover that he was offering me his mother's ring. He'd spontaneously asked his father if the ring was in the house that morning, and his father was happy to hand it over. His mother died twenty years ago, and I never got to meet her. He was young and has never quite gotten over the loss. He talks about her very infrequently. I'm very touched by the meaning behind the ring. The only thing is that the ring is kind of . . . ugly. It's gaudy and bright and 70s, and it's just really not me, and I will never really like it. It also has a matching wedding band. I mean, this thing is really, really bad. Like, probably objectively bad.

He hasn't asked me if I like it. It's not my size, so we've discussed getting it resized, and I mentioned that maybe it could be put on a different, simpler band instead of being resized. He got very huffy and said, "I mean, I expected you to love it. I'm just really surprised. It's very simple the way you like." I think I really hurt his feelings, and he may feel I'm insulting his mother's taste. I tried saying that the ring was nice but not my style, but he started in with the "Well, I'd be pretty surprised if you told me you didn't like it" thing again.

Should I just let it go? Am I being very superficial and selfish? Please feel free to tell me so. On the one hand, wearing something I diike for the next seventy years seems pointless and kind of more insulting to his mother's memory, but I don't want to be so shallow that I can't appreciate the lovely sentiment behind the extraordinary gift. It's just a ring, and I may stop even noticing it's on my hand in a few months. What do I do?
posted by Yoko Ono's Advice Column to Human Relations (73 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Let it go. Wear the engagement ring, and say something to him about getting a new wedding band, rather than the matching one. Buy a wedding band that will match his wedding band.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:41 PM on December 26, 2014 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Oh, the wedding band is fused to the ring, so they come together.
posted by Yoko Ono's Advice Column at 3:42 PM on December 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

You're not being superficial and selfish. He kind of "called an audible" on Christmas morning after you all had discussed picking out a simple ring to your tastes together. He went another direction. He was probably caught up in the feeling of the holiday, thoughts of his late mother, the romance of the moment, etc. It's totally sweet and understandable he did that. It's also not horrible that you just, objectively, don't care for the ring. For all you know his mother never liked it either....but kept it to herself all those years.

Give it time. Right now, mid-holiday season and right after the fact, feelings are running way to too high to talk about it.

I would let it go for now, but gently bring it up again later when it's not all so fresh.
posted by pantarei70 at 3:47 PM on December 26, 2014 [10 favorites]

Best answer: Oh dear. This is a very fraught situation! And your boyfriend/fiance is not making this any easier. What you do is gird yourself for a tough conversation. Tough conversations and compromise are the essential components of a healthy relationship. I think you do not just let this go but you need to talk to him about this and you need to be straight up with him, "I have something really important and difficult to talk to you about. It's going to be a tough and perhaps emotional conversation but I think since we are getting engaged we should start our relationship on the right foot by being open and honest with each other. Can you hear me out?"

Then go forth. Say, all the things you said here that you feel kind of weird about the whole ring thing for reasons and when you went looking with him it was of two minds, you felt awkward but you also know that you have very particular tastes. That the ring he presented has amazing emotional resonance but that, frankly, it is not your style. You can suggest that the two of you together talk with a jeweler about remaking the ring so that it fits your style a bit better (there might be enough gems for a matching set of earrings, for example). Tell him you also feel the emotional weight of these rings and that you would understand if he wanted to just save them for later.

If he starts getting hyperbolic about the whole thing ask him to just think it over for a day or two and you can discuss it later.
posted by amanda at 3:48 PM on December 26, 2014 [37 favorites]

Oh, hmm... if they are fused together, I'd let it go. You're marrying him, not the ring. And you can ask for an anniversary ring in a few years.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 3:48 PM on December 26, 2014 [4 favorites]

I'm all for expressing yourself and communicating, but I think you should get used to it/let it go.

I say this as someone who cringes when seeing Kate Middleton wearing Princess Diana's wedding ring, because Diana died in such a horrific way and had such a horrible marriage that I would really hate to be wearing that ring. But somehow, old Kate carries on and wears it.
posted by discopolo at 3:49 PM on December 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

The wedding band being fused to the ring could be your way out of this. You could gently suggest that as beautiful and meaningful as the ring is, wouldn't it be even more beautiful and meaningful to have your own matching wedding bands?

That wedding band already being fused represents his mother's bond with his father, not your bond with each other. I think it's okay to be slightly uncomfortable with that. I would be.
posted by erst at 3:50 PM on December 26, 2014 [35 favorites]

Yeah I would let it go for now. You and your fiance have conflicting visions of proposals, it seems, and in trying to meet you halfway he sort of fumbled it. But he really did try--no crazy, public rom-com stuff, after all. And "minimalist" means different things to different people, so it's entirely possible that one person's "classic" is another person's "gaudy," yadda yadda.

But definitely at a later time bring up that you really want to get wedding bands that you pick out together, because you want them to be similar to each other and you want them to be a symbol of the new life you're building together. No need to add "and because I hate this engagement ring."

(I'll give him leeway because of the holidays and the sentiment, but honestly, he's being kind of a jerk about this, btw. You're not particularly shallow or nuts, and really you should be able to address these kinds of things honestly as a couple without pre-emptive stonewalling, which is what "i'd be surprised if you didn't like it" is.)
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 3:53 PM on December 26, 2014 [9 favorites]

If they're soldered together, I think that makes it easier to say that you would feel more comfortable with a separate low profile wedding band that you both pick out-- maybe one that matches his. It's your wedding, you should have the chance to have a band that represents that wedding. Many people also want the option to wear just one ring (I know I do) which I think is sensible and practical.

If he's not into using the materials to make a new ring, that's fine, some people get very caught up on having the same ring they proposed with. (He also might change his mind in the future.) But you also deserve to wear something forever that you're comfortable in and comfortable with. Maybe give it a couple of months to see how you both feel before bringing it up again, especially if the size/shape of the ring causes any problems, versus a strictly aesthetic response.

(This is something that comes up a lot on wedding forums, so you might check out the Knot or Weddingbee for other solutions/thoughts. Though if you read the responses they sometimes have, well, very strident views one way or another, and sometimes conversations about changing rings really do go badly.)
posted by jetlagaddict at 3:56 PM on December 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

There is no upside to saying something. Let it go. When showing the ring to family and friends, explain the significance.
posted by 724A at 3:59 PM on December 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

How are you supposed to wear the engagement ring if it's fused to the wedding band, unless you're getting married ... tomorrow? Did he think about that?

When he's calmed down, away from his Dad's farm and his apparently unresolved memories of his Mother, perhaps you can have another conversation about this. I'm thinking you could have the stones reset into a simple contemporary setting that suits you, and choose wedding bands that match. Keeping the stones evokes the memory of his mother and you get a ring that you like. I could NOT wear a ring that I dislike, day after day, that would drive me batty.

And, as an aside, I think Duchess Catherine should have gotten her own ring and that misbegotten sapphire with all that bad karma should be in a display case somewhere. Makes me cringe when I see it, but I'm sure her husband thought it was "just the ticket" to share his Mother's ring with his wife. Wonder how she feels, wearing it every day?

Best wishes on your engagement and I know that you will work this out satisfactorily.
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff at 4:07 PM on December 26, 2014 [11 favorites]

I am all about being a gracious recipient, but you have to say something that makes clear that you really just don't like it. If you are going to wear this every day for the rest of your life, you have to at least be neutral about it. It is almost like a tattoo in (hopeful) permanence on your body.

It will be a hard conversation, but you have to be honest -- not that it is just not your style -- you have to say while you love the sentiment, you don't like the ring. If you can bring yourself to rework the ring into something that is your style, do that. If not, don't.

Surely he will want his wife to happily look down at her hand for the rest of your lives together rather than get mad. Right?
posted by murrey at 4:09 PM on December 26, 2014 [6 favorites]

I can't believe people are telling you to let it go.

The cultural pressure on women to sit quietly and be nice about things to sooth men's feelings is constant and poisonous and the sort of thing that we shouldn't be expected to put up with in the 21st century. Seriously.

The two of you had a plan. He changed the plan without consulting you for selfish reasons. You should absolutely not have to wear a ring you hate for the rest of your life just for the sake of his feelings. It's a symbol of your commitment to each other -- don't let it become a symbol of how you put your own feeling and preferences and autonomy aside in order to protect his ego.

Be kind about if, of course! Wait until after New Years, and then tell him that having given yourself a little time to get used to the idea, you appreciate the sentimentality of the ring but it just really isn't your style at all and wearing it makes you feel uncomfortable.

I'm so sorry you've been put in this awkward, uncomfortable place. Best of luck to you!
posted by Narrative Priorities at 4:09 PM on December 26, 2014 [248 favorites]

I concur about waiting until after the holidays, but I think this is definitely something you need to address with him. You're going to be expected to wear this ring every day of your life?

Is there perhaps some way you could spin this as the mother's ring is for "formal" occasions, and you'd prefer something less flashy for day-to-day? Just a thought.

But there's a part of me that is thinking that you shouldn't really spin it at all - if y'all are getting married, you're going to be spending a lifetime on issues like this (what kind of wallpaper in the kitchen? Etc) and if you can't have an honest (if difficult) conversation about resolving / compromising on this kind of issue - it's probably better to find out now.
posted by doctor tough love at 4:09 PM on December 26, 2014 [8 favorites]

Of course there's an upside to saying something. You could get a ring that you actually like, and practice communication and compromise that will be essential to a healthy marriage in the future.

The ring my husband proposed with was the platonic ideal of exactly what I did NOT want, and I wore it for at least a week trying to get used to it. I finally broke down crying when he got home from work one day, from the frustration of wanting and failing to be happy when I looked at my engagement ring. My guy was a little shaken at first, thinking I had changed my mind, but once I got it across that it was just the ring style, he sprang into action. We looked at ring websites so he could get a sense of what I really wanted (much like the original plan that you and your fiance had), and then he had the stone reset in a setting that he chose from a handful that I had pointed out as favorites of mine. He actually gave me a different family heirloom ring to wear while the other one was getting reset.

5 years later, I love my ring, I love my husband, and everything has worked out beautifully. I can't imagine how toxic it'd be to have a reminder on my finger every day of not standing up for my own wants and needs in our relationship. This way turned out so much better.
posted by vytae at 4:10 PM on December 26, 2014 [68 favorites]

Dude, maybe I'm crazy, but I have always been of the opinion that you shouldn't just shut up about hating a ring, and I think it's weird that people are telling you to "let it go." It's not a shirt you can shove in the back of your closet or something. It's one thing if you were like super picky and he tried and picked something bad, this is a totally different situation. You went and picked out rings and then he went totally left field and gave you his mother's ring.

I mean, if you can't look happily upon the thing that you plan on wearing 24/7 that is supposed to represent your love for eachother with anything but joy, then how is the relationship supposed to be happy? How is the engagement supposed to be happy if you cringe at the ring? After All, if you can't communicate about this very important symbol that's not a good sign.

Now, I don't think you should talk about it right now. Let the holidays pass a bit, maybe next week when things are more settled. I like amanda's script above.

"Hey babe, what a lovely sentiment to give me your mother's ring. I'd love to keep it in the family, however we had discussed rings and unfortunately this just isn't my style. I wish I could love it and I tried to give it some time. I'd love to keep the ring for sentiment's sake but let's go look for rings that I would be more comfortable wearing on a daily basis."

FWIW I too picked out my ring and didn't have a grand rom-com style engagement and kinda roll my eyes at them in general. Even for the anniversary band I'm hoping for this next anniversary I sent my husband like 6 Etsy links for bands I like.
posted by Crystalinne at 4:12 PM on December 26, 2014 [16 favorites]

If you want to wear Your Engagement Ring every day for the rest of your marriage, definitely don't let it go. If you wanted to meet him halfway, take this for an engagement token to wear on special occasions and get a nice band for the wedding, then I could see letting it go.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:12 PM on December 26, 2014 [5 favorites]

It is a tough situation. I suppose rather than focus on style, you might approach this by focusing on meaning. That is, you could say you would like a ring that represents the two of you as a couple and your new start in life. You might suggest that incorporating the stones of his mother's ring in a new design would be the best way of honoring both the past and the future.

Rightly or wrongly, I think if you just focus on style you are more likely to come across as shallow and critical of him and his dead mother.
posted by girl flaneur at 4:14 PM on December 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

I am definitely not team "let it go". You're supposed to suck it up and be nice, while he's allowed to do toxic BS like this?

I tried saying that the ring was nice but not my style, but he started in with the "Well, I'd be pretty surprised if you told me you didn't like it" thing again.

This would actually be engagement-threatening if he happened to me. He doesn't care about any of the opinions you shared or the agreement you previously made, he's bullying you about having an opinion, he's putting you in a horrible position in order to get his way.

I guess give him a couple of days to get his head out of his ass and try having a calm conversation about it then, but you are not required to back down here, that is not the only correct answer. That's not the engagement you're required to have, and it's not the marriage relationship you have to have if you don't want to.
posted by Lyn Never at 4:16 PM on December 26, 2014 [48 favorites]

Response by poster: How are you supposed to wear the engagement ring if it's fused to the wedding band, unless you're getting married ... tomorrow? Did he think about that?

I think I am just wearing the wedding band up until the wedding, whenever that is? It's kind of strange, but he seemed confused when I suggested we unfuse the rings, so I don't think it really crossed his mind.
posted by Yoko Ono's Advice Column at 4:17 PM on December 26, 2014

He had trouble getting over the idea that I wouldn't get a giant, surprise rom-com proposal and seemed kind of annoyed that I didn't really want one, and I wasn't really sure how to compromise. I thought he was right to suggest I pick my own ring, so maybe I didn't protest the way he wanted.

I'm surprised I'm the first person here to say: don't marry this guy. This is about more than a ring. You're analyzing the man with a level of insight, and showing us a man of such hackneyed ideas, and yet a desire to control – "maybe I didn't protest the way he wanted"?? – in a way that suggests to me you know he's not the man to marry.

Give the ring back.
posted by zadcat at 4:21 PM on December 26, 2014 [64 favorites]

This is not about the ring itself and everything about poor communication and clashing expectations.

A long marriage full of trying to see the good in things, compromise, and taking your partners wishes and needs into account is ahead of you.

I think, for your part, you should just let it go for now and see if your initial strong dislike of the ring changes over the next weeks and months. If not, at that point, tell your fiance that you'd like to use the materials to make a new ring (to your taste) because while the $material is beautiful, you haven't grown to love the design and you want to have something you really love to enjoy for the decades of marriage ahead. (Probably don't use the word "ugly" during this exchange). For his part, he should let go whatever hurt feelings he has at this point because you've given it a fair shot, and maybe the two of you could come up with a new design together.

Your post is full of red flags about your mutual inability to communicate your needs and wishes clearly. e.g "he seemed kind of annoyed". Well, was he annoyed? Did you ask him if he was annoyed?, "I think I really hurt his feelings, and he may feel I'm insulting his mother's taste" Have you asked him if you hurt his feelings? Has he said he feels you're insulting to his mother's taste? Sounds to me like you are both trying to read the tea leaves of what the other person wants, without actually having an open conversation. Now is a good time to start working on that.
posted by bimbam at 4:24 PM on December 26, 2014 [8 favorites]

You are not ungrateful and I don't understand why people are asking you to let it go. He's upset because he thought he'd got it right but he's an adult and it's not your job to protect him from his own feelings. Learning to gently question emotional responses so that you can each negotiate points of compromise is a key skill for marriage so, as others have said, give it a couple of days then raise it with him again. Tell him what you've told us: you love the gesture and you are thrilled by the sentiment but you'd like to work together to create something beautiful and newly meaningful from his mother's ring that speaks more to the two of you and your relationship. Ask him to help you find a solution to the issue, hear what his concerns are and see if you can figure it out together.

Also, see this recent Askme for a possible take and advice on a similar situation from the giver's perspective.
posted by freya_lamb at 4:25 PM on December 26, 2014 [9 favorites]

Your fiancé is being a jerk. You're the one who is going to has to wear this thing. You shouldn't have to spend your life wearing something you think is hideous. Offer to wear his mom's ring on a chain around your neck, but for your engagement and wedding rings you should have something you love to wear. If your fiancé want to shut ou down on this, that's a bad thing.
posted by alms at 4:25 PM on December 26, 2014 [3 favorites]

The most important thing about marriage is that the 2 people engaging in it can communicate with each other. Not that they never hurt each other's feelings or disagree about things, but their relationship needs to be stronger than the disagreement or the hurt. They need to be committed to working it through because their relationship is more important than the trivia of differences in taste. This situation is asking whether you are allowed to be yourselves in each other's company. Talk it out with him now before you get married.
posted by Obscure Reference at 4:26 PM on December 26, 2014 [18 favorites]

Your best strategy is probably to make the idea of changing the ring as poetic and romantic as possible.

Something like: setting the stone that symbolizes the purity of his mother's love for his father, and the core power of their bond together that brought him into the world, into the golden embrace of the changed world, and the new and ever-evolving spirit that is your relationship to him. Fusing what's best and truest about his family (the eternal diamond) with a metal design that symbolizes all that you bring to him, and that you are proud to be able to share with him, and that is the essence of all you are excited and hoping to give to him, just as he is giving you so much with this ring and with the proposal.

In short, if you're going to marry a romantic, you might as well learn to speak his language. Don't say anything that isn't true -- what I wrote above is quite true, and real, and significant. If any of it doesn't ring true (ha) with you, spend some time with a thesaurus or Googling poems and quotations about engagement rings until you find something that's true for you.
posted by amtho at 4:31 PM on December 26, 2014

Response by poster: He definitely refuses to use the ring for parts. The stone is not up for use. (On that front, I agree. I would want my mother's ring intact, though I wouldn't be able to explain exactly what I planned to do with the intact, unused ring.) I know this because the ring is very large and caught on my scarf and hair all today, which is why I mentioned changing the ring to him. Poor ring.
posted by Yoko Ono's Advice Column at 4:37 PM on December 26, 2014 [6 favorites]


This is so uncool. This is something you want to love and treasure and feel honored and pleased about wearing every day. You did everything you could to guide his choice, then he flipped the script and did whateverthehell he wanted.

It may be that he doesn't have the money for the ring you discussed, but frankly, it's unforgivable to foist something you don't like onto you.

You've made noises about not liking it and he's not trying to hear it. I'm with those who say this does not bode well for your future married life.

If you can't tell your future husband, "Sweetie, the thought is beautiful, the ring, not so much. It's really not my taste at all. I love you for thinking of it, but I really would prefer one of the rings we picked out."

I will tell you that I can't stand having capital tied up in ornaments, so my engagement/wedding ring is CZ, I've had it for 14 years and I love it. Total cost $220. After about 2 years, I had to reset it, and I thought Husbunny might be upset, but he said, "Oh! It's sweet, it's the same stuff as we had on our wedding day."

Your life partner should be happy to discuss the hard stuff and to find a solution you can both be happy about. Resigning yourself to wearing a 1970's Cocktail ring is not the right answer.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 4:38 PM on December 26, 2014 [31 favorites]

Oh, also -- you need to use phrases that he, in turn, can use to ask/tell his father about changing the ring. This ring has huge emotional import to both of them (especially his father), and it may be that his father would rather the ring not be changed -- but he might be fine with it, too.

You might even want to check with his father first -- but be prepared with an _emotional_ argument.

You can never, ever call it "ugly".

You could also say that you couldn't hope to compare with a woman who had such an impact on his life (true) and that the ring would be kind of hard for you to live up to (also true) (but absolutely _don't_ say it if you don't feel and believe every word).
posted by amtho at 4:38 PM on December 26, 2014

If re-setting the stone is not an option, then you might speak from the heart about the importance of having something that is about you and him, and your love now, not about the past. Maybe you could find a new ring, together, that has some element in common with his mother's ring.

Plus, you would feel really awful if anything happened to it. It's a lot of responsibility, especially if it's the kind of ring that needs to be removed constantly for sewing, cleaning, baking, handling delicate fabrics, putting on leggings and pantyhose, etc.
posted by amtho at 4:42 PM on December 26, 2014 [3 favorites]

I have to agree that my main worry would be the poor communication on display. If you really think you've given us the whole story, then he is being very unreasonable. That's a bad sign before marriage. Not insurmountable, necessarily, but you're going to have to face it. This ring obviously is full of very big feelings, but it's still just a thing. He is not acting like a kind person, and that is the very main thing he should be. imo.
posted by Glinn at 4:45 PM on December 26, 2014 [12 favorites]

Plus, you would feel really awful if anything happened to it.

This is also an excellent point.

I lost an engagement ring that had been in my husband's family for generations. As in, it fell off my finger while I was walking around Manhattan and I didn't notice until hours later.

I do not recommend this experience. It pretty much sucked all around.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 4:53 PM on December 26, 2014 [12 favorites]

If you don't speak up now and come to a meeting of the minds about this you are going to end up with a husband who thinks it's entirely okay to never take your opinions into account, who just does what he wants, and is butthurt when you don't appreciate his efforts. If it's not your engagement ring, it's going to be your Christmas and birthday presents, your kids names, the houses you buy, the color you paint your dining room...
posted by cecic at 5:06 PM on December 26, 2014 [40 favorites]

It sounds like you did tell him, in a tactful but subtle way, and he got pissy about it. He didn't say "I'm sorry you don't like it" or even "Even though it's not your style, it would mean a lot to me if you wore it," but "I expected you to like it." If your description of the conversation is accurate, he basically dismissed your opinion because it didn't match his expectations. That worries me.

I'm not going to bust out a red flag and ask you to call off the engagement, but think about whether you've encountered this before with him. If he has a habit of ignoring your opinions, or if you find yourself frequently worrying if your feelings are hurting his, you may want to reconsider whether this type of partnership is one you want for life.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:09 PM on December 26, 2014 [57 favorites]

If the ring cannot be incorporated into a new design, then you might want to demure, citing some combination of reasons that have been given above other than the taste reason.

As is being discussed on another thread at the moment, many people identify quite closely with their aesthetic preferences, and criticisms of someone's style or taste, is often taken to be a criticism of them.

For that reason, I would encourage you to say you would like your wedding ring to reflect your new beginning or that you are afraid something will happen to it, and go from there.

While I find weddings and their attendant accoutrements rather baffling, I don't see this as some Huge Red Flag. He was trying to do something meaningful, and while you appreciate the significance, you don't want to commit yourself to that particular ring. You can aim to be kind and protect his feelings about his deceased mother and her taste in jewelry without necessarily contributing to the patriarchy, and I don't think the relationship is doomed simply because you have different expectations surrounding the wedding.

Communication is obviously crucial to every healthy relationship, but recognizing that does not mean that you have to share every thought that comes into your head.
posted by girl flaneur at 5:09 PM on December 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

I know it's tempting to ignore the DTMFA advice in metafilter since it shows up so often but the readers here have picked up on some real dynamics here. Please do put your feelings and yes tastes on equal footing with this guy. Give a few days to let the feelings settle and then tell him clearly that you understand the sentiment but you don't like it and want the ring you originally discussed. Hold firm. His response to you asserting yourself will speak volumes about your future as a couple and I beg you to listen to it.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 5:14 PM on December 26, 2014 [28 favorites]

He and his father made a beautiful gesture of acceptance of you -- no one can ever change that or take it away.

The ring itself IS beautiful, because of the love, and even the loss, it embodies. That is also unchanging. You will always, always have that among the three of you, and you will probably always be grateful that his father even considered allowing you to wear it.
posted by amtho at 5:14 PM on December 26, 2014 [5 favorites]

Your fiance is being very childish - he needs to grow waaaay up. I guess my advice to you is, start thinking of this as HIS problem, not YOUR problem. As uncomfortable as it is, I think you should say how you feel about the ring plainly, explain that it's your own damn finger, and you'll be deciding what goes on it. Period.

Speaking as a man, I wouldn't consider wearing piece of jewelry that I don't like just to avoid hurting someone's feelings. I'm also having trouble imagining the thought process your fiance is going through in which he'd rather that you kept quiet and wore a ring you didn't like (for the rest of your life?!?!), rather than just buy a new fricking ring. AFTER you discussed it with him and decided on a ring.

You can let him down as gently as you want, but if you think this is the last time he's going to get you to submit to his demands by threatening a tantrum, you've got a long marriage ahead of you.

PS: Also, something stood out to me as suspicious - he just suddenly decided to use his mother's ring? Have you actually seen the ring he supposedly bought? Are you sure he didn't just forget to buy it, or forget to pack it, then panic and ask his dad for his mom's old ring?
posted by Salvor Hardin at 5:19 PM on December 26, 2014 [21 favorites]

Also, I'm sure others have pointed this out, but your fiance's behavior is dipping into some pretty darkly patriarchal control-of-womens'-bodies territory. At this point I'd be closely reexamining who the person is that I'm marrying, to make sure this is just a glitch, and not part of a pattern.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 5:21 PM on December 26, 2014 [32 favorites]

Maybe his mother had perfectly good taste and thought the ring was hideous, but his father insisted she wear it her entire life anyways. That would explain where he learned this behavior.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 5:37 PM on December 26, 2014 [32 favorites]

Best answer: Oooh. The Heirloom aspect makes this really difficult. Of course you shouldn't wear something you hate. But it's hard to say you don't want to wear it without shitting all over the memory of the family. And yes, your man is being a jerk and acting totally irrational because this symbol isn't just about you and him, but also about his mother and all these unresolved feelings. So, while I agree there's some bad communication happening, I think it's worth being compassionate about why. His mom died when he was young, and he's really not over it, so yeah, he's acting like a child.

If I were you, I would do my best to make the conversation about his feelings and love for his mother. I would ask him why he wants you to have this ring so much. Why he changed his mind about what you picked out. On a certain level, it's obvious, but make him articulate it. Use this opportunity for you to grow closer and for him to open up to you on a deeper level. Then, tell him that you want something that is meaningful between the two of you. Something that you can pass along to your children that symbolizes who you are as an individual and as a couple. Tell him that you want to honor his mother's memory and you feel it would be best to put her ring on display in your home, somewhere safe and special. Be honest with him about why you don't want to wear it. He's probably feeling some raw emotions and this isn't a good time to lie.

He will be hurt that you don't love it, but remind him that you are not his mother. You are not a stand-in for his mother. And you can't fill the hole that was left by his mother. You are someone new, and you fill a different space. Be gentle and loving with him, but don't give in and wear something you hate. This ring has brought his mom into the equation, and that sounds like a very painful thing. He needs to be cared for, but giving in and stuffing your feelings down is not the same as caring.
posted by ohisee at 5:39 PM on December 26, 2014 [47 favorites]

Don't be bullied or manipulated into wearing a ring you dislike. This is very much a 'start as you mean to go on' situation. Your feelings matter, your agency matters.

The ring clearly holds a lot of meaning for him, so he should probably keep it safe in a special box, or wear it himself on a chain.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 5:40 PM on December 26, 2014 [24 favorites]

Congrats on your engagement. I don't see this as black and white. I am all for communication, but if he is as emotional as my partner, then anything you say (even if you leave a cooling off period) will hurt his feelings and he may never get over it. It may not work for everyone, but my suggestion is to just not wear it. You said you weren't that keen on a ring anyway. Keep it in the bank (safe deposit box). He may eventually ask why you don't wear it. This is where you explain that you're afraid of losing this precious heirloom. Sure it's passive aggressive but better than hurt feelings? Then, when it comes time to choose wedding band, choose a stand alone one that has a simple design, which you like. Some friends of mine wear engagement ring on one hand and wedding band on another. Some don't wear engagement ring at all; only a band with a tiny diamond in it. Good luck
posted by leslievictoria at 5:44 PM on December 26, 2014 [3 favorites]

If there are stones in the family ring, it's a very fine opportunity to work with a jeweler on a new design. Otherwise it's really just metal and rocks in a lockbox, now with some uncomfortable feelings attached.
posted by xaryts at 6:12 PM on December 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Is it possible that he is a bit clueless about rings and didn't realise that it was actually two rings that are attached?
posted by kinddieserzeit at 6:14 PM on December 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

I also can't believe that so many people are telling you to let it go completely.
If it's something that you're supposed to wear everyday I don't see why it should not be in a style that you like and that is practical for you. It would also weird me out a bit if I was expected to use her engagement ring and her wedding band.

Can you let it go for now and just get through the holidays first? Then maybe he'll be in a better frame of mind for a discussion. tbh I'd be a bit concerned if he didn't see any issue with changing the plans that you two had discussed together. I think he was having trouble getting over that he wouldn't get to do a surprise engagement and not that you'd be missing out.
posted by oneear at 6:33 PM on December 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

I know this because the ring is very large and caught on my scarf and hair all today, which is why I mentioned changing the ring to him.

You physically can't wear the ring. I would emphasize this point, and not what else is wrong with it. And, you know, at some point you need to have a talk about what's happened and figure out if there is a problem here. You were both somewhat ambivalent about how to manage the whole proposal/ring thing and that could explain a lot of this.
posted by BibiRose at 6:33 PM on December 26, 2014 [5 favorites]

You've got two issues here, the first one kind of manifesting into the second.

He had trouble getting over the idea that I wouldn't get a giant, surprise rom-com proposal and seemed kind of annoyed that I didn't really want one, and I wasn't really sure how to compromise. I thought he was right to suggest I pick my own ring, so maybe I didn't protest the way he wanted.

We all have ideas of what we want and how we want things to happen in a relationship. Reality is that the person we are with is a real person, not the mute puppet of our dreams and fantasies. He doesn't seem to subscribe to this viewpoint and clearly had ideas of what you should and shouldn't like. "I didn't protest the way he wanted" - and you shouldn't have to do things the way he wants them!

The second issue is the actual ring. From what you have written it won't be a surprise if the conversation does not go down well or if the two compromise but the whole drama of a seemingly simple issue leaves a bitter aftertaste. Either way, I urge you to consider how the issue is resolved, if at all. This will be a good insight into things to come and where your relationship stands.
posted by xm at 6:37 PM on December 26, 2014 [6 favorites]

I'm sorry, your posting history on MF is brief, but the moo goo gai pan anecdote was... illuminating.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:38 PM on December 26, 2014 [27 favorites]

Speaking as a man I think it's weird and uninspired to give you his dead mother's ring. Doesn't that ring signify the bond between his parents? And don't you deserve your own ring of your choosing to signify the union between you and your fiancé? The thought of using someone else's ring is preposterous.

Also: take heed of what others are saying about him not listening to you and respecting your wishes on such an important decision. Your opinion and dignity matter.
posted by topsykretts at 6:49 PM on December 26, 2014 [9 favorites]

He had trouble getting over the idea that I wouldn't get a giant, surprise rom-com proposal and seemed kind of annoyed that I didn't really want one, and I wasn't really sure how to compromise.

Ugh... it sounds like proposing to you with his mother's ring is HIS idea of a compromise between his desired big romcom proposal and the low-key event you wanted. As in, he was banned from making the big gesture he wanted to make, and so made another one (emotional juggernaut heirloom ring) instead.

So: no. You are not ungrateful. You are not disrespecting the memory of his mother by asking for a ring that suits you and which you can wear comfortably. The hostility he's been showing with this "I'd be surprised" bullshit is uncalled for. You deserve to have your wishes and compromises respected both in letter and in spirit. What would Yoko do? Yoko would find a probably kind of batty but very positive and very firm way to tell this guy: let's honor your mother some other way, but we need our own set of engagement and wedding rings. Good luck.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 6:50 PM on December 26, 2014 [14 favorites]

I was so hoping for a picture of the ring. You will have to get it re-sized, right? Put it on a chain and wear it around your neck, telling him that you are afraid it will fall off because it is the wrong size. Give him a few days (or weeks, he is, after all, a man) to think things through. If you have a mutual friend who can help him come to the right decision, involve that friend. Put off getting it re-sized as long as possible. After a few months, if he hasn't figured out the right thing to do, then simply go shopping for matching wedding bands, as if you have forgotten that his mom's ring already has the band on it. Chances are, he will have forgotten as well. Your wedding band can be the one that you wear the rest of your life. His mom's ring is simply too valuable to risk losing and should be put in a safe deposit box, only to brought out on special occasions (hint, hint).

If he tries to bully you or manipulate you into wearing the ass-ugly ring then it is time to re-evaluate the relationship. It is one thing for a man to have a ditzy, emotional muck up and another thing for a man to try and force his wants on you.
posted by myselfasme at 7:29 PM on December 26, 2014

This is pretty tricky. He almost certainly thought he was being romantic, and didn't consider what would happen if it didn't go the way he envisioned it. Plus, dad's involved, and not only do you have to take your boyfriend's feelings into account, but dad's too. This is all on top of you looking at the prospect of wearing a ring that's wrong for you. I blame the idea that men are supposed to automatically choose the exact perfect engagement ring despite having little or no experience in women's jewelry.

Play up the angle that the two of you were going to look for rings, and the two of you were going to pick out something because the two of you are going to spend the rest of your lives together. And you were so looking forward to that. The heirloom is a wonderful sentiment, but that ring was for the two of them, especially if he and/or dad are opposed to having it altered.

I feel for you, and wish you luck.
posted by sageleaf at 7:33 PM on December 26, 2014

Hahah! I'm not sure why you are even considering marrying this person. It seems like he's making this engagement all about his own butthurt feelings and getting his own way. I'm not sure how it affects him so deeply the style of ring you'd prefer to wear for the rest of your life; it honestly seems like he tried to pick the most emotionally manipulative course of action when it became clear you didn't agree about a proposal strategy or enthusiastically lie about what you wanted in order to appease his wishes 100%.

Do you really want to marry someone who you aren't comfortable "asking to spend money on you" and who can't or won't listen to you? From some of the phrasing in this question I think that you may be getting gaslighted at home. So no, I don't think you're being superficial about this at all and no, I think it would be CRAZY to let this go.
posted by shownomercy at 7:37 PM on December 26, 2014 [12 favorites]

You should NOT keep quiet and suck it up. This is a huge red flag to have waving right when you're about to get married. His actions here come across consistently as him pretending to care about your thoughts and desires but in the end only doing whatever the hell he wants, even if it's completely against your stated wishes and when a compromise/middle ground could have been met.

I'm not going to say you should DTMFA but you should definitely use this as a talking point about how you two are going to communicate and take action together as a couple. Are there other times in your relationship where this sort of thing has happened - where he pretended to care about your opinion but ultimately ignored it?
posted by joan_holloway at 7:40 PM on December 26, 2014 [12 favorites]

Speaking as someone who has been in this situation - not exactly, but whose ex-fiance had gone maverick in order to surprise me with a ring style that was not what I wanted - firstly, heed this advice: tread carefully. Ultimately, you need to live with how you decide to handle this and how he chooses to react. If you are going to bring it up, I would at minimum suggest waiting a while (at least several weeks after the initial proposal) so as to not tarnish the initial thrill of a fresh engagement -- for the both of you. I don't think it necessarily speaks badly of him if he reacts emotionally, since betrothals tend to be a highly emotionally charged time, and given that it is an heirloom; however, I echo the other people who say that you do need to observe how he reacts and his underlying attitudes and beliefs. If there is any doubt on how he initially reacts, try and calmly discuss it in a non-emasculating way.

I, to at least some extent, regret the moments where I was too caught up in the material details of my engagement and wedding that wasn't to be. At the same time, what everyone else is saying is very true: your preferences and feelings equally matter, too. It is true that in the face of my relationship's demise, had I taken his very bad reaction to my gentle request for a different e-ring setting more seriously, I might have saved myself a lot of unnecessary pain later on.

My experience was slightly different: we had agreed to pick out a ring together and had been ring shopping for a few weeks, and then he went off and selected the cheapest, most basic possible engagement setting in order to surprise me (which was lovely!), but again after we had already been actively ring shopping together, and he had known that my tastes were not at all what he had selected.

As one previous commenter put it "This is very much a 'start as you mean to go on' situation. " That said, could you possibly design a wedding ring for your hand together that would complement the heirloom e-ring in a unique way? Or, will you plan to wear the e-ring every day for the rest of your life? I've seen people who just end up wearing the wedding ring for simplicity or utility's sake; just something to think about as it is generally wise advice to pick your battles.
posted by MeFiMouse at 7:43 PM on December 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

You guys have a basic values difference here. You want minimalist and for him to not spend a lot of money on a non reciprocal gift, maybe because you see yourself in a partnership of equals. He couldn't handle that, because in his mind the ring you wear is a reflection of him and his ability to peacock about. This view does not see marriage as a union between equals.

You should think about what else you will have to give up in order to be with this guy.
posted by charlielxxv at 7:49 PM on December 26, 2014 [7 favorites]

He is dead wrong about heirloom jewelry. It doesn't get "used for parts" when it is reset. It is still the same ring. It is still the same stuff. It's rearranged to fit modern tastes.

If he won't listen to you about that (and you still want to marry him?) then enlist a competent jeweler's help in explaining this concept to him, after the holidays. Surely the ring needs to be professionally cleaned. At that time, you and the jeweler can have a chat with him about resetting the stone.

(If he refuses to have it professionally cleaned because reasons, then...uh...)
posted by The Noble Goofy Elk at 8:33 PM on December 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

wow, I could've written this exact question 18 years ago, right down to the Christmas day presentation of the ring. I tried to like it, I really did. And he got defensive every time I mentioned it. And he never, ever understood what the deal was. He never listened to me. He only had his idea on why I should like it and that was it.

If I were you, I'd definitely use this as a test case for future issues that come up in your relationship. If you can't solve this in a way that works for both of you then there is something bigger going on that you need to look at.
posted by dawkins_7 at 9:02 PM on December 26, 2014 [16 favorites]

I am an avoider so here would be my path, tell him that you love the ring but would like to save it for your children, instead. Something of their grandmother who they did not have the fortune of knowing being passed on to them. Use his sentimentality, tell him you should get a set in preparation for your grandchildren and is just as strongly reflective of your bond as that ring of his parents'. It is a ring with history: this ring was the ring of your grandparents and the ring I proposed to your mother....

I do not pitch this as the ultimate solution to your deeper relationship question that others are answering. This is just a stopgap to the immediate problem at hand.
posted by jadepearl at 9:11 PM on December 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

"Well, I'd be pretty surprised if you told me you didn't like it"

This is very uncool. You're telling him you don't like it. Time for him to get over his surprise! Fetch the smelling salts.

He needs to listen to you and take your feelings into account. If he wanted to do the big proposal with the surprise ring, he could have done it at any time-- it's not fair to make you demur and beg for him to surprise you! There are a hundred ways to have the coy, "what kind of rings are you into?" conversation. He is projecting a LOT onto this proposal scenario and it seems like he's making it all about him. If the tables were turned, you'd be thinking, "Am I being a pre-Bridezilla?" He could benefit from similar self-awareness.

It sounds like you were cool with not having a ring at all. Are you now really set on wearing the engagement ring every day? If not, perfect, say you love the sentiment behind the ring but you're not into the wearing-the-big-stone every day thing, and that you're excited to exchange wedding bands and have those as a reminder of your commitment. The engagement ring can be saved as an heirloom. Also, inform him of the factual information that this ring has a wedding band fused to it, which makes it totally impractical for a ceremony. I don't think you should necessarily have to make a bunch of excuses to spare his feelings, but... there are concrete reasons this won't work!

This jewelry has rather heavy memories associated with it, and I would probably only feel comfortable keeping something like it as a token rather than wearing it everyday. It seems more respectful to me-- and if he's really not happy with this solution he needs to be reminded that it's really, really out of bounds to tell you what to wear on your own body every day. I think the only solution there is firm insistence on your personal integrity.

Honestly, I would be quite depressed in your situation. I don't particularly care about engagement rings, but my boyfriend's mother's taste is quite different from mine (we just carry our style differently), and if I were told it was unacceptable for me to not want to wear another woman's jewelry I would be very uncomfortable.

For those who are telling you to just put up with it, maybe give your fiance your father's belt buckle and tell him it's a sentimental engagement belt buckle and he has to wear it every day as a symbol of his love for you. Spoiler alert: he would not even consider doing this. Probably .000001% of men would! Because it's crazy!
posted by stoneandstar at 9:39 PM on December 26, 2014 [30 favorites]

That's actually a great idea. Find the worlds ugliest, chunkiest mens ring and tell your fiance you felt bad that you were the only one to get an engagement gift, therefore it would mean the world if he wore your grandfathers or whatever's ring forever, as a symbol of your love for him. Wheh he protests, pull the same manipulative bullshit he's sprung on you. It might seem childish, but I think you need to make a point here that he may only appreciate once he's on the receiving end.

And seriously consider this an indicator as to the path your future relationship may follow - this man is showing you how he handles conflict, by gas lighting, manipulation and game playing to get his own way. Tread carefully.
posted by Jubey at 10:28 PM on December 26, 2014 [13 favorites]

This question scares me. Yes, the ring itself doesn't matter, but his actions matter a lot, and they aren't good. His actions here as you describe them are bad. He got way caught up in his own whims, which is understandable, but then refused to back down. This is important. Everything you stated and wanted was forgotten ... Seemingly forever. Oh I do not like this one bit.

You know maybe if he did get caught up in the moment he could have proposed with his Mom's ring, but recognizing it's not your taste and still getting the other ring for every day. But he didn't recognize or even understand that? It's not a good sign.
posted by bleep at 10:54 PM on December 26, 2014 [12 favorites]

How kind you are wanting to spare his feelings. Dead Mom, Christmas, yeah. My sister got bullied into wearing her (then living) m-i-l's wedding dress. Not hideous, but not ... what she wanted. So, in your marriage, does he get to make a decision about what you will wear every day? How about other decisions? When you talk to him about it, and you should, emphasize some true things: you are honored that he gave you his Mom's ring. You will wear the ring every day. He didn't exactly follow the plan. getting the stone(s) reset, or using the metal to make a simple band or 2 are reasonable options, if they suit you. He's lucky to be marrying such a thoughtful person.
posted by theora55 at 12:23 AM on December 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

This ring easily gets snagged on clothing and hair. Can you deal with that while driving, or will it distract you? This could be a safety issue.
posted by SillyShepherd at 1:06 AM on December 27, 2014

Best answer: I don't think you are ungrateful at all, and I agree that you shouldn't wear the ring permanently... and that it's a delicate situation. I am trying to imagine his feelings about this, and I'm guessing that several different things might be happening: 1) He wants to be the man that came up with a romantic, sentimental, memorable, lovely way to propose with the ring, not the bumbler who chose the wrong thing because Stupid (not how you feel at all, obviously, but possibly something he might fear); 2) he may have felt that a plain or low-cost engagement ring would be unromantic, or cheap-seeming, 3) he may have felt confused about your true preferences, interpreting your concern with not spending a lot of money as being reticent to express preferences for something more expensive, and of course 4) he may have felt that if he wanted to get you something that would thrill and surprise you (because nicer and more valuable than what you were asking for / expecting), the task of picking the perfect thing was rather daunting ... and then taaaaadaaaah! A moment of inspiration! The answer that would solve all problems!

Romantic, sweet, sentimental, and more loving / meaningful than an inexpensive plain ring? Check. Not going against your expressed wishes not to spend a lot of money? Check. A big surprise and nicer / more valuable than what you were expecting? Check. And of course, since it was his mom's he assumes that it's a perfect choice for look and taste, etc. He must have felt brilliant for nicely tying up every little detail with the perfect solution that would totally thrill you.

In your situation I think I would make a point to tell the story of the proposal / ring to those who ask, "it was so romantic and perfect on Christmas morning on his father's beautiful farm, with his mother's ring... I was so thrilled and surprised," and plan on wearing just your wedding band (the wedding bands you two will choose together) after the wedding, saving the engagement ring for special occasions since it does snag on things and you don't want to damage it, etc.

I believe in honesty and being kind but direct, but to me this situation really is rife with a lot of emotional land mines at this moment (Christmas! Family! Proposal! Memories! Late mother! Dad feelings and involvement! Boyfriend's anxiety about doing the perfect thing!) and while I also agree that negotiating the tricky terrain of feelings and expectations in a relationship shouldn't always fall on your shoulders, this situation requires some gentle handling. Perhaps a little later when emotions have settled down a bit you two may revisit the idea of having the ring reset, and/or you can explicate a bit more that it's a wonderful ring that you treasure because of the connection with him and his mom and dad, but not quite practical / your everyday style.
posted by taz at 1:55 AM on December 27, 2014 [15 favorites]

Engagements and proposals can be very fraught not just because of the obviously emotional issue of marriage but also because the process tends to be extremely gendered in ways that confuse a lot of issues. It can feel weird, as a non-materialistic woman who wants to be an equal to her partner, to insist on a certain type of jewelry, as insisting on a certain type of jewelry doesn't feel like a particularly feminist thing to do, it feels like a weird money-grubbing ungracious thing to do.

But a partner insisting that he fully control the proposal and ring is the one being ungracious and patronizing. It's a weird situation in which demanding some control over the sparkly jewelry is the more feminist act (or at least can be) because it's insisting on your own autonomy and your own worth as a full partner in this marriage.

I agree with everyone who says give it a week or a month or so, but I would not wear that ring. (As an example of another way to do it, my father, who is not in any way over my mother's death ten years ago, had her wedding band fused onto his own, which he now wears on his right ring finger; he had her (upgraded) engagement ring pulled apart and gave me the side stones, from which I had earrings made; and he gave my brother the center stone so that he could reset it as an engagement stone in the future. It's completely do-able for his family to honor his mother without forcing her entire wedding set onto your finger.)
posted by jaguar at 3:00 AM on December 27, 2014 [6 favorites]

I've always found it weird when a guy gives his mother's ring to his fiancee. Like- how can you regularly bang a woman who is constantly reminding you of your mother? If my SO wore jewelry that belonged to my father or brother I wouldn't want to go near him. When I'm leaning in for a passionate kiss the last thought I want popping into my head is that my dear ol' dad.

How about you tell him that you would find wearing his mom's ring as a little disrespectful to her memory and that a ring that was meant just for you would be a great symbol of building your own memories together?

If that doesn't work you could just try saying that wearing the ring makes you feel like his mother's ghost is with you guys at ALL times. Say this at the right moment and he might be grossed out enough to actually beg you to never wear it again.
posted by rancher at 3:04 AM on December 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

I have a feeling that he's afraid of his father's reaction if you reject the ring. This may have been his father's heavy-handed suggestion, and it may be his father's grief you're navigating. (Or the son may be making assumptions about how it plays with dad.)

Therefore, I would wait until you're off the farm to bring it up.
posted by vitabellosi at 4:50 AM on December 27, 2014 [8 favorites]

I kind of think you need to put your foot down here. Give it a couple of weeks to give at least the appearance of giving it an honest try, then sit down and tell him what you think. If you can't work this out, it doesn't bode well for a marriage. This is like all the things that can cause fights in one: money, taste, family, etc. You need to be able to talk about these things honestly and work them out. You can't just ignore problems like this with a spouse like you can with someone you're just dating.
posted by empath at 6:49 AM on December 27, 2014 [4 favorites]

If the ring is catching on things, that's your angle to talk to your fiancé about a different ring. You don't need to mention anything else - certainly nothing about the style - just that it is simply too big and you need a smaller ring to wear everyday.

I say this as someone who is not currently wearing the large engagement ring that I adore because it's big enough that I fear scratching our baby with it. Instead I wear a smaller ring handmade by my dad. My husband understands this completely - rings are very tricky as you're constantly using your hands and anything uncomfortable is going to be unignorable.

Approach it from practicality, don't even bring taste or style into it.
posted by sonika at 7:38 AM on December 27, 2014

> the ring is very large and caught on my scarf and hair all today

If you want to tiptoe around his feelings, then this is your out. Explain that after wearing it for a few days you realized that it won't work, you're afraid you're going to damage it, and you want to keep it for special occasions. Then go with him to the jewelers and pick out rings you actually want and will enjoy looking at every day.

If he can't go along with that very reasonable plan, then maybe he's not someone you want to try to establish a life with.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:46 AM on December 27, 2014 [8 favorites]

I'm going to answer your surface level question, as I feel like others have answered the question-within-a-question.

I have a good friend whose ex had proposed to her with his great grandmother's wedding ring. Evidently this was a thing in the family - bring out the ring, proposal, ring goes back in the safety deposit box, wife wears her own ring as daily jewelry. The Ring was occasionally brought out for evening wear, but was never expected to be daily wear.

So, as others have suggested, you could play the "I would feel so terrible if something were to happen to it!" card after the newness of the proposal wore off. As noted up-thread, someone did lose an heirloom ring, and man - that would be terrible. Just awful. I feel for her. Can you imagine how bad it would be? If it were me, I would be 110% sincerity when I suggested not wearing it daily, because I am pretty clumsy and would feel awful if something happened.

Also, where I'm at (Midwest US) it's not uncommon for women to just wear their wedding bands after the wedding.
posted by RogueTech at 9:17 PM on December 28, 2014

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