Post # 1
My mother and father fell in love in high school. They were married for more than 20 years before divorcing, and he had a few affairs during that time. My mother looks back on the marriage as mostly good, full of more happy times than sad, and the union that brought her two much loved children. To her, the ring is associated with marriage to her high school sweetheart. To me it’s a symbol of their failed marriage. (It’s also not really my style, but that’s beside the point.)
(Edit: I think my mom’s take on her first marriage is wonderful and representative of her always-sunny personality.)
She has mentioned several times to me – and at LEAST twice to my boyfriend – that we are more than welcome to have what she considers a special, sentimental piece of jewelry for my engagement ring. I think she’s a bit disappointed that my brother didn’t propose to his wife with it, and now she’s pinning her hopes on me. How should I tell my mom, who is motivated only by sweetness, that I really DON’T want this ring without hurting her feelings?
Post # 3
@sarasouth: Could you take parts of it and rework it? Perhaps melt the gold down and make another setting, or use the stone, or side stones in your piece? Or have it turned into a necklace to wear on the wedding day?
Post # 4
Hmm, thats hard. I would take the ring, it sounds like it means a lot to her. And if she looks at it and remembers the good then thats what it should really symobolize IMO.
Post # 5
I like the idea of making a necklace out of it
Post # 6
What do you not like about it? I would look into having the ring remade using the same metal/stone(s) so that it can still be sentimental. If you don’t like the metal, possibly just use the stone in a different setting? Or maybe just accept it as a RHR…
Post # 7
Be honest with her and talk about it. You don’t want to spend the rest of your life looking down at a ring you don’t love. I’m sure your mom would rather that you be happy in the end.
Post # 8
I like mwitter80’s suggestion. My boyfriend and I are currently designing an engagement ring using elements from my grandmother’s engagement ring and one of her cocktail rings. It’s actually really fun and will end up costing us less than buying an existing setting (because we are using a local independent jeweler).
For me there is a definite sentimental connection, but I understand that you don’t really have that.
Maybe if you decide to rework the ring, you could think of it more as something both your mom and dad are a part of – since it won’t be the actual ring, it might be easier to disassociate it from the end of their marriage. It sounds like it means a lot to her.
Like I said, you might be able to save some money if you use her ring or some elements from it.
If you decide that you still don’t want it, I would just be honest. I would tell her that you are really touched that she would offer her ring, but it is just too hard to think about the ring without thinking about their divorce.
Post # 9
Just talk to her and be honest. Not to sound mean, but it really doesnt matter how she views the ring, if it were to be your engagement ring, it only matters how YOU see it… and if you see it as a symbol of the failed marriage, then that’s just not something you want associated with your engagement/marriage. If you cannot change your view on the ring, I would not accept it to use as a e-ring.
If it means that much to her, I can’t imagine that she would want it melted down and changed, but maybe she is open to that? Would you be ok with changing the ring into something of your own if she were?
Post # 10
I would thank her, and tell her that you had dreamed of a different style of ring since you were a little girl– maybe that’s not true, but hopefully she’ll understand if she thinks you had a dream ring.
your mom does have a positive spin on the symbolism of her ring! how nice to find a way to look at the bright side 🙂
Post # 11
@CaptainSpaulding: RHR was what I was going to suggest.
My parents divorced and when I was done school my mom gave me her wedding ring and it has since lived on my right hand.
Post # 12
My parents are divorced and my mom used the diamond from her engagement ring to make a necklace that she gave me for my college graduation. If you truly don’t want to wear the ring i would consider using parts of it to design a new one or creating another piece of jewerly.
Post # 13
If my mom had offered me her ring from my dad, I would have said no for sure. Making it into another piece of jewelry wouldn’t make it ‘better’ for me, and it sounds like even though your mom has an amazing outlook on it all, you not as much… so that’s probably not an option for you.
I would have a good talk with her and let her know you really truly appreciate the offer, but that you and FI want to start your own sentimental journey with a clean slate and hopefully she understands. Someday down the road that ring could go to a grandchild who may appreciate the sentimentaility of it without the hurt.
Post # 14
Uggh, I had this same situation only with bridal jewelry. My Mom bought me earrings to wear on my wedding day without asking me what I wanted and they totally weren’t my style. I didn’t know what to say, I did not want to sound ungrateful, but they were VERY expensive and she would have been insulted if I told her how I felt. The earrings ended up growing on me I wore them on my wedding day, so I didn’t have to hurt her feelings thankfully.
But this is a piece of jewelry that you will wear every day for the rest of your life, god willing. Unless you’re okay looking at it as a ‘starter’ ring so you can take some time to save up for a huge upgrade, I would be honest with her that it’s not your style.
Post # 15
@Lo: That’s what my mom did as well.
She took the diamond from the ring, gave me a necklace she had designed with a card about how even though things don’t always turn out how you’d hoped (this was a BAD divorce, my father’s not a nice guy) you can get some amazing gifts from the experience (the kids). I wear that necklace every single day, and I don’t think of their divorce but instead of how even the worst of things can bring you amazing gifts.
OP, do you think that you could just talk to your mom and explain that while you visualize the ring as a symbol differently than she does, you’d love to work with her together to create something special out of it together?
Post # 16
I took the center stone from the engagement ring that my mom gave my dad and my husband put it into my engagement ring. Even though they are divorced, I have a great relationship with both parents, so I am happy to wear it, in a setting that I LOVE. I like it because it’s a way for my mom and dad to both have contributed to my marriage. The ring doesn’t have to represent anything negative unless you want it to! You make your own marriage great, whether or not your parents was! My opinion, anyhow