He's going to propose w/ his great-grandmother's ring but I don't like it at all

posted 2 years ago in Rings
Post # 16
2419 posts
Buzzing bee

Uncharitably, I cant help but think “no wonder his mom only wears her wedding ring”.

Can you try telling him that it’s important to you to have something that looks like an engagement ring? 

I think your biggest challenge (after the fact that his entire family is aware of the tradition and apparently thinks it’s amazing) is going to be that they likely don’t see it as a big deal if you don’t love the ring, because in their minds it’s just something you wear until the wedding.  

Hmm.. If you’re planning on having kids, perhaps you could suggest picking out an engagement ring so you will be able to pass down 2 rings?

Post # 17
661 posts
Busy bee

What the hell? Why would generations of women be subjected to wearing that ring that caters to a very narrow and specific taste? Like other posters mentioned, there’s probably a pretty good reason why they only wear wedding rings. 

Why would your boyfriend not listen to anything you say, and assume you’d be thrilled to recieve a ring no one else has had the heart to wear for generations?

I am livid on your behalf. It’s not about the ring, I think heirloom rings can be great if done right, but it’s about the sense of obligation – “you WILL wear my great grandmother’s ring and you WILL love it, because this is somehow a symbol of how much I value you.” 

For what it’s worth, if that ring has been passed through three generations already, and it is a piece of costume jewelery not meant to last, its days are numbered. Wear the hell out of it in the first year of your engagement because you LOVE IT SOOOO MUCH, and buy your own ring when it inevitably breaks. Harsh? Maybe. But you’ve been put in a pretty awful position. 

ETA: I actually like the ring a lot, and would love to rock it on my right hand, but that’s beside the point. YOU don’t like it, and that’s really the only thing that matters. 

Post # 18
369 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

From the description I was expecting something really bad, but I think it’s quite pretty, but that’s irrelevant. I’m of the opinion that every woman deserves to have a ring she loves. 

Could you guys compromise? Wear it for the engagement then but yourself an engagement ring after the wedding? Or wear it around his family or for special/formal occasions and buy your own for everyday? Especially if it’s likely to break with too much wear.

it definitely is not fair how up in arms his lot seem to be over this ring though, but if they’re not expecting you to wear it and using it like an engagement prop perhaps then it would be fine to get your own ring? 

Good luck hope you guys come up with a solution that you’re both happy with 😊

Post # 19
661 posts
Busy bee

Also, I think there was a thread a few months back where the girlfriend had been given a truly awful heirloom ring. She offered to wear the ring on her wedding day for sentimental value, but asked (and possibly offered to pay for herself) for a different ring for everyday wear. 

Of course, the thread was started by the boyfriend bitching about how selfish she was, but it might actually be a good compromise. 

Post # 20
186 posts
Blushing bee

If I was in your situation, I would be heartbroken as well. Yes, marriage is about the commitment and both of you are more important than a ring, but to me, the ring matters ALOT. Does that make me materialistic? That’s fine, I am. 

I think it would be different if the ring was real. Its not a gemstone, not real diamonds, etc. His great grand father bought it when he couldn’t afford much,  which is special and I understand the history behind it all, but lots of people inherit jewelry – this is just costume jewelry, not cool. 

Ill get heat for this one, but to me, the ring symbolizes love and sacrafice (on the guys end) – that he loves you so much hes willing to put aside money to get you a ring to show that he is going to take care of you (In my culture we live at home until we are married). It doesn’t matter if the ring is $500 or $50,000 (depending on income) its that he put you first. 

Now if your boyfriend can’t afford a ring that’s a whole different story. I get the sentimental value, but I also find his family using it as an excuse to be cheap. I dont understand why you cant have another ring to be your ering along with this one. 

That being said, the ring isn’t as bad as you described. I pictured a gaudy and hideous ring. I personally, would not be happy if this was my one and ONLY ering. Im sorry bee, the situation that you’re in sucks. I hope you can sit down and talk to him about it. In the end if loves you then he will want you to be happy. I would talk to him privately, it may turn into a fight, so choose your words carefully. 

Post # 21
3730 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I think you’ve been given several good suggestions. I would be fine with him proposing with the ring and maybe even wearing it during the engagement. However, maybe you can find a “wedding set” for your wedding ring and begin wearing both rings after the wedding. If he’s still not on board with that and you really want a ring to pair with your wedding band then I’d just buy one on my own and wear it anyway. It might not have the sentimental value of an engagement ring, but if you want it and can afford to buy it then I don’t see why you shouldn’t be able to. 

Post # 22
545 posts
Busy bee

Honestly I think you just need to talk to him and tell him how you feel. You’ve just been dancing around the subject and a lot of times it’s just easier to tell men exactly what you mean and are thinking. 

If you do that and he doesn’t care, I think you need to reconsider your relationship. I’m sure there is something that he cares about that you can compare it to to he understands a little better. 

Post # 23
484 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2019 - Southampton, UK

I love the sentiment behind the ring. Since he doesn’t expect you to wear it anyway, can you accept it to carry on the tradition, but also explain to him that you don’t love it and have your heart set on wearing an engagement ring, and would like to get an additional ring for everyday wear?  You each have your own feelings about it; I think doing both would be a good compromise.


Post # 24
1395 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2018

Wear it for the engagement and then buy a wedding set for your wedding ring. The sentiment is nice but it won’t hold up for everyday wear 

Post # 25
625 posts
Busy bee

spontoise :  I mean, if that ring is so important to him, he can get it resized and wear it everyday. The fact of the matter is, traditions like family jewelry and first names are fine until you’re making a decision for someone else that will effect them everyday without their consultation. OPs boyfriend’s family made this decision without her involved, and that’s crap. I feel the same way about men’s families expecting their future daughter in law to just go along naming her first son a pre determined name like George because that’s what they do in their family. It feels like the woman is just a vessel or a stand-in. It’s pretty creepy and wildly inconsiderate.

 OP–  A woman’s wedding set is a symbol that she’s married. It doesn’t have to be the ring he proposed with, in some cases there wasn’t even a proposal or a ring. But once you’re a married woman, you can decorate your left hand however you want to fashionably convey that message. It’s a personal choice and subject to each woman’s distinct flair. Your selfish boyfriend (then husband) and his judgmental family will have to get over the money you spend on your chosen wedding set for daily wear. Aside from it being a household expense, it’s not his business (and will NEVER be the business of your inlaws). Keep the sentiment ring tucked away. 

Post # 26
339 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

You must tell him you want a different ring. Why? Because if you can’t talk to him honestly now about a sensitive issue, you really shouldn’t marry him. And if he refuses your quite reasonable request of a ring you like and want to wear, what else will he put his foot down on, where to live, how to raise the kids?

Maybe you can accept this ring as your official engagement ring and wear it at special occasions while he or you (plural or singular) buy another ring for day to day wear?

I would be heartbroken if I couldn’t wear my engagement ring every day.  And even if you loved it, you couldn’t wear that ring more than once in a while, it’s costume jewellery. How would he feel if you broke his great grandmother’s ring? How does he think you’d feel?

You’re not being unreasonable. It’s not unreasonable to want an engagement ring you a) like and b) can wear.

Post # 27
252 posts
Helper bee

Here’s an idea if your boyfriend stands firm on his stance of not getting you the type of engagement ring you’re hoping for. What if, when you design your wedding rings together, your wedding ring looks like those really pretty scroll rings (at least, that’s the term I’ve managed to Google up for this type of ring)? Examples below.

This option might satisfy your desire for something you find pretty and more akin to what others around you are wearing, while also allowing you to accept your boyfriend’s family ring with a little less stress attached to it?

Post # 28
253 posts
Helper bee

Tibbs :  I totally agree with everything Tibbs has said 🙂 
If you and your OH cannot come to a sensible agreement which makes you both happy, how do you think you will succeed in a marriage? You both need to communicate your desires and expectations and come to some arrangement that makes you both happy.  

I think the heirloom ring is a very sweet idea, and it is amazing to have been passed down through so many generations and have so much history. 
FWIW, I think it is nice, and not as horrible as you described.

HOWEVER, I DO find it odd that it has become an heirloom considering it has no real stones or value (apart from sentimental ofc), and it seems to not have actually been *worn* by any of the previous women. Funny that it holds so much significance considering it spends most of it’s life in a box! 
That said, this is clearly an important tradtion to your OH and his family. By marrying him, you are becoming part of that family and thus you need to respect their traditions. 

A suggestion for compromise:

– Let him propose with the sentimental ring. Wear it during the engagement period.
Tell him that many couples get engaged with placeholder and that costume nature of this ring will not last as a daily ‘forever ring’, pointing out previous women in family have not worn it regularly, and that you would also like to protect and preserve it for future generations, continuing tradition. 

– Design a wedding set which included your dream eRing and wedding band. Wear sentimental proposal ring as RHR on wedding day/special occasions, but don’t wear it daily to avoid damaging it. 

– Continue with tradition of giving ring to first born son, with the understanding that his future wife may also have her dream ring if she so chooses 🙂 Create new tradtion of passing on your own eRing to first daughter/second child/godchild etc. when their time comes.  

I really hope you guys can come to a happy conclusion with this. 
As much as you are joining his family, he is also joining yours. His family may have their traditions, but maybe you grew up with your mother having a diamond solitaire and maybe you always dreamed of the same symbolizing your marriage. 


Post # 29
253 posts
Helper bee

Oh, and just an idea that might make your OH more amenable to the wedding set idea; why not try incorporate some of the sentimental ring into the design of the wedding set?

I’m not sure how opposed to the green colour you are, but that cloudy green stone looks to be trying to emulate a natural emerald…maybe an alternating diamond and emerald eternity band? 
Or if you really hate the green, try an oval centre stone with side diamond clusters. Like an updated version of the costume ring. Looks good with both clear or coloured stones if you like gemstones in general. 
Links just from a quick google image search. 






Post # 30
14 posts

Do you know how his mom feels about the ring? Maybe she dislikes it also and would talk to your boyfriend about it. He probably feels a strong obligation to give you the ring, but if he knew his mom was okay with him giving you a different ring, he might change his mind.

The sentiment is nice, but I completely understand your desire to have a ring that is your style.

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