(Closed) He's Morally Opposed to Rings, but I Want My Family Heirloom

posted 9 years ago in Emotional
Post # 152
250 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

As someone whose initial post was apparently so unhelpful as to be actively offensive, you may wish to skip this comment.

OP, for future posts, you may want to provide more info up front if you don’t want us to misunderstand your situation. There have been many details that have come out in your subsequent comments that alter the way I view your initial post. I’m assuming this is the case for many others that you felt wrongfully attacked by. We were just going off of the info you provided, which from where I’m sitting painted the situation in a very different light than what I get from reading your later posts. To be honest (and this may be largely because it’s late and I’ve had a long, emotional day), it really rubs me the wrong way that I took the time to read and respond to the situation you provided, offered what I thought were provocative and productive questions/comments, and then got not only ignored but also insulted by you because you did not agree with my assessment. It’s 100% fine that you feel I was off base. Now that I have more info, I realize that I probably was. But it doesn’t feel great to be scolded for trying to help you based on the limited info that you yourself provided intiially.

Anyway, that aside, I’m having trouble discerning what sort of advice you’re looking for…? From your last pre-ring photo (beautiful ring, btw!), it sounds like you are actually really looking for a way to convince him to give this special ring to you explicitly as an engagement ring, without forcing him to abandon his beliefs. Is that the case? If so, then it would be useful to know more details about what exactly his objections are–what is the history of the subjugation of women in his culture, how does the ring factor into that, etc. How flexible is he in his beliefs? Do you wish to actually change his mind on this issue, or is this more of a venting post? What would an ideal situation look like to you?

It’s taken me a long time to come around to this, but I personally hold the belief that it is sometimes better to change traditions from within–to reclaim traditions that may have been exploitative or oppressive and turn them into something that is inclusive and equalizing–than to abandon them altogether. That’s why my husband and I got married, actually, so that we could reimagine the union according to our values and ideals.

My personal belief is that while symbols hold power, they are also constantly evolving, like language. We actually give them more power if we refuse to see them as changing things. Ultimately, it is what you do with those symbols that will impact how these symbols are understood by future generations. Who knows, maybe you and your fiance would be better able to pave the way for future generations of more equal, less oppressive partnerships by embracing the symbols of this culture and then redefining them in your own way, than you might be by shirking the symbols altogether.

But again, I have no idea if any of that applies to you or your situation because I don’t really know what you want.

Post # 153
348 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - Italiano\'s Humble

@EHC5212:  what you said is also known as a catch 22….”yeah, babe you wear what you want…BUT, I feel…”

see? we aren’t attacking HIM. just his way of thinking. If it’s something you want, and it’s this FAMILY HEIRLOOM, then he should just put up and shut up. simply to make you happy. his feelings about it, can be expressed by him not wearing a ring himself.

I almost get the feeling you’re defending him too much. People change, hence your new adopted opinion of this ring. I have a feeling, if your family knew of this, they would not be impressed. A piece of your family’s history(albeit, possibly short), is in this ring. It was saved for you to wear. Personally, I’d wear it. Because if he isn’t buying you one, then it’s only RIGHT to wear this one you are being presented with. I could see if he had bought you one, and you were torn between “his” ring, and your family’s ring. But, that’s not the case.

Your feelings count too. I think you’re forgetting that. Some women DEMAND a man wear a ring, when in fact ALLOT of men, don’t even like jewelry. It’s called compromise. And your Fh is lacking in it. I could see him saying “honey, I understand it’s important to you and your family, therefore, although it’s not something I believe in, I feel that in this case, it’s perfectly acceptable”, or something to that measure.

It’s coming across as the same thing I tell my 4 year old. Sure, you can do ANYTHING you want, honey. But you wanna see the epic “butt whooping” when you finish?(I don’t “hit” my 4 year old, and I’m not saying your FH hits you, of course not! I’m just using it as a comparison.) But, do you see what I’m saying? It’s either unconditional acceptance, or it’s no acceptance at all. I think you have allot to think about. My personal opinion, I’d have to question everything after that. If someone can’t take into consideration how I feel about something like this, then I’d feel my opinion/feelings would never count. In some ways, this ring is a very small detail. But, it’s a very large “tell” about him.

Post # 154
5003 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Sometimes in life you think this is what I believe and then something happens and you change your stance on something.

You were against rings before your engagement but then you got engaged and liked the idea of a symbolic gesture of a ring….thats ok….its fine to change your mind.

Now that I am engaged, for reasons that I can’t even fully articulate, I really do want my family’s ring.

It is ok to want a symbol of your commitment….it is also ok to want the world to know that you are commited to someone else.
You should sit down with your Fiance and articulate why you want this ring to be a symbol. I think you know why you want to wear a ring, but are maybe just not wanting to be honest with yourself as to why you want to wear a ring. Be honest even if your reasons for wanting the ring may be a little anti-feminist and a teeny bit retro to your mind!!!Laughing. Maybe you and Fiance can agree to disagree on this topic.
In My Humble Opinion a ring doesn’t mean you are owned by someone ….it just lets the world know that you are a part of something greater than yourself….you belong with someone not belong to someone.

Post # 155
656 posts
Busy bee

@EHC5212:  “In his cultural context, he sees rings as signifying that someone is “my woman” more than anything else, and doesn’t want to be seen (or for me to be seen) in that way.”

Just putting this out there… but just because he sees the engagement ring as something that signifies ‘my woman’ doesn’t mean everyone else does. If you both know it doesn’t represent that to you, then it doesn’t represent that. And it seems as though he would be uncomfortable with you wearing it because of what other people would think.

Think about all the moissanite girls. Lots of people judge us because it’s ‘not a diamond’ but to hell with what other people think – we wear it because we love it and no one else’s opinion matters.

If you really love this ring, and you want to wear it as an engagement ring, then you need to talk to your Fiance about why other peoples opinions affect him so, and help him move past it so you can do what you want.

Post # 156
5003 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

EDIT Just read all your other posts…..your situation makes more sense now. I dont know what to say as I’m unsure as to what advise you want.You want to wear the ring as engagement ring not a RHR. He doesn’t want you to wear it as an engagement ring. Neither of you will compromise. I think you are looking for a solution that will allow both of you to not have to compromise your ethics. I don’t think this solution exists….one of you is just going to have to budge!!! I have a strong feeling its going to be you. Good luck.









Post # 157
159 posts
Blushing bee

He’s clinging to some arbitrary meaning attributed to an inanimate object by himself and won’t let go to make you happy? I wouldn’t appreciate that in my relationship. Especially saying that he would be uncomfortable. That is the same as saying you can’t wear it, because of course you would not want to upset your partner by making him uncomfortable. The irony involved here in making a woman not do something harmless that would make her very happy under the guise of pro-feminism would be delicious if it wasn’t so freaking bitter.Sealed

edit: as someone said, it isn’t an engagement ring since he hasn’t given it to the OP. So wear it as a RHR and be ringless from his POV. Simple.

Post # 158
1034 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

That ring is beautiful. Your grandmother must have loved it, too. That is an engagement ring, no doubt about it.

I would be ridiculously pissed off if my Fiance told me he felt “uncomfortable” about me wearing a symbol that is so much tied to a deep connection to a deceased relative. Seriously, that’s beyond insensitive of him to prioritize his feelings over yours in this case. It’s your GRANDMA who left this gift for you. You’ve presumably always looked forward to wearing it, right? What a shame to not wear it or to even have to compromise about wearing it.

Like I said before, I doubt this has anything to do with so-called progressive feelings of wanting to avoid historical markers of misogyny. It likely has more to do with your FI’s feelings about other things.

And, for the record, I work in social justice and human rights, just like your FI’s parents. Like any other line of work, we work with plenty of crappy people. They just nicely giftwrap their crappiness to other people in so-called principles of progressive values. It’s actually MORE offensive to me than people who work in, say, corporate America, and are crappy people. At least they don’t put up the “giftwrapped” front.

Clearly, I don’t know your FI’a parents or your Fiance, so how could I possibly say they suck? What I am saying is to consider the possibility that jerks exist in every line of work and background. 

Anyway, I hope it all works out for you the way you want it to. 

Post # 159
2041 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I find it really ironic that the women who call your Fiance controlling and manipulative for saying something you want to do would make him uncomfortable would have no problem, say, telling their SO’s not to have bachelor parties/go to strip clubs/watch porn because it makes THEM uncomfortable. How is that not controlling, but what OP’s Fiance is doing is?

Part of being in a partnership is you are free to express your views to the other person, openly and honestly. Frankly, I think it bodes well for your relationship that your Fiance has the guts to be honest with you about something he knows you won’t like, instead of just silently stewing over it forever.

I really think at this point you need to sit down and have a frank and open discussion with him about this (again!). It could be that his views will never change, and you are going to be at a stalemate, but I think it is certainly worth another conversation to see what you can BOTH get out of this situation. I agree with what PP said, relationships ARE about compromise, but it shouldn’t always be about one person compromising, either (which you obviously seem to get).

Gorgeous ring, By The Way:)

Post # 162
1781 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Ok, so I’ve read through all of this, and from what I can gather, the root of his issue is not the ring itself, it’s how other people outside of your circle of friends and family will view the ring.  He’s concerned that people will view you as ‘his woman’ and ‘his property’, when in fact, he wants people to view you as equals.  

While that’s a noble gesture and thought, if you’re going to follow through with your plans to continue doing work in developing nations where women are looked at as objects, the ring won’t make a difference.  My brother is currently in an area where women are viewed as property (he’s working on a multi year infrastructure project) and it drives both him and his wife crazy.  Any time they’ve had issues with contractors for the house, or to schedule appointments, he has to call, they won’t even speak to her.  It doesn’t matter that they’re married – in that culture, she does not have any ability to make decisions or speak for the two of them.  I get that he wants you to be at his side as an equal, but the ring won’t make a difference in how people will view you.  If you’re dealing with a society with strict gender roles, something sparkly on a particular finger will not change their view of your overall anatomy. 

Personally, I think wearing the ring is a great way to start a dialogue.  If someone comes up to him and says ‘oh, is that your woman?’, he can respond with ‘she’s my partner’.  And if someone asks you about the ring, you can talk about your grandmother, and how it was her gift to you.  You should wear it and cherish it as the symbol of love that it is to you and your family. 


Post # 163
15 posts
  • Wedding: October 2011

So, I just stumbled on this tread. I know it’s an old one, and I don’t want to stir up anything, but I was wondering how you and your fiancé are doing?

I think it’s very brave of your fiancé to admit that he would not feel comfortable about you wearing a ring, any kind of ring. I would imagine this would be hard for him, because he does not want to hurt your feelings and he knows how much this ring means to you.
And I think you are being very honest about wanting to wear your grandmothers ring (as an engagement ring), simply because it means a lot to you.
as I understand it, you already saw it as “your engagement ring” and once you have that image in your head (same goes for your husband, of course), it’s hard to let it go, or to change that image. Emotions can be tricky to reason with.

I persoanlly don’t agree that it can’t be an engagement ring, like some people have said, just because he didn’t pay for it, or proposed to you with it. If you both agreed it is your engagement ring, then it is. And if you (both) decide that it isn’t an engagement ring, then it isn’t. Big rock or no rock, it really makes no difference.
I might be tempted to wear it on my middle finger (so I can flip people off when showing it, if they would ask to see “the engagement ring”) but that might just be me, and I don’t know if I’d actually recomend you doing that :p
I don’t know if I’m allowed to say it here, but I think you might enjoy OffBeatBride too. They are called offbeat for a reason (truly, in the best sense of the word), and it really is a wonderful community as well! Not to say this isn’t a great community, because is it.

Hope all is well!
Good luck!

Post # 164
3615 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

 Commenting to see an update! (Hopefully)

The topic ‘He's Morally Opposed to Rings, but I Want My Family Heirloom’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors