No matter how strong the relationship may seem, there is always baggage when it comes to being someone’s second spouse.
When marrying a divorced parent with children, there is the pressure of whether or not your prospective step-children will accept you and welcome you into the family.
And even marrying a divorcé without children comes with complications, most notably the concern of why their first marriage didn’t work out looming over your head.
When it comes to marrying a widow or widower, there is the sad question of whether or not you’ll ever live up to the memory of their deceased spouse.
Redditor I-Dont-Know-Nothing1 was happy with her relationship, but always worried that her widowed boyfriend might have been looking for a replacement for his late wife.
Her fears became exacerbated when he finally popped the question, when her discomfort did not go unnoticed by her in-laws-to-be.
Worried she might have overreacted, the original poster (OP), took to the subReddit “Am I The A**Hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for being upset that my fiance proposed with his dead wife’s ring?”
The OP first shared how her relationship was going extremely well, though she did often feel challenged by the memory of his late wife.
“My fiancé (26 M[ale]) and I (21 F[emale]) have been dating for 2 years.”
“He honestly has been the best boyfriend and support person in my life.”
“In the past, I honestly lost all my faith in men due to many bad experiences and he was the one to restore it.”
“My fiancé been married before but his wife unfortunately passed away due to someone driving under the influence.”
“My fiancé and my fiancé’s family both described her as an amazing women who was basically a saint.”
“Sometimes I feel like I am compared to her and even get comments from my fiancé family members that I look and sound like her.”
“It sometimes makes me if little uncomfortable, because I’m not her replacement.”
“I always knew that my fiancé kept some of her belongings, including her engagement and wedding ring and, I’ve always been okay with it, but I never expected for him to actually propose to me with her ring.”
When her fiancé finally proposed, it turned out not to be the joyous occasion the OP hoped it would be.
“When he proposed, he organized a family picnic to announce my pregnancy and honestly I’ve never seen a picnic so fancy before.”
“Everything was perfect, my and his family were both there.”
“But when he proposed, I saw that the ring he chose was his deceased wife’s ring, and I was a little taken back.”
“I hesitated before I said yes, and his sisters and mom noticed.”
“Later on, his sisters and mom questioned me about it as if they were some kinda interrogators and I was honest.”
“I told them I felt uncomfortable being proposed to with his deceased wife ring, and I felt that it belonged to her and not me.”
“They told me that my fiancé wanted to pick a meaningful ring, and nothing spoke to him but his deceased wife’s ring.”
“I answered back saying that I would’ve been happy with any ring, even if it was a freaking ring pop candy, but something doesn’t sit right with me being proposed to with his dead wife’s ring.”
“They ended up telling my fiancé, and now he’s been being a little distant ever since.”
“I love him and don’t want this to ruin our relationship.”
“I understand he’s still hurt about his wife dying, but sometimes I feel like he’s trying to replace her with me and I can’t be her because I’m me.”
“Am I the asshole for being upset?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
The Reddit community agreed that the OP had every right to feel uncomfortable by being proposed to with the ring of her fiancé’s late wife, and was not the a**hole.
Most everyone agreed that the OP’s fiancé did seem like he was trying to replace his late wife with her, and that the two of them needed to have a very serious conversation, with some even wondering if the OP should stay in this relationship.
“You both need to really discuss this.”- No_Load1682
“This is the beginning of a V.C. Andrews novel & it’s not ok.”- twoofheartsandspades
“NTA it sounds like he is replacing you.”
“Have you seen pictures of her?”- murphy2345678
“I’m not sure what the solution for this might be, but he needs to understand how you’re feeling about this, and that you feel like you’re being compared to a ghost instead of being seen for who you are.”
“It may not be intentional, hell he may not even realize he’s doing it, but he needs to know that’s what’s happening.”
“And if he can’t accept that… maybe it’s time to reevaluate some things or look into some therapy to help you talk it out.”
“Also… no, just no with the dead wife’s ring.”
“That reminds me of the wedding scene in ‘Beetlejuice’ only super creepy.”- Kytrinwrites
“By proposing with his dead wife’s ring, it certainly seems like he’s trying to replace her with you.”
“That ring should be a memory of his late wife, not something he should want to see on the hand of anyone else.”
“You’re not a walking memorial.”- Kindly_Reward_8537
“NTA, and a little naive.”
“Y’all got together when you were 19, and he was 24 and a widower.”
“He is absolutely trying to replace her.”
“If you weren’t pregnant I would say rethink the entire relationship.”- mzpljc
“The ring should be special to YOU too, not just him.”
“He can keep his sentimental jewelry somewhere in his belongings, and you should be able to choose a new one together with no history attached to it.”- inkognito_burrito
“It sounds like he’s still grieving his past wife.”
“How did you even know it was the old ring?”
“Has he been showing it to you before the proposal?”- loumerloni
“The ring is meant to represent your relationship and your commitment.”
“In your shoes I would have said no and likely lost it.”
I” literally cannot think of any reason why someone would do this other than being cheap, or trying to replace their dead spouse with their new partner and just go about life as if the two were the same person.”
“And both reasons are gross IMO.”
“Especially when you would have been happy with candy and didn’t need a diamond.”
“I would consider couples counseling to get to the bottom of this, as there’s a baby coming and just walking away doesn’t sound like an option.”- Cryptographer_Alone
“It feels like he’s just trying to replace his wife.”
“Like you said, he could have gotten you a ring pop.”- WaywardPrincess1025
“Definitely would not expect anyone to be comfortable with being proposed to with the deceased ex’s ring.”
“It seems so obvious that I wonder how your fiancé and his family could fail to see it.”
“Unfortunately it does make me wonder if he’s ready to marry again.”- Sweeper1985
“Yikes… NTA.”- Own_Rule_650
“NTA at all.”
“That’s somehow highly inappropriate, and dare I say, disrespectful to both you and her.”
“I think this is a clear sign that he’s not ready to be married.”
“Not to mention- I know you think you’ve been thru a lot with relationships, but you’re only 21.”
“You may want to step back and rethink this.”- cinnamongrits
“My first red flag upon reading this was the ages.”
“You were 19 when he was 24 and a widower.”
“Your lives were in very different places.”
“The age gap is not worrisome to me, more so the chapters of life that you two were in.”
“It feels as if he is trying to replace his deceased wife and you are filling that void.”
“I think it is important that you two talk about this, especially since you are pregnant with his child.”
“Trust your instinct.”-farmerjohnmissouri
At least one Redditor pointed out how both the OP and her fiancé are both still very young and have each been through a lot already, and might not be ready to enter into a marriage.
“Has it occurred to you that ‘losing your faith in men’ at 19 years old is exactly the kind of scenario that would lead you to picking a horrible partner?”
“Either you’ve been through extreme trauma as a teenager or you’re still very immature or emotionally stunted.”
“Are you sure you’re ready for marriage and kids at 21?”
“Are you sure this guy is the best you can do?”
“Do you not want to ever be your partners’ equal?”- ughwhyusernames
It does seem like the OP’s fiancé still hasn’t quite gotten over the death of his first wife
And losing a spouse at such a young age, who can blame him?
But for this marriage to be successful, this is something which he and the OP will need to address.
Ideally with a therapist, and especially before their child is born.