Sometimes when families start to come together, the new family members will do what they can to become a part of the family.
But sometimes how they try to acclimate is misunderstood and considered rude, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Existing_Ring_ was appalled when her future daughter-in-law pulled her aside and asked her to give her an emerald ring she had made and loved very much as a personal gift to her.
Because she still loved the ring and was already giving her future daughter-in-law (DIL) many gifts, the Original Poster (OP) couldn’t help but think she was digging for more.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not passing on an ‘heirloom’ to my daughter-in-law (DIL)?”
The OP loved collecting and creating her own jewelry collection.
“I am 48 (Female) and my eldest is 22 (Male). He’s been with his fiancée (DIL) since they were 20 and he wants to marry her.”
“I’d always liked her before now. She’s a smart girl, she fits in well with the family, she’s driven, and she makes my son happy. Everything was all roses until they got engaged.”
“Now, since I was little, I have been fascinated with jewelry. When I was older and married and had my own income, I started to collect rings.”
“I would ‘design’ them myself, used to ask friends and family to give me monetary gifts I could put towards making rings, and save up my disposable income towards whatever ring I wanted. (Think of this as, ‘OP, what would you like for your birthday?’ and I’d remind them that I love to make jewelry, so they’d give me money to put towards that hobby instead of a tangible gift.)”
“I wasn’t buying one every year, but over time, I have established a nice collection of rings. My favorites are a sapphire with a halo of diamonds, an emerald in a trilogy with one-carat diamonds on either side, and a Ruby set in a pavé band.”
When they got engaged, the OP’s future DIL had an unexpected request.
“After my son got engaged and we invited him and DIL to dinner at home, DIL asked to speak to me in private because she had something she needed to discuss with me.”
“This gave me the impression of urgency and importance. In truth, I was concerned about whether she was okay because she was being quite furtive.”
“We left to a separate room where she sat me down and began by saying she’s been seeing my emerald ring over the years and she has always wanted one.”
“She said she noticed I don’t wear my emerald ring these days, and she wanted it as an engagement gift to herself.”
“She pointed out that I wear it least often, which is true, and demanded that I gift it to her as an heirloom engagement ring.”
“This is in addition to other wedding gifts and expenses we had discussed as a family during dinner. This includes gold to the value of approximately £6000 which is honestly more than my entire wedding cost, and which I still think is a significant amount.”
The OP felt uncomfortable with the request.
“This rubbed me the wrong way, and I admit I accused her of trying to pick through my estate before I’m even dead.”
“I told her the ring was mine and I could even sell it on my deathbed if I wanted to; she had no right to expect it and she was being a rude brat by demanding it.”
“She also already has a beautiful and expensive ring my husband and I helped my son pay for, so it’s not like she’s without a ring.”
The couple accused the OP of overreacting.
“She yelled at me that something like this can’t just be sold, it should be an heirloom and it’s normal for heirlooms to Be passed on while the wearer is still alive.”
“I told her to leave if she was just in my home to demand my property and she stormed out, taking my son with her.”
“She’s mad at me and my son says I should’ve just passed the ring to her since I have others and it would be a nice gesture to welcome her to the family!”
“He says it’s no different than his sister occasionally borrowing some of my pieces.”
“My husband and my daughter are on my side, but this is the first time my son has shut me out like this.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some were shocked by the couple’s entitlement and, quite frankly, audacity.
“Your DIL is quite the entitled gold (or emerald) digger. If she wanted it for an engagement ring, the proper thing would have been for your son to discuss it with you. Her asking for it is shocking and rude.”
“It’s not an heirloom if you are the first owner in the family. Heirlooms tend to have generations behind them. And they are not necessarily given away during the owner’s lifetime. Many family mementos are distributed as part of an estate after the owner is deceased.”
“Don’t loan anything to her or you will never see it again.” – Ducky818
“Why didn’t she just ask your son for an engagement ring with emeralds/diamonds in it? Future DIL sounds unhinged, and I bet you would have been willing to create something beautiful for her that was tailored to her taste! IF she had asked! NTA!” – Tall_Confection_960
“DIL: If I don’t ask, you can’t say yes!”
“OP: Mind. Blown.”
“A large emerald center stone with two one-carat diamonds. Guess her motto is go big or go home!”
“Can’t wait to hear what she wants for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, and Taco Tuesdays!!”
“May I suggest a hidden safe, bolted to the floor?” – definitelytheA
“When I was little, both of my grandmothers let me play dress up with their jewelry when I went to visit them. It stuck with me, so I’ve been collecting and designing jewelry since I was very young, too.”
“So I think I understand how it would feel to have someone waltz in and try to tell me that I should give some of my pieces away. I’d be absolutely flabbergasted and fairly offended.”
“When you design or even just curate a collection, it has meaning to you. The sheer audacity and entitlement of your son and future DIL is ridiculous.”
“Not to mention the absolute lack of tact. It would be one thing to casually compliment a piece or mention that you’ve always wanted something similar. It’s another entirely, to demand to own someone else’s treasured belongings.”
“Please protect your beautiful collection from scavengers the next time she’s in your home. Please also consider including them as a rider on your insurance if you haven’t previously. And then, as morbid as it sounds, you need to amend your will to specify exactly who each piece should go to.”
“NTA. But watch that girl. She’s just shown you who she really is.” – v_blondie
“I probably read entirely too much AITA, but when/if she ever comes to your house again, make sure your rings are somewhere she cannot access. If she’s as entitled as she seems, she may not balk at simply taking something she thinks she deserves.”
“I mean, hopefully, I’m just paranoid because the forum we’re in tends to highlight really bad actors, but she’s behaved terribly so far and it can’t hurt to be on the safe side.”
“And if you do want someone specific to have any of your jewelry after you are gone, you should be very specific about that so she can’t simply claim it all as hers.” – FeuerroteZora
But others thought the OP was being too protective and should bond with her DIL.
“YTA. It honestly sounds like she wanted to feel connected to your family and viewed this as a way to bond and ensure your legacy is passed on. She wanted an heirloom that could be passed to her own children with your son. It is VERY common for men to give heirloom pieces to their fiance/wives when getting married, that isn’t strange.”
“If you don’t want to give it to her, that’s fine and absolutely your choice, but the way you wrote this does sound like you’ve overblown the situation and accused her of being a gold digger when that doesn’t seem to be what actually happened.”
“Personally, I’d be thrilled if a DIL wanted to have that connection with me/my family, and your reaction here is likely to affect any future relationship you have with her and any kids she and your son have.” – expressivekim
“Edit: OP provided more info into the way DIL asked. I personally still think OP escalated beyond what I personally would do, but that doesn’t make her TA. modifying my vote to NTA.”
“Original: I might get downvoted to h**l, I don’t know, but I’m having trouble understanding the extent of your reaction. Yes, DIL was rude to ask. but why you immediately went to ‘you’re just trying to sell off my things, and I could sell them off on my deathbed and you cant stop me’ is what I can’t understand.”
“If all your DIL did was ask if a ring could become an heirloom, your response was concerning escalated, and over the top. ESH.” – thatrandomuser1
“I get the feeling there is more to this story than is being told. Did you gift one of these rings to your daughter as an heirloom by any chance or mention it was something you had thought about before? I’m just trying to figure out how your DIL got it in her head that would be an appropriate thing to come out and ask someone. It’s very random and… not classy.”
“But maybe I’m wrong and there isn’t more to the story. Which makes you NTA.”
“It’s weird and off-putting to ask someone for a specific heirloom if no one has offered or talked about it. If they had come to you and expressed help with affording a different engagement ring. I’d have to agree with you based on the information provided that is a weird and awkward thing to ask…” – Cloud_bunnyboo
“I’m gonna say YTA here, and here’s why, hear me out. All she did was ask if you could gift her the ring. You admitted you have lots as you collect jewelry, so this isn’t really an odd request and doesn’t automatically make her a gold digger.”
“A simple no, not right now dear, but we can revisit this in the future, might have ended the discussion right there. But we won’t know, cause you admittedly lost your cool for no reason.”
“Them getting upset is half justified if you reacted the way you did and accused her of going after your s**t before you die. Yeah, she could have had your son ask, but it was your flip out and rude comments that escalated the situation, so know we’ll never know if a simple no would have ended the conversation.” – sillyjule
“YTA. You are weirdly defensive about this. It was a slightly strange request, but you reacted like she stole it. Why did you choose to escalate the situation the way you did? Accusing her of picking over your estate before you’re dead and calling her a rude brat is so unnecessary.”
“You could have just said no. And the way you described your favorite rings including carats makes me question the type of person you are in general.”
“My MIL gifted me a bracelet of her mother’s to wear on my wedding day and at my bridal shower told me I could keep it. It’s something I prize to this day. Granted, I didn’t ask for a bracelet to borrow or to keep it but it was a special moment for us.”
“You handled this so aggressively for no reason. By your own admission up until this happened, you really liked her, so her asking for an heirloom ring turning into your name-calling her is wild to me. Don’t be surprised if you don’t get a wedding invitation.” – TheGlamourWitch
The subReddit was really torn over what had happened in the OP’s home, with some suspecting entitlement while others expected connection.
While the daughter-in-law’s request might have come off as more of a demand, hopefully she was looking for a way to connect more closely with her mother-in-law, even though her mother-in-law saw it as entitlement and a way to take advantage of her assets while she was still alive.