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Redditor Called ‘Selfish’ For Asking Fiancé To Buy New Engagement Ring Instead Of Using Family Ring

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Dealing with your future in-laws’ cherished family traditions can be a challenge–especially when those in-laws don’t particularly like you much.

A person on Reddit found themself in this situation when their fiance insisted they take his late mother’s engagement ring as their own, despite the fact that his mother didn’t like them very much.

When their request that they get their own ring instead caused a huge conflict, they weren’t sure about how they’d handled it. So they went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for input.

The Original Poster (OP), who goes by the username gnarlyducks on the site, asked:

“AITA for telling my fiancé that I want a new engagement ring and not his mother’s inherited engagement ring?”

They explained:

“I’ve been with my fiancé for 5 years, his mom passed away 2 years into our relationship and at the time we weren’t engaged yet.”

“I’ve always gotten along with everyone in his family except his mom, She’s made it clear that she didn’t like me very much and that I’m not welcomed in the family, she even implied that our relationship is probably not going to last because we’re ‘too different’.”

“I’ve always been nice and cordial with her though, and most of her hostility towards me was indirect so nothing ever escalated. My fiancé was for the most part oblivious about this.”

“Fast forward to last week when he proposed, I knew he was planning to but I had no idea that his mom left her ring for him to propose to his future wife with.”

“I said yes obv but after a few days I told him that I wanted my own ring and not his mother’s ring.”

“He said that the ring meant a lot to him and I said that I understand where he’s coming from but his mom wasn’t all that kind towards me and a ring is a big deal to me.”

“I told my sister about this incident and she said that I was being difficult and selfish and that I shouldn’t be speaking ill of the dead and that I should’ve considered my fiancé’s feelings and costs when making that request.”

“I just don’t want a constant reminder that I’m unwanted on my finger and I genuinely don’t think I made an error here, he has a brother and he can pass the ring down to him. AITA?”

People on Reddit were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

And most Redditors were firmly on OP’s side.

“NTA. You’re the one who will have to wear the ring for the rest of your life, and it’s supposed to be a treasured reminder of the love you share with your partner instead of a reminder of someone who didn’t like you or treat you well.”

“I see why your fiancé feels sentimental about the ring though, so maybe you could compromise by using the same stone but in a different setting so the ring still feels like it’s yours and not his mother’s.”

“EDIT: I’m confused by all the replies calling OP the AH for being ‘materialistic’.”

“Nowhere in the post does she give any reason for not liking the ring other than that it would be a constant reminder of someone who openly disliked her and wasn’t kind to her.”

“If she didn’t like the ring because of aesthetics it might be a different story, but in this case OP is squarely NTA.” –Long-Jeweler-5845

“I’m also confused by the people insisting that the association with Mom has nothing to do with the symbolism here. He chose it because it mattered to Mom that he use it. You can’t separate the two things out, or at least you can’t blame OP for struggling with that.” –mm172

“Even if it was due to aesthetics it would be fine. Shes the one who would be wearing it. Why would he want to give her a ring she doesn’t want to wear?” –WomenAreFemaleWhat

“Even if she didn’t like it for the aesthetics, why is that a big deal?? As long as it’s not a gem size issue, this is something she’s going to have to live with wearing for hopefully the rest of her life. Why be stuck with something that you don’t like?” –dasbarr

“TBF…. Even if the issue were aesthetics, it’s not completely unfounded to ask for something more her style because she’s going to be the one having to wear it.” –DahliaRenegade

“Even if she didn’t like the ring due to aesthetics, it’s why it’s important to actually know the woman you’re going to propose to. Why buy them a ring that they don’t find nice looking that’s not being materialistic, she’s the bloody person who has to wear the thing everyday ffs.” –AbbreviationsOk5071

“Off the main topic but Honestly I think aesthetics are a perfectly acceptable issue when you’re expected to where the ring every day for the rest of your life. Don’t be greedy obv, but if it’s just not your style you’ll either resent it and/or stop wearing it” –Apprehensive-Jelly42

“NTA. An heirloom ring is a lovely thing. . .for some people. But it’s not always the ring someone wants to wear forever, and that’s valid.”

“Whatever your reasons are for not wanting this ring, you should love your engagement ring. It’s not like you’ve told him he has to spend all his savings on it, just that you want someone that’s just for you. And like you said, his brother can have it.” –Temporary_Badger

“NTA. You have to wear the ring for the rest of your life.”

“I would sit and talk to fiance about whether he would rather have the ring remain intact and go to his brother, or if he’d be okay melting down the original setting and using the stones, which many people do.”

“Then you guys can design the ring while still wearing the stones.” –iwantasecretgarden


“The beauty of an heirloom ring is that it is a symbol of your acceptance into the family”.

“A ring that literally comes from the person who did not accept you into the family is not symbolic of anything positive to you.”

“Tell your fiancé that you appreciate the gesture, but that it would be better to save the ring as a gift for a future daughter (or a future son who might want to use it to propose to someone).”

“Or, as you mentioned, he could give it to his brother.”

“Your sister is misguided. Yes, you should consider your fiancé’s feelings, but he needs to consider your feelings as well.”

“And given that he was oblivious, there was really no way to clue him in on the mistake without clarifying your less-than-positive relationship with his late mother.”

“And calling you selfish for your perfectly reasonable feelings makes her an AH.” –DinaFelice

“Two things:”

“At the title I was ready to go off a little bit.”

“I do not understand the no speaking ill of the dead rule. If they wanted to be talked about nicely after they were gone they should’ve behaved better.”

“Now with that said, NTA. I wouldn’t wanna wear the ring of a person who did not like me,that’s like walking around with their ghost in my head on purpose.”

“If the ring means a lot to him then maybe he can keep it until you two possibly have a child and then he can give it to his daughter or his son or whatever but I wouldn’t want it either. That’s icky.” –ZOE_XCII

“NTA I would be so unhappy if I had to look down and be reminded of how much one woman wanted my relationship to fail. Your ring is about you. You have to wear it everyday for 50 plus years why shouldn’t you love it.” –BriefHorror

“Honestly I don’t ‘love’ my engagement ring, but I love it because he gave it to me, and picked it out himself specifically for me. He loves it, it’s not really my taste. I can deal with that.”

“Funnily enough, all the rest of the jewelry he’s given me is gorgeous. I’m sure he would have exchanged it if I asked him to, but I would never.”

“I can’t imagine wearing the ring of a woman who didn’t like me everyday. My ring is at least about me, symbolizes our marriage, this ring is about him and his mother.”

“I couldn’t do it either. If the ring and his mother are more important to him than his wife, the marriage is doomed anyway.” –BadwolfRoseTyler

“NTA. I think it all comes down to her ‘future wife’ comment. If she had said something about when you get engaged to OP my judgement may be different.”

“As long as you’re not asking for stupid money to be spent then you’re entitled to have your own ring.”

“If you happen to love a family heirloom ring it’s different but if not, anyone is entitled to ask for a new or different ring. You’re the one wearing it for hopefully the rest of your life. Nobody should be forced to wear something they’re not comfortable with. Or don’t like.” –whatsername235

Hopefully OP can reach a compromise with their fiance.

Written by Peter Karleby

Peter Karleby is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.