Knowing what to do with family heirlooms when you don’t have a good relationship with your family members can be a very difficult situation to navigate.
A Redditor found herself in this position when she wanted to sell her abusive mother’s wedding band. She wasn’t sure about how to handle it, so she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for input.
The Original Poster (OP), who goes by AITAOldWeddingRing on the site, asked:
“WIBTA [Would I Be The A**hole] if I sell my abusive mother’s wedding ring behind my sister’s back to invest in my business?”
“I was very low contact with my mother for years, and went to therapy at the start of the pandemic and uncovered a lot of repressed memories and trauma. My psychologist contextualized a lot of her abuse and I didn’t realize how bad it was (medical neglect in a country with free healthcare, emotional abuse, forced starvation but not because we were poor, etc.) There’s more but character limit.”
“I’ve been no contact with my mother for over a year. While I’m not experiencing financial hardship I did start my own business (on top of my stable full time job) and it’s beginning to gain traction.”
“I was given my mother’s old wedding ring from her first marriage to my father (she has been married 3 times) and told that while it shouldn’t be used for my own wedding, it could be repurposed one day. I’ve had it for 10+ years. I am in a loving domestic partnership of 14 years with no plans to ever marry, and want to sell the ring to invest in my business.”
“Why do I think I’m the a**hole? I have a sister 7 years my senior who was raised by both parents from birth to age 10, then only raised by mother until she was 15-16, then she went to live with my dad. Things got much, much worse once my sister left.”
“My mother moved me across the country and escalated the abuse once I was the only child in her custody. This was in the days before the internet, I had no way to educate myself or reach out for help, and no context to determine how bad things were. I assumed my upbringing was normal.”
“My sister confronted me this Christmas about being no contact with my mother and demanded my reasons for doing so. When I explained she exploded and stormed out of the room, rolling her eyes when I said our mother was abusive towards me. I believe she would be upset if I sold the ring, however my sister was given other valuable jewelry from the marriage to make things equal.”
“I don’t want to ask her permission, or even mention it to my sister. I just want to have the wedding ring appraised and then sell it to someone who would enjoy it, and use the funds to invest in my future. WIBTA?”
“In case it’s relevant: My father wouldn’t care, I’m not sure he knows I have the ring. He’s been good about hiding it but has a lot of disgust for my mother and a lot of guilt over how she raised me. He tried very hard to gain custody and saved me the second I turned 18.”
“I don’t think the ring is worth more than a few hundred, optimistically. It’s an old wedding ring from the 70’s with lots of gold and a cluster of modest diamonds. But it would really help right now.”
OP’s fellow Redditors were then asked to judge who would be 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 of them were in firm agreement: After all OP has been through, the ring is hers to do with as she pleases.
“NTA, but be smart.”
“Don’t mention selling it to your sister. It sounds like she may take it personally, and worse case it may get back to your mother and give her the means to try to claw back into your life.”
“Sell the darn thing, invest that money into wherever you want to invest it, and consider it a small start for repayment for the hell you went through.” —aSeaPersonByNight
“It’s none of your sister’s business what you do with your own ring. NTA” —Lynniefran
“Don’t tell her or anyone really. If she ever raises it, play dumb. Say you’re not sure where it is, you forgot you had that and will look for it. Say you lost it if it’s ever raised. She’ll be pissed, but slightly less furious than if she knew you sold it.”
“Given her treatment of you and dismissal of your abuse, a distant low level relationship with her is all you should have. Your an adult now, you don’t have to tolerate her anger or abuse either, just walk away when she attacks you.” —Permit-Extreme
“NTA – sell it and NEVER mention the ring (or its sale) again. If anyone happens to bring it up, just be vague about it. ‘It’s in a safe place’ (with its new owners) or ‘it’s in storage’ (again, with the new owners). It’s no one’s business what you do with the ring but yours.” —HouseRenovations
“NTA. And I’m sorry for your sister’s reaction to being told about your mother’s abuse. I know that’s very hard, I’ve been there. Just know, that even without knowing details, this internet stranger believes you and supports whatever you need to to for yourself to heal.” —Fairykinn
“Nta. It is yours to do with as you please. It’s not as if your sister, mother or other family member is going to come over to check whether you wear it or what have/haven’t done with it. If it were a more sentimental piece and there were no others I’d be of a different opinion. Do what you like with it and maybe consider it the only time your mother ever actually helped you in a positive, constructive way.” —kristiswright
Hopefully OP can make a solid investment in her future after selling the ring.