Q: I feel so bad even writing in about this, but I don’t know what to do! I recently got engaged to a man I love and am so excited to marry, but the engagement ring he gave me? Not so much. I feel like a horrible person because I am sure he searched a long time to try and find the perfect one, but it’s just not my style. Can I say something about it, or should I just suck it up and pretend to love it? -Anonymous
A: I COMPLETELY sympathize with you on this one, and can imagine the kind of guilt you’re feeling!! So, here a few of my thoughts on this issue…
First, it might help to know that I’m one of those girls who picked out her engagement ring ahead of time. Some people might think that’s weird…but I felt 100% OK with it and so did my now husband. It’s not because I don’t love my husband’s taste (I do!) or that he somehow “doesn’t get me” (he SO does), but while I think an engagement ring is a symbol of you and your partner’s devotion to one another, at the end of the day it’s a significant piece of jewelry that you will be looking at every day…with love as you think about your husband, but also as a “oh wow I LOVE my ring” kind of thing, too. So, where does that leave the bride who did not get to pick out her engagement ring beforehand like me, and now has one that they’re not crazy about? Here’s my advice:
Be 100% Honest and Tell Your Fiancé the Truth.
There’s almost never a situation where telling the truth about how you feel is the WRONG thing to do, and while it might suck in this scenario, starting your marriage off on the wrong foot—even with what could be considered a little white lie–is not the best idea.
Does that mean you should NOT sugarcoat the conversation? Um, NO. Sugar away! And sugar often!! You need to be thankful, open, respectful, understanding, and kind. Your fiance might get mad or offended, but hopefully you guys are able to communicate with one another in a way that is positive and helpful without upsetting the other person. But where to start?
1. Tell your fiance you have something important you’d like to talk to him about and would love to sit down over dinner or a glass of wine. Make sure it doesn’t come across too scary/serious, but just that you want to make sure you guys have each other’s undivided attention.
2. Start off the conversation by saying how EXCITED you are to marry him, and that you feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
3. Let him know that you can only imagine how nerve-wrecking and stressful it was to pick out an engagement ring, and that you appreciate all the time and effort he must have put into it.
4. Say that you feel really embarrassed and awkward bringing this up, but that while you think the ring is absolutely beautiful, you are not sure about the way the setting (or diamond shape or color) looks on you. *
5. You might mention a couple design components–such as the size/shape/metal type, etc. –and say while you initially thought it would be perfect, you aren’t sure it’s the right fit.
6. Tell him you are not sure if this would even be possible based on where he bought it, but if there was some flexibility, ask how he would feel about going to the jeweler together to talk about what your options might be.
7. Reinforce how grateful you are for everything he put into finding the perfect engagement ring, and that you think it’s such a beautiful choice. It’s just that you would love to explore one or two more settings together.
8. Ask him how he feels about this and if it’s something he’s open to. Tell him you would love to share any other feelings he might have about what you’ve brought up.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If the engagement ring is a family heirloom, this gets a bit trickier. If the heirloom is just the stone, I would still go forward with the advice above about talking about the setting design. If the heirloom IS the setting (or both…especially on his family’s side), my advice, honestly, would be to concentrate on finding a wedding band you LOVE and living with the engagement ring. If you are worried about the security of the setting (IE: it feels like the diamond might become unstable), you could suggest bringing it into a jeweler together and seeing what your options are.
To get both sides, I asked my husband what his advice would be. Here’s what he said:
“While it would be very annoying and a little hurtful at the time, I would rather know for sure that you had a ring that you liked. And most husbands will be able to tell that you don’t totally love the ring over time. So, while it may feel like an easy route to make up some excuse about it, you should bite the bullet (as nicely as humanly possible because he most likely put a lot of effort into this) and be honest with him. He’ll be happier you did in the long run.”
So, there you have it. Truthfully, this is not going to be easy. But once you talk about it, hopefully you can end up laughing about it later. Or at least a smile. 🙂