Wedding Woes

Keeping staying out of this.

Dear Prudence,

Years ago, my mom offered my brother her engagement ring, which, although modest, had been passed down for three generations. He accepted, but later he gave his wife a more spectacular ring as an anniversary present that she now wears. It turns out my sister, who is single and now middle-aged, feels she had a claim to the family ring and was overlooked—in the past it was eldest daughter who received it. Feeling guilty, my mom now wishes she had given the ring as a placeholder, but recognizes it was given without conditions. Now that I am nearing a proposal, my sister asked me to ask my brother for the ring, with the idea it would eventually go to her if we similarly “upgrade” later on. I declined; the drama makes me uncomfortable, and I want my proposal to be about us. I also think it’d be better for my sister or mom to address this directly with my brother and sister-in-law if they feel strongly. Rude of me?

—Stuck in the Middle

Re: Keeping staying out of this.

  • Keep staying out of it. If your sister wants to ask her brother for the ring she needs to do that and not involve you and your partner. Your instincts are right here, keep following them. 
  • No, it wasn't rude, it was smart.
  • ei34ei34 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    Keep it up LW, I'd stay waay out of this one. 
  • It's a perfectly natural ask from the mother, that should have been done when the brother got his fiance a different ring.  I'm surprised he hasn't already been asked for the ring back, which makes me suspicious they already know he's an AH who won't give it back.

    It sounds like the LW doesn't even want this ring for themselves or partner, so they are wise to stay out of it.

    It's the mother's responsibility to ask for the ring back since it was hers to begin with.  If she now wants it for her oldest daughter, she should be the one asking for it.

    For a personal story, I have one sibling.  A younger sister.  Her and her b/f (now H) were talking about getting engaged first, so my mother offered her wedding set that she got from our dad to them.  But yeah.  It was with the condition, though probably unspoken, that it's the set my sister would be wearing.

    They declined because my sister wanted her own wedding set.  My mom offered it to me years later, when my H and I were talking about (finally) getting engaged.  I'm not that picky about jewelry anyway and it's a lovely set, so I was thrilled, accepted it, and wear it.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Why would he return the ring? It was a gift. It’s his wife’s engagement ring even if she wears something different. Sister should have moved on years ago. 
  • Why would he return the ring? It was a gift. It’s his wife’s engagement ring even if she wears something different. Sister should have moved on years ago. 
    Ah!  I missed it where it was his wife's set and was replaced later with an anniversary ring.

    I thought the wife had never worn it.  

    I'm a little more sympathetic now if the wife would want to keep it.  But ffs, no one has even asked her.  She might be just fine giving the ring to the sister and this is all much ado about nothing.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I would not touch this with a ten foot pole. 

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