Wedding Woes
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The best option is to hold on to the ring for now.

Dear Prudence,

It is a tradition in our family that the oldest granddaughter gets a family heirloom ring when she gets married. I got it from my grandmother, who got it from her grandmother. I have two granddaughters that are engaged and fighting over who gets the ring. “Kylie” is my biological granddaughter, while “Katie” is my step granddaughter. Katie is technically the elder, but my son married her mother when Katie was 10. Their relationship has been troubled, and they have separated twice.

Kylie’s father is furious that his brother and his wife are pushing for me to give the ring to Katie—he thinks that I might as well throw it in the ocean because it will be lost to our family. My other son thinks that giving Kylie the ring over Katie is a statement that Katie was never part of our family then. I think the pair of them are using the ring as a proxy war over their own issues, and I am sick of being put in the middle. I do love Katie and consider her my grandchild, but I am much closer to Kylie. I didn’t see much of Katie growing up. I need some advice here.

—Ring Is the Thing

Re: The best option is to hold on to the ring for now.

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    CasadenaCasadena member
    First Comment First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    Honestly, i would give the ring to Kylie. Mostly because you have an actual relationship here. But i don't have a lot of personal experience with bio/non-bio mixed families and can see how that would be a controversial opinion. 
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    banana468banana468 member
    First Answer First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment
    I would end the tradition.  Or consider finding a jeweler who can construct two rings from the family ring you have.  No one will win in the scenario you describe. 
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    I know it's awful to say.  But I think for something like this, biology does matter.  This ring was passed down from Kylie's ancestors.  Not Katie's.

    I assume Katie doesn't feel any tie or feelings for the LW's grandmother.

    We don't have many heirlooms, in my family.  But I was given my paternal great grandmother's locket that has her initials on it.  She died when my grandfather was still a child, so I never met her.  However, I still feel that tie to her.

    It's a bit of a family secret.  My grandfather gave it to my grandmother after they got married.  They had two daughters and my mom is the oldest one.  However, when my grandmother was ready to pass it on, she skipped her children and gave it to me instead.  Except I am not the oldest granddaughter.

    My mom asked me not to say anything to the rest of the family because of that.  I was already an adult when it was given to me.  My mom told me my grandma always had the softest spot for me out of her grandchildren.  To give my grandma credit, I never saw that favoritism and was surprised.  She was very loving with all of us.

    But one of these days, I'll need to let my younger sister in on the "secret" because I want the locket to go to my niece.        
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    mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
    First Anniversary First Answer 5 Love Its First Comment
    levioosa said:
    Possible UO, but I think the ring should go to Kylie and I do think Katie's parents are starting a thing. Katie was TEN when she came into the family. Not a baby (and yes, I get that ten is still a child). I think if it was a different letter, like Katie has been in the family since she was 1 or 2, and there's a strained relationship with Kylie, who refuses to engage with the family, everyone is older, than sure, give the ring to Katie. But this situation? Naw. 
    I actually don't disagree with this at all, but this is causing a TON of acrimony between not only Kylie and Katie, but also LW's children.  I don't think this is about the ring at all, but if LW wants to be removed from the 'middle', they need to take the ring out of play or make it 'even' by creating two pieces from it for both ladies.  
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    Why goes this need to be decided now? If someone is asking about it LW can say “I’m enjoying the ring and will continue to for some time” and refuse to answer questions about what she intends to do with it. 

    When the time comes to write a will or actually pass it down, LW can choose whom she wants to give it to, it sounds like that’s Kylie. Hopefully by then the parents will have realized they need to butt out and the cousins grow up a bit. 
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    levioosalevioosa member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    Why goes this need to be decided now? If someone is asking about it LW can say “I’m enjoying the ring and will continue to for some time” and refuse to answer questions about what she intends to do with it. 

    When the time comes to write a will or actually pass it down, LW can choose whom she wants to give it to, it sounds like that’s Kylie. Hopefully by then the parents will have realized they need to butt out and the cousins grow up a bit. 
    Yeah, honestly I have no idea why this is even an issue now. Is LW on her deathbed or diagnosed with a terminal illness? It seems not only petty, but this is also kind of insulting to LW to be haggling about her belongings at this point. By the time LW is nearing end of life, Katie and Kylie might have worked something out themselves, who knows? As an example, my grandparents are quite old now (in their 90s), and...it's just realistic to have discussions about death. There's been a few items which I shared I would like to inherit for their sentimental value, and my cousin has mentioned things which would be nice, but she has more of a connection to them and I've been like "A-OK, no worries, those can be yours." Honestly this is just so weirdly early and aggressive to me. And it's all seemingly unnecessary.


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    levioosa said:
    Why goes this need to be decided now? If someone is asking about it LW can say “I’m enjoying the ring and will continue to for some time” and refuse to answer questions about what she intends to do with it. 

    When the time comes to write a will or actually pass it down, LW can choose whom she wants to give it to, it sounds like that’s Kylie. Hopefully by then the parents will have realized they need to butt out and the cousins grow up a bit. 
    Yeah, honestly I have no idea why this is even an issue now. Is LW on her deathbed or diagnosed with a terminal illness? It seems not only petty, but this is also kind of insulting to LW to be haggling about her belongings at this point. By the time LW is nearing end of life, Katie and Kylie might have worked something out themselves, who knows? As an example, my grandparents are quite old now (in their 90s), and...it's just realistic to have discussions about death. There's been a few items which I shared I would like to inherit for their sentimental value, and my cousin has mentioned things which would be nice, but she has more of a connection to them and I've been like "A-OK, no worries, those can be yours." Honestly this is just so weirdly early and aggressive to me. And it's all seemingly unnecessary.
    It might be the family tradition is to give the ring to the oldest granddaughter when she is about to get married.  If the grandmother still wears the ring, that would be one thing.  But if she doesn't, I can understand why the family assumed the LW is going to give it to one of the granddaughters.


    My mother is a widow and offered her wedding set to my younger sister, when she got engaged because she got engaged before I did.  My mom was worried I might be upset and talked to me first before she did that.  It was a new set when my dad proposed, so not a many generations family heirloom.

    Not so much asking me if she could, lol.  She was going to do it anyway.  But to make sure I knew and was okay with it.  I was.

    As it turns out, my sister didn't want the set.  When I got engaged, my mom offered it to me and I accepted it, so now it is my wedding set.

    But if my niece ever gets engaged, I'll (probably) offer it to her if she wants it and buy myself another wedding ring.  Maybe my H and I will use it as an excuse to do a private vow renewal!  

    My H also understands and totally agrees that if I should pass away before I give it to my niece, I want the rings returned to my mom or sister.
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