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Woman's allegedly rich BF buys her a $150 engagement ring; claims, 'Trust me, I have a good reason.' AITA? UPDATED 2X

Woman's allegedly rich BF buys her a $150 engagement ring; claims, 'Trust me, I have a good reason.' AITA? UPDATED 2X


When this woman is weirded out by her boyfriend's cheap proposal, she asks the internet:

"My boyfriend who is supposedly well off got me a $150 engagement ring, and the reason why is shocking? AITA?"

My fiance is quite well off, and while I don't make as much as him I certainly would not be struggling on my own. He rotates between a few very expensive watches that he wears to work and while we have a good grasp on financial literacy we aren't shy about spending for the important parts of life.

We openly share finances so I know he isn't secretly in debt or any such nonsense.

The ring is nice and understated, but more of a nice stacker than an engagement ring to show off. The stone (which im doubtful of being a diamond) is quite small. It is not heirloom.

When friends or family get engaged there is always the excitement in sharing the news and inevitably someone will ask to see the ring and then everyone coos over it and its a good time.

When I showed mine the mood got awkward and they feigned excitement just long enough until it was okay to change the topic (this is not a knock on them, they are just terrible liars).

I would like to make clear that I am not expecting a "3 months salary" ring or an over the top wedding. However this is a piece I will be wearing daily for decades, and is largely considered a "symbol of his love" (I know not all feel this way, but we do. or at least i thought we did).

But I really don't think I'm out of line for thinking of it as a long term investment piece given the amount of wear it will see and the sentimentality behind it. Surely it is worth more than a gaming console?! AITA here?

We had briefly talked about overall style, and he has access to my jewelry box to know the stuff I typically wear. As the price of the ring wasn't very important to me the budget for it was never really discussed, which I see as a mistake now but I didn't realize that this could be a problem.

Price is not important so much as I don't care if he spent $1,000 or $100,000 on it, but this ring looks cheap - it is not quality craftsmanship. WTF is going on here?

The dampened excitement of showing off my ring was only a part of my post, the rest being that his drastic low ball on a piece I will be wearing every day for the rest of my life doesn't seem like the symbol of love one traditionally associates with engagement and wedding pieces.

It's about having a very wealthy fiance that invests more into the latest gaming console than he does a life long symbol of our love. To you a ring might be just a ring, but unless otherwise discussed, it would be silly to assume it to be a throw-a-way item. In my culture as well the engagement ring is paired with the wedding band, not replaced.

We share our finances, and I saw the charge on the bank statement. If he paid in cash as well then he overpaid. Given that he has bought me more expensive jewelry in the past and sees what I wear on a regular basis...

for him to low ball an important item this much seems pretty far out of left field and not something I would thought I would have needed to clarify with him even if we had a longer conversation about it. Obviously in hindsight I should have.

I think I am more hurt with what it says to give your fiance such a low priced ring when money clearly isn't the issue than the fact that the ring itself was low budget.

If we were worse off and $150 took effort to save for I would be over the moon at what he got me and shoving it in everyone's face, however this is not remotely the case.

He has gifted diamond studs and other fine jewelry before and will spurge a bit more if its something for the both of us (for example a surprise getaway weekend for a holiday). He doesn't throw his money around needlessly, but he isn't stingy.

To be blunt, its a cheap ring. In look and cost. Yes, he could have spent hours picking out the indie jeweler to get the ring that is nothing like what I have or have ever mentioned liking in a much lower price bracket than we would ordinarily spend on just regular accessories.

However, I don't feel like I'm making a large leap in assuming he didn't. To me this is about more than just the fact that he didn't get the exact style I had in mind.

I also take exception to the people here acting like being unhappy with the ring means I'm unhappy with the engagement, nowhere have I ever said this to be the case. Life isn't an all or nothing game. I can be unhappy with the ring while still being madly in love with my fiance and thrilled to spend our lives together.

We will be talking about this for sure, but I know this can be a touchy subject and wanted an objective eye on it first. I will update this post after that conversation.

Before we give you OP's updates, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

poodlekitten writes:

NAH. There’s nothing wrong with him feeling that an overpriced blood diamond ring is a waste of money. The proposal and commitment themselves should mean more than a piece of fancy jewelry.

There’s nothing wrong with you hoping for a ring you’re planning to wear daily for life to fit your own style and preferences. A ring means a lot to many women - it doesn’t sound like you want the biggest or flashiest but just something that makes you smile every time you look at it.

I would recommend discussing it with him. Start by genuinely listening to his perspectives and then explain your own. Be open to compromise (consider colored, non-diamond stones! They’re prettier and more unique! Plus you could stack it with the ring he already picked out.) Good luck!

tyfawks writes:

NTA Interesting fact, the concepts of 3 months wages for a ring, as well as the man picking it out as a surprise; were both created by a successful 1930s de beers ad campaign. Before that couples would go ring shopping togther. And i honestly think we should go back to that to avoid this kind of dilemma.

But since the engagement ring thing has been embraced by society, if you don't play along it is kind of rude/disappointing to cheap out. What i did was discussed with my wife about a year before i proposed what her preferred wedding ring would be.

We were pretty broke when we got engaged, but i got her a ring in the $500 range and despite not being super expensive, she loved it since it was her style/preference(which btw she forgot she had told me). Symbols are important to people, and the ring has become a major one. Your fiancee's decision to cheap out was inconsiderate.

arieljocs writes:

NTA AT ALL. You don’t have to go against social morés or diminish your desires to be the “cool, chill girl”

I hate that this is a narrative that is pushed nowadays on reddit. Why is it necessary to accept the minimum on major things like this? Like he loves you so you should be happy if he doesn’t get you a ring at all. Because diamonds were an ad campaign? So what?

$150 is nothing for someone that is comfortable financially. Thats like 3 heavy delivery food orders.

This is a huge step and symbol of your love and meant to last a lifetime, it is absolutely not unreasonable to expect or want something nicer. It’s not even about the physical, it’s wanting someone to put thought and effort into something as important as this life event.

“My ring MUST cost at least X amount” is not okay. This is NOT that situation.

mbear7 writes:

NTA. I am all about not spending big money on an engagement ring (I told my husband that years before we got engaged and he ended up getting me a ~$1500 ring which is like 1-2 weeks salary), but $150!? My husband’s plain wedding band with no stone is $150.

That’s a strange move on his part, I would definitely have a conversation with him. Honestly just the fact that cheap jewelry doesn’t last very long is a good enough reason to spend a little more.

Also the expensive watch part is really bothering me, because it would imply (without knowing anything about you guys) that he cares more about spending money on himself than for you.

And now, OP's shocking updates:

OP's first update:

He came home and we were settling down and around dinner I started the conversation with "Honey, I'd like to talk about the ring" and before I could finish he just blew up. Started yelling "fg finally" and how I'd ruined everything by waiting so long.

To be brief, he bought a shitty ring from a jeweler who got bad reviews so that when I got upset over it he could dump me under the guise that I was a golddigger. He has apparently been having an affair...

(turns out covid had shortened his work hours, not extended) with a "younger model" that he's "earned" but knew that breaking things off when everyone loved me so much would "hurt his optics" so he had to make it my fault.

He knew that "leaving this pariah-ship" would gain him sympathy and there was a lot of rhetoric that clearly wasn't his own words but something he was parroting from what I highly suspect is from a much too influential work "friend" that I've had disagreements with in the past.

Changes I had attributed to work stress are glaringly obvious to me now as symptoms of something more malicious under the surface and I feel really ashamed I didn't see things more clearly earlier or wasn't somehow able to head things off before they got this far.

I won't be sticking around to dig any deeper, but I know my now ex-fiance would not have done and said the things he did without being pushed from bad influences behind the scenes.

This doesn't mean I forgive him, I think he is incredibly weak and feeble minded for letting this happen to us, but I also doubt I will be contacting many of our mutual "friends" as the dust settles.

I left in the middle of his tirade around the 15 min mark and am staying with at my mother's. I haven't cried yet and I think I'm still waiting for it all to suddenly make sense, but I know logically it might not ever.

Thank you to everyone who responded to my post and offered your thoughts, I don't think anyone could have predicted what was going to happen from the information I gave...

and now I'm off to deal with myself until the waterworks decide to flow and I can have a good cry over it all. On the plus side, if there is one, is that I don't have to wear the fg hideous ring anymore.

OP's second and FINAL UPDATE:

I did not know about this subreddit and then suddenly wake up to many followers. It was odd, but I'm glad the reddit community still finds support even after many months.

**I suppose I will share a mini update here: His family did find out, though I believe on a very surface level. I did not reach out, and I do not have contact with many of the people that I considered myself close friends or potential family to.

His very hair-brained plan for "optics" was sort of a "so bad its good again". Like myself back then, many people don't seem to believe he is capable of that kind of "scheme" so they have just decided he didn't.

I did try to maintain a couple mutual friends but had to break it off after they would refuse to acknowledge what he did. I didn't need them to take sides, I just wanted friends I didn't have to censor a major life event from.

I have heard that at least as of a month ago he and the affair partner were still together. I saw a picture and she is wearing very expensive (and hideously gaudy) jewelry, but it is not on any outsider to judge their relationship.

For at least the split second of the photo it looked like they were genuinely smiling at each other and seeing his dimples again and in that context was very difficult. So no, the pain isn't gone.

I did not find a prince charming after. I did not make good choices in general in that regard and am now single again. However, I am finally processing and going through true healing that should have started when this all went down and not after some extended "self care" that put other areas of my life in jeopardy.

On his "Bond Villian" behavior, yeah it was surreal. I'm fine, not great but better than I was. All things considered I'm still incredibly fortunate in life and I am doing my best to celebrate what I do have rather than look at what and who I don't.

Readers continued to weigh in on OP's dilemma:

fesin6 writes:

Welp. That was a bit of a plot twist. I was kinda hoping that the cheap ring was just a placeholder so that OOP and fiance could go pick out a fabu ring together. Silly me.

I think OOP is giving ex-fiance waaay too much credit for thinking that this is just feeble-mindedness on his part. The one and only person responsible for his inability to keep it zipped, is him. His side piece may have suggested the ring tactic to him, maybe. But nobody forced him to cheat.

I hope that OOP sends that cheapass ring to her ex-future-in-laws along with a very nice letter explaining to them what really went down, complete with direct quotes from a-hole ex-fiance.

marpsd writes:

I swear men are cowards and elaborate the most stupid plans to break up with you instead of having a conversation.

My ex recently decided he wanted to break up after 4 years together, 2 in a long distance relationship of which almost one he was going through cancer treatment.

After all this traumatic shit his plan was to reply to me less and less for a couple of weeks, to the point of almost ghosting me, to then call me and have a 1 hour conversation where he was crying most of the time begging me to not hate him. He came to visit a month before.

What I don't get is how these feeble mind idiots can be so scared of a conversation. The worst part for me is not that he doesn't love me any more is that he didn't show any respect for me or my feelings after so many years.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Any advice for her?

Sources: Reddit
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