Here's the original post:
My son(26M) wants to use my mom’s ring to propose to his gf(24F). He apparently told her he would propose with it without telling me, assuming I would let him. I told him I won’t let him use the ring for the engagement, only the wedding and only after she signs a legal agreement saying the ring is to be returned to the family in the event of a divorce.
He is furious because he says having that agreement makes it look like I think they are going divorce. I admit I think there’s a good chance of that, they broke up in 2019 and got back together again after 7 months and they get into a massive fight at least once a month. If he wants to marry her that’s fine but I don’t want my mom’s ring which she got from her great aunt leaving the family.
He doesn’t want to tell her because it will make it look like he’s worried that their marriage won’t be long term and wants to use the ring to demonstrate the he’s serious but I don’t want him to give her the ring until the wedding so she doesn’t run off with it if things go bad. I’m not sure of the value of the ring but it’s got a 5 carat ruby and multiple diamonds so I assume it’s over 10k value.
I’ve told my son his children or his wife if he has no children can have the ring upon my death as an heirloom. He hasn’t told his fiancé about the ring having conditions yet so telling her that it’s my property and I just won’t allow it won’t change things for her. There’s a few commenters who pointed out that she could take the stones and craft a new ring or “lose” the ring and I don’t want to take that chance.
Also everyone if telling my a 5k ruby is probably worth over 10k so I’m taking it to an expert but I don’t trust with that value that it won’t go “missing”.
Truth is he doesn’t remember much of grandma, she died with dementia when he was 8 and so he doesn’t really care about the ring, he just sees it as a convenient, pretty thing to propose with and a way to show his gf he’s serious since their relationship is so rocky.
NTA, You are 100% entitled to determine what happens with your property and he is out of line for assuming that he gets free use of your ring.
I am also 100% in agreement with drafting a document that the ring goes back to you in the event of a divorce. Make sure it is a document that a lawyer drafts.
Whether or not your son decides to get a prenup for his assets is his business. He doesn't get to decide how you protect your family heirloom.
"He doesn’t want to tell her because it will make it look like he’s worried that their marriage won’t be long term and wants to use the ring to demonstrate the he’s serious"
He is insecure about the relationship (constant breakups and fighting) and is overcompensating. In this situation, there would be nothing wrong with him "making you the bad guy". "Hey, my mother would feel a lot better if you just sign this document about the ring." This whole story about him "demonstrating something" is bullsh**.
Also, take a look at the timeline of this relationship:
"they broke up in 2019 and got back together again after 7 months and they get into a massive fight at least once a month."
So basically they got back together during the pandemic. They sought out something familiar and comfortable during a time of immense stress and uncertainty. The bones of their relationship are not strong. Him overcompensating and them rushing into marriage are classic signs. They are getting married in order to save the relationship.
NTA. If your son is so bent in demonstrating HIS commitment then he can spend HIS cash on a ring. Not the damn family heirloom. Holy shit OP, if that’s a pigeon’s blood ruby at 5 cts there better be a legal agreement to go with it. No offense, but your son sounds naive at best. You better protect that ring or it will end up in the wrong hands.
NTA. Nothing wrong with protecting a family heirloom.
NTA - Your ring/your rules. He’s already shown he’s had a bit of a relationship issue. It’s your ring anyway- why does this entitled young man feel it’s his to do with as he pleases? Personally I’d tell him he can have it when you die, but that was your mom’s ring and you aren’t ready to let it go.
I just want to note that Ruby is not a very durable gem stone and it is not recommended for daily wear rings. I’d recommend having this be an heirloom that is not a wedding/ engagement ring as it could very easily chip/ crack. It needs to be appraised. It could be worth far more than 10k at 5 carats.