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Man won't propose with fiancé’s  stepmom's ring; 'You traumatized my future wife.' AITA? UPDATED.

Man won't propose with fiancé’s stepmom's ring; 'You traumatized my future wife.' AITA? UPDATED.


When this man is fed up with his fiancé’s stepmother's demands leading up to his proposal, he asks Reddit:

"AITA for telling my fiancée's stepmother to stop pressuring me to propose HER WAY?"

So I (25M) proposed to my girlfriend of 10 years last month. We had discussed getting engaged before and what we wanted that to look like and what we wanted marriage to look like for us. One thing my fiancée, Kaylee, was upfront about was she would love to have her mom's engagement ring.

Her maternal grandparents had it since her mom was terminally ill. She had wanted it saved for Kaylee. And Kaylee loved the idea of having her mom's ring because it was something her mom designed. She never said I had to. But I knew how much it meant to her. She was also clear that she did not want her dad's wife's (aka stepmother's), Ruth's, ring.

Kaylee does not like Ruth. She doesn't view her as a stepmother or a real parent to her. She tolerates her because she does not want to lose her dad. But she said she would rather get engaged without a ring than have the one from Ruth.

I always knew she didn't think much of the woman so it came as no surprise to me and I always knew I would turn it down if offered, even before Kaylee said anything, because her feelings on her were clear.

So here's the issue. I got the ring back in November and started planning the proposal. Around the end of November Ruth was questioning if I had plans to propose. She asked me directly when I saw her one day and I said Kaylee and I had talked about it.

She mentioned giving me her ring and I told her thank you but that wouldn't be necessary. And what followed was a solid 6 weeks of this woman trying to make me take the ring so I could propose. She never even got confirmation that I was proposing. But she was adamant. I started shopping in different stores to avoid her entirely.

I thought proposing would be the end to Ruth's pressure. But she confronted me after the engagement and asked me why I rejected her ring but used the other one. I told her Kaylee dreamed of her mom's ring. I was then scolded for referring to Kaylee's mom as her mom.

Ruth told me she has been mothering Kaylee since she was 6 and she has been there for her every step of her life since and she would have wanted her ring more. She told me I was selfish for denying Kaylee that.

I told her that Kaylee didn't want her ring and it should come as no surprise that Kaylee wanted her mom's ring when her mom has been gone for a long time. I added you traumatized her.

Ruth then starts on a rant about how she's my future MIL and the future grandmother of our children and I should be careful how I speak to her because our kids do not deserve to grow up around such tension.

She stormed off and complained to Kaylee's dad. He and Kaylee talked about it. Kaylee apologized for Ruth being OTT and told me I did the right thing.

But some of Kaylee's paternal family believe I was wrong and that I am helping keep the gap between Kaylee and Ruth when in an ideal world, I would encourage Kaylee to be more accepting of Ruth by treating Ruth with more respect and acting as though she's my MIL. It doesn't help that Ruth is still saying I was "so rude". AITA?

Before we provide OP's lengthy update, let's see what readers thought about this dilemma:

peonyhen writes:

Your fiancé's engagement ring is about your relationship with each other. Not about her relationship with her stepmother.

It's kind of a shame your fiancee doesn't just wear her mother's ring as a ring of remembrance and that you guys didn't get your own ring as a symbol of your relationship. But using the ring that she clearly cares for and represents so much to her is the never an a-hole move.

Her stepmother can cope. Changing rings isn't going to address the list of concerns other family members have presented to you.

You're going to have an interesting time of things if stepmother's expectations of you "acting as though she's my MIL" means you just do what she says: and in that case you're much better to stand your ground and do your own thing. NTA.

shoutout9 writes:

First, Ruth is your FILs wife. That is the role that you and your fiancée see her in. Your fiancee does not view her as a mother figure. To her she is dad’s wife. While you and your fiancee can appreciate that she was there for events while your fiancee was growing up, it doesn’t change your fiancée’s feelings.

She is dad’s wife. That fiancee and you will treat her with respect and will include her as dad’s wife in your lives. But she is not fiancée’s mother, she is not your mother-in-law.

That fiancee and you expect Ruth to be respectful of fiancée’s feelings on this, and respect and accept whatever role fiancee wants her to have in her life. You and fiancée are adults, and as adults you expect people to be respectful and accepting of your feelings and decisions.

You and fiancee will disengage from Anyone who can’t respect and accept your decisions and who is outright disrespectful. Fiancee is sorry that Ruth wants a different relationship with fiancee that fiancee wants, but fiancee can’t change how she feels. Fiancee needs dad to respect her feelings about her mother and where Ruth fits in her life.

That’s the conversation that you and/or your fiancee has to have with her father first and then father & Ruth together.

This is only going to get worse if you and fiancee don’t nip this in the bud now. Ruth will make the wedding planning and wedding a nightmare if you can’t get the dad to rein her in. You and fiancee can’t rein her in, you can only choose to not to include her or the both of them in different things because they are behaving badly.

It’s time for your fiancee to realize that her dad may choose his wife over her and accept that he is entitled to make that decision. But that decision has consequences because fiancee and you do NOT have to tolerate Ruth’s bad behavior in ruining your wedding experience.

This is Ruth behaving badly, not you and not your fiancee. So do not invite her to anything where you don’t want her presence. In 30 years, do you want to be reminiscing on a beautiful day or beautiful dress shopping, or reminiscing about how Ruth ruined every thing she attended?

This will give you practice for being married, and being adults and being entitled to disengage from people who are disrespectful and practice for saying no thank you. I am sorry you feel that way. Sorry, but no we are not discussing this. And if you don’t drop the subject, we are leaving. Hope this helps.

readyrevoluation5023 writes:

NTA - the fact that Ruth got upset for you referring to Kaylee’s mom as her mom shocking is what bugs me the most. This woman tried to fully erase Kaylee’s mom, instead of stepping in as the stepparent.

There is a huge difference there, and until Ruth realizes that and changes her attitude things will not improve. After so many years, it might be beyond the point of no return anyways with Kaylee, depending on what other effed up things Ruth had a hand in regarding erasing Kaylee’s mom and trying to force the relationship. You did the right thing. Congratulations on your engagement!

Then, OP provides this MAJOR UDPATE with more information about Kaylee's history with Ruth:

Ruth believes because she came into Kaylee's life as a stepmother when Kaylee was just 6 and because Kaylee's mom had died, it means Ruth was the primary mother and therefore deserving of being seen as such.

She did not want to be a stepmother. She was clear from the jump that she was taking over as mom. She doesn't want anything from Ruth. She'll be included her maternal relatives but not Ruth.

The maternal and paternal sides do have people in common but small towns are like that generally. Mostly they have their own friends. Yes, about 90% of the reason Kaylee hates her is that alone.

It bothers Kaylee a lot that Ruth has claimed "mom" since she married Kaylee's dad. She does not like being referred to as anything else and Kaylee doesn't even like her being referred to as a stepmom.

I'm not upset she didn't want a new ring. There is so much symbolism in using her mom's ring and it makes her so incredibly happy. I do understand some would want something new and just theirs. But I also understand why it meant so much to her.

Yeah, it's already interesting because Ruth will not be fun to have around during wedding planning. No way Kaylee will want to include her. I don't know. Ruth's claim on being Kaylee's mom is like 90% of the reason Kaylee feels the way she does about her to begin with. A lot of the paternal family did not help either.

Looks like OP is NTA here. Any advice for him?

Sources: Reddit
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