Dear Counsellor | Engagement ring worries
Q: I got engaged to a wonderful girl after two years of courtship. We met while students at university. I did very well in the exams, while she scraped through. However, we have wonderful chemistry. I was never fully accepted by her parents. At best, I was tolerated, and I was civil towards them. However, things came to a head when I proposed to her and she said yes. I gave her the ring and we had a wonderful dinner. Two days later, I saw her and she had a different ring. Her parents did not like my ring and bought her a ring five times the cost of mine. They traded mine. I took offence to this, but she claims that it is no big deal. Her parents are already planning a big splash of a reception because they can afford it. I told her that she and her parents should have consulted me before exchanging the engagement ring. Her father is claiming that I should have asked him for her hand before proposing. In other words, we must forgive each other. I have called off the engagement and my girlfriend thinks I am making a mountain out of a molehill. What do you think?
A: It would have been nice to ask her father and mother for their daughter's hand. Marriage is not only between husband and wife but also involves the families. However, there is no comparison between forgetting to ask for her hand and changing the engagement ring. It can be assumed that you did not win the ring through a popcorn machine. Therefore, the action of the parents was very rude and distasteful. Her parents want to control you and are trying to dazzle you with their money. Your girlfriend should not have entertained her parents' request. It seems that you made the correct decision. The parents are not remorseful even after the fact, though they have recognised that it was wrong. And worse, your girlfriend is excusing awful behaviour.