Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

AIBU? How long to wait for engagement ring?

(73 Posts)
redcarrot1 Tue 21-Jan-14 11:38:53

Just canvasing opinions here...partner of 10 years finally got round to proposing (also just about to have his baby). He's not one for grand romantic gestures and thats fine, plus he's hopelessly disorganised, but 2 months later an engagement ring has yet to appear. I don't really feel like it's official unless there's an (inexpensive) ring.

AIBU to start getting impatient? I sort of snapped the other day and said sod it, lets not bother if you lack this must enthusiasm...like I said, it's not about the monetary value.

MinesAPintOfTea Tue 21-Jan-14 11:43:53

YABU to expect one to appear. Either suggest a shopping date for you both to go together or set a wedding date and get on with it.

redcarrot1 Tue 21-Jan-14 11:48:38

Thats the thing...he doesn't appear to be arsed to do the joint shopping thing either...I probably sound hideously spoilt.

Fairylea Tue 21-Jan-14 11:53:12

I don't think you're being unreasonable.

I'm quite old fashioned (not particularly old though!) .. when dh proposed he got down on one knee and pulled out a ring he'd saved for 3 months to buy and spent a whole day choosing smile it's one of my happiest memories, not because the ring was particularly expensive or anything - although it is beautiful- but because he put so much effort and though into it all.

I'd definitely be upset with the lack of bothering to want to get a ring.

meditrina Tue 21-Jan-14 11:54:05

Is this a shopping issue? Unless you are very sure he can select a ring and get the size right, you'd be better off shopping together. So I suggest you just tell him that you don't want to wait indefinitely, and can you decide now a time when you'll both be free and then stick to it. (But as you're pg, are your fingers normal size - you might be better waiting if you want to save the faff of getting it made smaller when you've returned to normal).

Is there any underlying reason why you think it's a commitment issue? Because if so, that needs to be tackled separately, and not projected on to ring shopping (for when you do choose one, you want it to be in happy circumstances without shadow of row).

ConfusedLady8 Tue 21-Jan-14 11:54:27

I don't think it's unreasonable at all to expect a ring when someone proposes...I would!!!

Although after 10 years it's not likely to be the big romantic gesture, there's no reason you don't deserve to be made to feel special.

I would tell him that getting engaged is an important moment in any woman's life and could he please, for your sake, try and show some enthusiasm because it makes you feel bad.

Either go shopping together, or find the ring you want and give him the link and the size and let him buy it. Ask him to spring it on you at a time of his own choosing and to give you a nice proposal for your memories.

You sound far from spoiled. It's a special time and nothing wrong with wanting it to be a bit of a romantic moment.

xx

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Tue 21-Jan-14 11:57:49

I would tell him you would like a ring, a cheap one, now and after you have had the baby and lots the weight for him to go shopping with you to get your proper engagement ring and both wedding rings. Ask him why has hasn't given you a ring already and the answer should help you somewhat.

BringMeTea Tue 21-Jan-14 11:57:49

Congratulations!
You do not sound spoilt at all. I got engaged recently and didn't even tell family until we bought a ring together as I felt it was a bit tweenage to just say we were engaged. That was 2 months between proposal and ring acquisition. Mind you I am in my 40s and no imminent child so maybe it's different.

He could just be a bit lacking in dynamism and not get how important it is to you. Set a date for ring shopping.

Freyalright Tue 21-Jan-14 11:58:58

Why not break tradition and buy him a ring. Everything seems so predictable these days.

redcarrot1 Tue 21-Jan-14 11:59:08

I do feel pissed off that it's taken 10 years to get this far. Privately I feel a bit insulted, especially considering I'm having his child, but I try to bury that feeling. He can be very apathetic and to be honest it's sort of killing the whole experience for me. I am willing to put up with it for most things, but not for something as big as this.

DontGiveAwayTheHomeworld Tue 21-Jan-14 12:00:16

Maybe he just doesn't see the ring as that important? It is just jewellery after all. If it means that much to you, ask him outright why he doesn't seem bothered.

JeanSeberg Tue 21-Jan-14 12:01:40

Have you set a date for the wedding?

redcarrot1 Tue 21-Jan-14 12:05:54

I have spoken to him how I feel. Initially he told me he'd asked a friend about where he had got his partner's engagement ring (presumably with the intention of getting one?), then he said his mother has loads of jewellery that I may be able to choose from and then finally he said he didn't want to but something without me that I would hate. So I said fine, we'll go together....but every weekend something else comes up and he never mentions 'the ring'.

I really think I can't be arsed with the whole damn thing.

Longdistance Tue 21-Jan-14 12:06:17

I'd wait until the baby is born. I couldn't wear my rings towards the end, and neither could my mummy friends.

Set a date to go shopping together, get someone to have your lo for a few hours and drag him by his legs shopping for a ring.

My dh proposed to me, but I didn't have a ring, we went shopping shortly after. He didn't want to choose a ring, and let me choose.

redcarrot1 Tue 21-Jan-14 12:06:29

The wedding day is more of an abstract idea at the moment...

YoungBritishPissArtist Tue 21-Jan-14 12:10:30

Is this not the 21st century? hmm

Women don't have to wait around for a proposal. If you wanted to get married earlier, why didn't you propose to him?

Tell him you'd like an engagement ring. Be proactive. Show him the one you want online or in a brochure, or go and buy one together.

freedom2011 Tue 21-Jan-14 12:11:15

Congratulations! I do understand and I did care so I said to DH when we were still dating, this is how we do it in my country. Do not propose to me without a ring. I regret that now a bit even though he did as I wished. But anyway, my point is, clear calm communication and being very specific about my expectations got me what I thought I wanted at that time.

In retrospect, I think I should have followed local custom here. The couple goes shopping for rings together. And both wear them during their engagement on the other hand, which is the left here. They are then swapped to the right hand on the wedding day. The british american fashion for engagement rings is only just becoming popular.

BringMeTea Tue 21-Jan-14 12:15:27

As you are not holding out for a one carat Cartier ring i think there should be no barrier to you having one.

As someone suggested make a date where than can be no prevaricating or excuses and go together to choose one.

If he won't I would be seriously questioning it. I totally understand why you feel deflated and annoyed. Be brave and best of luck.

cheeseandpineapple Tue 21-Jan-14 12:22:52

OP, how bloody crass of your bloke. This is special and important to you and he's pissing on your parade. I'd be stewing over this too but I've learned that it doesn't really get me anywhere so as others have suggested you need to be more directive and make it happen. Rather than waiting for him to mention going shopping, find some online pictures of rings you like and email them to him and be excited about the ones you like and say you want to schedule a time to go and look at rings this weekend before your fingers swell up, you can always wear the ring round your neck if needed later. My rings were fine, swelling doesn't affect everyone during pregnancy.

If he's still avoiding going, could it be a money issue?

Also, until you get married or fix a date for wedding, would register your child with your name not his and agree to change it when you all have the same name if you plan to take his.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 21-Jan-14 12:29:37

Bloody crass and bloody lazy. Ten years with this lukewarm joker??!!! You deserve a medal, not a ring.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 21-Jan-14 12:30:39

'Abstract' as in 'it ain't gonna happen....'

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 21-Jan-14 12:30:59

Plan where to go on Saturday and make sure there are at least three shops to walk into. If he drags his feet and says he can't afford one, tell him it's not how much it costs that is important, what is important is that you like it and after all it signifies your love for each other.

JeanSeberg Tue 21-Jan-14 12:35:14

The wedding day is more of an abstract idea at the moment...

Somehow I knew you were going to say this.

I think the lack of a ring is the least of your worries.

Have never understood these engagements where now date for the wedding is set.

Suggest a visit to the priest/vicar/registry office and see how pale he goes...

JeanSeberg Tue 21-Jan-14 12:38:55

I really think I can't be arsed with the whole damn thing.

Can't think anyone would disagree with that.

This is what he's like before you're evening properly engaged? Can you really imagine being married and having kids with him?

Jan45 Tue 21-Jan-14 12:42:01

If he really wanted to get married, he'd have bought a ring by now. He's stalled for ten years and is still stalling, says it all really.

redcarrot1 Tue 21-Jan-14 12:42:28

To be fair, I am also not that concerned about a wedding day at the moment - too much else going on. We are both fairly laid back types (obviously him more so). I just feel an engagement makes our relationship a bit more official.

Thing is, he's always been this sort of person, so as my mother has pointed out, I either like it or lump it.

hillbilly Tue 21-Jan-14 12:42:36

Talk to him about it. DH proposed to me in the middle of the sea on holiday and we were already TTC. I became pregnant 2 months later and the wedding was set for the January when I was 4 months pregnant. I got my engagement ring about 2 weeks before the wedding at the same time as we bought our wedding bands. I was slightly peeved that I was not able to wear one for the whole engagement but our finances wouldn't allow it. That was 9 years ago and now I don't care that it was late grin

YANBU at all OP.

DP and I got engaged pretty early (after 5 months) but he still did it properly. He saved for a ring and got down on one knee and took me out to celebrate afterwards. We set a date three months ago (about 4 months after getting engaged) and we're now in the process of planning our wedding for September next year.

He doesn't seem very enthusiastic hmm

Jan45 Tue 21-Jan-14 12:47:46

So if you're engaged what do you say to your friends when they ask to see the ring?

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Tue 21-Jan-14 12:48:54

When DH and I were out shopping I went to look in a jewellers, pointed out a ring I liked and went in and tried it on. The assistants were trying to push him to buy it but I just said it was lovely and we left. A less pushy assistant, who had a clue, secretly gave him a card with all the details on it and later he went back and ordered it and then went back and picked it up. I am not sure how long he had the ring when he proposed but he asked me three times, gave me the ring and then I said I wanted to pick the date before we told anyone so that no one else could have a say and interfere. He didn't want a long engagement so we were married 9 months later. So much easier to get married before having children imo as they just take so much time and energy as well as money.

Op - it is time for a proper talk with your baby's father.

JeanSeberg Tue 21-Jan-14 12:49:13

He's stalled for ten years and is still stalling

I agree with Jan45. He's managed to buy himself a bit more time with a semi-proposal but without a ring or talk of a wedding, you're actually no further on.

JeanSeberg Tue 21-Jan-14 12:51:07

Sorry I missed the bit where you're expecting his baby.

I'd be very careful about protecting your financial interests with this guy. Are you on maternity leave at the moment?

morethanpotatoprints Tue 21-Jan-14 12:54:44

Unless you can afford it and everything else is paid for YABU to expect one at all.
I hate all this materialistic shit, its the marriage vows that count not the sparklies.
I didn't have one, but might have considered it had we had the money to afford a family party and celebration, announcements in local press etc. There seems a point then.

redcarrot1 Tue 21-Jan-14 12:54:47

Bloody hell, you lot are making me feel like I should pack the entire relationship in. I'm about to have his baby.

I think he was hoping I'd just pick one of his mum's rings and save himself some cash. This is the way he thinks.

oscarwilde Tue 21-Jan-14 12:55:15

It could work in your favour? You could send him shopping when the baby is delivered and see if his emotions get the better of him and he splurges on something fantastic? grin

YADNU

JeanSeberg Tue 21-Jan-14 12:56:16

I think he was hoping I'd just pick one of his mum's rings

How do you feel about the fact that he suggested that?

How is the rest of the relationship?

redcarrot1 Tue 21-Jan-14 12:56:29

He can definitely afford to buy a ring.

Basketofchocolate Tue 21-Jan-14 12:59:52

I don't have an engagement or wedding ring. Would have worn it if bought one, but we're both grown ups, and rings are expensive and only jewellery.

The important thing is that he wants to marry. That's WAY more important than a bit of metal.

I don't really 'get' the engagement and wedding fuss and nonsense myself and this is perhaps cos spent my formative years in company of males who (generally speaking) don't give a toss about all of that stuff.

Perhaps he sees you as a modern woman who doesn't need a bit of bling to feel loved by him? Did you get him something? Perhaps he's feeling put out too?

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 21-Jan-14 13:02:25

This isn't an 'LTB'... but you have to stop being laid back and put a rocket under the guy. What's missing here is enthusiasm and a sense of occasion on his part. Now it may be his default setting but it's coming across as 'can't be arsed'. So tell him that this is his big chance to shake off his natural torpor and demonstrate the depth of his feeling for you in the form of romantic initiative & expensive jewellery. Challenge him to come up with something exciting and personal.... Not unreasonable.

Logg1e Tue 21-Jan-14 13:03:01

I think YANBU to want a ring.

I think YABU if you haven't told him how important this is to you, and just spend every weekend waiting to be disappointed and proved right.

I really don't know what I would do if I was with a man who heard me say, "this is important to me" and then ignored me.

I also have an extremely laid-back husband. In fact I was amazed when he did propose to me as I had never expected him to get around to it. I wanted a jewellery box for a significant birthday and it languished in the Amazon wish list for two years before I finally got fed up and just put it in the basket instead. It appeared as my Christmas present. grin

You just need to say to him that you want your ring and that the two of you are going shopping this Saturday to buy it. It'll be fine.

Jan45 Tue 21-Jan-14 13:04:54

He can't even make the effort of going to a jewellery shop (hundreds of them) to pick up a £30 ring for you. Rings do not have to be expensive, it's a symbol, nobody's gonna know the cost!

If he wants to give you one of his mum's rings then why hasn't he, it's two months now.

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 21-Jan-14 13:20:03

"What's missing here is enthusiasm"

Indeed.

He has no enthusiasm and it seems like he only proprosed because you are pregnant.

(Why on earth did you get pregnant by this lazy, unmotivated, uncommitted shite anyway?)

longtallsally2 Tue 21-Jan-14 13:20:15

Thing is, he's always been this sort of person, so as my mother has pointed out, I either like it or lump it.

This. It is him you are having a baby with and have agreed to marry, not some romantic, organised, proactive bloke. YANBU in wanting an engagement ring, but YABU in wanting one from this man! Mine is just the same: my mother-in-law gave me my ring in the end, and I looove it. (DH gave it me again later on!) I settled for the guy, and bought my own wedding ring, Christmas present etc. He does other stuff. He's magnificent at ironing, great at tidying up and putting out the bins, we share the same values, but he's useless at DIY, unromantic, hopeless at doing stuff 'because that's what people do' etc. etc.

You will be in a lot of anguish and frustration if you think he is going to become different for the big occasions in life. He might change a little - I got a Christmas present this year, and I got a big birthday present for my big birthday last year (after I booked the hotel and took us away for the weekend!) - but you will suffer a lot of heartache if you expect him to become different.

You might like to start talking to him now about what happens once you have a child together. There were lots of things I assumed my dh would know or do, because I though everyone did them, and then got frustrated when he didn't. He's just as laid back about children as he is about engagement rings. Forewarned is forearmed.

cheeseandpineapple Tue 21-Jan-14 13:24:15

Agree with Cog, medal not a ring and a rocket up his can't be arsed arse.

Jan45 Tue 21-Jan-14 13:32:12

You don't have to be romantic, organised or proactive to go to the High St and buy some crappy ring out a shop, I'd imagine most normal functioning men could manage this.

A man either wants to marry you or not, by the sounds of the above a lot of men have simply been coerced into the marriage.

If a man wants to really marry you, the least he does is buy you a bloody ring.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Tue 21-Jan-14 13:38:28

"I don't have an engagement or wedding ring. Would have worn it if bought one, but we're both grown ups, and rings are expensive and only jewellery."

bsketofchocoalte - what has been a grown up got to do with anything? I expect 100%of posters on here can guess you are what with being married.

redcarrot1 Tue 21-Jan-14 13:55:42

longtallsally2 you've made me really laugh. This is such an accurate portrayal! And I have definitely been warned now...

Thanks for the advice everyone. I guess I'll just have to march him and his bank card to the nearest jewellers.

Its not the romantic image I had hoped for but its going to have to do.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 21-Jan-14 14:00:29

It's also immaterial that one person didn't need a ring and another doesn't mind enduring an unromantic block of wood as a partner as long as they do the ironing hmm. The OP is looking - as a once in a lifetime, never-to-be-repeated thing - for a gesture, an effort, a token of love. It's important to her and therefore it's not unreasonable.

Jan45 Tue 21-Jan-14 14:03:28

Cog's right, as usual.

2rebecca Tue 21-Jan-14 14:07:20

I'd be more concerned about the lack of a wedding date 2 months down the line. An engagement is pointless if there is no date for the wedding as nothing has actually changed in the relationship you are just 2 people living together with no concrete plans to marry. For most people the 2 things go together. It's not about the jewellery, I dislike rings so never got an engagement ring but once we decided to get married we got on with sorting it out.
If you're going to get married get on with it.

sarajane231 Tue 21-Jan-14 14:08:00

redcarrot1 - I'll go against the grain in saying I don't think him waiting 10 years says it all. People are all different, for some people the ring means nothing, for some men they are just not "romantic" and are a bit useless at this stuff which doesn't meant they don't love you or are a bad partner.

However, him ignoring your wishes and wants DOES make him a it of a bad partner and if you sit down and very, very clearly communicate how you feel..in that:

1. you feel a bit insulted that he took 10 years to propose
2. you feel a bit upset that you don't have a ring and he doesn't seem that interested in getting one

And he does nothing about it, then tell him to shove it up his backside. Getting married and being committed to someone for life is a massive thing. If he can;t bend his own will occasionally to meet your needs and make you feel good at the moment of engagement he's not going to do any better as the years go on.

I am quite sure he would not have been with you 10 years, and then proposed after all that time if he didn't love you lots. It's just that sometimes people need a kick up the backside to know that loving someone sometimes means doing things you might not feel come naturally, or which might not mean much to you. This is love...actions, not words

xx

ConfusedLady8 Tue 21-Jan-14 14:11:04

Cog was right...if it's important to you, YABU

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Tue 21-Jan-14 14:18:45

ConfusedLady8 - I think you really are confused!

Why do you feel as though you have to "settle" for this, though? You wanted to get married and he did bugger all about it until you became pregnant, and even then, he proposed with no ring and still hasn't bought one two months later, nor has he discussed a wedding date or a timeline for getting married.

I don't really get that. DP isn't always the most romantic person in the world but when we discussed getting married, I told him I did want a ring and a nice proposal. I also said money isn't important and I don't care if the ring costs a fiver. He listened to what I wanted. Neither of us want a church wedding but we spoke and agreed together what we wanted.

Why is it all what he wants and none of what you want?

Viviennemary Tue 21-Jan-14 14:27:46

The point is a lot of men don't set a great deal of store by sparkly engagement rings. But if you want a ring then you should have one if your budget allows with a new baby on the way. Just say I'd like a ring please. When can I have one. I'm still waiting on mine to be upgraded after decades. I've lost interest now. grin

2rebecca Tue 21-Jan-14 14:32:17

I find the idea of a man making all the decisions very passive as well. We both decided we wanted to get married, and jewellery and when and where was part of that discussion.
I wouldn't have children with a man without being married so if i was pregnant and we were getting married i'd be booking somewhere and marrying in the next few weeks.
Otherwise instead of being a couple who've been together for 10 years without getting married you'll find you've turned into a couple who've been together 15 years without getting married, which suits some people.

noddyholder Tue 21-Jan-14 14:34:14

What happens to women when they want to get married?

redcarrot1 Tue 21-Jan-14 14:36:16

TheDoctors Deep down I know you are right....but the more I scream and shout the more apathetic he becomes. It doesn't get me anywhere.

"I think he was hoping I'd just pick one of his mum's rings and save himself some cash. This is the way he thinks"

And you are with him because...

There is a saying, "mean with money, mean with love"
I think the above is applicable here.

Do you think he will step up to the plate as a father given his overall laid back attitude?.

redcarrot1 Tue 21-Jan-14 14:41:01

He's excited about the baby, but I think he considers me a nag.

"He's excited about the baby, but I think he considers me a nag".

That is overall not a good sign. I think you will end up doing everything around the house and for your baby too. What surname will the child have, yours or his?.

Screaming and shouting won't help, even though it's often the most tempting thing to do when you're really frustrated (you have my sympathies there). I don't like being shouted at and it often makes me want to do the opposite of whatever I'm being told just because I hate it so much.

You need to sit down when you're both calm and talk it through like adults. Tell him what you want, get him to listen, and then get him to tell you what he wants too. Even if you don't completely agree with each other, it should be possible to come up with a compromise that you're both happy with smile

livingzuid Tue 21-Jan-14 14:53:42

This was my second marriage; the first had the magic proposal, the ring, the day, the dress blah blah. This time round we agreed it was what we wanted to do. No proposal. No ring. Him and me down the town hall just the two of us as soon as possible tying the knot with our wedding rings from Amazon. Dh didn't even want a ring!

People didn't understand when I said there was no proposal or ring. It wasn't important to me.

But it is important to you. And that's what matters. Would you feel better if plans for the wedding had actually progressed? Some men are utterly rubbish at weddings and all the associated activity.

What is he like in general?

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 21-Jan-14 14:59:35

I don't suppose you had to brainwash him into sharing your bed or 'nag' him into getting you pregnant. Getting engaged after ten years isn't a spur of the moment thing.

I am glad you say he's excited about the baby but hope he realises when people say 'It takes a village to raise a child' they don't mean, so that one of the parents gets to pick and choose when and how he takes a share of parenting. Being disorganised or calling you a nag is an easy cop out for someone only half engaged, (ha! no pun intended).

Jan45 Tue 21-Jan-14 15:09:12

Calling you a nag is both a cop out and insulting.

IdaClair Tue 21-Jan-14 15:19:47

Any chance he is giving you a ring for your baby's birth?

Other than that if you would like a ring why not go and buy one? Or if you like, get one you already have and put it on that finger.

I have two rings on that finger and am neither married nor engaged.

Joysmum Tue 21-Jan-14 15:22:44

When I asked my husband to marry me I told him not to bother with a ring. I already had a perfectly nice ring he'd given me the previous year for my birthday so just switched that onto the other finger.

The money was better spent on other things and I never saw the point of women getting engagement rings and blokes not. Bit of a weird old fashioned possessive gesture of marking out territory in my mind, although I fully appreciate not everyone sees it that way.

BringMeTea Tue 21-Jan-14 15:30:31

Joysmum
I see your point but that is not the OP's situation. It matters to her. She is going to have their child soon and possibly sees this fact as galvanizing her partner into proposing (for positive reasons). She happily accepted. She expects/wants an engagement ring. She has been clear that it need not be an expensive ring even though she has stated that money is not a problem.

In these circs she is not being unreasonable to be upset at his apparent reluctance and avoidance of making their engagement 'official'.

givemeaclue Tue 21-Jan-14 15:38:26

Book a lovely restaurant for lunch with ring shopping after, for the weekend. If he won't go, then really the 'engagement'. Needs to be reviewed

FluffyJumper Tue 21-Jan-14 16:21:58

Shopping before lunch so you can get squiffy whilst admiring your ring!

Pobblewhohasnotoes Tue 21-Jan-14 16:54:36

Have you asked him why he proposed when he doesn't seem to have any intention of buying you a ring? And you don't seem to have set a date or even discussed the wedding.

My DH is laid back and I didn't think he would ever propose but he did, with a beautiful ring.

I wonder how much input he's going to have in caring for his child or if he's going to expect you to get on with it.

ConfusedLady8 Tue 21-Jan-14 19:49:33

I misposted earlier...should have said "If it's important to you NO you're not being unreasonable. I am clearly confused smile

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now