Reader Comment: “Don’t be Cheap if you Want to Have Happy Marriage that Lasts”

by TTMK on September 5, 2013 · 2 comments

Every now and then, I get an email or two from readers, with their experiences or even separate comments on articles.  On random occasion I’ll get a reader story or question, of which I’ve published a few.  I’d like to get more, actually.

Anyway, this week I got an email that seemed to be more of a comment/rant about engagement rings.  I’m going to safely assume that this was in regard to one of the most popular posts here, on what to do if you don’t like your engagement ring.

Here is the comment/rant (name withheld):

It seems like many men share the same opinion about how a woman should behave about getting a ring.  Well not all women are the same but she will have her own values that she lives by so instead of wanting her to react a certain way try asking her about her feelings on different things.  If her ring is important to her and shes dreamed about having one she loves then take the time to get her the one she will be happy with and if she doesn’t like it then take the time to get her one that makes her happy not you happy.  There are things she will do for you that she doesn’t want to do so maybe you should make her happiness important to you don’t be cheap if you want to have happy marriage that lasts!!!

Okay. Where to start?

I can say that it’s right that a couple should focus on a ring that makes her happy rather than him happy.  That’s obvious.  But I still go back to these two ideas:

1) If he puts forth a good faith effort to get a ring that he things she will love, and it’s bought from his heart with the very best intentions to symbolize a life together with the person he loves, can that be enough in the big picture? Can sentiment trump materialism?

2) Shouldn’t a ring be purchased based on the budget the guy has? If her dream ring far exceeds his budget, what should give? I think that it’s important to be financially responsible, and a ring shouldn’t be so expensive as to cripple someone financially.  These guys that go into debt to buy a ring….man, I don’t know.  I didn’t do that.

It’s interesting because the premise of the comment is essentially that one should take an active interest in the other person’s happiness first and foremost even if you don’t really understand certain things.  As in, if you make a budget your fixed parameter and the ring cost has to fit within that parameter, it’s somehow wrong.  It seems like this line of thinking is more like you buy the ring based on what she likes, and worry about the money later.

You know, there is actually some wisdom there.  Ultimately, I agree that it’s important to equally consider your partner’s happiness as well as yours, and that money is not the most important things.  However, if you’re financially responsible and hard-working but your partner is only happy if you spend a lot of money on her (or him), then maybe values just aren’t aligned in the first place.

What do you think of this?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt Becker September 5, 2013 at 8:05 am

I think there’s a balance that has to be struck. I absolutely think that any kind of gift should be given with the other person in mind. An engagement ring, for better or worse, is a big deal to some people and their opinions obviously matter. With that said, you clearly have to take the financial side into consideration as well. As always with marriage, you have to find a way forward that both people can agree one.

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Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life September 5, 2013 at 1:24 pm

I’ve actually contemplating asking my future fiancee NOT to buy an engagement ring. I would MUCH rather take an amazing vacation or save for a downpayment on a house, but that’s just me. Maybe I’ll feel differently in the moment?

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