This user held onto her grandmother’s wedding ring to give to her niece once she was old enough. But her stepson demanded she give it to him and then got angry when she refused!
Inheriting Family Heirlooms
OP (Original Poster) is a 58-year-old woman with a 56-year-old sister. Both of them inherited their grandmother’s wedding bands: OP from her maternal grandmother and her sister from her paternal grandmother.
Passing It On
The idea was that they’d pass the rings on to their children when they were older. OP’s sister did just that once she had a daughter in her 20s.
Unfortunately, OP found out that her fallopian tubes hadn’t formed correctly, and she’d never be able to have kids.
Ten years later, OP’s sister had another daughter. OP and her sister agreed that after her second daughter grew up, OP would give the wedding ring to her.
The oldest niece, at 28 years old, already has the set from her mom. OP is still holding onto the wedding band set from the maternal side since the youngest niece is still only 18 years old.
Remarrying Without Expectations
OP had been married when she was younger, but her first husband left her because he wanted kids. Luckily, she found a 60-year-old “wonderful man” with a 27-year-old son.
She noted that both had been the “only child” of their parents respectively; her husband’s parents had also died over a decade ago, leading her stepson to become very attached to OP’s family. Although that’s the case, her stepson had a huge “Italian family” with “a lot of cousins” on his mother’s side.
Big Plans for the Future
OP’s stepson would be preparing to finish his graduate degree in a year. He also has a girlfriend that he’s planning to marry.
Turning Down the First Offer
Given the talks of marriage, her stepson’s maternal grandmother offered him her wedding band set. OP believed this was a generous offer.
However, he decided he didn’t like the style and turned them down.
Instead, OP’s stepson has asked her if she’d give him her grandmother’s wedding band set.
He thought he should have it instead of OP’s niece because her niece is “as*****.”
Trying to Let Them Down Softly
OP tried to let her stepson down “gently” and explained that it didn’t matter what her niece did with the wedding band set. What mattered was that the rings were already promised to her.
It was possible her niece might want them for a “wholly different reason.”
Falling on Deaf Ears
However, her stepson said there was no better reason than a marriage. After all, that’s what the rings were made for.
He added that her niece had “made sure that isn’t in her future.”
Coming up With Explanations
OP suggested that maybe her niece would want the rings for a ceremony to “commit to her own well-being and health and happiness.”
Her stepson didn’t take this well and got “real s*****” about the niece possibly “marrying her cat.”
Sides of the Family
Despite his insistence, OP refused and reiterated that the rings were family heirlooms from her side of the family. So, she would be sticking with the plan for the rings to get passed down to the next generation.
Her stepson got even more upset at this answer and said, “I guess I’m not in ‘your side’ of the family.” Then, OP’s husband chimed in that this also hurt his feelings since he had thought she considered his son part of her family.
In an edit, OP wrote, “My husband did not ever ask me to give his son the rings. When his son made a comment about guessing he was not on my side of the family, my husband got upset, and things got derailed because his feelings got hurt, and the argument turned into me being an a**hole for saying his son isn’t on my side of the family. From his point of view, I think it’s because my family is the only family he has, aside from his son.”
Hurt Feelings Everywhere
An “absolute cluster f*** of hurt feelings” ensued from that point. The family drama culminated in her stepson “storming off” and her husband now staying in the guest room.
OP is now stuck feeling “completely alone” with no biological kids of her own to give the rings to and her husband behaving as if she “severed” him and his son from her family.
She Can Do What She Wants
However, although her husband and stepson seem to brew in their negative feelings, she added that she doesn’t care that her niece is “as*****” for the rest of her life or if she chooses to have a romantic relationship with someone in the future. She’s not under any obligation to do any such thing and “certainly doesn’t owe anyone children.”
OP is okay if her niece decides to share the wedding rings with a platonic life partner. She’d even be okay with the niece passing the wedding rings on to one of her older sister’s daughters; she’s just 18, and she has all the time in the world to decide!
The Community’s Suggestions
The community felt that it was definitely within OP’s rights to give the wedding rings to her niece since they were previously promised to her.
The top commenter said, “Not the a**hole. Before your husband and stepson entered your life, you pledged to pass your rings on to your niece. It doesn’t matter what her s******** is; they effectively belong to her, and you do not have the right to give her belongings to someone else. Only if you had no plans for the rings would your stepson be able to ask. It has nothing to do with whether he is part of the family. It’s to do with honoring a promise. What makes your stepsons even more of an entitled a**hole is his rejection of the rings he was already offered as not good enough.”
“Exactly. How hurt must his own grandmother have been to have him reject a wedding set that was good enough for her,” seconded another commenter.
Pick and Choose, but Don’t Play the Victim!
People also singled her stepson out, saying it was his choice not to accept the ring offered to him in the first place. So, now he has to accept that he’s not getting anything.
“He was offered a set by his grandmother, and he declined it because he didn’t ‘like it.’ Now he’s asking for your set because he prefers that. He doesn’t get to pick and choose and then play the victim,” said one user.
Another Redditor wrote, “Not the a**hole. Your stepson just wants the nicest ring he can get for free. His own grandmother offered him her ring, but he wants the one from your grandmother because he or his girlfriend likes that one better. You have already promised the ring to your niece, and I think it is important to honor your word here.”
What advice do you have for OP? Was OP right for denying her stepson’s request to give him the wedding rings, or should she have handed them over?
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This post first appeared as She Refused to Give Her Stepson Her Grandmother’s Wedding Ring, Saying It’s Reserved for Her Niece. Now He’s Livid, Accusing Her of Abandoning Him and Not Treating Him Like “Family!” on Quote Ambition.