A proposal, to most brides, is a dream come true. The man or woman you love the most gets down on one knee to ask you to spend the rest of your lives together. But what happens when the ring box opens and you're not thrilled with what you see? It definitely happens. Here's how six brides handled "hating" their engagement ring.
“My husband and I were high school sweethearts. We reconnected online while he was deployed in Afghanistan ten years after we broke up. He had this feeling we would marry someday, so he actually waited for me all that time (I know–way too romantic!) In high school when we got the feeling we would one day marry, I loved anything to do with hearts. So when he did propose he got me a diamond shaped as a heart. The problem was by then I was completely over the heart phase. But I didn’t care because I was marrying the man of my dreams. We’ve been married a decade. He knows I don’t like the ring but I would never replace it. We just tease each other about it and carry on. Someday, I’ll pass it down to the kids and they can keep the funny story going.” —Beth
“When he gave me the ring my heart sank. I’m insanely in love with the guy and was thrilled to get the proposal. I stressed to him how much I wanted to share my life with him and also how much I appreciated the time and effort he had taken to select the ring. But I said, ‘How would you feel if I was part of the process of ring selection and that way we are starting out making all the decisions mutually?’ He knew me and said, ‘Hon, good thing there’s an exchange policy at the jewelry store. Let’s go shopping!’” —Amy
“Tim is a minimalist so the ring he got was a simple solitaire tiffany style with a good diamond. It wasn’t what I wanted but wearing a ring I wasn’t crazy about seemed a small price to pay to be with the man I adore. Happily, 15 years later I now adore the ring—because of the love and commitment it symbolizes.” —Carla
“I wasn’t crazy about the shape of the diamond—pear, ugh! The last thing I wanted to do was hurt Dave’s feelings so I decided to bring up the subject by using the you-catch-more-flies-with-honey-than-vinegar theory. I told Dave that I loved, loved, loved the ring but felt like the diamond wasn’t doing the setting justice. It seemed like an emerald cut would be even prettier. He went for it and we shopped together for a different diamond. Whew!” —Tami
“The ring was an heirloom that Tom’s late grandmother had worn. I just didn’t have it in me to protest but after five years of marriage, I still don’t like it. Happily, I love the wedding band—which I had input in choosing—and that helps a lot!” —Lyn
“I waited a couple of weeks hoping my dislike for the ring would fade. It didn’t. So I asked my fiancé what made him choose this particular ring. He said he’d been agonizing for hours over what ring to choose. When he saw this one, a flash of me wearing that ring through the years—at our wedding, holding our baby, in bed with him—flashed in front of his eyes. He just felt it had to be our ring. It was such a loving story I fell in love with the ring too.” —Jill
Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW is a New York City-based marriage therapist and author.