In a family of modest wealth, the Original Poster (OP) is embroiled in a controversy surrounding her brother’s tumultuous love affair, which revolves around a symbol of love and commitment: a $40,000 engagement ring. The girlfriend’s bitter reaction to the ring’s size creates a ripple of conflict, ultimately leading to the brother’s painful decision to end the relationship. But as accusations fly and perspectives diverge, OP questions her role in the situation.
Growing Up Struggling
Even though their parents are now well-off, OP and her brother have a hard time viewing them that way after growing up struggling, barely getting by paycheck to paycheck. As immigrants to this country, the parents worked hard for a long time before finally building their wealth.
During their early years, there was always a worry that the family would be unable to pay rent. OP and her brother wore hand-me-down clothing while their family shared a two-bedroom apartment with five other people. It wasn’t until their youngest child graduated high school that the parents treated themselves to two luxury cars.
The Brother’s Love Life
OP’s older brother lives in Los Angeles and has been dating a girl for a long time. They met at a party in college while he was attending Stanford and she was attending UC Berkley. Though the girlfriend has a stable, moderate income, she comes off as slightly odd to the family.
Meet the Parents
While visiting OP’s parents and admiring their nice cars, the girlfriend laughingly comments that she expects him to buy her an expensive car one day. The girlfriend’s sense of entitlement to the same level of lifestyle that her boyfriend’s parents now enjoy bothers OP and other family members.
The Plan to Propose
The brother decides to propose and recruits OP to help select the engagement ring. They decide on one worth $40,000 with an impressive center 2.5-carat diamond between a pair of 1-carat diamonds. The ring represents a significant investment intended to match the girlfriend’s desires.
The Unexpected Rejection
Upon proposing, the brother faces an unexpected response: his girlfriend is upset. She expresses her disappointment at the size of the ring, saying she didn’t expect him to be so cheap as to buy her a $5,000 ring. This confuses the brother because the ring cost him eight times as much, and he put a lot of effort into selecting something he believed she would love.
The Blame Game
Feeling betrayed, the brother calls OP, angry about the situation. He blames her for suggesting a smaller carat stone, resulting in his girlfriend’s dissatisfaction. The brother’s heartbreak is palpable, and the situation grows more tense.
The Red Flag
OP sees the girlfriend’s materialistic demands as a warning sign and advises her brother accordingly. She warns him about the girlfriend’s apparent greed and lack of appreciation for his effort. She strongly suggests he reconsider the relationship.
The brother takes OP’s advice to heart and breaks off the relationship. He realizes that the girlfriend’s values don’t align with his own or his family’s. Now, he must deal with the fallout from his decision.
The girlfriend reacts strongly to the break-up and calls OP. She accuses her of meddling and causing the end of her relationship with the brother. The girlfriend’s harsh words echo the reality of their now-severed relationship.
After the girlfriend’s accusation, OP is overwhelmed with feelings of self-doubt. Now single and bruised, her brother regrets his decision to break up. He questions if he reacted too harshly over the ring incident.
The Brother’s Choice
The brother is faced with a decision. He is torn between giving his ex a second chance and sticking to his decision. OP and her brother sit down for a heartfelt discussion about the values they’ve been raised with and what they expect from their future partners.
The Final Decision
The brother sticks with his decision, valuing his family’s advice and his own feelings above all else. His decision is not easy, but he feels it’s the right one, leaving room in his life to find a more reliable and appreciative partner.
Was The Sister’s Behavior Appropriate?
OP posts this story online for feedback. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:
One reader said, “Am I reading this right? Your brother spent $40,000 on an engagement ring, which wasn’t good enough for her?”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote, “Who turns their nose at a $40,000 ring? If anything, she should have protested that he spent that much!”
A Third View on The Story
A different person stated, “She’s not a gold digger; she’s a platinum digger. You did your brother a big favor by pointing it out. Your family isn’t nosy, they are close enough to share problems, and that’s the sign of a good family.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another reader commented, “People upgrade their rings later. People get super expensive wedding bands. People get anniversary rings. I can’t imagine someone being upset over a ring that cost $40,000.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.