silverswordMay 26, 2010

When I was married to my first husband I received a family heirloom. I told his mother I'd give it back to the family if anything happened. She said, no honey, it's yours. Well, we say we're divorcing, the first thing she asks about is that item. I refused, said it was going to my DD. I would have given it back if she hadn't so vehemently insisted that it's mine. I never wear it, it's been appraised and is in a safe location for DD when she grows up.

How do you handle "stuff"? With my DH now, I feel any heirlooms that come to *us* through his family should pass right to his DD once she's of age and responsibility. He doesn't want anything of *his* to go to his DD's mother.

No real issue here (except my ex-MIL will probably never forgive me, LOL). Just wondering how others deal with it.

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She gave it to you, she wants it back, it is rude and but if she wants it back, I would give it back. It is just stuff and it belongs to their family, yes DD is also their family but XMIL might see it otherwise.

I don't see much value in stuff. I know families who forever spoiled their relationship over "stuff". Not worth it. I would give it back.

Now how we handle it? We don't have heirlooms, and are not attached to stuff, I have very few things of value, my mom has none. We do have books, A LOT, but it is not heirloom.

On the other hand if my exMIL asked for her gifts back (I have few inexpensive things from her)I would be shocked. I do have few gifts from her that i actually received after we were divorced for a long time. I would be upset if she asked for stuff back, we have great relationship, but I would give it back.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 5:55PM
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Our family heirloom "stuff" usually goes to bio-kids and not Skids because none of the heirlooms belonged to anyone that Skids ever met more than once or twice. As in, I'd feel it inappropriate that I receive an heirloom that belonged to either of my SGM's; I barely knew the ladies and those things should go to my half-sister or step-sisters. Now, if it's family heirloom "stuff" that is and has been in the possession of my BM or BD, then it is now their stuff to give to whom they will.

I think I've confused myself!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 9:57PM
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I think it was totally rude what your ex-MIL did. BUT that said, I think I probably would have given it back. If she wants to pass it on to your DD when your DD reaches an appropriate age, she could. JMO.

My mom is remarried to a man with two daughters--they are in their early to mid 30s, both live in California and I've only met them twice. ((My mom and her DH have been married for 4 years.) He is not very close to his daughters--not in a bad way, just not close, don't talk that often, etc. Different families have diff. ways of being. Anyway, if my grandmother gave my mom a family heirloom and it got passed to my mom's DH's daughters, I'd think it was crazy/ridiculous. I am sure they would, too! Likewise, I'd never want nor expect a family heirloom from my mom's DH's family. How weird!

It does get stickier when families have been blended longer and then I guess it depends on the relationships, etc. For example, my grandparents 100% consider my stepson their great-grandchild. I would not think odd of it at all if my grandfather gave him some male-oriented family heirloom?( not sure what it would be, but you kwim.) They treat him just as their treat any of their other grandkids and great-grandkids and include him all the time--if anyone asks how many great-grandkids do you have, their answer is 3. (By blood, they have 2 (DD and my cousin) but they consider SS a great-grandchild, as well.)

So I guess in general I think family heirlooms/things of sentimental value should stay within the bio-family IF the stepfamily has not been around a long time---but if a child has grown up within a stepfamily, and considers their steps their family, that's different.

I think the difference (and what's made it easy) is that for SS, he has his mom's family---and then my family. DH doesn't have family--just his dad, who lives in Florida and whom we never see. We don't see his mom at all. DH has no cousins or anything. So it's been very easy for my family to become DH's family, and likewise, SS's family.

I'm confusing myself now!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 9:25AM
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LOL. She didn't ask me for it back. She hasn't spoken to me since I left her cheating abusing lying idiot of a son. (someday I'll tell you how I really feel about him, LOL) She told my X that she wanted it back. In case it makes it any clearer, it's my engagement ring from him. Sorry~ I offered it back to be considerate once upon a time when we first became engaged; once a ring is given it becomes bride's property and we were married over five years; she refused it... and now she wants it back. Nope. It's going to my DD. Through me. Like wedding rings usually are passed on :)

That was just an example of things to get the ball rolling.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 11:05AM
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DD is her bio grand-daughter, correct? Pffft, I agree with you; your engagement ring goes to DD.

I was given some minor jewelry from my BGM years ago; she said that she wanted me to have the pieces because she didn't want them to go to my half-sister because, in her opinion, she wasn't a "real" grand-daughter because, since SM was a second wife and the first marriage hadn't been annulled, it wasn't a valid marriage (GM was a strict Catholic). That seems pretty harsh; it's not poor HS' fault! And in case it wasn't clear, HS was her bio-granddaughter as well! HS did end up with some of GM's jewelry in the end anyway but I still feel vaguely guilty for some reason.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 12:42PM
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Thank you Mattie. DD is her first grandchild and only bio-grandchild. Pffft indeed!!

That's strange on your BGM's side. Poor HS indeed!!!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 3:30PM
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I would not want my DD to wear a wedding ring of a marriage that did not work out, maybe I would make something like earrings out of it. My house was burglarized and I had my wedding ring stolen, otherwise I would make something out of it for DD, maybe.

Well if you and exMIL have no relationship and don't speak, then I wouldn't even worry about it, especially if she did not directly ask you. On the other hand if she is that nasty, does not speak to you and asks for gifts back, i would not want her ring, bad luck. I would mail it to her that same day. JMO.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 8:08PM
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I don't know, I would think it's weird to keep an engagement ring that was an heirloom from Dads family. I thought those sort of things were given to the boys to give to their fiancee's. Even so, I wouldn't want to get my MIL's ring or be forced to use it because of tradition. Just not my cup of tea. I would probably resent it and it would seem like too much involvement from outsiders in my marriage.

I think it's shoddy she's asking for stuff back, but I would give it. Not worth the trouble, imo. And too, I would be thinking there's a chance my DD does not want to be obligated with wearing Grandma's ring, she will want her own.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 9:46AM
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OMG you guys are too funny, I just posted that as an example. I'm not asking for advice at all. :)

@FD & Nivea: I wouldn't give it to her for her to use as a wedding ring.. let alone FORCE her (lolol) to use it due to tradition. Obligation-smobligation. That would be for her and her spouse to decide. It's the stone that has been passed down, it's on it's 5th generation. It's not from her GM's side, it's from her GD's side, and he hasn't said a word. If he had asked for it back I would have sent it in a second.

I told them I would give it back nearly 10 years ago if anything ever happened between me and X. They both fell all over themselves, acted offended, and told me absolutely not. On more than one occasion. The second the divorce hits the fan, she tells X she wants "her" ring back. My setting. X's dad's stone. She has a GIANT boulder because she "upped" her ring status 20 years ago or so. It's not like I pried it off her fingers. DD's the only grandkid who is blood. She's the only child of their only son. It's going to her regardless if I gave it back or not.

As for wearing a ring that the marriage didn't work out... well. I guess it's a matter of perspective. Her mother and father made an attempt at marriage while wearing that ring. I wore that ring when I gave birth to her, when she took her first steps, when she cut her first tooth, when she went off to school for the first time. Her grandmother wore it until she decided it wasn't good enough for her and got a bigger rock. Her great(-great-great-great) grandmother(s) wore it. And before that the stone was an heirloom (not a wedding ring) from the father's side of the family. He was too broke to buy a ring, and used that stone to marry the love of his life. Hmmmm....

Yeah, you're right. Since it's from a divorce it's meaningless.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 10:10AM
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I hope that heirloom rings from failed marriages are not bad luck or I'm in huge trouble! I'm not a big jewelry person but I really do like pretty old-fashioned rings. When we told my mom that we were looking at antique stores and estate sales for a wedding ring for me, she brought up two family rings if I wanted one. One was the plain gold wedding band from my great-grandmother, who was married over 50 years - but it was huge on me; very large and very wide. The jeweler would have had to remove literally half the ring to make it fit me.

So, the one I chose which is my wedding ring was a lovely delicate diamond ring which was my great-aunt's. Her marriage was apparently not particularly fabulous; a few years after she got married her husband got run over by a train and killed. With his girlfriend. There were questions of it being suicide. At that time my great-aunt moved in with a female "room-mate" with whom she lived for the rest of her life. No one is sure of exactly how the ring became my great-aunt's; I prefer to think that it was a gift from her "room-mate". I think that would make it very suitable as a wedding ring for someone who got married later in life to a divorced dad. :)

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 10:38AM
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I'm not giving you advice lol. I'm responding to your question and your example, *I* would give it back, not worth the trouble to me. And I wouldn't particularly care so much about the familys heirloom that I divorced out of, it would mean more to *them* than to *me* to give my DD that ring. But that is me and probably why I'd prefer my own ring from the get go.

I don't think divorce equals meaningless, but there is just way too much to fight over and cause ill feelings that it would not be worth it. I have my DD, I can always create heirlooms and stuff to give her, I have more opportunities to create memories and special stuff than they ever will. A ring from their family wouldn't be my hill to die on, they ask for it back, ok here you go. When they gave it to her I would tell her I wore it when I had you etc etc. But they had the honor of giving it to her, when and how they want, win win.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 10:50AM
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Fabulous story Mattie! I love it!

Nivea, I could care two shakes about the ring. But I would have been damned at that point to give it back. I felt like it was a giant slap in the face, and I wasn't going to bow down to her wishes, especially since she couldn't ask for it herself. X was very rude "MIL wants her ring back"... lol. Sorry for her that her son is a cheating bast*rd who couldn't keep it in his pants and now is going to lose everything.

BTW, they still have our wedding pictures up in their house per my X. I make sure DD calls them often and when they are in the area I meet them so she can see them. I saw it as a manipulation and I didn't like the feeling.

My ring. No one gives their engagement rings back. No one. I think it was decent of me to offer and tasteless and tacky for her to ask for it back. And I didn't feel particularly like being generous with what she wanted at that point. Especially since a year prior my X had thrown a massive fit/fight in front of his parents and she blamed me. Later on I find out the whole thing was because he felt guilty about his philandering. LOL. So he accused me of cheating etc in front of his parents, and I got reamed out by her. She never apologized even after X told her it was his projection. Screw her.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 11:13AM
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I kept the wedding ring, of course it was meaningful because of our DD. When I had my house burglarized, emptied out, I was very upset over the ring. My point is DD does not care about my ring and certainly would not wear it, it is of my past marriage not hers. I hope if she ever gets married, she will have her own ring not mine.

I agree that wedding rings belong to the bride, but that's when the groom buys the ring. My ex saved and bought a ring, pretty but inexpensive, he was 19 LOL. But when the ring is given by groom's mother as to stay in HIS family, then, who knows, maybe rules are different. If it is treated as HIS family heirloom rather than something between bride and groom, then I don't know if same rules apply.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 5:01PM
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"I hope that heirloom rings from failed marriages are not bad luck or I'm in huge trouble!"

I don't think they are bad luck. I do think it is somewhat bad luck to keep possessions that someone asked back, like I don't think I would be happy wearing jewelery that someone wants back. Why? It wouldn't feel right.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 5:15PM
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"But when the ring is given by groom's mother as to stay in HIS family, then, who knows, maybe rules are different."

You're right. And had it come from the groom's MOTHER and had she said, "this is to stay in the family"... things would be different. As I said above, it's from his FATHER and I was the one to say that I would give it back if anything happened.


Fine. Five years later the mother changes her mind. Sorry for her. It was a slap in the face, an "F-you" and I wasn't going to play her game. If she had asked me for it directly I would have given it back. But my X asked for it. That's rude. And, the ring was mine, he bought it for me. The stone was the family heirloom.

And FD, I'm not wearing my old engagement ring. I think THAT would be bad luck!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 2:43PM
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I'm confused;
the woman is divorced from the man whose family this ring belonged to?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 2:57PM
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I don't know. I get along with ex's family, and they consider me their family even though technically I am not. ExMIl has three grandkids and DD is the only girl, possibly many things would go to her, but not my place to decide, not at all, plus it is nothing to do with me.

I think I'd rather have good relationships with family members (as well as not family) than insist on being right , what for?

"DD's the only grandkid who is blood. She's the only child of their only son. It's going to her regardless if I gave it back or not."

First of all you never know if he won't have more kids (even if he says he won't, never know), second of all she has no obligations to leave it for DD she could leave it to anyone else and give DD something else, third of all due to limited contact with their granddaughter (and not due to geographical distance but rather bad relationship between you and them) she might leave her nothing or very little and lastly it should be their family decision.

I understand it is done deal but if it contributed to a bad blood between you and them, then it was not worth it. Such issues/conflicts could be avoided.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 6:03PM
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I figure if the ring is an heirloom, the groom got off cheap with a 'free' ring; and he needs to accept a certain amount of risk with that benefit. And if the bride marries him, she absolutely 'earned' that ring and gets to keep it. Of course, if the groom's family wants 'their heirloom' back, I'd graciously offer to return it in exchange for it's fair value in cash or a 'non-sentimental' item.

When I married for the first time, Ex's father gave me several lovely pieces of jewelry that had belonged to Ex's late mother. (Giving the bride jewelry is the custom in that culture.) We divorced after 10 years, then a few years later when he was about to remarry, Ex. asked for the jewelry back. Not his father -- to whom I would have given them -- but Ex., who had never owned them in the first place. I told him absolutely not! But that the pieces would go to our son's future wife, which is what would have happened to them had we not divorced.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 7:48PM
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Thanks Sweeby. It's the same thing with me. X asked for it back, for his mom, and neither of them owned it. It's his dads stone. I actually did tell X they could buy it back from me (I was SO ANGRY that she was being that petty). They weren't interested. Or, X didn't tell her. I don't know, because she wouldn't talk to me. And yes, they have the money.

I'm waiting for FD to tell you that you are assuming the FIL would have given them to your son's future wife. He could change his mind you know ;)

..."third of all due to limited contact with their granddaughter (and not due to geographical distance but rather bad relationship between you and them)"

Assume away FD. She doesn't have "limited contact" due to "rather bad relationship". We have a very civil relationship and she sees them often.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 3:19AM
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you said she hasn't talked to you since divorce. If it is very far from civil relationship by my standards. It is pretty much no relationship. It is hard to be not civil if you don't talk. I just think that if there is no relationship or bad relationship with that many people, mother, stepmother, mother in law, then something could be done, sometimes you might need to give in. don't have to right all the time. But oh well, your life.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 9:10AM
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She hasn't. What I meant is we don't "talk". We are civil. There are certain things that need to happen in order for our lives to run smoothly, and when necessary we hash out the details. Civilly. BTW, I've been divorced almost as long as I was married. The ring thing is ages old. I only brought it up because I wanted to hear others opinions on how they dealt with "STUFF" not to dissect an event that really is past. I made provisions to return the ring, they insisted it was mine to keep, on several occasions. The only reason they are asking for it back is to hurt me.

She's my XMIL. I'm not required nor do I desire a relationship with her. I'm sure something could be done, but I doubt giving her the ring back will fix the fact that her son messed up beyond compare.

She wants to blame me. That's fine. I'm not holding any of this against her, I've been nice the whole way through. But I will not be steamrolled over.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 1:36PM
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I frankly think you're being petty. It's just a ring - or "stuff." You're abiding by "the principle" of it. You're investing a lot of emotion over "stuff." And for what - to punish for her rotten son?

Geez, it's just a material object. But I also believe in the "what goes around, comes around" philosophy. Trying to prove a point is ridiculous. I bet you respond with a big "LOL!"

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 3:41PM
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I think it would have been awkward for XMIL, to say, at time of gift, oh I want it back if anything happens. I would give it back.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 4:23PM
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appears that others see it same way as I do, but it's too late, would be silly to send it back now,,,had to be done then

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 9:43PM
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Ok, I guess this is what I get for putting a personal example in a discussion that I actually intended to be for discussing how others handle stuff, and current issues. I should have known others would rather rake me across the coals than have a conversation.

Sephia, I'm not going to respond with an LOL to you because what you said I didn't find funny in the least. Like I said, if MIL had asked me personally, it would have been different. I don't think anyone understands that point, and that's ok. Coming from X, I think he was just trying to hurt me. If you can't understand that, it's fine.

KKNY, I agree it would have been awkward. But it wasn't a "gift" from her to me. And regardless... a person should never give a gift expecting it back if anything happens. That's completely classless. If it was so important it should never have been given away. I think offering it back, on several occasions, went above and beyond what anyone should expect.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 9:49AM
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When my only brother got engaged 25 years ago ... my mom handed him her ring my dad had given her and said if anything happens to this marriage that comes back to me or older sister's oldest son.... future sister in law came over to thank mom for the ring and was told after a celebratory hug :) "if this marriage doesn't work out for whatever reason that ring comes back here so my oldest grandson can have it"

25 years later she is still wearing that ring. But was told. No clue if she would have given it back but it was a conditional gift :)

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 11:28AM
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Seems that most of the people saying "I'd give it back" are speaking hypothetically...

If Silversword and her Ex hadn't gotten divorced, she would still have the ring (on her finger), and it would eventually go to their daughter. As it is now, she still has the ring (not on her finger) and it will eventually go to their daughter. So nothing's changed.

If Silver planned to melt down the setting and sell the diamond(s) to buy a Porsche or pay for a breast augmentation, I could see how her former in-laws might rightfully be upset by that. But that's not what she's doing.

If I'm mistaken about the 'hypothetical' assumption, I'd love to hear about those expensive heirloom gifts you all generously gave back instead of passing on to your (and their) legitimate heirs.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 11:43AM
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Curious, does Ex FIL know where the ring is and what you intend to do with it? Because that does make a bit of difference. Obviously you're not one of them, but there are ladies out their that would have beat it down to the pawn shop or other such means and sold it in a hearteat.

It actually may have been what ex MIL feared when you got the time she was not thinking overly high of you (even if you did not deserve her ill thoughts).

Personally, I would not accept a family heirloom stone(even reset) as an engagement ring. DH could not cough up one on his own, I'd have done without until he could...but that's just me.

I agree that items should not be given unless one if certain that no matter what happens one won't expect it back. Except for like what Pseudo Mom stated, nothing wrong with that situation.

Jewerly that has been long term treasured and worn by a person is not something overly passed down in my family. The belief is to send the item to the grave (like special ring, pin, earrings). We have plenty of other personal possessions that get passed down the line.

My sister and I had a few choice worded discussions with my father's cousin when my father died. Dad was an avid hunter and gun collector/gunsmith. He was being buried looking out to a huge old oak and sister and I intended to send down a expensive gun with Dad. Cousin caught wind of this (nosey old coot) and tossed a fit to my mother that it was a total waste of an expensive gun blah blah. Mom told cousin that it was the girls decision and if that's what we wanted to do with it, that is exactly what would happen. Yeah, we might have tossed some bucks down the hole to rotten away, but in our sentimental minds my father will forever be watching for those squirrels in the old oak tree. To h$ll with what anybody else thinks about it.

And as to conversation I guess, my family does not usually pass down or give away items until the user/owner of item is finished with them...that might be at death or it might be when person giving desires to share their 'treasures' in the manner they desire to whoever they desire.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 12:25PM
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When I divorced my ex, I went thru my china cabinets and set out every single gift MIL had given me for my birthday, Christmas, Waterford, Belleek, Antiques, and also any handmade lace tableclothes she had done for me, even sweaters she had knitted for me (very talented woman)and gave them back to Ex..I knew that they meant more to my Ex than me, and that they will eventually go to my DS...Unfortunately , Ex did not extend me the same courtesy...He is holding gifts from my mother ,aunts and sisters, claiming they are also from his mother...They are not, even a court order did not make him give them back to me....Not worth sending him to jail over(tempting tho)DS will eventually receive them after ex dies(or give them back to me at that time)..

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 12:28PM
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@Just me: "does Ex FIL know where the ring is and what you intend to do with it". Yes. And he and I get along fine and speak/email often.

@Pseudo: "if this marriage doesn't work out for whatever reason that ring comes back here so my oldest grandson can have it".... that is reasonable. Had that been the situation I would have stuck to my agreement.

@ Sweeby: "So nothing's changed." Exactly....

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 2:16PM
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--"Yes. And he and I get along fine and speak/email often".--

Good. That is what matters, Ex FIL and you are okay with it. I'm surprised Ex MIL was in such a hurry to ditch the gift her husband gave her, but she ditched it for what she thought was bigger/better and in doing so gave it away...and did so with no strings attached.

As long as Ex FIL knows where it is, is okay with the acknowledge it is still appreciated and safe and going to continue on in his blood lineage for more generations to come, he can consider you the keeper of the family heirloom until his heir (his GD) is old enough to receive it.

I wonder if it hurt Ex FIl's feelings a bit when his wife ditched the gift he gave her. I guess I can be a sentimental fool sometimes, but it would never occur to me to replace and give away my engagement ring. I would have maybe purchased a second ring for another finger, but not have chosen to stop wearing the initial one.Just something that crossed my mind as I was typing now.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 2:53PM
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What I Would Do, I Think:

Had I had family photos or antiques in my possession, I'd have given them back, with the rationale that those aren't *personal* things.

Had I been given jewelry or a wedding dress, I'd have kept it as personal.


What I Think You Should Do or Are Entitled to Do:

I think the woman has lots of bawls demanding the "return" of something that has belonged to you for many years.

& the "inheritance-by-lineage" argument would actually justify your keeping it:

Since it was given to you as the son's wife & the mother of that "next generation", your own daughter is more entitled to it than any other grandchild.

& it's tacky to the nth degree to call your former daughter-in-law & ask/demand that she give back an engagement or wedding gift, especially after many years of marriage.

Give it to your daughter, put it in a box for her to find when they carry you out feet first, pawn it, melt it down & turn it into a dinner ring, it's just jewelry, & it's *your* jewelry.


What Others Would Do/ Did:

My aunt has the most gorgeous diamond dinner ring that was designed for her & made from the diamonds & gold from:

1) her first engagement & wedding bands
2) her mother's thin-as-a-spider-web gold band
3) her second engagement & wedding bands

She could have passed those things on to various children, but:

1) They're hers (& she loves her new ring).
2) her only son has no need for a wedding set as he will never marry. Believe me, he will never marry.
3) None of us grandchildren was fortunate to have known her mother, & the ring itself was worn nearly through.
4) Her stepdaughters don't want any reminders of their father.


What I Did (or What Was Done to Me!)

My mother gave me her mother's bread bowl, carved by her brother from a single piece of wood as a Mother's Day present back during the Depression.

I loved it.

*The bowl had sat in my mother's house for at least 40 years.*

My cousin (the one who'll never marry) called me & asked if he could buy it to give it to his mother for Christmas, since she had learned to make bread in that very bowl when she was 4 years old;
her mother, sick with cancer, had lain on a sofa & told her, step by step, how to make bread in that bread bowl.

It just ruined my enjoyment of the bowl (overly-emotional response, I know), & I wrapped it up in Christmas paper & gave it to my aunt myself.

I wish I'd kept it;
I just loved that bowl;
it was the only thing I had from my mother's side of the family, & it had been carved by my favorite uncle.

If it had meant that much to my aunt, she should have asked my mother for it.


What Was Done to Me Part 2

This same aunt was executrix of my mother's will.

My grandfather had had 3 pocket watches that he had given to my mother, & my mother left her entire "estate" (LOL) to her 3 children, me & my 2 brothers.

My aunt wrote to my brother & told him that she thought he should have 1 watch & our other brother should have 1 watch, & my brother's son should have the 3rd watch.

My brother wrote her back & said that he thought that sylvia should have the 3rd watch.

& I got it.

but it still makes me angry at my aunt every time I think about it.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 3:07PM
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Silver, keep it. Sylvia's story reminded me of something similar that happened to me. Sylvia's experience is similar to mine. My aunt, my mother's sister is alive, my mother passed almost 10 years ago. I am fairly close to my first cousins, daughters of my mother's sister, my aunt.

One year at a family gathering, the subject of who should inherit what came up as it related to my aunt and uncle. I was included in the conversation. All I cared about and still care about were items/objects left by our grandmother. Long story short, I got frozen out, the items from my grandmother, also their grandmother, were left to my cousins since their mother, my aunt, had possession and my mother had passed on. Was I disappointed? VERY. Surprised my cousins would freeze me out this way? Extremely. It was a wake up call to me that I still reflect upon as time has passed and these same cousins have asked me to chip in on expenses related to their parents.

Stuff can become huge. Sounds to me as though the ring was given and accepted a s a gift. Therefore, it's yours. Oh well.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 3:49PM
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Just me, I just want to clear it up a bit. She "traded up" about 10 years before I even met X. The ring was just sitting in her jewelry box. She and FIL offered it the second they found out that X was considering asking me to marry him. He was so excited about the tradition (and I really could give two licks about jewelry) that I went along with it.

Sylvia, I'm sorry for your experiences. And I love your perspective. I do want to say that she didn't call me and ask for it back. She told X that she wanted it back. X told me he wanted it back, because MIL asked for it. This, after I left him EVERYTHING (I got DD, so I walked away with the best jewel) that we had accumulated in the marriage. I left tens of thousands of dollars on the table, plus the time/energy/reduced prices we would have received for our worldly goods had I demanded we split/sell.

If she had called herself, and asked for it nicely, I probably would have sent it to her. Like I said, I have no attachment to the ring. But the way they went about it was nasty, and my reaction was NO.

LA, I can't believe some people. My family tried to freeze me out when my grandmother died too. I didn't ask for anything, and she wanted a ring to go to me. My dad had to fight his sisters for it. They were pretty angry. I'm happy to have the ring, it's too small so I never wear it, but it's really nice to have something of hers.

My grandpa passed away last year, they're donating a ton of stuff to Goodwill, having yard sales, etc. Haven't asked me once if I want any of it, let alone anything I gave him or Grandma.

Oh well...

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 4:26PM
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There's the flip side of getting the "stuff" too! One of my friend's parents' were apparently very thrifty, and kept everything. His siblings and he were trying to clean out the parents' house after their deaths, and every time the brothers would try to throw out/donate to Goodwill some "heirloom" like old dishes, snapshots of unknown people, etc., the sisters would protest that it was Mom's or Dad's and that they just couldn't bear to see it disposed of. But, since all the sisters had families and my friend was a bachelor, he had the most extra room in his house so they felt that he should basically store most of the "heirlooms"! He figured after a few years they'd feel better and would agree to allow him to pitch most of the stuff, but that didn't happen, so I think it's slowly "disappearing" from his attic. He says it was a huge pain cleaning it out from his parents' and he's not going to inflict the same job upon his nieces and nephews upon his death.

Most of my family ended up in assisted living or nursing homes before their deaths; they had time to dispose of most of their prized possessions when they moved and designated who was to get the last few that they had with them so we haven't so much had that problem.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 5:00PM
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we don't have anything of value, and certainly nothing of 5 generations ago, 2-3 generations ago everything was destroyed or stolen.

But whatever little we have belongs in the family. unfortunately exspouses, even when relationship is still good, are not a "family' per se.

I get along with ex yet I would not want him to have my family heirloom. even if he says I will give it to DD is not good enough, it belongs to my family and then we can pass on DD or whoever else in the family.

I think it is probably wise for a guy to buy his own ring, I don't understand how broke could one be not to buy a simple ring. ring is not that important but why broke people rush into marriage. now of course if the bride wants to wear a really nice ring, then there is a price to pay.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 5:47PM
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I agree FD. It is wise for someone to buy a ring. We weren't broke, he just wanted to carry out "tradition" and that was ok with me. It was a very simple ring, stunning and flawless, but under 3 carats. I actually wore my wedding band most of the time because I garden and do activities and I was always afraid I'd lose the stone (the actual heirloom).

I have a GORGEOUS ring from current DH and I don't wear that either, just my simple wedding band.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 5:57PM
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"It is wise for someone to buy a ring."

Charles gave Camilla a beautiful ring that had belonged to his grandmother, the Queen Mother, who had deeply disapproved of their carryings-on.


    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 4:07PM
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My X-inlaws LOVED me Sylvia, greatly approved of the marriage and showered me with affection and gifts.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 4:33PM
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XMIL doesn't talk to you, it does not sound like love to me. if they "loved" you they would still be involved with you, and certainly would talk. strange "love"

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 7:34PM
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I'm personally of the opinion that "stuff" isn't worth adding loads of stress to your life. I have sadly had to learn to let go of numerous things of sentimental value and it's saddened me at times but doesn't change a whole lot in the long run. I think when someone gets petty and vindictive about "stuff" you have two choices - jump in the boat with them and make a big stink about why you think they are wrong, or you can be the bigger person and decide that the item isn't worth fighting over. If it is a family heirloom it seems to me that it is up to family to decide who it goes to. If XMIL is asking via XDH for the stupid thing back even though it never really belonged to her, I would probably send it back to XFIL who's ring it was along with a note indicating that you felt you should return it since it belonged to him and is meant to stay in his family, although you would love to someday see it go to your DD.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 12:40AM
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"if they "loved" you they would still be involved with you, and certainly would talk. strange "love"

That's pretty snarky and unkind FD. And yes, there are plenty of families who no longer speak to their children's Ex's. Some do it out of consideration for their children, who aren't adult enough to 'allow' their parents to maintain a civil relationship with their grandchildren's other parent. Some do it out of misplaced loyalty, believing on their own that they need to choose sides. Some heard lies about the marriage and divorce, unquestioningly believe everything their own children say about their Ex-spouses, and instantly conclude that the DIL they thought they loved was nothing but a scheming hussy or raving harpy. Some do it out of reflexive pique. And some are just plain jerks, like the adult kids they raised.

'Strange love' indeed. Some families are known for that.

"If it is a family heirloom it seems to me that it is up to family to decide who it goes to."

Which they did when the gave the ring to Sonny to give to his fiance, Silver.
They knew there was a chance the marriage wouldn't last forever, and Silver quite honorably gave them the chance to reconsider. They refused. They also had other options; Sonny could have bought her a ring with no heirloom value. Once a gift has been given, it's been given! The gifted item belongs to the recipient, no longer to the giver, and the giver does not have the power to change his/her mind and demand return of the gift.

So who should this ring now go to? Ex-FIL, to whom it once belonged and from whom the ring is now thrice removed? Remember, he gave it to his own wife, Ex-MIL, who then 'traded up' to another ring. Or Ex-MIL who owned it once in EXACTLY the same capacity as Silver, but who stopped wearing it of her own accord, then gave it to her son to give to Silver? Or Ex-Husband, who got the ring from his mother to give to Silver -- the woman he married and the mother of his child.

Puh-lease! Ladies, I'm sure all of you gave back your engagement rings when you got divorced?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 8:57AM
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Thank you Sweeby. I was feeling the rush of air as the bus passed over me :)

FD, are you the supreme authority on love, all it's facets and nuances? I didn't say they "love" me. I said they "loved" me. They were ecstatic their son was marrying me. I cannot begin to list the ways they showed it. They bought a beach home so that I could use it with DD ~ they'd only visit a few times a year, but I had a key year round and a housekeeper. They bought me scads of expensive jewelry and items. Shopping sprees. Vacations. Threw a giant party for me when he asked me to marry him. Let him drive their "show car" after we were engaged so that he could drive me around DC (he had never been allowed near that car prior). His father would go on long evening walks with me and have discussions.

Besides SHOWING ME, they TOLD ME, time and again, how much they loved me, were grateful for me, etc. They also said if anything happened between me and their son that they'd take my side... lol. I knew that wouldn't happen but I thought at least we could be friends.

FIL and I are still cordial. He doesn't hate me. I think he knows what a little jerk his son is~ but what's a parent to do? MIL is very ill and I'm sure has more on her plate than to nurture a relationship with someone who "broke the family apart". She told me I should suck it up because someday I'd be rich. I told her there wasn't enough money in the world. I think that probably struck a little close to home for her. She emails me and asks for shopping lists for DD, and I email her pictures. But we don't talk. It's weird, it's not how my family operates, but they are from a very different culture than the one in which I was raised.

Anyone who says the equation of love works the same way every time is delusional.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 12:26PM
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Every time I talk to my aunt and uncle on my father's side, they ask how my mom is doing. They will pass on condolences and congratulations to her, through my brothers or me. My mom does the same. But for whatever reason they won't contact each other directly; they haven't spoken since the divorce. I don't know if they love each other but they all obviously care about each other. I think especially older people sometimes don't think it's "appropriate" to maintain direct contact with ex-in-laws. Who knows?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 2:07PM
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That might be it Mattie. My grandparents/aunts/uncles do the same thing on both sides for my parents. When my BM and BD's siblings see one another they talk just as if no time has passed, but do not socialize except when forced by occasion, even though they enjoy one another's company and always make sure to pass on c&c like you said.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 2:52PM
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I don't understand such relationships and such love, lavish gifts today, not talking tomorrow. I think it is awfully sad and superficial, plus I think material possessions and lavish gifts have nothing to do with love. But it is just my opinion or how I was raised.

My exparents in law still are very friendly with me plus they do things for me that I didn't even ask like visiting my grandparents' graves in my hometown, but they never bought me houses or bought expensive gifts. I could sincerely say that they LOVE me.

My parents are cordial with my ex but no love, but they never LOVED him, they were OK with him but no LOVE.

I understand others have different understanding of love and that's OK. Just me.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 7:58PM
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"Ladies, I'm sure all of you gave back your engagement rings when you got divorced?"

Mine was not heirloom, plus my ex did not ask for it back.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 8:04PM
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Once the marriage takes place there is no need for the engagement ring to be returned,THE CONTRACT HAS BEEN FULFILLED, the ring is a promise to marry...

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 9:54PM
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"the ring is a promise to marry..."

it is true, but what if a ring is given by parents in law? they don't make a promise to marry anyone

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 10:18PM
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--"they don't make a promise to marry anyone"--

Which would be a good reason not to dig in your jewel box and have your jewel be the token of 'their' promise/marriage.

As an aside, finedreams, it's very thoughtful and respectful gesture towards you and your daughter that your ex-inlaws visit the grave of your grandparents and their granddaughters great grandparents. My ex DIL had a very hard time knowing when she left her country that no one would be left to watch over her father's grave for long stretches of a time.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 8:34AM
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The stone for the ring was given to the ex-husband by his mother; at that point he gave it to silversword as part of an engagement ring. They married, so it's now her ring to do with as she will. If the stone was given directly to silversword by her ex-mother-in-law, then it was a present from XMIL. It's still hers either way. XMIL gave it away and can't now demand it back.

What if someone gave birth to a child and their Mom or MIL gave them some heirloom lace to use in a christening gown. Child gets christened, child grows older... child dies in horrific accident. Do you expect that the christening gown and/or the heirloom lace that is part of it should then be given back because the grandmother felt that things didn't work out per her plan?! Sorry about your kid, but I'd really like that lace back now because I want to pass it on to the next oldest grandchild who lived....

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 9:21AM
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Oh my gosh, Mattie. That's a terrible thought and in extreme, but it's basically the same scenerio, just a very different type of heirloom, I agree. One should not give things away that one may at some point want back.

I doubt if Silver returning the stone years ago would have made much difference in Ex MIL's feeling for or against Silver. The marriage did not work out, the Ex MIL is unhappy over the fact and I believe Ex MIL would have come up with another reason to make an issue over and habor resentful thoughts... afterall, Silver dumped her undeserving son even after Ex MIL begged her to stay married to the creep. I believe it all has more to do with rejecting and leaving the faulty son rather than it be about keeping a stone.

Sorry, Silver, to hear your DD's grandma is physically very ill.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 10:01AM
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Sorry, I realize my example is very morbid. I probably should not have watched a Tim Burton movie last night!

I wonder what then should happen to my wedding ring if I divorced DH after my mom is gone. I don't have any daughters, and my great-aunt had no children (which is how my mom got it). Does that mean that I would have to hand it over to another of my great-aunt's nieces or nephews (or one of their children) if they demanded it, as a family heirloom? And what if more than one of them wanted it! Should it go to first-born or first-born female? Or to the oldest descendant of the first-born? Or oldest female descendant of first-born female? Or (in the case of my ring) to the first female who left her husband for a woman?!

It's a conundrum! I had better just stay married, I guess. :)

Note to self: no more strange movies right before bedtime!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 10:29AM
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asking for things back is rude, but I think it is equally rude not to give it back. like I said I would be shocked if my exparents in law behaved this way, they just not the type, but I would think better of myself if I give things back if asked.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 10:31AM
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"I believe it all has more to do with rejecting and leaving the faulty son rather than it be about keeping a stone"

You are likely right, and that is why I would give it back. My XMIL was devasted when her son left me. It certainly wasnt her fault. I have tried to accomodate her as best I can. I agree that people are more important than things, but sometimes they are all someone has left.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 10:37AM
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I hear you kkny, my ex-mother-in-law had a difficult time too. My exMIL was a young woman then, yet she ended up having medical issues because of that. I remained very close with my exinlaws not only for DD's sake but for their sake too, my ex appreciated it too. And we were only married for 5 years, it must be much harder after that many years of marriage...Hopefully you keep in close touch with exMIL, that's a good thing to do.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 2:11PM
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Justmetoo, thank you. It's really hard on X and I often don't quite know what to say to DD. XMIL's been ill for years, but this time the cancer is just not going to go into remission. The only thing I can do is send DD out there when they ask, which I do. My family (aunts/uncles/cousins) in the same town has also been very friendly and will co-"parent" DD while she is out there when XFIL gets overwhelmed by having a little one around. We're all trying :)

FD, KKNY, for the last time:


AND this happened while X was making up a slew of other lies. I told him that XMIL can ask for it back herself. She never did. End of story.

"I don't understand such relationships and such love, lavish gifts today, not talking tomorrow. I think it is awfully sad and superficial, plus I think material possessions and lavish gifts have nothing to do with love"

FD, I do understand how they would give lavish gifts. They could afford it. They have everything they could possibly want and nothing to do but spend money on their kids. If they didn't like me they probably wouldn't have gone out of their way, both financially and emotionally, to buy me things and do things for which I would be the only beneficiary. What would be the point?

And they didn't buy me a house. They bought THEMSELVES a house. But in a location they knew I would desire, and gave me a key so I could utilize THEIR house when they were not there.

I'm sorry you can't understand how people could be like that. You must have led a sheltered life. A lot of people, when life does not turn out as they like, they blame the person with whom they longer have to associate. In this case, the Xwife, me.

Here's the really weird part. They still have pictures of X and I ALL OVER THEIR HOUSE.

My parents didn't LOVE X, but they are still cordial. My Xinlaws actually would tell me, tell my X, tell my parents... all the time! how much they loved me. Believe me, it hurt like he!! when they just cut me out of their life entirely. But X told them it was all my fault (in more ways than one, and none flattering).

When they finally were told the truth, by him; I think they were extremely embarrassed. That, combined with the reality that they live across the country, XMIL has been sick for a long time, they come from a very different culture.... They tried, I tried... oh well.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 4:19PM
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your X is a moron, I would sell his ring and give money to homeless, loser.

I had an awful lying boyfriend once years ago right after my divorce (bad idea to date on rebound, my ex also dated a lying girl who was after his money and I dated similar moron, right after divorce was final, how stupid that was, we both got screwed!). so that stupid boyfriend left his clothes in my house, my best friend wanted us to donate his clothes to homeless.

I don't remember what we did. It was almost 20 years ago, I think I asked my friend to take it to his house but I think she left it at church for donation, I suspect she never did what i asked. she is/was very in to helping homeless. and she really hated the guy. LOL

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 5:16PM
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Um. I really don't know how you went from "give it back it's hers" to "sell it and give the money to the homeless".

It's going to DD, like it would have anyway. If X has a son, I might consider giving it back because that's the way the family line has gone. But maybe not. (I'm anti-sexist that way :)

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 6:08PM
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I was not serious about giving it to homeless, it was a joke, it started with my best friend wanting to give some moron's clothes to homeless. My friend is just hilarious, I remember her pointing at homeless and saying this poor guy would feel cozy in your exboyfriend's clothes. I think their heirloom ring would feed some homeless nicely. Hard to convey jokes in here.

My opinion stays the same, I would give it back, I don't care about stuff enough. They are being nasty so I would take high road.

Ex might still have a son or another daughter (he isn't that old, right?), so that ring could be passed on to whoever they decided, maybe DD or maybe they want to sell and split between the kids. Or maybe they want to give it to homeless. haha

We are just going to disagree, we differ on this. It would be in the mail as soon as asked, i don't like to hold grudges, I'd take a high road. But giving it to homeless still sounds tempting..."Oops sorry don't have it anymore, gave it to homeless." haha

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 8:18PM
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Seriously, I could be tempted :) I was tempted to do a lot of things... but didn't. Managed to keep the high road with most of things concerning my divorce.

When my ex-fiancee left with all of my stuff I gave everything that wasn't an "heirloom" (pictures, etc) to people who came over for a party (I was 20, lol). Everyone was really happy to get his CD's, hats, etc. But I mailed anything not replaceable back to him. Pity he didn't do the same.

X might have a son or daughter. I doubt it, but he might. Men, after all, can pro-create into their 70's... lol. He says his current GF wants one. I really hope that doesn't happen for DD's sake but it just might.

Maybe NEW wife would like heirloom ring??? LMAO.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 9:00PM
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"I really hope that doesn't happen for DD's sake but it just might."

Why do you hope it won't happen? It would be exciting for DD to have siblings, wouldn't it? Every time I see my DD with her brothers I am glad ex has more kids, otherwise DD would be denied pleasure of having siblings since she is my only child. She is at dads now and just emailed me pics of all three making ridiculous faces into a camera, she is 22 and is right there with the kids being a goofball. LOL I am glad she has them.

I think if your ex remarries heirloom would be appropriate for a new wife, doubt she would want it though. that would be crazy.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 9:22PM
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New wife would love it. I'm sure.

Because DD doesn't want any siblings. I've asked her if I should have another baby and she said "no". I just asked her again. And she said "no". And then she just said "yes". So maybe you are right, lol. 8 year olds are unreliable.

That combined with her father and new wanna be wife both being crazy... and I'll defer to KKNY and Dr. Laura for other reasons why it would not be a good idea.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 11:30PM
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oh she is too young to know...I hope if you do want children, you won't base your decision on her opinion.

If he is crazy, it is a different story...But aren't they all. When my ex had a son, DD was 10 and it was a happy event. But when he had another one she was 20, and she was embarrassed hahah plus I worried that it would effect DD's college tuition, it didn't and DD is not embarrassed anymore. But she won't have much connection to the young one because she is grown and does not spend as much time with him as with the older one.

I suspect that ex would have another kid, his wife is young, and he is pretty young too. Talking about crazy...

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 6:30AM
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Yes, I let my dd dictate my life on all matters... (removing tongue from cheek) Why the heck do you think I'd let a child tell me whether or not to have another kid?? That's just silly talk.

I'm probably not having any more for a myriad of reasons. Mostly because I am able to provide a very nice, stable life for DD and children are a lot of work, financially, emotionally, physically. I'm a good mom and I enjoy it, but there are things I'd rather be doing and I recognize that in myself.

I do "want" more babies, I'd love a bunch. But I just don't have it in me :) And DH and I already have two total, which is just about right. We wouldn't want either of them to be displaced.

X: He's not that young. He's in his 40's (no offense to anyone, I don't think 40 is super old but it is to be having kids, IMO) and his GF is just a few years younger.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 11:12AM
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