Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Diamond Ring Comes Between Couple Planning Their Marriage

DEAR ABBY: My girlfriend and I love each other very much and have been living together with our children for five years. We intend to get married soon. Here is the rub: She's "old school." She believes she should receive a diamond ring as part of the marriage proposal.

I would marry her tomorrow, but I don't believe in spending thousands of dollars on a piece of carbon. I understand that somehow she equates her value/social status with the size of her wedding ring ("I deserve a nice ring"), but I don't agree. I think the expense is unwarranted and, quite frankly, as the person paying for most of it, unfair.

She has offered to chip in and even buy one from a used wedding site, but I'd rather spend that money on something we could both enjoy or at least on something more practical that she can enjoy. I can find the money to buy the ring, but in my heart, I don't see the value or buy into the fantasy the diamond industry has put into some women's heads.

What do I do? Cave in and give her what she wants because I love her? Or push for a compromise, which will definitely be an uphill battle and potentially spoil what is supposed to be a special thing in our lives? -- HUNG UP ON THE RING IN RENO

DEAR HUNG UP: I'm glad you asked. Give her the ring. It will be cheaper in the long run. Trust me on that. And in the future, when she asks what you would like for a gift, tell her your fantasy is that she'll make a comparable down payment on your next car. That way, she can make your dream come true.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Money