Does Money Matter In A Relationship?

22-year-olds Ariel and Quinn McRae went to a Pandora store in Tennessee to shop for a pair of wedding rings. As Ariel tried the ring on, a shop assistant said to her colleague: “Can you believe that some men get these as engagement rings? How pathetic.”

In a Facebook post (reproduced below in blue), Ariel shared that she told the woman that it isn’t the ring that matters. Rather, it is the love that goes into buying one that matters. Ariel’s Facebook post went viral and Pandora apologized. It offered Ariel a bracelet to make up for what the couple went through. The company asked Ariel for the name of the employee and the store location. Ariel did not provide the details as she did not want to spread negativity.

Ariel and her husband recently got married at a Tennessee court house. Ariel wore a $30 dress that her husband picked up from a clearance sale. Shortly after the marriage ceremony, Ariel’s husband (a car service adviser) went back to work while Ariel celebrated with her 2 best friends with pancakes. The couple are focused on saving enough money for the down-payment of their house.

See: Jennifer Smith, “Pandora apologizes to bride whose husband was left ‘humiliated’ by store worker who made fun of $130 rings he bought for their wedding”, Daily Mail Online, 8 December 2016

Despite handling many divorce cases in my practice as a divorce lawyer in Singapore, I am a fan of love stories. Does money matter in a relationship? How important is money in a relationship? Ariel’s story shows that the best love stories are not written with money. May she and her husband enjoy a blissful marriage!

“My husband doesn’t have a lot, neither of us do. We scrape and scrape to pay bills and put food in our bellies, but after almost 2 years of dating we decided that we couldn’t wait anymore, so we didn’t.

I wasn’t even thinking about rings, I just wanted to marry my best friend, but he wouldn’t have it. He scraped up just enough money to buy me two matching rings from Pandora. Sterling silver and CZ to be exact. That’s what sits on my ring finger, and I am so in love with them.

While we were purchasing my rings however, another lady that was working there came over to help the lady selling them to us. She said, ‘Y’all can you believe that some men get these as engagement rings? How pathetic.’ When she said that I watched my now husband’s face fall. He already felt bad because he couldn’t afford the pear-shaped set that so obviously had my heart and covered my Pinterest page.

He already felt like a failure, asking me again and again ‘Are you sure you’ll be happy with these? Are you sure this is okay?’ He was so upset at the idea of not making me happy enough and of me not wanting to marry him because my rings didn’t cost enough money or weren’t flashy enough.

Old Ariel would have ripped that woman a new one. Mature Ariel said, ‘It isn’t the ring that matters, it is the love that goes into buying one that matters.’ We bought the rings and left.

Y’all I would have gotten married to this man if it had been a 25¢ gum ball machine ring. When did our nation fall so far to think the only way a man can truly love a woman is if he buys her $3,000 + jewelry and makes a public decree of his affection with said flashy ring? Sure they are nice, sure the sentiment is wonderful and I’m not trying to cut down any of your experiences, but when did it come to all that? Why do material possessions equate love??

My husband was so afraid of me not wanting him because he couldn’t afford a piece of jewelry. He was so afraid that the love I have for him would pale because he couldn’t afford the wedding set I wanted. The world has made it this way and it is so sad.

But here I am though, Court-House married, $130 ring set, the love of my life by my side and happier than I could ever imagine.”

You may also be interested to read more about:

1. Divorce and Separation

2. Annulment (Nullity) of Marriage

3. Children’s Issues

4. Matrimonial Assets

5. Maintenance Issues (Alimony)

6. Family Violence

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