To suddenly lose a fiancé is a distinct kind of tragedy. The sudden death of a soulmate can only be described as a life-altering experience.
But things grow even more complicated when you add new fiancé into the mix.
One Redditor found himself in the tricky position of being that second fiancé and things got...awkward.
Reddit user ThrowawayAway_12 recently shared his story in the sub-Reddit Am I the A**hole after confronting his fiancée for refusing to take off the engagement ring given to her by her now-deceased former beau.
He begins by explaining his fiancée's tragic backstory, including the fact that she came clean about her refusal to take off her prior beau's engagement ring on their first date.
"My fiancé ("M") was engaged before me. Her fiancé passed away in a pedestrian car accident 3 and a half years ago. We met on Tinder a year and a half after he passed."
"On our first date she told me what happened and then I noticed an engagement ring on her right hand ring finger. I didn't say anything."
"A couple months in I brought it up and M said that she will wear the ring on her right hand until the day she dies. She said she understood if it was a deal breaker but that's how it has to be."
Clearly, for this guy, raw emotions are one thing – but a physical prop that constantly reminds him of his chronology in her love life is quite another.
But he stuck with the relationship, convincing himself it would pass.
"I was fine with it thinking it was a temporary coping thing. When I first went over her house (she owned it with him) I saw pictures of him, the life they lived, etc, it felt weird."
He then launches forward to the current impasse that prompted the need to ask for the internet's opinion. Things have grown way more real since those first dates, both in terms of their relationship and that ring.
"Present time. We are engaged and even booked a venue for 2021. She did sell her house about 8 months into our relationship and packed away the photos. She bought a condo for herself that I moved into when we got engaged."
"But that ring is still on her right finger. I really figured she just needed more time to heal and that after we got engaged she would take it off."
So the guy was up front and confronted her about the situation, a smart move with a wedding in the works.
"We had a heart to heart last night and I told her this and that it bothered me."
Cue relationship impasse. Both the narrator and his grieving fiancée double down on their positions.
"M said that she's sorry that it bothers me she will not take it off, not now or ever. She says she already told me this when we met and I continued seeing her."
"Am I in the wrong to think that it was a temporary grieving process?"
"M said that there's plenty of room in her heart for me but that she lost a part of herself when he passed and that she will keep the ring on."
He closes his post with some supernatural musings.
"I can't help but to think I'm competing with a ghost. That she never would have wanted me if he was still alive."
"What happens when we die and hypothetically there's a heaven? She meets back up with this guy and my ghost is sh*t out of luck."
"Not trying to be funny and I know it sounds dumb but f*ck, why does she have to wear that ring?"
Most comments were NOT on his side.
For many Redditors, her honesty at the outset blasted holes in his logic.
"She was pretty clear about her intentions. Don't get me wrong I don't think her way of coping is the healthiest in terms of moving on and loving again but she was upfront with you in the beginning."
"Its not her fault she didn't change like you hoped and it ended up exactly like she told you." -- cstatus94
"She was upfront with you and your assumption this was just part of her coping was just that- an assumption. It directly contradicted the information she gave you." -- SenselessStatements
"You made a ton of assumptions about her coping mechanisms, but it sounds like you never actually listened to what she was saying."
"You heard the words she said, but when they entered your brain, you twisted the meaning behind what she was saying." -- moonlightracer
"It's time for you to grow up."
"You are not competing against anyone your jealousy will be very damaging for both of you in the future." -- oldfatboy
Some people made a point to discuss the complexities of mourning a soulmate while still loving another.
"Her loving you and wanting to marry you doesn't erase the reality she lived through with this other man and doesn't un-imagine her impending life with him."
"She can love you and your life together while still mourning the life she lost with him. It's not all black and white like you're trying to make it."-- SenselessStatements
"You're not competing with a ghost, but I can understand you feel that way. Understand that it will never go away and if you want it to work with her you need to support her with that." -- Sputtrosa
"She loves you, she's committed to you, and a ring isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things. That's her way of coping with that loss."
"If you can find it in your heart to be welcoming of her choice, while compartmentalizing your own feelings, she'll love you even more for it." -- LordNesak
While we feel for the OP, it's clear that this impasse was rather predictable from the start.