So I’m selling my engagement ring which is a rather finite step on the ladder of love, and I just wanted to tell you the reason why and the history of this stunning piece of jewellery. Don’t worry, I’m not a bitter and twisted old spinster concocting voodoo dolls and curses in my downstairs closet, far from it. In fact I wholeheartedly believe in true love and happiness and I know that marriage is a blessing and absolutely not a chore, providing you marry the right person of course. It’s safe to say that I’ve not had the greatest deal of luck when it comes to love, as I’ve only ever been in one real serious relationship which has ended in a failed engagement, but what I have experienced has made me the person I am today and for that I am truly thankful. So what has left me a single mother at the age of 27 you ask? Grab a cup of tea, a few hob nobs if you like and perhaps a Kleenex or two. I want to give an honest insight into the relationship I had and how I came through the breakup as a woman and mother. I’m not here to bad mouth my ex fiance, lay blame or point fingers, but I believe in sharing your experiences you can help others in so many ways and the only way to do that is to talk honestly and openly about it. This isn’t about who was right or who was wrong, point scoring or belittling, it’s about recognising what happened and where it went wrong and moving forward from a failed relationship with a positive and healthy attitude. My ex fiance and I are still friends and he is a part of our sons life. I hope that you can find comfort and understanding in my words and that you cherish and respect the love that you have. Please recognise what you deserve in life and understand how you should and should not be treated. Love can be blind, but it should never hurt, if two people truly care about each other then a relationship is built upon trust, respect and give and take. It should never be one sided because there is no ‘I’ in team.
I now realise that I changed my life entirely and always put myself last in order to please my ex fiance. I lost every part of my identity, my future and my energy by doing everything that was asked of me that only ended up unappreciated. I worked frantically whilst raising the children, right up until the week before giving birth when I’d been in and out of hospital from premature labour, having steroid injections between school runs, housework and work. I’ve never been a sissy Princess on a pedestal, I don’t make excuses I stand on my own two feet and get on with it. When he’d come home I’d have the two children fed, bathed and in bed, his dinner on the table and he would choose to play his xbox all evening in silence to unwind whilst I worked. Everything we did was what he liked, the music we listened to, the places we went. Although I never knew anything about cars and bikes I suddenly found myself pointing out engine parts, spares and accessories as he covered the kitchen table in grease and oil. We trawled car boot sales for motors because that’s what he wanted, despite being a lifelong vegetarian I ate with him from burger vans having just a bread roll because he liked how they served their sausage and egg. At weekends I’d be in a tracksuit with my head in a camper van engine bay helping him to restore his latest project. And after giving birth to my second child he told me not to let myself go so I started bodybuilding and got into the best shape of my life. We’d go for dinner and I always paid half, or took it in turns to treat each other. On my birthday he’d often give me a blank card and tell me he didn’t have time to write anything, or put money into an envelope and say “go shopping for something nice”. I didn’t care about money, I just wanted us. I never treated myself, have never been materialistic or self obsessed with looks or status, I only ever wanted to spend quality time with my family. Not being in separate rooms doing separate things, but snuggled up on the sofa together, watching a family film, playing at the park, baking cookies and walking the dog in the woods. Those priceless irreplaceable moments that make you feel together and loved. But it was sadly always the children and I, or him and I, and no matter how hard I tried I could never combine the two or make him realise how blessed he was. Because he only ever felt hard done by, having to go to work to pay bills, having to come home to a family, and failing to achieve what he wanted in life, the millionaire party boy lifestyle. I always told him he could have whatever he wanted in life so long as he worked hard enough at it. But he never understood why it wasn’t already a given. We came from two very difference cultures, I was raised to work hard and appreciate what you have, he was given the easy way out and said he’d always hated working unless it was something he enjoyed doing. But even the things he enjoyed he lost his patience and enthusiasm for if he couldn’t get it right or it took longer than expected. He both loved and hated his hobby of restoring cars and bikes, constantly moaning about the time, mess, effort and expense it involved until he sold it, then doing the same all over again. I’ve never known somebody be so negative and unhappy in life, so I picked up the slack, did everything for him so that his time was for what pleased him, and my time was for pleasing and looking after everybody else.
What hurts me the most is when people from the outside look at a relationship knowing none of the facts or circumstances and immediately think “I bet she’s controlling! I bet he’s up to his neck in nappies and screaming children and the poor guy couldn’t take the nagging anymore so that’s why he left!” And I laugh at how wrong people can be purely from presumption. He’d go out with his friends whenever he wanted, not me, I was the 24/7 unpaid and unappreciated babysitter. I managed to go to the gym for an hour at a time for a few weeks about 3 years ago when I’d put the kids to bed at night and he told me he didn’t like me going out so I quit and got myself equipment to workout from home instead. He’d go for weekends away to car shows each year with his friends, stay out til 6am partying, spend his days off by himself doing whatever he chose to do because he said it was his time, and each night I’d wait for him to come home from work, when he finished at 5pm and didn’t come through the door until almost 9pm. Where was my day off? Where was my free time, hobbies or life? I’d ask for a hug and he’d walk straight past, I’d watch him throw the rest of his home cooked nutritious dinner in the bin and then help himself to sweets and fizzy drinks, and when his friends would call to get him to come out he’d sit with his earpiece in and xbox controller in his hand and say “I can’t Tracy needs me at home” despite the house being pristine and the children in bed, because he would rather sit playing Call Of Duty until 2am and use me as an excuse. I’d imagine it’s what having a teenage son would be like, only I will never allow my son to behave in such a disgusting way. But in a relationship it was all I’d ever known because we met so young, so I thought every married couple was the same, the man is the King and the woman is his slave. He became my third child I suppose, and the more capable I was at life, the less capable and more selfish he became. In a nutshell I went from being his partner to a replacement parent.
Almost two years ago my five and a half year relationship ended when my fiance decided to call off our engagement and move back to his parents on 07/07/13 which has since become such an iconic and life affirming date for me; my lucky number is 7 and I was born on Ocober 13th. At the time I was just a few days out of hospital after a breast reconstruction on compulsory bed rest and struggled to understand, or accept, what was happening to me. I tried my best to pick up the pieces and keep a stiff upper lip as a single parent for the sake of our two children, Millisent then 5yrs and Gabriele then 1yr. But it totally broke my heart, if I no longer made him happy then what could I say or do? It was far kinder for me to let him go without causing a guilt trip or staging a childish protest because it would only ruin the last thread of a friendship that we had left, if it could even been seen as a friendship for the horrendous way that it ended. I’ve always believed that you can’t, and shouldn’t ever try to force somebody to love you. So I caught my breath, held back the lump building in my throat and meekly whispered back “Ok” when he told me that he was getting a taxi to his parents and would collect his stuff the following morning. We had had such a lovely sunny day, playing with the children, doing the weekly food shop, laughing and buying chocolates for later, and on the journey home we chatted merrily about booking a family holiday for the summer to Greece once I was healed and safe enough to fly. Yet only a matter of hours later he was gone, just like that, and I sat in the corner of the room alone trembling and crying, tears burning my face bright red, my throat feeling on fire from taking sharp gasps of breath between sobbing, and my heart just about ready to explode from the pain. I couldn’t control my mind, body or breathing, everything just wanted to escape and abandon me all at once as if fleeing from a zombie apocalypse, my stitches tugging furiously at my chest as I heaved from the endless release of tears and snot. Having my chest reconstructed through surgery was not a scratch on what my heart felt.
A week after he left I had to escape from the dark bubble that had become my reality, so I removed every photo of him from my house, leaving eerily bare walls, our beautiful family memories in tatters, our treasured love lost forever. I didn’t want him to go, but I couldn’t stand the pain of the constant memories with him no longer being around. He was adamant he wanted a life alone to do what he wanted when he wanted, without the responsibility of a wife and children as he felt that he was missing out on his youth. Weeks later when he finally spoke to me he said he had moved in with me, proposed to me and had a family with me far too soon at the age of 30, and family life just wasn’t for him anymore, he had tried it for a while but didn’t like it so got out. He stood in my kitchen one afternoon looking at me like a complete stranger, his body language, stance and attitude was so unlike him and I struggled to recognise the man I’d shared my entire adult life with. He told me he’d stayed away and hadn’t spoken to me or returned my calls as he didn’t want to give me false hope of having a reconciliation. Despite the fact I’d recovered from surgery he said I looked thin as I stood in a blue summer dress in the kitchen, and when he stepped closer with his hand out to touch my hips and gauge my new silhouette I flinched and moved away from him. I struggled to understand how he could put me through such heartache and then act as if nothing had happened. And all the while I was faced with the constant feed and updates on social media of him going out partying, buying new clothes, getting drunk with friends and girls I didn’t recognise, and having weekends away. Like something out of a Jeremy Kyle show I just wanted to scream at the TV, “no more Facebook!” so I deleted him from my friends, removed our friends in common and set my profile to private because I didn’t need the drama.
He always used to phone me several times a day to ask what I was doing and check on the children, tell me what he wanted for dinner or fill his lunch break with chit chat. Yet now he continued to call me every few days and ask how I was, if I said I was fine he’d say ” but I know that you’re not” and if I said I’d got upset at seeing other couples or hadn’t slept or lost my appetite he would say I was deliberately trying to guilt trip him and it wasn’t fair. I honestly didn’t know how to respond to him, because whatever I said would be the wrong thing, but if I didn’t respond then he would call my phone, my landline, my parents and social media before turning up on my doorstep in the middle of the night demanding to be let in. And when I would let him in he would cry and hug me, and tell me how confused he was and how much he loves me, and the second he stepped out of the door he was back to being a stranger, staying out all night and sticking two fingers up to life. It was the most confusing and painful situation to be in, because if you leave somebody it hurts you but you’ve chosen to walk away, you don’t yo-yo back and forth when it suits you. Although I never wanted him to leave me or for our family to be broken, a part of me wanted him to be totally out of my life and to never see him again now that our relationship was over. He’d made his bed but refused to lie in it, instead seeing me as a safe haven whenever he felt like it. Holding my hand, looking into my eyes, trying to kiss, hug and caress me, ecstatic emotions he had never shown me the entire time we were together, yet piled onto me now that we were apart. To the rest of the world he shouted “wahoo freedom!” but to me he begged me to hold him, asking to lay down beside me and cuddle, to touch his face or hug tightly in silence. And to this day I still don’t know if his friends or family truly understood, or even understand what is still happening. I stood there tortured, not wanting to go near him but feeling the sympathy of a mother for her child when I saw him so sad and desperate, whilst trying my hardest to find my feet as a single parent, keeping a smile on my face for the sake of the children and mending my broken heart alone.
Each night I cried myself to sleep behind closed doors, curled up tight like a child in the middle of our bed that suddenly seemed far bigger than a football pitch, holding onto the hope that I might soon fall unconscious long enough to forget my breaking heart and relentlessly pounding head. But each bittersweet dream would play back to times we’d shared together, the days when we first met and would walk my dog to the village duck pond to buy chips and sit laughing in the sunshine, when we had our first holiday together and got each other matching keyrings, the surprise of revealing cheeky Valentine’s day gifts, getting caught in the rain and looking like drowned rats whilst waiting for a taxi on a night out, and how we would tell each other how lucky we were to have found our true soulmate in life. He was my best friend, my missing puzzle piece and we were both so at ease with one another, laughing every day, finishing each others sentences and sharing the same interests in life. Unwillingly I continued to dream of our wedding day, where just weeks before he’d told me he knew what my favourite flowers would be, and how the castle we’d visited on holiday last year would be so perfect for the ceremony. And when I awoke I realised I was alone and it was all over. Gone, forgotten and of no importance to today. When he wasn’t around I missed him terribly, but when he was with me I no longer recognised him and found him invasive to my personal space and over the top with affection, changing his reception from happy to annoyed within minutes if I didn’t respond to his advances as he had expected.
For months I drifted through life like a ghost, hollow and emotionless, standing stock still and glass-eyed as couples walked past me holding hands, love songs playing on the radio, new parents proudly coo’ing over their babies, and it felt like I was an alien observing a new planet that caused me nothing but pain and suffering. A planet where I didn’t belong and was no longer welcome. At home I was surrounded by memories and in public I was confronted with love everywhere I looked. I literally held myself together by the skin of my teeth, walking the children to school with my head down so as not to make eye contact with others, because one small step, one painful reminder or indication of what I’d lost would instantly tip me over the edge and cripple me with tears and ensue more uncontrollable sobbing. I had no answers, no closure and nobody to turn to, I just had to grieve for the love I had to let go of. I said goodbye to our annual Christmas photos with Santa and the children, our sons Christening day photo with us stood smiling in the church, pictures from when we first met, Valentine’s roses I had pressed in frames and trinkets we’d gathered over the years from our life together. From the age of 20 he was all I had ever known, and now as I creak towards 28 this year, I know that enough time has passed for me to let go of my engagement ring.
To start with, a small part of me held onto the hope that he would come back, because I was scared, upset and couldn’t imagine life alone, he was all I’d ever known and I loved him with all of my heart. He’d left me three years before when we were supposed to have moved in together, and as I collected the keys to our new home he sent me a text message to say it was over, switched off his phone and refused to speak to me for months on end without any explanation. I was devastated at the age of 22 when I left my parents to move in together but instead I went to live alone for the first time, rattling around in an empty house, jumping every time I heard a knock or a bang at night, screaming at spiders and learning how to fend for myself and daughter alone. But at the end of the summer he came back to me, he told me he’d made the biggest mistake of his life, that I was his world, his everything and the best thing he had going for him. He proposed to me, moved in with me and said that he wanted to try for a baby son as he’d already chosen the name Gabriele and wanted to teach him to ride motorbikes and play computer games. And so I took him back because I loved him. And the day that he took me to the jewellers to choose an engagement ring he was so proud, he told all of his friends and family where we were going and we jumped up and down hugging each other so blissfully happy. I thought my heart would explode with love.
I remember standing daunted by his side as he had the biggest smile on his face, pointing at sparkling diamonds in glass cases and lining up little black velvet cushions with different styles and designs, and all I could think was “this is so unnecessary and overpriced, how would anyone know the worth of a ring, Argos would have done fine”. I didn’t know what to say or where to begin, I hardly ever wore jewellery because of work and little peoples fingers getting tangled or pulling out earrings. So he picked out four of his favourite rings and asked me which one I liked best. When I saw the price tag I almost died, and I tried my hardest to convince him that he didn’t need to spend so much money because it was the thought that counts. So instead I selected the cheapest ring in the store, a tiny silver band with a single black stone at the centre, hardly engagement material but nonetheless still pretty as I’d never been one to lust over jewels and money. I was much more of a sensible plain Jane dressed in jeans and a t-shirt thinking about what to make for dinner that evening and whether I’d amassed enough laundry for an evening spin-cyle. But he wasn’t happy with my suggestion of a low-cost and boring ring, he told me he wanted to get me something special to show the world just how much he loved me, and I smiled politely and said it really didn’t matter because I already knew that he loved me and our engagement was surely about us and not for anybody else. But as my fingers are so dainty they had no rings in store in my size, so it would have to be ordered and he wanted to choose it without me knowing which one it would be.
A few weeks later he came home one evening with a glossy gift bag in his hand and couldn’t stop grinning from ear to ear. He opened a pretty chestnut box slowly in front of me and took out a sparkling 18 karat white gold band with twenty princess cut diamonds and it instantly took my breath away. He told me it cost a whole month’s salary but I was worth every penny, as he slipped it onto my finger and it sat sparkling elegantly. I was speechless, overwhelmed and in awe of how sweet he was, my darling my love and my future husband. Everywhere we went, everybody we saw he would take my hand and say “this is my Fiancee, look at the ring I chose” and I would bubble over with adoration. It was the most expensive thing I’d ever owned aside from my car, and I was petrified of losing it. I wasn’t used to wearing rings, let alone one so extravagant and I didn’t want to catch or damage it, so I did everything with my other hand instead so as not to bump it. I’d often find myself subconsciously twiddling the band with my thumb to check that it was still there, staring into the sparkling diamonds mesmerised by its beauty.
And now it is so entirely normal for me to be alone. To wake up in an empty bed, sit on the sofa in silence at night, keep my thoughts to myself instead of talking outloud to the other half of me that is no longer there. My children are my life, they are my purpose, my focus, drive and undivided attention. I hardly noticed the days, weeks, months and years slowly ticking past, as each one took the pain and heartache that little bit further away from me, until one day I realised that there was no longer anything there at all to feel sad about. I’ve found happiness and peace in my life by being content alone. I don’t need anybody to complete me because I stand on my own two feet, ask nothing of nobody and carry on regardless.
I don’t need a man to hug and kiss me, to tell me I’m beautiful or say that he will always love and protect me till death us do part, because I already say and do this for my two adorable children each and every day. I was always told to wear more makeup, dress up and make an effort and stop looking so boring and sensible, and now that I no longer live in jeans, on days when I wear a nice top or matching accessories with my hair done and a bit of lipgloss I’m asked “Why are you dressed up? Where are you going? Who are you seeing?” I prefer the natural look over that of mutton dressed as lamb any day, but now I’ve learned to appreciate the ability to polish what I have in a subtle way. I don’t want or need every man to fall at my feet, I’m just happy to be myself. And I have been blessed with the gift of unconditional love, the love between a mother and child that no amount of money, actions or false promises can ever come close to. Last year I had an infinity symbol tattoo’d onto my wrist below my children’s dates of birth and to me it symbolised my healing in life. Unbreakable, ever changing, never ending, constant and safe. I have never been so happy since I pieced my heart back together, the day the pain and memories went away and I could just breathe again, smile, hold my head high and feel proud to be a single parent. I carried such a guilt for so long for my children, my raising them without a Mummy and Daddy who love one another, special occasions with an empty seat at the table, school events, holidays and moments when you automatically want to turn to your other half and say “pass me the camera!” or “look at that!” but there’s nobody there. I felt that I’d failed them, that I was to blame for having children before marriage and causing them to feel different to the other children around them who spent lazy Sunday mornings bouncing on their parents bed, going to the park and filling their walls with family portraits.
So instead I’ve spent the past two years trying to prevent the children from feeling the loss by allowing them to be themselves, to do what makes them happy whilst keeping them safe and healthy. Building a treehouse, planting flowers in every shade of the rainbow, baking cookies, packing picnics for long walks and filling their days with love, laughter and childhood magic. When my daughter wanted her ears pierced for her 6th birthday, she was half the age that I was when I had mine pierced at 12yrs, and I sat her down and asked her to tell me why she wanted them, as I feared that I was only considering allowing it because I was overcompensating for the breakdown of our family by distracting her with rewards. Yet none of her friends had their ears pierced so she wasn’t trying to copy or impress anyone else, she didn’t want jewellery that was bright and blingy or particularly expensive, just an understated pair of floral studs because she said they reminded her of her great-grandparents garden. And when I took her to have her ears pierced she held my hand, smiled and didn’t make a peep of a sound or fuss. She kept them perfectly clean, never caught or played with them and mostly wears her hair down to keep them covered. She adores her pretty earrings and at her tender age she has already taught me so much about life without even knowing it.
If something makes you happy you have to seize it with both hands, welcome it, cherish it and be responsible for it, just as Millie is with her earrings. But if you ever fall out of love, if something that was once so dear to you suddenly stops having meaning then you have to let it go. Because life is about letting go, forgiveness and moving on through those long cold dark days in order to feel the warmth and light once more. I’m not mad at my ex-fiance for leaving me, I’m just relieved it was when it was rather than another five years down the line when I would have committed even more of my life and the children might have been far more effected by it. We can only learn to truly appreciate and love when we’ve experienced what it is to be broken. And for some, true love will last a lifetime, yet for others they may not find it until their final days. Regardless of how long you have it for, there will never be a competitor for how beautiful true love is. I realise that when we first met we both thought we wanted the same things, but the more responsibility and demands that were placed on our relationship and family, the more I took on and the less he felt able. As the years passed our paths gradually split in separate directions, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just life. I accept that what we had was only meant for the time and age that we were, and is not something that we can, or ever would want to rekindle or return to. I’ve never given a relationship that had ended a second chance until I met my ex fiance, which at the time was totally against my belief, but I was blinded by young love. Now I’d be worse than a fool if I allowed myself to be shamed thrice, and I understand that what I want out of life isn’t to live like that. From such pain and confusion I have found happiness and clarity in life and I am incredibly grateful for such a lesson.
And everyday when I look into my wardrobe and brush past the glossy chestnut box tucking those beautiful diamonds into a darkness of velvet, I know that it is high time that I let my engagement ring go. I’m literally crying my eyes out and look like a right mess as I write this, not because I’m heart broken anymore but because I’m happy, smiling with relief and I’m ready to do this now. Since I’ve been single I’ve changed from a shell of myself to finding myself. I’ve learned to conquer my fear of drowning, sky dive, clay pigeon shoot, ride a motorbike, spa with the UK’s No.1 Kickboxer and cycle ride for charities and children in need. I’ve grown as a person from a frightened kitten into a fearless lion and I will never settle for second best ever again. I raise my children with unconditional love, respect and humanity for all people and creatures alike. And I wake up every morning and go to bed at night with the biggest smile on my face, peace in my heart and love and enthusiasm for life. We are all blessed to have this opportunity to exist, to love, learn and make the most of the journey of life. So please open your eyes to how beautiful the world is, the joy of parenthood and the ability to find true love and contentment. I can imagine the ring that I once loved so much putting the biggest smile on another couples face. The pride of a new engagement, the hope and tenderness of true love, and to one day think that this treasured piece of jewellery might be passed down from generation to generation, cherished and adored by so many. I look at this stunning ring and feel nothing but happiness, hope and love for its future owner. I want it to be worn everyday and sparkle so beautifully once again, joining two hearts as it had mine when I was a young lady. It’s so sad to keep it shut away as the years trickle past, and for me there is no longer any need to keep hold of it. Whatever it sells for the money will be used on the children and I, perhaps a family day out, something for our home, to visit somewhere special or to go on our first holiday as a family of three.
So how should I go about selling my engagement ring? The only way that I can think of is to list it here. I truly hope that whoever buys this ring will have a blessed and beautiful life filled with love and happiness. And I would love to meet the new owner, perhaps for a quick coffee when handing it over, if only to know how this story will end. Whether you are buying a ring for the love of your life to celebrate an engagement, wedding, anniversary, birthday gift or surprise, it is a beautifully classical ring that will no doubt melt every heart that it touches.
And if the man of my dreams would like to buy this ring to put it back on my finger then please make yourself known and happy bidding! I’d be more than happy to go for dinner to say thank you. The most amazing and incredible things happen in life when we’re least expecting it, and I believe we should embrace them wholeheartedly.
How To Purchase This Ring
1 Ring featuring:
18Karat White Gold Band (750 is engraved inside)
20 Princess Cut Diamonds set in 5 groups of 4
Biagio The Jewellers Presentation Box
Biagio The Jewellers Gift Bag
I don’t know my/the ring size but I’ve taken these home measurements:
Ring finger circumference: 6cm
Ring diameter from inside of the band: 2.2cm
You can securely purchase this ring online for £2,500.00 via the PayPal ‘Buy It Now’ feature below. Or alternatively contact me at [email protected] with your full name and bid amount and I can send an invoice. I will be selling the ring to the highest bidder by 07/07/15 which is exactly two years from the date that I took it off. Payment must be made via PayPal upon acceptance of the winning bid, and collection will be in person unless otherwise requested. Thank you.