How to subtley let a man know not to worry?

Q

My boyfriend of about 1.5 yrs has mentioned the topic of marriage. I happen to know he’s been doing his research, and I know he’s worried. Here is why:

He is an Air Force war vet who was honorably discharged in 2006. He served overseas and in Iraq until that time. While deployed, he didn’t realize he had outstanding debt(s) he had not covered before leaving. Those turned to judgements he later took care of, but blemished his credit. In addition, soon after his discharge he no longer had the extensive income he did while enlisted. His life went from extravagent to meager almost overnight. He had to give back his car, owing whatever it didn’t auction for, and that too became a blemish to his credit. A recent hospital visit also resulted in a huge deductible owed… which will probably blemish his credit. The poor guy has had horrible luck since he left the military.

Once he became settled in the state in which we met, it was apparent he would only find work starting at a much lower salary than he was used to. It didn’t matter to me. I love him, I cherish his friendship. He makes my world a collectively more peaceful, and happier place. He completes and compliments me. We have lived together for a year. At 34 yrs old, never have I been happier.

The reason I’m concerned is, I know he simply cannot afford a quality diamond engagement ring. I have mentioned in passing that a twist tie is enough. That a wedding band is what matters. All he’ll respond with is a furrowed brow and the statement “you’re worth more than that.”.

I don’t know how else to subtley tell this wonderful caring man, who has served his country and taken care of my needs, that he needn’t worry what he has in hand, if anything. He is stubborn. I don’t want to sound as though I know too much. But what do I do? He has worked hard all his life, and feels as though he needs to somehow prove he can do for me. But, he HAS done for me, in so many other ways. I’m not looking for a huge perfect diamond. I’d be satisfied with nothing. I’d be satisfied with something modest. Even modest however, seems out of his budget right now. I feel bad for him. Any suggestions on how to ease his mind without damaging his ego? Thanks in advance.

A

First and foremost no more subtlety tell him what you told me. “I love him, I cherish his friendship. He makes my world a collectively more peaceful and happier place. He completes and compliments me. We have lives together for a year. At 34 years old, never have I been happier.”
You tell him that you are his partner – good, bad, and everything in between. Nothing else matters. Secondly the two of you are perfect candidates for our Adopt a Diamond program. Please take a look at it on our site and submit your story. It won me.