Dear Rachel,

My husband bought me a necklace for our 1st anniversary, and while I appreciate the gift very much, I don’t really like the necklace. I know he put a lot of energy and money into choosing something special for me, and I don’t want to hurt his feelings, but it’s really not my taste in jewelry. Any advice?

Las Vegas, NV

Dear Sabrina,

I know of a woman whose husband gave her a ring for her birthday. They had been married for a number of years and she felt very comfortable being honest with him about her feelings. She kindly told him that while she appreciated the gift, it didn’t suit her style and she would prefer something a little different.

He was very understanding and told her where he had purchased the ring and suggested that she look for something else she liked there. When she went to the store to exchange it, she learned from the jeweler that her husband had spent weeks designing her ring. He had brought pictures and drawings, to illustrate how he wanted it done. Her husband had overseen every detail in its making.

When she understood the investment her husband had made in his gift to her, she realized that she had made a big mistake. She felt awful. She realized that she had been so focused on the practical side of the gift, she had overlooked the most precious part about it—the love and devotion that had created it. After understanding the effort her husband had made, and the meaning behind the gift, it became the most beautiful ring and precious gift to her. But, her response was too late and the damage had already been done.

The Chassidic Masters describe beauty as “the result of harmony.” When there is a fusion of two separate, independent entities and they find symmetry and harmony, the bi-product of that symmetry is beauty. In Jewish thought this is called “Tiferet.” The ultimate expression of “Tiferet” is the fusion of a two opposites, namely man and woman.

This is the very beauty you and your husband are celebrating on your anniversary—your fusion and harmony together. This is the kind of beautiful expression that matters most in a relationship. The gift is simply a symbol of something much deeper.

It sounds like this gift you received was given from your husband with a pure heart and with loving intention. You don’t have to love the necklace, but love your husband.

You can save it for “special” times if you’re not comfortable wearing it on a regular basis. But, unless he offered you several choices for your 1st anniversary gift, my advice is that you embrace what you have. In the future, you can point out the things that you do like when you are together. You can also have a friend let him know about that “something special” you’ve had your eye on, before a birthday or anniversary comes around.

When you look at the necklace, try to look beyond the style and see the meaning behind it. If you look at it with the right focus, it just might become beautiful before your eyes.