Sunday, October 18, 2009

Your wedding ring...keep it or toss it?

I took my wedding ring off about two years, not long after I learned of my husband's affair. I don't plan on putting it back on, in spite of the fact that I remain married and we're working hard at rebuilding a relationship based on honesty, commitment and love.
But my ring? It was, to me, a symbol of commitment. And when that commitment was violated, the ring felt like a constant reminder. Instead of a silver circle of endless love, it resembled for me a noose around my neck. Taking it off was an act of reclaiming my power. Of indicating that while I was willing to create a new marriage, the old one, as far as I was concerned, was dead.
There is, like most reactions to a husband's infidelity, no right or wrong reactions (well, except perhaps anything listed in the Criminal Code or the Mental Health Disorders Sourcebook). For some women, their ring remains something that signifies an enduring commitment. For others, well...it's tarnished and broken, figuratively speaking, and it needs to go.
What do you think? Is yours a ring...or a noose?

19 comments:

  1. Here again: me too! I took off my wedding ring the minute I learned about the betrayal. It felt like a noose around my neck anyway and now I knew why. The good news: I bought myself another one to remind me to remain faithful to myself

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  2. I took mine off and it's sitting in my jewelry box. My husband noticed and I think it bothered him.....he asked why? I said I'm not putting this back on until I am married to a trustworthy husband.

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  3. I took mine off and it will stay off. I intend to sell it for the gold and buy myself something I desire. The husband has to first prove that he can care enough about himself to deal with his sex addiction, and that he cares enough about me to prove I'm worth his effort. He can save up his pennies and buy me a new, less tainted one and start acting like he truly cares rather than he mostly cares about acting out. Bitter? Just today. Tomorrow I'll cry some more, then the next I'll hold his hand while he cries.

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  4. Yeah, mine is off, too. Though I'm technically married, I don't feel like the marriage is legit, given that he lied to me before, during and after. (He's a sex addict, too.)
    And yes, I know that cycle – I cry, then feel better, he cries, then feels better – all to well. Eventually the crying stops and some laughter, once again, creeps into your days.

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  5. I miss my ring. I feel left out and sad when I am with all my friends and family that have their rings on.
    Our rings meant a lot to me and I will not wear another ring till- like Marni said- I am married to a trustworthy husband.
    I sure hope I can spot the difference this time...

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  6. Just discovered your blog...glad I did!

    I stopped wearing my ring, too. My husband eventually noticed and asked why. When I was honest with him, he got upset. (Like you've said...they really don't get it, do they?!) He bought me another ring which I have been wearing on my ring finger. It just feels better. I still have my wedding ring, but I can't bring myself to put it on. I may eventually sell it. But...I'm 1.5 years out and still feel like my decisions might be rash.

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  7. Hi Krist,

    I'm glad you found us. I still don't wear my wedding ring. It's perhaps a symbollic thing...but then again, aren't all wedding rings symbollic? But it's my way of saying that my "old" marriage is over and I won't wear a symbol of it.
    I still wear my engagement ring...which had belonged to my grandmother. It's a connection to strong women in the past. I don't need a ring. If there's anything I learned during my husband's infidelity, it's that ring doesn't really mean anything unless it's backed up by intention.
    Hope you'll keep contributing to the conversation.

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  8. I just found this site. I took my ring of a week ago when the full details of my WH's second affair came out. It is still bothering me that I don't have a ring on, but right now it is just too painful to look at it. It reminds me that WH hasn't worn a ring for years now. He said it was always because of work he was doing, but he took it off when with AP and then eventually lost it (?)

    I want to say that someday I can put it back on...

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    1. ET,
      I still don't wear my wedding ring. I do wear my engagement ring but mostly because it belonged to my grandmother, then mother so it has significance apart from my husband.
      As far as I'm concerned, my wedding ring is meaningless. In my case, my husband's sexual "acting out" began before our marriage so I simply can't believe that our marriage meant much to him though he professes otherwise.
      In any case, those vows have been relegated to the junk heap. And though I still feel "married", I don't need a ring to remind me.
      I sometimes think we'll get remarried some day privately...and at that point perhaps I'll accept that a ring can be imbued with importance.
      But I know for many many people, their ring has such meaning to them. I hope you are able to put it back on someday, assured that your marriage is strong from the challenge.
      Elle

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  9. Just about 7 months out, and I too took off mine the day I found out. It went on and off a couple times as my husband and I made progress and lost progress. As with many I turned to God with the pain, and asked him to show me the way to stay or go with the marriage. yes, I couldn't make the choice myself because well I was afraid. Not more then two weeks later, I lost my ring. Now I panicked, was this God's answer to end it? Or was he saying the old marriage was gone, which we know it is. My husband's thoughts have always been, "I wore it because it meant so much to you." Well when I told him, fearing he would be upset his comment was "I don't care about the ring, I care about you coming back." Oh yeah did I mention I'm on deployment in Afghanistan. While his words sounded nice, I wonder if they are just words. After all this is the same man that betrayed me while I was out here in Afghanistan. But I too feel that until he wants me to wear one again, to show the world I am his, I will not wear one. He must place it there, or some other that can say "She is the ONLY one and I want everyone to know it!"

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    1. Thank-you so much for sharing your comments. I'm so sorry for what you're having to go through -- and so far away from home, doing such an important and difficult job. Focus on staying safe and trusting that the rest will fall into place with time and a commitment to healing. Whether you stay or go, the most important thing is that your heart heals enough to trust again.

      Elle

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  10. My ring came off after finding out about the adultery, which is now about 8 years ago. At times it still sickens me to the pit of my stomach thinking about what went on. The topic of the past very rarely comes up in conversation, but in the last 6 months she has started broaching the subject. She wants me to wear my ring again and comments that the ring has been off my finger longer than it was on. She has asked me to think about putting it back on,to which I said I would, but I am unable to tell her the reasons why I won’t. The marriage ended the moment the adultery started, and the ring symbolized the trust and faithfulness which was now broken. She feels there is no long term commitment from me because I will not wear my ring, and I could leave at any time.

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    1. It sounds to me as if you both need to talk to each other. She clearly fears that you're not totally committed to the marriage. You perhaps fear that this could happen again and so you don't fully commit.
      Instead, though, you're living in a sort of limbo -- one foot out the door. Which might feel safe to you but isn't, ultimately, very gratifying.
      I know that fear all too well.
      But if you're going to remain in the marriage, then I think you owe it to yourself to give yourself to it. Is there something she isn't doing that you need her to in order to re-establish a sense of safety within the marriage? Is there something she is doing that you need her to stop? Have either of you sought counselling, either as a couple or individually? It doesn't matter how long ago the betrayal was -- if it hasn't been addressed and processed, it can feel like yesterday.
      I hope you'll consider digging further into your own issues around the commitment. With further healing of those old wounds, you just might find yourself committing to a rebuilt marriage -- perhaps symbolized by a new ring.

      Elle

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  11. I just found out a week ago about my husbands betrayal, which lasted several months, was physical and emotional. It started while I was pregnant with our now 7 month old who is our third son. I am reeling. Of course, my ring came off and I firmly believe that I won't put it back on. It's too soon to make a decision right now, but we've started counseling and are trying to work through this. No guarantee that it will work at this point. I'm really glad that I found this blog. Thanks for creating it!

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    1. Sarah,
      I'm so sorry for what you're going through. Dealing with a new baby (and two other kids!!) is tough enough without factoring in the emotional maelstrom of discovering an affair.
      Regardless of whether the counselling can help you rebuild a marriage, it can nonetheless help you be partners in parenting your kids should you split up. So it's worth a try.
      And glad you found us. Sorry you needed to.

      Elle

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  12. It has been 5 months since D-day...I am taking my ring off tonight. 2 weeks ago I caught him in a lie ( he is still talking to OW, they are co workers). He will not give up friendship so I give up the ring. I think I am done.......

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    1. You set your boundaries and he violated them. You're wise to stick to your consequences.
      I'm sorry though. Nothing about this is easy, I know. Even when it's the right choice.

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  13. I have been married almost 33 yrs. My ring came off in Nov.2013 when I found the motel ticket in the car. He left Dec 1. We are still going thru everything, and he loves me, he's just not in love with me. Two kids, two grandkids, and three decades. This is not OW's first rodeo and she is also married. I am very glad I got to your site. Thank you

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    1. Hi Sherry,
      Glad you got here too.
      Oh, how I loathe the "love you but not in love with you" nonsense. What does that even mean? It's like something a 15-year-old would say to break-up with someone.
      I think what he's really saying is that the excitement of love, the romance, is gone. But what so many don't realize is that is a natural consequence of any relationship. It takes time and energy to keep some level of excitement...and even then, it's not going to be like a new relationship.
      Have you told the OW's husband?

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