Why I Don’t Wear a Wedding Ring

why-i-don't-wear-a-wedding-ring I reluctantly tried marriage – once. I didn’t know how to get out of it which means I ultimately just went through with it. It was the highly not recommended – submission over admission approach.

A year and a bit after he, I and the State of Colorado formed our three-way legal relationship, his affair with a mutual friend was exposed and then ensued the legal unraveling via a pile of paperwork (32 pieces to be exact) that dissected everything down to who gets which fork.

True story.


Thirty two pieces of paper and State of Colorado sanctioned waiting time complete, I was divorced. I was uncertain about a lot of things at the time but what was a definite for me was this – I wasn’t really sure I wanted to get married the first time and I sure as hell was never (EVER!) doing that shit again.

Then a lot of years went by.

David, my boyfriend and I were sitting on the couch talking about our future and our life plans when he quietly said, “What about getting married?”

I have seen enough romantic movies to know what my response to this was supposed to be. Instead I said: “Doesn’t that scare the shit out of you?!?!”

To which his response was, “Yes, but…”

From there the conversation is blurry. I do remember something along the lines of saying, “Err, ahh, ummm, let’s talk about, let’s think about, errrr….”

Then I did what I believe most people do when asked the marriage question.

I went to Office Depot.

I cried the entire way to their writable CD section.

When I returned home with the CD-RW I found the house immaculate, a fire was burning in the fireplace and David waiting for my Office Depot purchase so he could rebuild both of my computers. This was not anything out of the ordinary. This was David.

The nights that followed involved sleep until the wee hours until I awoke with questions ticker taping through my brain, “Could I…? Should I….? How can I…? Could I…? Should I…?” After a few early mornings

I got out of bed and did the only thing I know to calm the ticker tape.

I got pen and paper and interviewed myself. It looked something like this.

What are you afraid of?
Getting trapped in a marriage again.

What is trapped?
Unable to get out

Are you being ridiculous?
Yes

What else are you afraid of?
Paperwork, asshole husbands, misery, court houses that make you fill out paperwork, asshole husbands.

Is David an asshole?
Noooooooooooooooooooooo

Would David be an asshole husband?
Absolutely not

Is David someone you could see spending the rest of your life with?
Yes

Do you want to spend the rest of your life with David?
Yes

A legal pad full of Q & A, a few weeks and about 300 dollars later we were married in my mom’s living room on a Monday evening. The judge of the town I grew up in came over after he was done with work to marry us. David and I were two of the six people in attendance. I wore my three dollar flip flops and a summer dress I plucked out of my sister’s closet the night before. David wore shorts and a shirt he had bought 90 minutes prior. We celebrated at Slo’s, a barbeque place I can’t recommend enough if you are ever in Detroit and that was it.

And that was all we wanted it to be.

In all of this, our conversation on whether we were going to buy wedding rings went something like this:

“Should we get rings?”

“I don’t need one.”

“Me either.”

I did not, however, always feel this way.

I used think that not wearing a wedding ring was crap.

I thought it was disrespectful to the marriage and an affront to your spouse. You ‘needed’, I thought, to tell the world that you were married. You ‘needed’ to make the visual announcement that you were ‘taken’. You ‘needed’ that symbol as a daily reminder of marriage and commitment. Then my first marriage ended when his affair with a woman that sat at our table during our wedding came out.

Awareness was not the problem.

Jewelry was not the solution.

Of course, rings can be symbols of things far more virtuous and more supportive of a relationship than announcing availability status, yet who amongst us has ever heard an account of marital compassion, kindness or love because ‘the ring made me do it’?

No one.

Combine this with the fact that the chosen symbol of committing to couplehood typically costs thousands of dollars (on the low end), serves as daily encouragement to continue human and child slavery throughout the diamond trade and is the silent societal benchmark of bank account status (or more likely credit card limit) and – well – when are we going to start asking, “What is this thing really symbolizing? Do we really need it? And is there a better option??”

In a world where the wedding holds countless antiquated traditions and where marriages are failing before they barely begin should we not be examining the ‘why’ of these traditions to see what, if anything, they truly mean to enjoying each other? And should we not be deeply troubled that these traditions most people blindly buy into, are solely about the symbols and ceremony of love rather the actual acts of it? And if the initiation of all of this marital mindlessness begins with an engagement ring should we not be beginning our examination there?

I certainly think so.

Regardless of what the marital mega-marketing machine would like or what tradition has led us to believe the only meaningful symbols of love are acts of love. And there is not a ring out there that allows any of us to bypass this fact. An act of love can also be symbolic but a symbol of love can never serve as an act of it. David and I’s engagement did not involve rings. It involved what I believe to be of far greater significance. Many couples let their fears tear them apart. David and I decided to put our fears aside and committed to being together. And I do not believe there is a symbol more powerful, an act of love greater or a more beautiful first step into marriage together – than that.

This was originally published on TheSkoolofLife


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4 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Wear a Wedding Ring

  1. Ha! I have been thinking alot about the way people just follow the same traditions as every one else without really knowing why, what it means or what it symbolizes. Which seem inappropriate as marriage is the most intimate and personal thing most people will do. You can tell I wasn’t born in the first half of the 1900’s, eh? Glad to hear ya’ all are doing your own thing. All the best to you.

    • Very well said. When you follow what everyone else does and 50% of them are on the not-so happy trail to divorce it is probably the time to start thinking about things differently.

  2. My husband and I did opt for rings, but our rings reflect our values. They don’t have diamonds and they were made by a craft person rather than being mass-produced. They cost a fraction of what the typical wedding and engagement rings cost.

    • That is a great story. I think in the end it is about deciding what is best for you. If rings are for symbolism only, as they are, they should be symbolic of what is important to the couple. Sounds like you made the perfect choice for you!

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