As Linda and I have continued to travel down the road from married to divorced (we’re maybe 30% down the road legally, and probably about 50% emotionally) one of the issues that seems to have been the most challenging hasn’t been splitting bills into two, figuring out who gets the kids for specific holidays or anything like that. It’s been the more pedestrian question of when do you take off your wedding ring?
As I have written about in the past, I’ve already been proud of my wedding ring, proud of what it represented, being a part of a holy union, a partnership through life, and so when we really did get to the point of separation, it wasn’t that huge a deal for me to pull it off my finger. Though to be honest…
I have to admit that for a few weeks I’d pull the ring off my finger and just sit and look at my hand without a ring, just a tan line that stood as a testament to what had been and was no longer, and a statement of the reality of our future, a future that doesn’t retain any hope of repairing the relationship but of us going our own directions. Depressing and sad? Yes, but it also seems daft to continue wearing a ring that represents something that no longer is true.
Now, zoom forward a few months, and I no longer have any tan line, no indentation on my finger, and even have some abrasion scars from when I scraped my knuckle helping a buddy move some furniture around. It’s as if I never was married, other than the three devilish angels who flitter in my life day and night and, well, my having been married in my heart.
But what’s the point of having a wedding ring if what it represents is no longer true in your life?
Now here’s the interesting thing: Linda and I share a diamond stud earring pair, one in my ear, one in hers. Neither of us have done anything in terms of switching that to a different earring and to me it has so much less importance or symbolic meaning that it won’t surprise me if a year from now it’s still ensconced in my ‘lobe.
Those of you that have divorced, how long after you started the process did you pull off your wedding ring? And, for that matter, what did you do with it?