I get this question all the time. And it was the one I struggled with as well. Often.
He was with his girlfriend! …UGH! Ring off! I’m done!
“If you want to be married, wear the ring…” ….Ugh! Ring on…
He went AWOL for 3 days….Ugh! Ring off!! I’m done!
I saw a photo of us on our wedding day….ugh..damn comitment…ugh! Ring on!
I was a waffle…flipping and flopping.
Here’s how I got to my answer during the months I survived my husbands affair and midlife crisis when we were separated…
Seriously…you will need to take a moment and follow my thought process…
He’s off with horseface. Having fun and joy. I’m home…we aren’t “legally” separated…but he’s not here. He’s with his “soul mate” and I’m stuck in limbo. Waiting for him? Nor waiting? Am I trying to live my life? Yet how can I live my life if he might come home? And he’s in the picture of my mind coming home, yet, he’s out there…annoying me cause I don’t know what he’s doing and with whom he’s doing it with.
Then after he does something that irritates me or he’s mean to me, I look at my hand.
“I’m taking off my ring!” my mind would yell as I pulled the ring off my finger and throw it into my drawer. Then I’d walk away and think about where that ring was. What if I forgot where I put it? What if it gets stolen? By who? Who would steal it? I don’t know, ring thieves?? And…well… what if???
I’d lay awake at night worried about the ring in the drawer and thinking about how much that ring means to me…and then…what if I DO forget where I put it?? Within seconds I’m back by the drawer, grabbing the ring racking my brain to think of a better, secret spot, where I can ver carefully put the ring so I can file the location in my memory…deep in my memory. Somewhere in my brain so that I can access it when I’m ready to put it back on again?ile this place, moment and memory somewhere in my brain that I can access it when I’m ready to put my ring back on again.
Oh…wait…what if I die? Who will find my ring? How will I leave a note and for who do I leave a note. Hmmm… Then do I then want the ring back on my finger when I’m dead? Or am I going to “will” it to my kids? Which kid? Did I want to leave it to my daughter for herself? Or my sons to give to their wife? Which son? GASP!! What if my husband takes it off my finger and gives it to…..Horseface? NO!!! That cannot happen!!
I run and get the ring from the 2nd secret spot and immediately put the ring in another 3rd spot and make an entry in my phone under “location of wedding ring” with a note to myself or whoever finds my phone that if I get hit by a truck the next day or die in my sleep…this is where the finder of this entry will then find my ring.
Then I wonder, “How long do I wait to put it on again? What if my kids notice the ring is not on my hand. What if HE notices? He sill wears HIS ring. Mmm…..I really like that he wears his ring. Does he wear it just when he comes over? Maybe it’s in his pocket when he’s with her and he slips it on as he’s walking through our home door? But he doesn’t remember anything these days, how does he remember to put the ring on…maybe he actually wears it all the time anyway. Hmmm… Does he wear it when he’s with horseface? Ewww…when he’s in bed with horseface…he wears his ring??? Haha…
I go to bed and the next day I’m in line at Target when I feel the empty space on my finger. I panic. And in like a moment of 2 seconds the following runs through my mind:
Where is my ring?! What did I do?! Where did I leave it?! How will I find it?! What if I dropped it in the freezer when I was pulling out the bag of chicken????
Oh…wait…I took it off. Where did I put it?
The lady at Target is staring at me as I stare back at her. She’s clearly reading the panic on my face as she says, “You okay?”
Do I cry and yell to her that marriage sucks and not to ever get married and if she does get married she should make sure it’s with a guy who promises he will never cheat on her and if he does she get to remove his private parts? That would make a man never cheat again right?
I calm myself quickly…pay for my goods and decide, maybe this is a sign I should not take my ring off….?
The ridiculous unnecessary stress I put myself through for almost 2 years was horrible. Looking back…I get exhausted just partly remembering what my mind went though.
During time he was gone, I believe I took that ring off at least 30 different times. Waffling…back and forth.
One of my supportive friends suggested putting the ring around my neck on a chain…so it would be closer to my heart…and to tell him, “This will go back on my finger when you come home and recomit.”
See that whole stream of consciousness above? Same here. No…there would be no chain of my ring around my neck. And saying I had to wait to put it back on my finger till he came home? That was a big comitment and if I said all that I’d have to “stick” with what I said. And then putting it on and off my finger wouldn’t be an option. So I blew that off and stuck with my waffle pattern.
If you want to be married, keep it on. Period. If you want to be reminded that LOVE WINS – get the shirt below! Because LOVE ALWAYS WINS!!! Unconditional Love – always. But you have to be willing to wait and hang in there through his midlife crisis till you get him back.