It was a warm March day that my husband and I exchanged rings and vows in front of 75 of our closest friends and family. Most said that it was a long time coming, as we had been together 7.5 years at this point. The wedding had been a year in the making, with each detail planned out very carefully. We talked over and decided together on every item, from the cake and the venue to the decor.
Some of the more important items that were carefully picked out (aside from my dress), were our wedding rings. After weeks of looking at pictures and visiting jewelry stores, we finally settled on a ring from Etsy. I put in the order for the titanium ring with a wooden inlay. After it came, I put it away until the day of our wedding.
And on that day, we promised ourselves as partners before God and at the end of those vows, we exchanged rings. It was the culminating symbol of our vows to always be there for each other, and to continually remind us of our love.
In the months after our wedding, my husband often left the house without his wedding ring on.
Our friends would tease him and ask if he was regretting the decision. He would laugh and tell them to knock it off. At first, he said that it was because he simply forgot, but eventually the truth came out. He admitted that he actually didn’t like wearing it. He was very sheepish when he told me this, and I know he expected me to be very upset.
I know my response surprised him. I told him to stop wearing it. And I know what you are thinking–I said it in the same way a woman will say “I’m fine” when she really isn’t fine. But I didn’t; I really was suggesting that he stop wearing his wedding ring. He asked me if I was sure and I assured him that it was fine. I didn’t want him to wear something that wasn’t comfortable.
When I told some of my friends about it, they asked if I was thinking clearly about it. I was, and for a very simple reason: a ring is not what makes a marriage.
We are man and wife because we made a promise to each other and God, and a ring is only one symbol of that. If he doesn’t wear his ring, he isn’t rejecting me as his wife or leaving behind his vows. We are still married; he still shows that he is true to his vows by constantly being there for me. He is there through losses, through joy, through the tough days that my chronic illness brings, and through the days that are filled with light and wonderful memories.
We are married because we choose to be, and it’s a choice we make each and every day, ring or not. It’s the love we share, the laughter that rings in our home, and the patience and support that we give each other. And that is why I am okay, even after almost 7 years of marriage, that my husband doesn’t wear his wedding ring.