The Case of the Missing Wedding Rings

We were playing Exploding Kittens last weekend. The card game. That I once packed in my carry on luggage and was warned not to mention in the vicinity of airport security ears unless my desire to be detained and patted down was greater than my desire to reach my destination.

But it isn’t the game that is important. It was the hand holding the cards that most caught my attention. Or to be more specific, the ring on the fourth finger of the left hand of the man holding the cards. The scratched, slightly scuffed wedding ring of my husband.

And those little nicks made me smile. Why? Because that meant the ring was being worn. And not taken off. The covenant promise of the wedding ring was being valued.

I never had to wonder if my husband was wearing his wedding ring. And he never had to worry about losing or misplacing it. Because we both knew where it was at all times. Collecting dust in his jewelry box. Where it had been every day since our wedding day. Not so that it would be easier to cheat with other women. Which he didn’t physically do anyway. The reasons he provided me were that he didn’t really like it, and it didn’t fit well. Which was true. But I translated that to mean that the universal symbol for marriage, for our union as husband and wife, was not important enough for him to invest any energy, time or money into rectifying. The wedding ring I gave my husband seemed to have little worth in his eyes.

I did wear my wedding rings. For awhile anyway. I lost the diamond in my engagement ring while doing handstands in a hotel swimming pool approximately ten years into our marriage. I was upset. But even more so when my husband indicated we did not have the finances to replace the diamond. I removed the ring, gave it to my husband and suggested he save money and have the diamond replaced for our twenty fifth wedding anniversary. My ring sat forgotten alongside his.

The one remaining ring stayed on my finger for several more years. Until I removed my wedding band one day to squish raw ground beef into hamburger patties. After I washed my hands, I picked up the ring and instead of twisting it back onto my finger, I placed it in my jewelry box. I don’t even remember when that was exactly. It is not a time stamped memory. Just a moment of annoying inconvenience that the ring was getting tighter to slide on and off. And then the decision to not bother trying anymore. It was a bittersweet recognition that my wedding band had lost its symbolism and become merely another accessory.

Because I did not intentionally remove or return my ring to my husband as a direct response to his sex addiction and infidelity, I cannot pinpoint the time, even to the year, that I stopped wearing it. But I do know that I was ringless for several years prior to our recovery.

After attending my recovery support group for two months, I returned home from a meeting with a seed of hope planted in my heart and mind. I mentioned how one of the other women had recently renewed her wedding vows and had shown us her new wedding ring. My husband looked down at my hand. When he lifted his head, his face was filled with sadness, hurt and confusion that there was no wedding band on my finger. He asked me where it was. I interpreted his question and the pain in his eyes to mean that he believed my missing ring represented a recent disconnection from our marriage.

My heart ached at the sight of his brokenness and the acknowledgement that his behaviour was the likely cause of his ringless wife. But then…….But then my heart began to wrench with my own hurt at the bitter realization that not only had my husband been oblivious to my bare finger for years, but also that he had remained unaware of its absence for the past two months of our healing journey. He had never even noticed it was gone. I felt invisible again.

Three months later, we went shopping together to purchase new wedding bands for both of us. I delightedly chose a ring with tiny, sparkly diamond chips to replace the diamond I lost many years before. My husband wisely chose one that he liked, and that fit him.

One month later, on June 24, 2015, we ceremoniously presented each other with our new rings. Slipped them on each other’s fingers and sealed the new covenant with a kiss.

We just celebrated three years of wearing wedding rings. A symbol of our new marriage. That still makes me smile every time I return my ring to its rightful place after squeezing raw meat through my fingers. That still warms my heart every time I see the evidence that his ring remains steadfastly in place.

Our wedding rings have immeasurable meaning now. They tell a story of pain, redemption, restoration and a hope and commitment for our future. The one is slightly battered, the other glistens. Melded together they are us.

Since they are no longer two, but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together. Matthew 19:6

8 thoughts on “The Case of the Missing Wedding Rings

  1. Our wedding rings have played a big part in my marriage. After Dday #1 and #2 I took my rings off and put them away. I felt that they were meaningless and I didn’t think I wanted to be married to this man anymore. Then we worked through it and I put them back on. After Dday #3 I asked him to move out so that we could figure out whether our marriage was salvageable. I didn’t take my ring off and expected that he wouldn’t either. Sadly I was wrong about him. I learned that he regularly took his ring off so that he could cheat. So I took mine off. A couple of years ago I had a diamond anniversary band made from the stones of a pair of earrings my mother had given me. I never wore the earrings but the diamonds look really pretty in a band. I now wear that instead if my wedding ring. It’s just too painful to look at my old ring and know how he disrespected their meaning.

    Since he has been in recovery he has worn his ring every day,even when he was doing some heavy duty landscaping work and it was a risk to his finger. I appreciate that he now sees the true meaning of that ring and is honoring his vows of fidelity and commitment.

    You were brave to take the chance of renewing vows. Maybe someday we will follow in your footsteps and do the same with some shiny new rings. For now I need more time to build that trust again. It’s been 2 years. I think I need a few more good years before I take that leap.

    Congrats to you and your husband. I am inspired by your journey.

    Liked by 2 people

    • My husband has also worn his ring continuously even at times when I would have expected and been okay with him removing it doing things similar to your husband’s work. I truly believe he is honouring me and our marriage in his heart, and not just on his finger, which is why the scratches and such mean so much to me.

      I love, love, love the idea you had to make your diamond anniversary band. You now have a special, beautiful ring to wear with significance and value to you, rather than wearing your tainted wedding ring or nothing at all. The nakedness of a bare finger also hurts and is a reminder of the betrayal. You found a creative way to care for your heart that I think is brilliant!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. At first tears of sadness and anger formed, but as continued to read they changed to tears of joy and hope.

    Despite everything you and your husband have been through, Cynthia, you continue to exude hope. Thank you. Never, ever lose that!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Our wedding rings have immeasurable meaning now. They tell a story of pain, redemption, restoration and a hope and commitment for our future”…I ❤ this! Well said!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Saying “I Do” Again, and This Time Meaning It | Tears in a Bottle

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