Ring Saga

6 Nov

Letterbalm Man with Wedding RingDear LetterBalm: My fiancé and I are planning to be married next summer. Everything is great between us, except for one thing: He absolutely refuses to wear a wedding ring. I think it’s a holdover from witnessing his parents’ marriage, which was not happy. He’s a wonderful man, and it has been worth the effort it’s taken for my fiancé to commit to marrying me. But now I’m wondering if I should be concerned that he may not think marriage or being faithful is important. I need to talk with him about this and get him to tell me the truth, no matter what. What should I say?

–Til Death Do Us Part?

A ring is no guarantee of faithfulness – how many men remove their rings when they have a hankering to stray? You haven’t said whether his profession (construction, assembly/repair work or other mechanical trades) requires him to remove jewelry because a ring would be unsafe. You need to have a wide conversation with your intended. Indeed, is his refusal to wear a ring a statement against sappy and unrealistic “happily ever after” expectations? Perfectly understandable – and there are women who feel the same way. Or, more seriously, does it suggest bigger ambivalence toward marrying you? Ms. L.B. recommends you stay calm and non-judgmental. Talk with him thusly:                                                                 

Romeo, you know I’ve been concerned that you don’t want to wear a wedding ring after we’re married. I think it might not be the ring itself, but what it represents. Are you saying that commitment is a problem for you? I can understand that because of what you saw with your parents. Plenty of people are skeptical about marriage, yet they get married. Marriage is a big leap of faith for everybody, you and me included. As I see it, we’re putting faith and trust in each other to start a life together and create a world for our potential children. But if you’re saying you can’t deal with the level of commitment that marriage requires, or that you have reservations about marrying me, that’s a whole other thing. In any case, it’s time for us to talk about all this honestly.

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