As we make our way through the arduous and challenging transition from married to single, we are bombarded by a myriad of changes and adjustments. Some of those are private or practical changes, such as getting comfortable sleeping in the middle of the bed or managing finances on your own. Others are more public and symbolic.Perhaps there is no symbol more laden with meaning for women than their wedding ring.
Inevitably, when a divorce is imminent, the question arises – when is it appropriate to remove my ring? The time to remove your wedding ring varies from woman to woman. Women who experience betrayal often feel the marriage ended at the moment of discovery. They may feel that to continue to wear the ring is hypocritical. Other women entertain taking it off when divorce papers are filed or served.
  Still others feel married until the divorce is legally finalized. Others continue to wear their ring long after the divorce, especially if they did not want the divorce or if they feel that, for religious reasons, the divorce is invalid. Women in the work place sometimes continue to wear it as a way to avoid questions at the office. It provides them with a sense of security and it wards off unwanted suitors! Still other women continue to wear their ring, but transfer it to the other hand or wear it on a chain around their neck.

The point is that there is no “right” time to take it off. If the ring is an important symbol for you, then the act of removing it should mean something as well. Do this mindfully, not in anger. Do it when there is acceptance and inner understanding. Do it when you feel ready. Do it as an affirmation of your single status. It doesn’t have to just mark the end of the marriage; it can symbolize the beginning of your commitment to “to love, honor and cherish” yourself.

 By taking time to consider what the ring means to you, it can help you know when it is appropriate to take it off. Work just as hard to be a good companion to yourself as you worked to be a good companion to your spouse. You have learned so much through this process! Everything you learned about yourself through both the marriage and divorce now can provide insight on how to “be” with yourself.


Tell us the story of your ring. When did you take it off and what did you do with it?

 ©2009. 2011. Donna F. Ferber From Ex-Wife to Exceptional Life: A Woman’s Journey through Divorce won an Honorable Mention Award by the Independent Publishers Association.




One Comment

  1. Sarah on the 27. Feb, 2011 remarked #

    Taking my ring off was strange–I hadn’t even decided to divorce my then husband yet. But I knew the changes were imminent as we had separated. One morning I looked down at my ring finger and noticed a large rash had developed under my wedding band. I decided then to take it off to let it heal, and then I never put it back on. I think on a subconscious level, my body was sending signals to me that I wasn’t ready to think about consciously yet.

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