Here’s Why Some People Wear Their Wedding Rings and Others Don’t
Why do some people find meaning in their wedding bands—while others put them aside? We asked our readers about their choices.
Last March, Shannon Lombardo accidentally tossed her wedding and engagement rings out with the trash. (She was cleaning them and had put them in tissues—long story.) She called the New York City Department of Sanitation, which invited her to look through as much garbage as she could stomach at a dump in New Jersey. With two sanitation workers and her husband, Jim Lombardo, she searched roughly 800 bags full of coffee grounds, food scraps, dog poop, and other flotsam and jetsam until they found the platinum rings. Why did she take the ultimate Dumpster dive and not just call her insurance? “You’re talking about marriage and commitment,” Shannon told the Daily News. “When the two of us are standing in the dump, the commitment’s there.”
Does that sound like you? Would you brave mountains of rotting trash to retrieve a symbol of your love? Or are you the type who believes that the bonds of marriage are strong enough on their own, without a mere metal band as a token? With Valentine’s Day approaching, we asked members of our Inner Circle Community* whether they “put a ring on it,” to quote Beyoncé, or whether the fourth finger on their left hand stays as naked as Cupid’s behind. (By the way, this is the reason we wear wedding rings on the fourth finger.) Some of their responses may get you to rethink your own ring thing.
“I have worn my ring for the past 47 years and have never taken it off. I even had it tied to my hand with gauze by the nurse in the operating room when I had surgery. The ring makes me feel safe and secure and never alone.”—Valerie Golembiewski, Tucson, Arizona
“Forty-five years of wedded “blister,” and I removed it only once. I was playing baseball and put the ring in a spare pair of sneakers. I lost it when it fell out of the sneakers. That taught me to never remove the replacement ring, and I haven’t.”—Rick Brueckmann, Lemont, Illinois
“My ring is evidence that I am willingly bound to all that it stands for: love, support, family, partnership.”—Jerry Reece, Wichita, Kansas
(Don’t miss this marriage advice from couples who have been together 50+ years.)
“I love my wedding ring. When I am away from my husband, it gives me a connection to the only man who truly understands me. Our love is as eternal as the ring itself. It endures like the diamond. It is malleable like the gold.”—Susan Fladager, Leadville, Colorado
“When I look at my ring, it reminds me of the wonderful things my husband and I have experienced throughout our relationship, as opposed to the argument we may have had the night before.”—Erika Ciavattone, Chesterfield Township, Michigan
“I wore my wedding ring for about 16 hours—until I got up the morning after the wedding. I told my new wife that I loved her greatly and that not wearing a ring had nothing to do with that. Jewelry just drives me nuts.”—Ellis Andersen, Elkton, Maryland
“I married a man who thought he owned me, and for a few years, I would have agreed. However, I began to take control of my life and pulled away from him. That’s when I took the ring off, and I will never wear it again. It is a reminder both to me and to him that he cannot control me. Since then, he has made great changes in his life and in his behavior. I feel stronger without the ring, and we are now in more of a partnership and doing well.”—Susanne Haynes, Wichita, Kansas
“When I look at that wedding ring on my finger, it lets me know there is someone out there who loves me unconditionally.”—Cindy Caudillo, Arvada, Colorado
“My ring is too big for my finger because I’ve lost weight, and I’m not going to risk losing it, so I don’t wear it anymore. Of course, I’ve not gotten it resized, since I’ll more than likely gain the weight back at a later date!”—Kathleen Scribner, Springbrook, Wisconsin
(This is the real reason we propose with engagement rings.)
“When my love and I decided to make our relationship permanent, I was working at a jewelry company and made our bands myself. We had a ceremony with friends and family at a time when we weren’t able to make it legal (back in 1994). When we were allowed to wed legally, we did so, in 2015. We used the same rings for that ceremony. That’s one of the few times I have ever taken mine off.”—Erica Davis, High Point, North Carolina
“My husband was an electrician and could not wear a ring because of work. I knew he truly loved me when he put it on after retirement.”—Colette Martin, Edgewater, Florida
“I’d love to wear a wedding ring, but I’ve lost three of them in our 38 years of marriage, and we both decided it’s probably better if I don’t get another one.”—Linda Tramel, Arnold, Missouri
“When I see a man wearing his wedding ring, it tells me he has a soft and private side reserved for someone special.”—W. B.
“My high school sweetheart asked me to marry him during our senior year. I said no and returned his class ring to him before we went our separate ways. I quickly regretted that move. When we married 24 years later, I thought, His ring will never leave my finger again.”—April Griesenbeck, Helotes, Texas