Ask Wendy

Is it Disrespectful that My Husband Doesn’t Wear a Wedding Ring?

Friday, February 2, 2018
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Wedding ring
My husband doesn’t wear a wedding ring. I think people notice, and I don’t really want women hitting on him. For me, my wedding ring is a reminder of our love. Is it disrespectful? I’m not sure how should I feel about this…

Tanzie, Atlanta, GA

Hey Tanzie,

There are gazillions of other advice-slingers out there who’ll disagree with me, so if you need a different answer than mine, one should be easy to obtain. But before you run off asking, my thoughts, while they may not be the kind you want to hear, will give you the most personal power, freedom, and peace if you can embrace my point of view. So, let’s get started addressing your concerns:

People will notice: Yup, some will. What does that have to do with you and your life and bond with your husband? People also notice those shoes you’re wearing, and they’ll pass judgment on them, too. People are extremely judgy, have you noticed?

Yes, a wedding ring carries more symbolic significance than a pair of pumps. But the fact remains: What other people think is none of your business. Don’t allow someone else’s random thought that’s as meaningful as a fart influence and interfere with your life. Your time is valuable. Those moments you spent worrying about other women eyeing your man because of this naked ring finger? That’s stolen time you could have used to help solve the world’s problems, or be kind to someone, or dive head-deep into a novel, or take a good nap.

You don’t want other women hitting on him: Um, do you really think a wedding ring stops people from hitting on The Hitched? There’s an entire subset of women who find a ring a fun, sexy challenge instead of a deterrent.

In this case, as well, you’ve got to accept fact #2:  What people do when they are not in your presence is none of your business. Wait, what? Mmm-hmm. Live your life like it’s yours. And let your husband live his life like it’s his. And assume that when he’s not in your presence, he means well, he’s trustworthy, and he can keep the vows you two made (that’s why you married him). In other words, trust your man, girl (unless he’s given you concrete reasons not to).

There’s a crazy cultural phenomenon that promotes the notion that we should have some say and control over what happens out in the world with our spouse or partner. He better not flirt with a woman, or be nice to her, or smile at her, or hold the door for her, or help her with her luggage on that business flight, or even think about her in passing. Somehow, this behavior is deemed acceptable—sometimes even encouraged. But it’s not acceptable. The thought that he must never find another woman interesting, beautiful, or charming is ludicrous, yet it’s rampant.

When I put it that way, it’s scary, right? And unrealistic. And statistically impossible if he’s a living, breathing man with testosterone flowing through his system who’s attracted to women. We all find people other than our partners attractive, fun, et cetera. It’s whether you act on that attraction or not that matters.

So hey, how about instead of spending your precious time worrying about the ring thing, take a deep breath and realize that worrying about what happens when he’s not in your presence is none of your business. I know it takes faith, but you picked him, and you know you can trust your judgment on this, right?

Your wedding ring is a reminder of your love: That’s nice, and I get that. I have three rings: one from my partner, Dave, one from my mother, and another from my grandmother. Each reminds me of my love for them. If I lost my deceased grandmother’s ring, I’d be heartbroken, but it would not in any way impact my love for her. I don’t love her less on the days I don’t wear her ring.

People can love each other just as much without a ring to signify their affection and devotion. Maybe your husband is one of those people who doesn’t feel the need to be reminded because his love is something he carries inside him rather than on his person.

Is not wearing a wedding ring disrespectful? Only you get to say what’s respectful and disrespectful to you. And the people around you get to hear your musts and boundaries and opt in or out of relationships with you based on those things.

For me, the only way I would categorize the wearing (or not wearing) of jewelry as disrespectful is if someone tried to force something onto my body. My body, my choice.

If this is still really bugging you, then get curious. Ask him why he doesn’t like wearing a wedding ring. Some of us just don’t like jewelry on our hands every day and it’s nothing more than that. Learn what’s behind it, and if it’s not personal to you, then I recommend you not take it personally.

We spend a lot of life entertaining thoughts that are disempowering and that make us feel less than we are. See if you can end this habit for yourself. A ring is just a thing, and things can’t take away your love!

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