Welcome to The Widowed Mom Podcast, episode 44, The Wedding Ring.
Oh, the wedding ring. How long do you wear it? On what hand? What does it mean if you stop wearing it? In this episode, I want to give you my take on the answers to some of the most popular questions I receive from listeners on a topic that’s especially concerning to newer widows.
Welcome to The Widowed Mom Podcast, the only podcast that offers a proven process to help you work through your grief to grow, evolve, and create a future you can actually look forward to. Here’s your host, certified life coach, grief expert, widow, and mom, Krista St-Germain.
Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. Today, we’re going to talk about the wedding ring. If I had a nickel for every time I got the question or a question about how to handle the wedding ring, you get the picture right. So, that’s what we’re going to talk about this week.
Before we do that though, I want to do a little listener shout out because I haven’t in a while, and as you know, if you’ve been listening for a while, it’s so important to me to hear from you, to know what you think of the podcast, and it’s also important to the podcast platforms that exist that we provide ratings and reviews because that’s how people find the podcast, and I really want this podcast to get into the hands of a million widows. So, your ratings and reviews really help with that.
The rating that I want to read today is called Life Changing Words, and it’s from a woman named Melody. Melody wrote, “As a widowed mom for over two years, I’ve been amazed by the truth that Krista has presented in her podcast. I feel empowered that I can flip my thinking, and in turn, create a better life that I truly want. Her method is so clear and easy to understand. Thank you, Krista. There’s not much out there like this for widows, and I’m beyond grateful for you.”
Thank you, Melody. So beyond grateful that you took time to do that. I really appreciate it, and again, if you like the podcast, and you haven’t left a rating or reviewed it, I’d really appreciate that you took a few minutes out to do that.
Okay, the wedding ring. This is going to be a pretty short episode because really, I think it’s not as complicated as our brains tend to want to make this issue. I want to share with you just a few key takeaways, and then I’m also going to tell you how I handled my own wedding ring. Not that the way I did it is the right way for you, but just because I think it helps to hear another’s perspective.
For me, I could not imagine taking my wedding ring off for about a year. Again, not right, not wrong, just me. I didn’t want to take it off. I very much saw myself as Hugo’s wife. So, the idea of not wearing that wedding ring, which… just didn’t even consider it really, it just stayed right there where it was.
Now, at a certain point, I started having thoughts about wanting to move it to the other hand. At a certain point, I started to see myself as still his wife, but not just his wife. I wasn’t ready to let the wedding ring go. I wasn’t ready to take it off, but I started thinking of it as less a part of my current life and more a part of my past. Again, not right or wrong, not good or bad. The timing is irrelevant, but for me, that’s how it started to unfold.
I wanted to wear it. I still saw myself as his wife, but still wasn’t ready to not wear the ring, but something in me just felt like moving it to the other hand. So, that’s what I did, and that’s where it stayed for quite some time. Then at another point, gradually, I think for at one point, I took it off and didn’t put it on for a day. I don’t know that I consciously chose to do that, but I remember thinking, “Hmm, I don’t have my ring on. That’s interesting.”
Then I would do that a little bit more often, and a little bit more often, and sometimes I would wear it, and sometimes I wouldn’t. At a certain point, it felt okay to me to just take it off. I still didn’t even really identify as single at that point. I still felt like Hugo’s wife, but the ring just didn’t quite feel right to me, and so I took it off.
I haven’t done anything with it. Many widows do. They have it turned into some other piece of jewelry that they can wear. Maybe I’ll do that someday. Some people save it maybe to give to one of their children as a family heirloom. That’s an amazing option as well. Mine just sits in the safe, and for now, I’m okay with that.
The reason I think that this episode is just going to be a little shorter than normal is because there really isn’t a right or wrong answer about the wedding ring. You get to decide completely how long to wear it, how often to wear it, if you want to wear it at all, on which hand do you want to wear it. There really is no right or wrong answer, and the problem is that we think there is.
The problem is that we get so worried about what it means that we’re the wedding ring ,or what we make it mean when we don’t ,or we worry about what other people are going to think about whether or not we’re wearing the ring, or whether or not we’re not wearing it, or on which hand we’re wearing it, or how often we’re wearing it.
The wedding ring in and of itself doesn’t cause any emotional experience. It doesn’t cause us stress. It doesn’t cause us worry. It’s just a ring. It just sits there. What’s problematic about the wedding ring for us as widows is all the stories we tell ourselves about what it means, and the right or wrongs that we imagine exist, and are really just made up.
Other people will have opinions. I remember my best friend pointed it out to me a couple of times, “Oh, you’re not wearing your wedding ring,” when I had stopped, or she would point out, I have a necklace that I wore daily. I never took it off. After Hugo died, it has his fingerprint made into it. It’s something that they made at the funeral home for me, and it’s got his date of birth and his date of death on the back. I wore that regularly for a long, long time.
She would point it out to me that I didn’t have it on, which is okay. She was just curious. She’s my friend. She just wants to know what’s going on with me, but what’s troubling about that, and where we cause ourselves problems, is when we start worrying about what other people think, and we do that because we haven’t quite figured out what we want to think.
When we’re solid in our own self-belief that we’re handling the wedding ring the right way for us, it doesn’t really matter what other people think, but when other people and express an opinion, and we’re shaky on whether or not we’re handling it the way we’re “supposed to be”, and it’s like someone has poked us in a bruise, and it hurts a little bit, but it’s really not because of what they said.
It’s not because they have an opinion. It’s not because they have some feelings about it. It’s just a sign that we haven’t quite shored up our own belief in our own approach, and that’s okay. It just shows us where our work is. So, that’s really the main takeaway that I want to offer to you.
There is no right or wrong about the wedding ring. It is a completely individual decision. You get to decide, and when you can let people have their own opinions, their own thoughts, their own feelings about your decision, and know that it is not in any way a reflection of you.
It’s just their own projections onto you. It’s their own thoughts that have nothing to do with you and everything to do with them, and you don’t need them to agree with how you’re wearing the wedding ring, or if you’re wearing the wedding ring, that’s when you’re free. That’s when you’re free.
If you don’t, and you are worried, it’s just a sign that you have some self-belief work to do, and this is exactly the type of work that I teach in every subject, in every area of life because it’s not just the wedding ring that we struggle with. It’s lots of things, and that’s okay. It’s just part of our human journey.
So, short, sweet. It’s your wedding ring. It’s your life. You get to wear it or not, switch hands, wear it sometimes, don’t wear it at all. It doesn’t mean anything about how much you loved him or how important he was to you. It doesn’t mean anything about your healing or your lack of healing. You can wear it for the rest of your life. You can never wear it again.
You get to decide, but the thing that really matters is that you decide what’s right for you, and you just give permission for everybody else to have their own thoughts and feelings that are separate from yours, and that, my friends, will set you free. All right. I love you. You’ve got this. I hope you have an amazing week.
We’re probably about to fill up spots for April, Mom Goes On coaching. So, if that’s something that you have been meaning to check out, you probably ought to do it quick. Just go to coachingwithkrista.com and click on the request a consultation button, and we’ll see if it’s for you. All right. Love you. Have an amazing week. Take care. Bye-bye.
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