Wedding Ring or No Wedding Ring?

by Patricia Jones
(Lake Villa, IL)

Today has been one month for me. I don't feel like I've made much progress. The holidays were horrendous and the thought of spending 2011 without my husband is something I don't even want to think about.

There are so many things I haven't even sat down to try to figure out. My mind is in a fog. I wake up with a headache from crying most of the night.

I went to Borders yesterday to find a book on grieving. My 13 year old niece was with me and she was very impatient. She wanted to get to the "real stores" to spend her Christmas money. I quickly grabbed a book entitled Widow to Widow by Genevieve Davis Ginsburg, MS. I was thumbing through it last evening before I went to bed to try to sleep. A chapter ~ To Wear or Not to Wear Your Wedding Ring ~ jumped out at me. In the chapter it states that by removing our wedding rings it is a sign that we are ready to move on. We have accepted the death. Remove my wedding ring? What? Never! My husband is no longer here in the physical sense but I will be spiritually married to him for the rest of my life on this earth.

It was stated that it's up to the individual
. Right now there is no way I could consider taking my ring off. There were suggestions of having the ring shaped into another piece of jewelry or passed on to a family member for future use.

Will I feel differently in a few year? As this author states ~ is it really finally accepting the death?

I know everyone is different and handles things in their own way. I would love anyone to share their ideas and how they handled this big step.

Comments for Wedding Ring or No Wedding Ring?

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Jan 01, 2015
A sweet idea...
by: Anonymous

My husband passed away 4 months ago, and I will wear my rings on my left hand until the day I die. A man in my support group did something very sweet with his own and his wife's wedding ring. He had hers resized to his and then had them welded together. They were polished and he now wears the two rings as one on his left hand. They are beautiful and I can't think of a better symbol of their love.

Dec 19, 2014
I can't bear taking mine off
by: Nicholas Kay

My wife died on October 9th, a day which was also her 44th birthday. The very thought of taking my wedding ring off terrifies me. I know that technically I'm no longer married but in my heart I always will be. I've read that some people take theirs off almost immediately but for me it has been a small symbol of strength, and to be quite honest all I feel I have left. I know in my heart that I will never move it to my right hand, like some divorced men do because I didn't choose to lose my wife. Maybe in time I will wear it around my neck on a chain but for now it comforts me to look down and see it on my finger.

Dec 15, 2014
wedding ring
by: Anonymous

I hope it helps me but, I just would like more causedid alot for us grandkids etc. . He was a good man provided and did what he had to do . Honest Kind and was a helping person to others. So I dont know cause I will all love this man ! Hard to take my ring off!!! Think Good Lord tell me when to take off my ring .

Nov 22, 2014
by: Anonymous

I lost my husband four years ago, the rings stay, they meant something when they were put on and they will mean something when I take them off. It will mean I have joined him and no longer need the rings as a sign of our life. I deleted my husbands mobile number off my phone a few months back and I have felt guilty ever since. So no I think it would be a bad feeling to take the rings off, sort of a betrayal. That is how it is for me but I think for someone who is wanting to meet someone else than the removal of their rings is honest and respectable.

Nov 12, 2014
Nope. Never want to take it off
by: Anonymous

I just never want to take my wedding ring off. Besides the fact that I really like it as a piece of jewellery, I just feel that it belongs on my finger and that's where it'll stay. Other than that I am managing to be alone and don't cry so much. Doing pretty well I'd say, but the ring stays. I lost my husband 18 months ago.
ed note: This blog has been transitioned to a great new Forum with private messaging. Please check it out by hitting the "The Grief Club" button on the left. You can even resubmit your post there for fresh advice. Thanks so much!

Oct 30, 2014
My choice
by: Anonymous

I will be starting my third year as a widow in December. My ring will stay on my left hand until such time as it is necessary to replace it (I don't consider I will ever replace it) My husbands ring is on my right hand on the middle finger purely because of size. I did wear it on a chain but became concerned that the chain may break and I would lose the ring.That is my choice and I alone have the right to make that choice, anyone can have their opinion on my choice but I do not have to react to it or explain my approach. Whether I am using the rings as a crutch,a shield against unwanted advances, as a connection to my dead husband, as a badge of status,An attention seeking medium, as a sign of undying love or any other perceived reason is for other folk to speculate but mine alone to know.
As in life some things in a relationship remain personal.

Aug 07, 2014
by: Val

I lost my husband 8 weeks ago and I wear his wedding band and mine, I cant see me removing either as we said forever and I still have my vows to keep, Its very hard to shake of this grief and I have never cried so much in all my life. My heart goes out to all in the same boat as me and after reading comment after comment there are an awful lot of people with broken hearts.

Dec 24, 2012
We are married. I will never remove my ring.
by: Kristina

We are married forever, and I will NEVER remove my wedding ring. Nor my engagement ring, nor my Brian's wedding ring, which I also wear on my left ring finger (first his wedding ring, because it's the biggest and too big for me otherwise, then my engagement ring, then my wedding ring). All three rings will stay on my finger for the rest of my life. I will ALWAYS be married to my Brian; his death doesn't change that. And I will never become involved with or date or have sex with or anything like that with anyone else. Brian will always be my husband, my one and only. I don't understand why anyone would ever think I might take off these rings. That is simply not an option.

Aug 22, 2012
Believe in your instincts
by: ADR

After one year from my husbands death at 45 I decided to take advise and remove my weddings rings.
It was awful.
I hadnt removed them in seven years.
I didn't divorce him, he died.
The rings are back on and I feel much better.

Jan 09, 2011
by: Mari

HH. It is too much filling out that ss stuff. Or forms that say, are you Miss or Mrs? Well, I always put Mrs, not sure if that is right. The problems I have had HH, is getting my husbands name off of everything. Sometimes they say it will be done and then here comes some mail with his name on it. I tell people I call to have it done that it hurts my feelings seeing his name on the mail. Sometimes I have to send in a death certificate. I had his name removed from the property taxes and that required a death certificate. Many things do.

It has taken about a year to and I believe everything is in my name only but who knows what will come next? Sometimes it is just magazines.
Now just seeing my name only on the mail does not make me forget him but if it is it reminds me that he is no longer here with me. Whether I got it all remains to be seen. The insurance company for my appliances and central heating and air kept sending the cards in his name until I flat out made a big deal of it and now is taken care of.

They don't always understand until it happens to them. Some do of course. I sure loved that man. I have enough reminders as it is.

Jan 09, 2011
I got myself a Widow Ring
by: Julia

I lost my husband a year ago this month. It was very hard being that he was 40 and died of a heart attack. So young and a new father. I was so lost. I still am really. It was time for me to have my wedding ring cleaned and inspected at the jeweler, so I had it resized and fitted for my right hand since I was there anyway. I thought I would be ready since it had been a few months since his passing. I was not. I did not feel right. I did not like it at all. I wanted to put it back, but it did not fit anymore.

So I decided that I wanted to get a Widow Ring. I did not know if something like that existed, but if it did not, I was going to start a new tradition. I kept looking in the papers for something that I liked that had a black stone in it. I found it and I got a great deal. I felt so much better to have a ring on my finger again.

I don't think I will take it off unless I find someone else that will love me as much as my husband loved me and will care for my son as much as his father did. I miss him dearly and it is so difficult to move forward. I am not sure such a loving person is out there for me. I never thought I would be a Widow at 37 years old.

Jan 05, 2011
mine is staying on
by: Lyn Ann

As for me - my ring is staying on. I can't imagine taking it off.

But to address something else in your message above - about a good resource for grieving. Have you tried the workbook that is available on this website - Back to Life? (it shows up on right right sidebar all of the time). It is very helpful - and you can download it immediately as a .pdf file for only $15.

Maybe others can suggest good books out there?

Lyn Ann

Jan 04, 2011
wedding ring or no wedding ring
by: Mari

Judy You have the right idea. No matter if we wear our wedding rings or not the same feelings are going to remain. In no way is the love lessened if someone prefers to remove the rings.
This is a personal matter. If someone asks when the rings are coming off, just say,''When I get ready to take them off.''

After all the love we feel for our husbands is in our hearts.It isn't going to go away. I am sure there are people who never take them off and that is fine too. It is purely a personal matter.

I have reached to point of acceptance. My sweetheart is not here and will not be walking in the door. I am doing a lot of things here that I could not do because I was taking care of my sick husband and working outside the home. Now I manage here and have a lot of church activities and am doing things here. I still have sadness but God helps me. Take care.

Jan 04, 2011
For Judy
by: Mari

Judy, you are so right. Do what you feel is right for you as regards the ring. I am glad the subject came up because I wondered myself. But grief is deeply personal and handled differently by each person. There is no right and wrong thing to do in a case like this.
I am so thankful for all of you on this site. It has been helpful and comforting.
Life goes on and we have to keep going.

At 5:00PM I will take my grandaughter to the hospital so labor can be induced.It may take a while so I have my Bible to read and my Philly magazine. I notified my mother and dad and other family and excitement is mounting.

I prayed that my husband would be there in spirit to share in our joy.

There is a kind of sadness without my sweetheart because he would have made sure everyone in town knew about his new great grand baby.Anyway God bless all of you. Mari

Jan 04, 2011
Wedding ring for sure
by: Colleen

I lost my husband six weeks ago he was 48. We were together for 17 years but only married for one year. Our one and only wedding anniversary was spent in the hospital. I wear my wedding ring and Bruce's wedding ring on a chain where it is near to my heart. I also wear his father's 21st ring that Bruce inherited in 1991 he wore the ring all the time. I will wear these rings for as long as I want.

Jan 04, 2011
Do what's right to you
by: Judy

It is entirely your decision when to take off your wedding ring even if that is never. These people who are advising you otherwise are amazingly insensitive. Perhaps they think they are comforting you in some way or just speak without thinking.

My own choice came along at about 8 months after Barry died. I was covering my gray hair, a job he always did for me. True to form for us widows who travel alone, the friend who had said she would help with this told me she had to sleep that day! So I embarked on the job alone and took the rings off so they wouldn't get hair dye in the setting. Afterward I realized that the presence or absence of the ring didn't matter, Barry is still gone and not coming back. I put my little size 6 inside his size 13 in my jewelry box and there they sit, still together. Sometimes I just open the box and look at them and happy memories of our wedding and life come to me.

Do what feels good to you and nuts to others and their "advice".

Jan 04, 2011
Ring or No Ring
by: Patricia

I believe the Wedding Vows went like this:
I, Patricia, take you, William, to be my beloved husband, to have and to hold you, to honor you, to treasure you, to be at your side in sorrow and in joy, in the good times, and in the bad, and to love and cherish you always. I promise you this from my heart, for all the days of my life.

I'm still here and there are more days in my life ~~
Ring on? Yes ~ It's not a question for me.

Just take it
always, 1 step, 1 breath at a time ~

Jan 03, 2011
wedding ring or no wedding ring
by: Mari

Patricia. I truly am sorry for your loss. I know how much it hurts to lose the love of your life.

Now as for the wedding rings, I truly believe it is up to the person when to take them off. In my case I did not take them off right away. I still felt married. Although my husband will always be the love of my life I at some point realized I was no longer married. That hurt my feelings so I put them back on. Then finally I took them off thinking it might make me heal faster. I was trying to tell myself I had to face facts.

When I talked to my husband's grown son for the first time after my husband passed I found myself saying,''my husband.'' His son said,''Now do you mean my dad?'' I said,''For heavens sake, who else?''I still think of him as my husband and always refer to him as such. So I put the rings back on. I am a mess sometimes.

Just do whatever your heart tells you. God bless you.

Jan 03, 2011
wedding ring or no wedding ring
by: jules

Hi I have been asked to my face when I am going to stop wearing my wedding ring - my husband has been gone 13 months - my reply was that I didn't know, certainly not yet - I also wear John's wedding band - I will never not wear that one, but my band - who knows, I still feel married, why would I take my rings off?

As for moving on - I feel the term should be "carry on" - one step, one breath

take care

Jan 03, 2011
wedding ring or no wedding ring
by: Donna

I had an ederly lady that I worked with tell me I am supposed to take my ring off and put it on my right ring finger. That shows that I am available.
I almost had a fit right there in line. NO WAY!!!
I had to take it off for a while and put it on a necklace along with Bryan's other wedding ring. But that's only because I lost so much weight that I was afraid that it would slip off and I would lose it. But I make myself eat so I have gained enough weight back to put it on again.

First Bryan and I didn't get a divorce, he died, BIG DIFFERENCE. Bryan put that ring on my finger and that's where it will stay. Second there is no way that I will never be available he was, is, and always will be my soulmate. No one could ever take his place. I'm to go through the rest of my life without a partner, my partner is in heaven. When I get there we will be together forever.

Jan 03, 2011
For Patricia
by: Jen

Hi Patricia,
Im Jen and my husband aged 41 died just over two years ago.
My wedding ring is still firmly on my hand and will stay there until such times as i may meet someone else to share my life with.
Again there are no rights or wrongs but that's just how i feel at the minute about it,

A good question tho,
Will be interesting to hear what others may say.

All the best from Northern Ireland.

Jen x

Jan 03, 2011
Ring or no Ring
by: Judith

I'm 3 months a widow now and removing my rings is the last thing I can think of. He had bought me a new wide solid gold band the year before(2009) for Christmas. It was all I ever wanted but he originally gave me one with diamonds 35 1/2 years ago.

I guess when and IF I met someone else way down the road then I would have to. I too feel It is a final acceptance to take them off. Not for now or ever the way I feel. It is personal choice.

I feel the way you do and it seems to get worse for me not better. I do have hope that will change in time.

Jan 03, 2011
I agree that I will forever be married to him
by: Jean

I am SO sorry for the loss of your husband. I lost mine too November 23, 2010. I have both our rings on and wondered if I should take them off. Which is why I clicked on your thread... Mike and I have two adult children. The first grandchild on the way and I just can't seem to get happy about that. It just reminds me of everything Mike is missing and how this new baby will never know her/his Grandpa. Mike would of been such a wonderful Grandpa. It broke his heart when we found out about the pregnancy because he knew he wouldn't be here.

the holidays were horrible for me too. I lost my mom in march and my dad a month before my husband, so I got hit triple this year... not to mention the aunts and uncles this year too. It's been horrible.

I wonder if I'll ever get past this to be somewhat happy again.... the dogs miss him so much, I'm so no fun right now. the big guy, Sammy comes to me when I cry hard, he is my only comfort. I love the dogs something fierce, but want to jump in my car and go sometimes.... can't take them both with, sammy's too big...

Jan 03, 2011
Ring bearer.
by: Mike


I am keeping mine on. I didn't divorce my wife, we didn't split up; in my mind I am still married to her. I would feel funny without my ring. And since I thought I lost it once I realize how important it is to me. We may feel differently sometime in the distant future, but right now we both are being true to ourselves by keeping our rings on. Wear it proudly if that's how you feel. Death does not stop love. Even if I live to be 100 I will always love Lise and my ring is a symbol of that.


Jan 03, 2011
Do what YOU are comfortable with

Patricia J,

I am still wearing my wedding band and it has been a year. Some people wear them until they remarry. It does not feel right taking it off and I think that is an extremely personal thing to decide.

I had to fill out a social security form for re something or another. The first question was:
Are you Married?
And I did not know how to answer that. I had to call SS to ask. Obviously if one of the people is deceased you can not "BE" married.

But it did not would not register. No he is not collecting disability benefits etc. But is that the same as survival benefits?

I had to call for a simple 5 question form. In fact I got it around the first week of DEC. It upset me so much that I did not open it up until after Christmas.

Please do whatever brings you comfort. You have a long and bumpy ride ahead. Many downs and ups.
Later ups and downs. A year in and it is better but grief does not like to let go, it is hard to escape (even after you have faced it)

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