It's Not about the Ring
It’s not about the ring, but I wear mine anyway.
When my husband, Adam, and I got engaged, he gave me a lovely solitaire-style engagement ring with a white gold band and a gorgeous white sapphire gemstone. It was – after much hinting on my part that this was the route I wanted to go – purchased from a vendor on Etsy for a modest, though certainly not overly expensive sum of money. I loved that it was made by a small business owner, and that the gemstone was lab-grown, which eliminated the possibility of it being associated with conflict, as many diamonds and other gemstones are. Most of all, I loved that it was a white sapphire instead of the standard diamond.
When it came time to purchase our wedding bands, we did so knowing that Adam can’t wear a ring (or any jewelry for that matter) at work. He’s a Millwright, which makes it too dangerous. So, I prepared myself for the fact that he would probably only wear his ring on nights out and special occasions. Much to my surprise, though, he simply takes his ring off when he arrives at work each day and puts it right back on when he leaves. He says he loves wearing it, which is one of the many things I love about him. I feel the same way, and I wear my rings on a daily basis too.
And yet, when I think about the importance of a ring, I am torn. A ring certainly does not ensure love or commitment. It says nothing of the gestures, big and small, that partners do for each other, day in and day out. After all, marriage is about fulfilling a promise to stand by each other day after day, when it’s easy, but also when it’s hard. If you’ve made those vows to your spouse and honour them, you’re as married as married can be - even if you can’t or choose not to wear a wedding band.
On the flip side, though, it’s a symbol, and a powerful one at that. It says that I’ve chosen Adam as my spouse, for better and for worse. On tough days, I look down at those rings and remember the promises we made to each other. And, on good days, I look at them and my heart swells with love and happiness that I get to be Adam’s wife on this crazy ride called life. Rings certainly don’t make a marriage, but they’re most definitely a reminder of its importance.
So, to wear or not to wear a wedding ring is a personal decision, and one that is often dictated by practical considerations, like the constraints of a job. For me, though, I wear my rings with pride because they serve as a daily reminder of my loyalty, friendship, love, and commitment to my husband, and his to me.
Brittany Van Den Brink is a PhD Candidate and freelance writer living in small-town Ontario with her husband, baby son, and their Golden Retriever, Chevy. She founded Motherhood Her Way to collaborate with other moms as they go through the ups and downs of motherhood. Say hi on Instagram @brittanyvandenbrink.