The Wedding Ring

A friend posted the question tonight on her Facebook, “Is the wedding ring just a piece of jewelry or does it represent something else?”

To me it’s both. My stance on this is complicated, as is the case with most philosophical questions I find myself faced with. I don’t know if that makes me complicated or just confused but whatever, it is what it is.

Wedding rings are rooted in a time when a marriage was not a partnership but rather a business transaction. The Reader’s Digest version is that a woman was her husband’s property and a string was tied around her finger to remind her of that fact.

We are told that it is a never ending circle that represents the never ending quality of love that two people bring into a marriage but the long and short of it is that originally it symbolized property ownership. And that I do not agree with.

I also feel that western society puts entirely too much emphasis on wedding rings… or really more to the point engagement rings but the jewelry in general has far too much weight in our society. It may sound silly to reference situation comedies but art imitates life so why not? In every sitcom where there is a married couple, they have at least one episode where one of them takes off their wedding ring for some simple task and loses it. There is a big uproar about why did you even have it off and is that all our marriage means to you and a mad clamor to find the missing ring and life is happy again. I find this whole ritual absurd. Of course some will say I think that because I’m not married but I did tell my ex-fiance if a ring was so important to him, poke two quarters in a gumball machine and get me a ring, so I think that says something about how I see the whole situation.

In my opinion, you are not married to the ring. You did not commit yourself to the ring. You committed your heart and soul to theirs. A wedding band, to me, is something you wear to show other people you are married. It is an advertisement, a declaration, not a commitment. It is an advertisement that can be ignored and it is an advertisement that can be removed. But if the commitment is solid and true, ignoring or removing the advertisement shouldn’t matter either way.

Of course, I usually always side with the husband on sitcoms so what do I know?


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