Young Widow Forum

Time Frame => Shock Wears Off, Reality Sets In ( 6 to 12 months) => Topic started by: alone13 on June 06, 2016, 06:07:17 PM

Title: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: alone13 on June 06, 2016, 06:07:17 PM
October 2015, I suddenly lost the love of my life after 13 years together and 2 kids. I struggle everyday still but taking care of our young kids has kept me going. His legacy has become my driving force.
But my question to you all, who are in the same boat, is do you wear your wedding ring(s)? Is it weird that I won't take mine off?
I feel like there is a category for single-no ring(s). A category for married-ring(s). And a category for divorced-get rid of the ring(s).
But I don't fit any of those. I guess in my mind I feel like I fit into "married" still. He didn't divorce me. I'm not a "single mother" by the standard definition. He didn't decide to leave me, and I'm still married to him in my heart.
So... does anyone else feel like I'm weird? Or does anyone think I'm okay for how I feel?
Title: Re: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: Wheelerswife on June 06, 2016, 06:35:03 PM
Hi, alone13,

Nope.  You don't have to do anything with your rings that you don't want to do!  If you want to wear them, then wear them!  I wear my wedding band on my right ring finger.  I may always wear it.  I don't know right now.  When I lost my first husband, I moved my rings to my right hand on New Year's Eve, 3 1/2 months after he died, and I took them off all together another 2 months later.  I don't quite remember exactly when I moved my wedding band (I didn't have an engagement ring) after my second husband died, but I'm still wearing it after almost 2 1/2 years.

So...you get to choose when and if you want to move or remove your rings.  Don't let anyone pressure you into doing something because they think it is what you should do.

Hugs...and welcome to Widda.

Maureen
Title: Re: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: alone13 on June 06, 2016, 07:38:55 PM
Thank you. It means a lot to have someone understand.
And thank you for the welcome. I have struggled for the last 8 months without anyone in my circle of friends that understand what I'm going through. I found this forum and have gained a lot of peace and help through the messages I have read. I appreciate that this exists. And to everyone out there that has had a loss, I send you my prayers and best wishes.
Sus
Title: Re: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: Trying on June 06, 2016, 08:00:25 PM
I agree, there are no rules, do what is right for you.  Around 6 months I started trying to take them off but I would endlessly reach for my finger to twist the rings that were missing.  I didn't like the idea of looking "single" without my rings and hadn't taken them off for over 20 years.  On our first wedding anniversary apart I bought myself a new ring for my left hand and I continue to wear it now.  For me it symbolizes my past and my present with 2 ropes connected.  Other widows wear their rings for years. no one gets to have an opinion but you.
Title: Re: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: SoVerySad on June 06, 2016, 11:21:08 PM
My husband died over 3 years ago and I still wear my wedding rings. For me, they still feel right being there right now. Do what feels right to you and don't worry about anyone else's opinion on the issue. I'm glad you found us, although very sorry you had a reason to. There is comfort in being around people who truly understand.

Hugs to you...
Title: Re: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: Jess on June 07, 2016, 12:13:57 AM
If you do not want to remove them then do not remove them. I remember combing through article after article about grief etiquette trying to find some sort of guideline. There is none other than what your heart tells you. I took mine off about 3 months after he died because it felt right, but I have never thought it was strange for people to keep them on for years. Do not feel pressure. If the time comes that it feels right to take them off, you will know. If it never comes, that is okay too.
Title: Re: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: Quixote on June 07, 2016, 12:15:48 AM
Long story, but my ring was stolen some years ago.  It was a one off (we made them ourselves with lost wax technique), so I didn't wear a ring for many years.  When she died, I got a jewelry chain and wore hers around my neck for a year and a day.  Then I put it away in her old jewelry box.

That's probably of minimal use to your question, save that the real answer is: listen to your heart. It will tell you what is right for you.
Title: Re: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: donswife on June 07, 2016, 06:48:13 AM
I still wear mine.
I also wear his wedding ring around my neck on a chain
I still feel married and when I no longer feel that way I will take them off , that could be tomorrow or never
do what feels right for you ,
you are the only person that has to feel right about this
Title: Re: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: Beyondlife on June 07, 2016, 07:00:08 AM
I am 5 1/2 yrs out.  As I am not interested in dating, I still wear mine.  I tried to move them to my other hand a few times, but, on those particular days, my fingers swelled and I couldn't get them off.  Coincidence or Grant saying "Nope, not yet"?????
If I decide dating is in my future, I would remove them and wear them another way.
You can wear, remove, wear as often as you need.
When, and if, you are ready, you will do it (or not). 
It really is all about what you, and only you, need.

Big hugs
Title: Re: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: Tatianakm on June 07, 2016, 07:59:03 AM
We both loved our wedding bands. We changed them at 10 years wedding anniversary; they have special engravings and a date of our wedding anniversary, actually tomorrow, 6/8, would be 19 years.
I attempted to wear his band on a chain, but it is platinum and way too heavy. I then put it on my left hand before mine. I love the idea that my band sort of anchors his. So I do intend to wear both of the rings on my left hand, where they rightfully belong.  This feels right to me; and my opinion is the only one that counts when it comes to my life. Do what you feel is right, what gives you comfort and helps to continue to survive.
Title: Re: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: Bunny on June 07, 2016, 08:29:31 AM
They're your rings, on your hand, so the decision is solely yours, yes? I wore my rings for about 21 months, until I came to the (at the time) very painful realization that I didn't feel married anymore.  They were my late grandmother's rings so I was feeling sad to be losing that connection with her also. I did try to put them back on a couple times, but I felt my husband in my head saying 'No, Bunny...'

It's a very personal decision, whether they are taken off immediately or worn for another 50 years, it's okay.
Title: Re: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: April on June 07, 2016, 10:39:05 AM
I'm 13 months out.. I still wear my rings.. I bought a black stoned "anniversary style" third band that matches my set.. and I wear his band on my right hand pointer finger.. to me this expresses the loss of my husband.. that I'm not a typical single parent.. I didn't get divorced.. I didn't chose to go down this path alone.. and that he is with us in spirit..  I don't know if others see it that way though.. they probably just think I can't move on..  :-\  but fortunately I couldn't give a crap what people think of me.. for now.. this is how I feel and how I'm going about it.. maybe I will feel different about it some day.. and I will be ready to take the rings off.  Go with how you feel about it.. There are even some websites that sell widow jewelry. 
Title: Re: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: MrsT85 on June 07, 2016, 01:35:49 PM
I'm over three years out and getting remarried at the end of the month, and I still wear my wedding ring and engagement ring on my right hand (sometimes on my ring finger, sometimes on my index finger depending on how swollen my hands are at any particular time).  I switched it over at a few months out and there is had remained even as I wear my new engagement ring on my left hand.  And there it will stay even after my wedding - I never wanted to stop being his wife, so I never intend to take off the ring he gave me (his wedding ring is with him in his urn, along with the ashes my wedding bouquet that I had cremated along with him).

And just as an aside, I've taken a similar approach with my last name.  When Tim and I married, I was happy to leave my old identity behind so I took his last name without hesitation.  This time around though....I never never wanted to NOT be Mrs. Tim, so very very early on I made the decision that I wouldn't ever drop his last name.  I'll hyphenate and just be Mrs. Tim-NG to honor them both.
Title: Re: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: Suki1 on June 07, 2016, 08:19:39 PM
I'm not quite 2-1/2 years out and I still wear my wedding ring on my left hand. It feels appropriate. But as others have said, it's up to you. If the time comes when it feels right to take it off – or to put it back on if you did take it off – the choice is yours and no one else's. No one has ever asked me why I still wear it, by the way. I suspect they don't even notice it. Or if they do, they don't think about it – another one of the things the outside world doesn't understand.
Title: Re: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: Amor on June 08, 2016, 07:07:49 AM
I like how you said "I still feel married." So do I. 
Amor
Title: Re: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: Max2507 on June 08, 2016, 10:32:54 AM
Everyone is different and you will somehow know when its right for you whether its tomorrow or 50 years from now. You may take them off and change your mind or wear them on your other hand. I wore mine for over two years then it was summer and I was kayaking a lot so I would take them off for that. After a three day camping trip I just left them off. Also was horrified one day when someone asked me if I had remarried. I want to make a ring out of the diamonds from my ring and his so I can still wear my beautiful diamond.
Title: Re: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: Catnip on June 08, 2016, 01:03:59 PM
I still wear both my engagement ring and wedding band on my left hand as always, right where he put them. It’s been 9 years for me. My wedding band is engraved with his initials to me. It's his gift to me. I guess it’s a tribute to our 26 year marriage. I feel safe with them on.

At the funeral home, minutes before they closed the casket, the director asked me if I wanted his ring. I had never given it a thought. Before I could even respond, my three sons, ages 17, 20 and 22 all said “NO! You gave it to him and it’s his.” So I said, “Then I want to be buried with mine.” So it went with him.

I don’t see the difference of moving them to my right hand. Some countries have the right hand as the traditional way to wear them. Rather, I have added a widow ring to my two rings. It’s a black band that looks like an anniversary ring. I found it on line at www.expressionsofgrief.com.

I did date another widower for about one month. I would take my rings off then, but would hurry home and put them right back on. I have tried taking them off to go shopping, and I have another pretty ring I wear then. But I always put my wedding ring right back on the minute I get home.

Guess I still feel married in my heart. And that's probably why I'm the one that ended my dating. He was getting too close and too smothering for me. Guess I just wasn't that into him. 
Title: Re: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: Johannus on June 14, 2016, 05:40:42 AM
I've been asking myself this very question, especially in the first few months. Will I ever take it off, and if yes, when?

I'm at 11 months now, and I'm still wearing it. Without I feel naked. And, I've had the same experience as described before: Not 'married', not divorced, nor single dad.. 

I did come across situations where my ring helped me... or others, to understand, or to notice something wasn't normal. And I was relieved actually, that I hadn't been put inside the 'divorced' group. Where divorced people have there own trouble, loosing your loved one to death just isn't the same.

Now, at the moment, I'm experiencing something that could be described as some sort of new relationship. I've thought about what she would think about my ring.. but she's totally okay with it.  She knows what I'm going through, and personally I'm not feeling ready for something new yet.  But thoughts have come now,... and I think I can't ever take it off.   

If I ever was to re-marry again, I would be replacing the ring for a tattoo-ring ,. and I would wear the new ring over it.
Title: Re: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: MrsDan on July 08, 2016, 01:12:45 PM
It will be four years for me in October. I stopped wearing it at the end of last year when I started seeing my boyfriend. At first I would just take it off before dates, and alternate between my right and left hand. But I became worried I'd forget before going out with my boyfriend, and I really liked him. (I did forget with one date, but there was no spark there, at least for me; he asked me out again despite my blunder). Then boyfriend and I became serious. He has never seen my rings. He has always been extremely supportive and compassionate about my husband, but it doesn't feel fair to wear them in front of him. There was a time when I could never imagine taking them off. But now I identify as much as N's girlfriend as I do Dan's wife. So I'm actually okay with not wearing them, but one thing is I can still feel them. Even though I have not worn them in six months. And my daughter occasionally asks about them, gets upset at times even.
Title: Re: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: MrsDan on July 08, 2016, 01:40:24 PM
I realized I didn't really answer your question. No, I don't think it's weird at all. It's not weird to take them off, it's not weird to wear them the rest of your life. If you ever decide to pursue a relationship, you can decide how that will impact your decision then. I have never discussed this issue with my boyfriend. I felt comfortable taking them off, so I didn't feel the need to have the conversation. But if I hadn't felt comfortable, I would have discussed it with him.

I also still refer to Dan as my husband, and his family as my inlaws. In situations where people are not aware of my circumstances, I will often say late husband, just because it might confusing to refer to my husband and my boyfriend in the same conversation. I felt a little self conscious about doing this with my boyfriend's circle, but not as much anymore. If any of them should ever voice a problem with it I will address it then . But his mother is married to a widower, so that might be part of it. And his stepsister and I were talking one time and she referred to my husband, not my late or ex. My husband. Which I appreciate. Sometimes people refer to me as a single mother, and I'm not nuts about that. It bothers me less then it used to; my brother referred to me that way immediately and that really bothered me.
Title: Re: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: TofinoMan on July 08, 2016, 11:39:02 PM
Nobody has the right to tell you to wear them or not wear them.
The decision is wholly yours and yours alone!
Title: Re: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: SemperFidelis on July 28, 2016, 01:29:39 PM
OP, keep them on until it feels right to do otherwise. You will know when the time is right.

Me, I moved it to another finger after a month..... For some reason I had the thought that I did not want to be in denial or something..... I was hard on myself in that way I guess. In hindsight, I wish I had worn it on the ring finger longer....only because I work with the public and I really have hated the way the ring change makes my personal life public. Worse yet is the thought that someone might think I just went through a divorce....that disgusts me.

I wore his band and dogtag around my neck for about seven months or so.....I kept it tucked in, because I didn't want to make a spectacle of it.

I met my ch2 after my own band was on a new finger, so he only had to contend with me wearing the husband's ring and dogtag. I am amazed by the graciousness he had with this.

I have also felt strongly through all this that my husband would support me moving forward. He would want someone to come along and cherish me.

I also did feel still like a wife to my husband for about nine months..... And still, I feel like a wife but maybe not necessarily with a husband....if that makes sense. I walk, talk, and otherwise conduct myself like a wife.... I don't really know any other way. My ch2 is benefiting from this I think.

I also still call my husband exactly that....my husband. He's not late for anything. He's dead. So for unknowing ears I might use the words "dead husband" but for those who know, I do say husband.

MrsDan, I appreciate your feedback and experiences. I am 9months in with ch2 and have met his family but they don't know I am a widow yet....  I am all in all just very confused and curious how you blend families when one of the family members is a ghost. It's just an odd dynamic and I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable while at the same time maintaining honor for my husband.
Title: Re: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: Julester3 on August 22, 2016, 10:43:24 PM
I think this moment comes at different times for different people and it depends how you feel. I am only 4.5 months out as a widow and I actually decided to no longer wear my rings anymore. At first, I changed from my usual engagement and wedding rings to simply just my anniversary band that I tended to wear when my fingers would swell a bit. Just before my birthday in July, I finally transitioned to neither wedding nor anniversary ring. I wear a simple sterling silver multi-banded ring that I can fiddle with. With my husband now gone by circumstances we couldn't control, I honestly didn't feel married anymore. I felt forcibly detached from him. Death did part us so it felt like I was lying to myself wearing those rings. This is just my personal acceptance. There is no wrong or right way - it's what is best for you.
Title: Re: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: MFed420 on September 30, 2016, 12:18:33 PM
I lost my husband of 11 years on January 5th of this year and I wear not only my rings but his band all on the same finger. I can't imagine taking them off ever, I feel naked and even more separated from him that I do now. You do what you want and what feels comfortable for you. So happy to have found this safe space.
Title: Re: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: Ursula on December 14, 2016, 09:14:52 AM
It's your finger and your ring. I are free to do what feels right for you and only you. I hope you find a way that feels right.

I wore my wedding ring in its true place for two and a half years.  This summer I bought myself a ring which I wear on the wedding ring finger. Sometimes I wear my wedding ring. I got married and was not asked to unmarry. If ever there is anyone else who gives me a ring, it's got to go on another finger.  I've got ten. This one was meant for Alex. Maybe that will change, who knows. I have never believed in dogma.
Title: Re: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: beth_krkswidow on December 15, 2016, 11:22:57 AM
@Ursula,  I love that
It's your finger and your ring. I are free to do what feels right for you and only you. I hope you find a way that feels right.

I wore my wedding ring in its true place for two and a half years.  This summer I bought myself a ring which I wear on the wedding ring finger. Sometimes I wear my wedding ring. I got married and was not asked to unmarry. If ever there is anyone else who gives me a ring, it's got to go on another finger.  I've got ten. This one was meant for Alex. Maybe that will change, who knows. I have never believed in dogma.
Title: Re: Do I have to take off my rings?...
Post by: jgib on June 10, 2017, 02:55:32 PM
I agree, your ring, your finger.
I have lost my dad, oldest sister, my mom and then my husband all in a 4 year period.  I had my dads wedding band, a birth stone ring from my mom (we share the same birth stone), a bracelet from my sister and the rings my husband bought for me all made into one ring.  I love it.  They are all close to me on the middle finger of my left hand.  Even the finger seems appropriate as they give me the strength to wave it at the world if I need too.....