A common question I hear from clients in the process of reconciling is “should I keep wearing my ring, even though my husband/wife took off his/hers?” Considerations for reconciling
When trying to reconcile, should we take off our wedding ring to match our spouse? Or should we leave it on to show our continued commitment? The wrong action can create more conflict and further damage our efforts to reconcile.
The answer is going to depend on the current degree of connection in your relationship, and what you are trying to achieve. Reconciling is not a single step process. Just like a relationship when you are single, you have to go through several phases of relationship building. Only the last phase is seeking commitment and expressing our own.
Consider the message you are trying to convey by wearing your wedding ring
If you are telling your spouse you want to reconcile and work things through, but you take your ring off, then you are sending a mixed message. Of course, if you are trying to do this too soon, before your spouse wants commitment, it will just get you more rejection.
If you are connecting through agreement and your spouse is not wearing a ring, then you don’t wear yours either. This is often done at the beginning of reconciling, when pursuing your spouse would only lead to more rejection.
Pick a path and then be consistent. Questions of what you should do always depend on what you are trying to achieve. What is working for someone else in their particular situation may not work in yours.
Important questions to consider:
- Will wearing my ring help my spouse to be more connected to me?
- Will wearing my ring make my spouse upset and reduce contact?
When attracting and connecting with others, we need to consider their perception of our behavior. Deciding to just do what you feel like doing may be a big part of the reason your relationship has problems in the first place.
If your spouse is not wanting to leave you, keep wearing your wedding ring
Our spouses can have emotional struggles and do hurtful things. Like taking off a wedding ring. That doesn’t mean they want to end the relationship. Your spouse may recover and regret taking off his or her ring. But, if you also did that, it would also add feelings of rejection for your spouse.
We must be committed for better or for worse and show that–unless our spouse wants to end the relationship. Then, we stay committed, but don’t necessarily show that.
If your spouse is wanting out, you may need to take off your ring
Separation can be used to end or to build a relationship. Taking off a ring can likewise be used to end or to build a relationship. Rebuilding a relationship is essentially like starting over.
Imagine a single person stating their desire to marry someone before they have even started dating that person. Or wearing a ring to show their desire to marry their partner before their partner was in love. What impact would it have? Most people would be rejected. They would fail at the beginning because they committed too soon. It wasn’t that their desire was wrong; it was just that they expressed their commitment too soon.
Whenever our emotional expression gets ahead of the other person’s feelings, it will result in resistance and the relationship stalling or ending.
Taking off your ring can help your spouse to relax with you. That is important for increasing positive time together. Taking off your ring may feel like a step backward, but when we are stuck we often have to back up before we can go forward again. You also may need to stop other pursuit, like romantic gestures. Timing is important. Our behaviors need to match the other person’s feelings. When they don’t, we will get rejection.
Do NOT fall for popular marriage books that recommend you shower your rejecting spouse with love. This advice damages marriages and promotes divorce. We have to help a rejecting spouse to relax with us–not to want to avoid us more. Learn: “If it isn’t working, don’t do it more.”
Your spouse not wearing a ring has little impact on possible affairs
Many people tell me that since their spouse is no longer wearing his or her ring, that sends a signal to others that he or she is available and increases the chances of an affair. In my experience, it makes very little difference.
Both men and women will hit on those who wear rings and those who don’t. In the case of men, wearing a wedding ring may actually increase their chance of being hit on, since married men are often more attractive to women than single men.
Don’t assume your relationship is over because your spouse took his or her wedding ring off
Neither this nor your spouse saying, “It’s over,” actually means there is no hope for your relationship. It just means that like when you first met your spouse, you will need to rebuild your relationship. Getting to the point of re-commitment is similar to getting to the point of original commitment. You have to build up to that point.
The worst thing you can do is to try to convince your spouse before he or she is ready. That will often set you back to the beginning. To reconcile, you will need to work through the stages of helping him or her to relax, be re-attracted, reconnected, have more respect, and finally re-committed.
Your spouse taking off his or her ring doesn’t signal for you to give up. It signals for you to get to work!
Would you, like thousands of others, like to get my Re-Connections Marriage Coaching Package to work on all of the skills necessary for reconciling with a rejecting spouse?