Should You Keep Wearing Your Wedding Ring if Your Spouse Isn’t?

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

wedding rings off fingers
Will taking off your wedding ring make it easier or harder to reconcile?

The actions we take and the words we use have the power to hurt and to heal.  We should never take actions for the express purpose of hurting someone.  But, what if that person has already rejected us?  Is it helpful or harmful to leave ours on?  As in making any decision, we have to consider the long term impact of our actions and what we are trying to achieve.

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.  It would be the same if you said you want to reconcile, but then dated other people.  Pick a path and then be consistent. If you are going to marriage counseling or have told your spouse you want to reconcile, then wear your ring.

If you feel hurt and rejected, but your spouse is not wanting to leave you, keep wearing your wedding ring

Although you may be able to hurt or shake up your spouse by taking your ring off, most people who are rejected will reject back.  Rejecting your spouse for hurting you may start a downward spiral of events that you will lead to regrets later.  An action done, can never be undone.  If your short term “lesson” for your spouse turns into long term problems for your relationship, it isn’t worth it.

If you want to reconcile, and your spouse is not relaxed with you, consider taking your wedding ring off

Just as there is a time to separate in order to ease tensions–for the sake of your relationship, there are times when we need to ease tensions in other ways–also for the sake of your relationship.  These may be refraining from sexually pursuing your spouse, refraining from wearing your ring, and refraining from romantic gestures.  However, be sure not to be unfaithful to your spouse even if you are encouraged to do so by your spouse.  It will harm your chances of reconciling later.

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 means rather that you have additional steps to take before even talking to your spouse about reconciling. 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.  But, if you can work through the stages of helping him or her to relax, reconnecting, earning respect, and re-attracting, your spouse will have renewed interest in your relationship regardless of what is happening now.  I have been helping many men and women work through these stages for more than 20 years now.  If you get stuck and need a little extra help with reconciling with a rejecting spouse, then get it.  Don’t give up when you don’t have to.


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