Two weeks ago I took off my wedding ring.
Don't jump to any conclusions, 'cause it's removal from its rightful place on my left hand wasn't due to a broken heart, but rather a fractured prong, a loose, larger solitary diamond, and, embarrassingly, a few lost smaller diamonds.
This Friday is the hubs and my anniversary.
We will celebrate 11 long-arse years together.
And, in all that time, I rarely took my ring off -- maybe only a handful of times.
Against any good jewelers advice and quite simply me just ignoring common sense (per usual), I wore my wedding band at all times including in the shower, to the gym, while bathing the kids, during painting, pottery, slime-making, rock-climbing, swimming, etc.
You name it, and I did it with my ring in tow (and with no shame).
For me, I always felt as though a ringless finger was a lie.
"I'm married, and my hand should always reflect such" I would think.
If I ever, mistakingly went without it, it felt wrong; I felt naked and ashamed.
That sounds weird, right?
People go without their wedding bands all the time.
It's just a ring, a finger, and a few minutes, an hour, a day or even a week that you might be without it depending upon the circumstances.
Still, being the overthinking oddball that I am, it had taken for my ring to get to the point of almost ruin that I finally bit the pricey bullet to be without it so that it could be repaired, restored and ready to be finger-rocked for another 11+ years.
Here are three things that I came to realize about marriage while sitting in the jewelry store chair discussing my ring's repair with the kind sales associate:
You can't ignore the faults in your marriage's foundation.
Had I been more cautious with my ring from the day I started wearing it and regularly had it cleaned and all prongs tightened when needed, I probably could have avoided the diamond losses and the discomfort I felt while roaming town without my ring for weeks.
The same goes for marriages. When we are more mindful and vigilant, from the outset, with how we treat our partner and when we prioritize the friendship turned relationship exemplified by regular tending to and checking in, we are encouraging its long-term stability.
Over time, parts of each of partner will be lost.
Not the most important parts, we hope, but bits and pieces of who each of you was pre-relationship and pre-marriage will cease to be. Likely such will be due to no fault of either of you but merely a common casualty of a long life living with and for someone else.
But, if you want to ensure that neither of you loses yourself entirely in the loving of the other, then you must make a point to find the time to focus on securing and maintaining those parts of your personality and being which you are unwilling to go without.
A ring doesn't make or break a marriage, but you might.
For years I wore my loose-fitting, broken-pronged, diamond-missing ring because I felt that I would rather wear a ring with imperfections than not wear one at all.
In marriages, we do the same thing; we keep on keepin' on even when the communication has broken down, feelings are hurt, and love is lost. And, we do that, because we'd rather be in a semi, but not tragically-flawed relationship, than no relationship at all. Knowing that no two people are perfect on their own, we accept that no couple is either.
That being said, there comes a time in your marriage where you must decide whether to keep going about your relationship in the same somewhat lackadaisical way you always have and risk innocent, but inevitable ruin or open your eyes, notice the deficiencies and weaknesses and repair that shiitake so that you can move forward with more confidence that your relationship is as solid and stable as the diamond you are wearing.
Two weeks ago, I took off my wedding ring, only to put it back on today with it and my relationship more intact than ever.
He liked it, so he put a ring on it.
And, I like him, so I'm taking care of it, him, myself, and our partnership.