Once upon a time, when I was a newly married woman…
My husband and I each had beautiful new rings on the fourth finger of each of our left hands. Oh how I loved those rings!
At the start of our marriage, other than the fine craftsmanship of the design, a main reason why I loved the rings so much was that they showed other people that my husband was taken.
You see, my trust is very compartmentalized. While I trust some things, people, or situations, I definitely do not trust most things, people, or situations. When I do trust, it is surface-level and I am usually already thinking about what I will need to do if that trust is broken.
When we were first married, I had a very hard time trusting pretty much any woman my husband encountered, and to a degree, even my husband himself. I wanted to trust people. I really had no reason to not put my faith in others, but an irrational but very real part of me refused to let go of that paranoia.
Because of this fear, the ring to me became a symbol. Not of our love, but of his unavailability.
Within about a year and a half of being married, my husband lost his ring at work. Not only was I frustrated at the situation of an expensive piece of jewelry going missing, but I was also frustrated that he now did not have an obvious symbol to show all the ‘predatory women’ that he was married. I immediately began searching for a new ring for him- for my sake, not his. By the end of the night, I had many options for him to choose from so we could immediately get a new wedding ring on his finger. But he didn’t want to look at the options that night. Nor the next night, nor the night after that.
So I got angry. Clearly, he wanted to sleep around with other women and it was obvious because he wasn’t in a hurry to find a new wedding ring. Clearly.
After a few weeks of me being upset because of his slowness to shy off the throngs of women who were falling madly in love with him during his ring-less reign, he finally realized that he wasn’t going to find his ring and so he ordered a new one. Problem solved. His women-repellent was activated and my fretting was dulled…
…because of a ring.
Because a ring is the one who decides the goodness and the faithfulness of the man. Because a ring is what determines the attitudes and actions of others around him. Because a ring holds that much power in its simple, lifeless form….
As I have grown personally, I have realized something about this situation. A ring on a finger is not what cultivates or even saves a marriage. Two individuals must make the commitment daily to love and cherish each other. A marriage should not be controlled by other people or things. Instead, it is nurtured through decisions, actions, and reactions of the married individuals. The work that a person puts into lifting his/her partner is what will build a relationship.
Wedding rings are not about personal pride or claiming ownership. To me, they are a reminder of the work and love that we have willingly poured into helping each other. While a wedding ring may mean something different to others, it should be remembered that the object in and of itself does not hold the commitment of a marriage.
I have since realized just how irrational my thinking was. There is no reason to get worked up over the loss of something that is merely a symbol of love and companionship. Instead, we should strive to build our relationship up in a way that no worldly symbol could possibly begin to explain. This is what should matter the most: the bond between the two individuals, and not the appearance of the bond itself.