My wife and I are separated and she has taken off her wedding ring. I still wear mine because I am committed to fighting for our marriage.
Should I take my ring off to try and relieve pressure on her? Or is it better to keep it on to show her I want the marriage to work? What do you think is the right move?
Short answer? Yes, I think you should still wear your wedding ring, even after your wife takes hers off.
In fact, I think you should continue to wear it until the day that you are no longer a married man.
Honestly, I don't think this question has anything to do with your wife. It's more about you as a man and what you value than about your wife and what she will think. It's not just that you're committed to the marriage, it's that the ring itself signifies being married.
When you take off your wedding ring, you're telling the world that you're unmarried. That's why your wife took hers off. But, regardless of what she chose to do, the fact is that you ARE married.
Your wedding ring symbolizes the type of love that does not end no matter what, even when the very person you love is pushing you away.
Why would you tell the world that you're single when you're not single? It's a lie.
You have probably heard that a wedding ring represents unending love and commitment. It is a circle; it never ends. Your ring symbolizes the type of love that does not end no matter what, even when the very person you love wants you to stop. That's the depth and the seriousness of this type of love.
In my opinion, as long as you remain married, you are bound by vows to demonstrate this unconditional love towards your spouse; it is your husbandly obligation to hold to this commitment. This commitment only ends the day that you are no longer married, and even then many of you will continue holding on.
The Argument for Taking Your Ring Off
With all of that being said, I will admit that there is a case to be made for taking your wedding ring off.
There may be a scenario where taking your ring off COULD increase your chances of getting your wife back, or of allowing her to see you differently.
But, to be clear...
- I can't think of a single time where I saw a man lose his marriage because he kept his wedding ring on after his wife took hers off.
- I CAN think of many times where a husband kept his ring on through thick and thin and ended up getting his wife back.
Possible Reasons to Take Your Ring Off:
- Maybe taking your ring off will show your wife that you no longer want to be with her, and maybe she will find that attractive... Sort of like playing hard to get.
- Maybe your wife is angered by the fact that you continue to wear your wedding ring. In this case, you'll have to decide whether you value making your wife's life potentially better (by getting rid of her peeve) or standing to your values as a man.
- Maybe when your wife sees you without your ring on, it will flip a switch inside her and make her realize what she's lost.
Again, I would comfortably call each of these scenarios hypothetical outliers. There are not many separations where this is true.
Even in these unique hypothetical circumstances where taking the ring off might get you a more favorable reaction from your wife, you still have to balance what you think is right. I don't think there's a right or wrong answer there, although I know which one I'd pick.
It's Up To You
You have to make this choice for yourself:
- Is it more important to stand by the visual representation of your commitment to the marriage?
- Or, is it more important to show your wife you're willing to accept that the marriage might end?
Personally, if it were me, I would ask myself this simple question:
Are you still married?
If the answer is yes, keep your wedding ring on no matter what.
If the answer is no, take your wedding ring off.
Hope this helps any of you who are facing this really tough choice inside your marriage. Trust your gut and don't look back.
Hello. My name is Ismael. I wanted to thank you wholeheartedly for your posts. They have helped me through the most heart wrenching situation in my life. I’m currently sitting in a DFW airport waiting on a flight to San Diego. My wife is joining me. Two months ago I would have thought this was just a dream. She had filed for divorce on December 23rd. We have since then filed a nonsuit petition to dissolve the divorce proceedings. A huge part of my mental reprogramming had to do with your website.
Thank you very much!
We’re off to spend a few days in SD and run a half marathon together. We’re doing this life together now and feel that our best years are ahead of us (married for 8 years)
Much Manly Live-
My wife of seven years left my house when I left for work when I returned from work and met my house scattered I had the mind of ending it but I just took my set and search and straight to ur site and behold I became bold today she is begging to come back but u I have made up my mind
Thank u, u are magic and am happy to discover your site and I can’t thank you enough for saving me now am strong because I expect the worse with a woman am forcing to luv me
Thank you Stephen for the website. I am separated from my wife for 4 weeks now after being together for 26 years. Big part of the problem to me is that she started drinking 10 years ago and hasn’t stopped ever since. It has actually gotten worse right up to our separation. Even though we talked and are going to not date or do anything we shouldn’t but honor our vows, I did take my ring off. It was not easy and I don’t project any kind of availability out there. I took it off after much prayer and was told by my God that it was part of the holding on to her that I was doing. I was supposed to completely and utterly let her go so that I could heal. You see part of her drinking went to partying and then dirty dancing drunk in bars and clubs where she would flirt with guys and get them to buy her drinks. She would get so blasted that while dirty dancing on the floor, she would be unaware of the guys that would come up and dance with(on) her and touch and grope her. She wouldn’t remember it. I called her out on this and she still demands that she did nothing wrong. It broke my heart when I found out this is what she was doing when she went out with her girls. to say the least, I have been suffering from a broken heart for over 5 years now and she still has no idea why I don’t trust her. It’s hard to know if I want her back or not. So much pain and her absolute unwillingness to see her transgressions has put me in a bad state of mind. I am going to read all you have so that I can recover my man. I have started last year doing a lot of what you have suggested here before I found your site. It makes me feel good knowing I was on the right track. She didn’t like that I was taking my life back and not tolerating her behavior any more. Thank you for the excellent resource. I will study it well for my sake.
It sounds like you have found a deep clarity into what you want and, indeed, need to be doing during this time. Trust your gut and devote yourself to prayer. Figure out the man you’ve been called to be. Perhaps your wife will learn to love that man. If she does, I am sure it will be as a woman that you too can learn to love again. But, perhaps not. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and find clarity in between.
Hi Stephen, I have been seperated 2 years now, my wife took her ring off immediately but I kept mine on until recently. The reason I took it off is because although I wore it as a sign of honour and commitment toward my wife, she saw it as me trying to control her.
We are married lesbians couple, my wife moved out and took the rings off, that I have hurt her enough by my words not appreciating her, I know I have said the words I did not mean because of anger and felt disrespected by the way she talks to me but the truth is that I still love her and willing to do anything to win her back. the problem is that she’s fed up and want us to be friends only but promise to attend events of my family.
please help is there any chances?
Yes, there is a chance, but you must focus on what you can control. Make sure you’ve watched the 3+1 Separation Strategy, that’s the best starting point I have for you.
My wife of 2 years and together for 5 left me before Christmas taking my 4 month daughter. Yes we have had our ups and downs and maybe I was not a hands father but I dearly love them both and want to fight for my marriage. My has trust issues and thinks I’m having affairs which is not true. I drive at weekends to visit them although I have to stay in a hotel. My wants a divorce after 3 months of separation, I’ve beg, pleaded which has been rebuffed, she says she can’t go on being married to me. She’s now taken off her wedding ring, I’m wearing mine, our 2nd anniversary is coming up I’ve bought a gift and a card. It hurts so much that I’m physically sick, especially when I come home to an empty house or at the weekends is the hardest. Do I still carry on and pretend it will go away or do I move on but I don’t think I can’t. Is she suffering from post natal depression which she denies. I love my wife and daughter so much that I deserve a chance to work and build on my marriage. Please help I don’t think I will make it.
Hey Tony, so sorry to hear this, it’s possible that your wife is suffering from postpartum depression, the if your daughter is only four months old then that would certainly make sense. Hard to say without knowing more though. My suggestion is to make your time with your wife all about your daughter. Don’t focus on your wife at all, focus on your daughter. Don’t try to get time with your wife, get time with your daughter. When you visit, offer to take care of your daughter so your wife can have a break. This kind of kills two birds with one stone because in one sense you are pursuing your wife – you are continuing to visit her and make her life better – but in another you are giving her space, because you’re not pressuring HER when you go visit.
Just an idea, hope it helps.
Hang in there man. Honestly the best thing for you both is to spark that fire that sparked the start of it all, you cant start a fire without the spark, maybe a place you went to or a song you both loved, maybe a good mor ing text everyday telling her how much you miss them both, she might have some resentment towards you because of what’s been happening to you guys but if you can get her to put her ego aside or your pride it can work and if you guys really love each other it will work
Does anyone maintain this site anymore? Seems all the posts are very old.
Anyway, I figured I would toss in my 2 cents. My wife left the house just this past week after about 2 weeks of cold and distance, followed by one of pure torture and hell. To make matters worse my in-laws were staying with us for the week, which made it almost unbearable. I tried to follow the advice on this site, but I realize now I was too close and nothing I was going to do would help. I tried to take her out on a no pressure, pure fun date night. During our dinner we spoke cautiously but I was optimistic until I saw she wasn’t wearing her rings. My heart stopped. The rest of the night I walked on eggshells, trying to engage but not pressure. Two days later it is Mother’s Day. I give her a back rub, breakfast in bed, new high-end earbuds for her newfound workout routine. I took our family including our in-laws out to brunch and paid for the whole thing. After brunch we were taking various pictures of ourselves and there was one where I was making a silly face. Not only did she refuse to delete it, pretending not to know how, but her amusement was the first genuine emotion I had seen from her in a month. I was humiliated.
Skipping ahead, after her parents left for home (several states away) it all came to a head. She was having an emotional affair, I confronted her (and him actually) about it. After initially stating she was open to counseling she refused to go see anyone until she “got some distance.” She is staying with a friend from work now. But after last weekend, I refuse to prostrate myself in front of her anymore. I still love her, or I love who she was. I don’t know this person anymore. I realize that my marriage is over. She left me and my two children. If a reconciliation is to happen, she will have to decide it is what she wants. I don’t want to lose her but I also refuse to be subject to further humiliation by her. I will be fine with or without her. That is why I took my ring off. Because if we are to build a new life together, it will be a new marriage. (Not necessarily a new legal one, just a new one in my mind and heart.)
Steve, I’m sorry for what you’ve been through and I completely respect your decision to take your ring off in those circumstances. Infidelity is one of those things that has the potential to change everything in how you’d approach separation, and you know your own boundaries better than anyone. Truthfully in your shoes I would probably do something very similar to your overall approach here, as I don’t often find myself recommending men to actively pursue their wife while she’s having an ongoing emotional or physical affair. It (A) doesn’t work and (B) makes life miserable for the man and (C) is not sustainable.
Anyway, I know I’m a couple months late here, but I hope things are going better now for you than they were.
Much manly love,