The Wedding Ring

 

Several months ago, I suddenly realized that the rings I wore daily on my fingers no longer fit. My knuckles had swollen to such a degree that nothing could pass by them. I was especially disturbed that I could no longer wear my wedding ring; that knuckle was especially deformed (as my doctor described it). When I told my doctor that I couldn’t wear my wedding ring, he made the comment (unappreciated) that I could wear the ring on a chain around my neck. I was very annoyed, since I wasn’t communicating “going steady,” but that I was in a lifelong commitment.

I kept hoping that the swelling would go down, but it hasn’t—except for my other fingers. Now, only my wedding ring finger is still swollen. And I realized that I would no longer be able to wear it.

You may ask, what’s the big deal? After all, I know I’m married, my husband and friends know I’m married. But that wasn’t the point of the ring. I wore it for myself, as a promise to myself, not to send a message to others. And with our 50th wedding anniversary coming up, I realized I wanted to have the ring sized and be able to wear it. With each day approaching our anniversary, I sensed the ring’s absence, that something important was missing.

My ring has gone through many iterations; originally it was two bands that interlocked, and periodically I had to take them to the jewelers to have them antiqued. Eventually they got so worn that there was nowhere for the antiquing to grab hold. And then the bands were so thin that they were likely to break where they were joined.

My husband encouraged me to get a new ring many years ago. But I liked having my old ring that represented the demands, joys, celebrations, and difficulties of marriage. Then I finally settled on getting a ring with a different setting, using my original diamond. Jerry suggested diamonds on both sides of it; I was only comfortable with one diamond chip on either side. And that has been my ring for the last many years.

I took the ring to the jeweler to be sized, and it looks wonderful. And it grounds me, reminds me of so much history, and the love I have for my husband.

I’m ready for another 50 years.

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  1. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Fifty more?

    Piece of cake!

    • #1
  2. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    Love your sentiment Susan. The ring is beautiful and the heart of the wearer is a lovely too !

    Blessings 

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    Love your sentiment Susan. The ring is beautiful and the heart of the wearer is a lovely too !

    Blessings

    Kevin, that is so sweet! Although I could have chosen something fancier and a new diamond (mine has a chip in it), somehow taking an understated approach was just right. Thanks.

    • #3
  4. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    My knuckles swell up and down periodically also. Sometimes my rings won’t come off, sometimes they won’t go on. So I sympathize.

    My late husband was fanatical about his wedding ring – it also matched mine. As he lost weight when he got ill it fell off his finger and we couldn’t find it. He was so forlorn that we finally got him a new one and it made him very happy. (We eventually found his old one!

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    My knuckles swell up and down periodically also. Sometimes my rings won’t come off, sometimes they won’t go on. So I sympathize.

    My late husband was fanatical about his wedding ring – it also matched mine. As he lost weight when he got ill it fell off his finger and we couldn’t find it. He was so forlorn that we finally got him a new one and it made him very happy. (We eventually found his old one!

    Lovely story, Just me.  It’s good to hear from you.

    • #5
  6. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    Susan, it’s beautiful! 

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Thank you, Scarecrow. It certainly is to me.

    • #7
  8. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    My knuckles swell up and down periodically also. Sometimes my rings won’t come off, sometimes they won’t go on. So I sympathize.

    My late husband was fanatical about his wedding ring – it also matched mine. As he lost weight when he got ill it fell off his finger and we couldn’t find it. He was so forlorn that we finally got him a new one and it made him very happy. (We eventually found his old one!

    I’m on my second one (ring, that is). Lost the original on a ski trip to Killington many years ago. As of two days ago, the marriage has survived for 47 years, though.

     

    • #8
  9. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    My knuckles swell up and down periodically also. Sometimes my rings won’t come off, sometimes they won’t go on. So I sympathize.

    My late husband was fanatical about his wedding ring – it also matched mine. As he lost weight when he got ill it fell off his finger and we couldn’t find it. He was so forlorn that we finally got him a new one and it made him very happy. (We eventually found his old one!

    I’m on my second one (ring, that is). Lost the original on a ski trip to Killington many years ago. As of two days ago, the marriage has survived for 47 years, though.

     

    Well done,  oldPhil. A toast to you both! (Remember the wine?)

    • #9
  10. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    My knuckles swell up and down periodically also. Sometimes my rings won’t come off, sometimes they won’t go on. So I sympathize.

    My late husband was fanatical about his wedding ring – it also matched mine. As he lost weight when he got ill it fell off his finger and we couldn’t find it. He was so forlorn that we finally got him a new one and it made him very happy. (We eventually found his old one!

    I’m on my second one (ring, that is). Lost the original on a ski trip to Killington many years ago. As of two days ago, the marriage has survived for 47 years, though.

     

    Well done, oldPhil. A toast to you both! (Remember the wine?)

    • #10
  11. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    We’re only approaching #43. As we have gotten materially wealthier during those years, Mrs. Tabby still keeps with the modest ring she started with 43 years ago. We did have to replace the diamond about 25 years ago when the original diamond fell out and was lost, but she insisted the new diamond be the same size as the original. No showy big new ring or big new diamond, despite being able to afford it. The symbolism of longevity is important to her (and to me). The ring is not a symbol of our wealth (or lack thereof). 

    [It looked really weird a few months ago when Mrs. Tabby injured her fingers doing gardening, and couldn’t get her wedding ring on for about a week. The ring is just always there, so it was quite jarring to see her hand without it there while the fingers healed.]

    • #11
  12. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    The symbolism of longevity is important to her (and to me). The ring is not a symbol of our wealth (or lack thereof). 

    Sounds like we have some similar values. That’s so nice to hear. And congratulations on #43–no small accomplishment!

    • #12
  13. Chowderhead Coolidge
    Chowderhead
    @Podunk

    Susan, put it on a nice gold chain. Don’t worry about it. Then again, I’m just a guy. My wife had said she didn’t want a giant rock on her hand. I obliged. Then she followed up with a new piano would be nice. I obliged again. 

    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Chowderhead (View Comment):

    Susan, put it on a nice gold chain. Don’t worry about it. Then again, I’m just a guy. My wife had said she didn’t want a giant rock on her hand. I obliged. Then she followed up with a new piano would be nice. I obliged again.

    What a guy, what a guy! ;-)

    • #14
  15. Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. Coolidge
    Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr.
    @BartholomewXerxesOgilvieJr

    Some years ago I lost some weight, and as a result my wedding ring became loose. A couple of times it slipped off my finger, but I’m so used to wearing it that I noticed immediately. On one occasion I lost it, or thought I did; after a few panicked minutes of retracing my steps, I discovered that it had slipped off in my jacket pocket.

    I took it to a jewelry store and asked if they could resize it, but unfortunately they said it wasn’t possible. My ring is a two-tone ring, a white gold band with a narrower gold band overlaid on it, and they told me that the only thing holding the two pieces together was that they were fitted tightly to each other. Any attempt to resize the ring would cause it to fall apart.

    I decided that I valued that ring too much to risk losing it, so I adopted a bit of psychology. I put my wedding ring in a safe place where I knew it would stay, and I bought an inexpensive titanium ring, which I considered merely a proxy. It was the one I wore on my finger and exposed to the risks of being out in the world, but it really was like a gold certificate, representing the real ring that I kept safe. It served the purpose of signaling my commitment to the world (and to my wife), but without risking the object that has meaning for me. And if I need to replace the proxy (which I actually have, with an even cheaper silicone band), no big deal.

    It’s all mind games that I play with myself, but it works for me.

    • #15
  16. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. (View Comment):

    Some years ago I lost some weight, and as a result my wedding ring became loose. A couple of times it slipped off my finger, but I’m so used to wearing it that I noticed immediately. On one occasion I lost it, or thought I did; after a few panicked minutes of retracing my steps, I discovered that it had slipped off in my jacket pocket.

    I took it to a jewelry store and asked if they could resize it, but unfortunately they said it wasn’t possible. My ring is a two-tone ring, a white gold band with a narrower gold band overlaid on it, and they told me that the only thing holding the two pieces together was that they were fitted tightly to each other. Any attempt to resize the ring would cause it to fall apart.

    I decided that I valued that ring too much to risk losing it, so I adopted a bit of psychology. I put my new wedding ring in a safe place where I knew it would stay, and I bought an inexpensive titanium ring, which I considered merely a proxy. It was the one I wore on my finger and exposed to the risks of being out in the world, but it really was like a gold certificate, representing the real ring that I kept safe. It served the purpose of signaling my commitment to the world (and to my wife), but without risking the object that has meaning for me. And if I need to replace the proxy (which I actually have, with an even cheaper silicone band), no big deal.

    It’s all mind games that I play with myself, but it works for me.

    BXO, I wouldn’t call it “mind games”; I’d call it a reasonable adjustment to protect something precious to you. I honor that.

    • #16
  17. Laura Gadbery Coolidge
    Laura Gadbery
    @LauraGadbery

    Congrats on 50! What a milestone and beautiful sentiment. 33 years here and I feel exactly the same. My humble ring represents the earlier times, purchased by my husband who was still in college and I simply can’t replace it. They call it an “upgrade” but I don’t look at it like that. Glad you could get yours repaired to your liking. Cheers to many more years together!

    • #17
  18. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Laura Gadbery (View Comment):

    Congrats on 50! What a milestone and beautiful sentiment. 33 years here and I feel exactly the same. My humble ring represents the earlier times, purchased by my husband who was still in college and I simply can’t replace it. They call it an “upgrade” but I don’t look at it like that. Glad you could get yours repaired to your liking. Cheers to many more years together!

    Thank you so very much, Laura. I’m so thrilled to hear from so many women who feel the same way about the history of their rings.

    • #18
  19. Rōnin Coolidge
    Rōnin
    @Ronin

    Susan Quinn:

     

    I took the ring to the jeweler to be sized, and it looks wonderful. And it grounds me, reminds me of so much history, and the love I have for my husband.

    I’m ready for another 50 years.

    From your lips to God’s ear, and may it be so.  I had to stop wearing my wedding band in my late 30’s as by that time I had broken my fingers so many times that they resembled sausage rolls instead of finger.  

    • #19
  20. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Rōnin (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn:

     

    I took the ring to the jeweler to be sized, and it looks wonderful. And it grounds me, reminds me of so much history, and the love I have for my husband.

    I’m ready for another 50 years.

    From your lips to God’s ear, and may it be so. I had to stop wearing my wedding band in my late 30’s as by that time I had broken my fingers so many times that they resembled sausage rolls instead of finger.

    Well, now, that is a problem! But you had good intentions, Ronin.

    • #20
  21. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. (View Comment):

    I decided that I valued that ring too much to risk losing it, so I adopted a bit of psychology. I put my wedding ring in a safe place where I knew it would stay, and I bought an inexpensive titanium ring, which I considered merely a proxy. It was the one I wore on my finger and exposed to the risks of being out in the world, but it really was like a gold certificate, representing the real ring that I kept safe. It served the purpose of signaling my commitment to the world (and to my wife), but without risking the object that has meaning for me. And if I need to replace the proxy (which I actually have, with an even cheaper silicone band), no big deal.

    It’s all mind games that I play with myself, but it works for me.

    •  

    A reasonable substitution I know a bunch of people who work around equipment and machinery, or chemicals, or animals (my son) who wear a stand-in wedding ring (often silicone).

    • #21
  22. Brian J Bergs Coolidge
    Brian J Bergs
    @BrianBergs

    Thank you for the wonderful story.  I really like my ring as well.  However, my wedding ring has the opposite problem.  I can’t get it off my finger as the knuckle has swollen so much.   Any suggestions?

    • #22
  23. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Brian J Bergs (View Comment):

    Thank you for the wonderful story. I really like my ring as well. However, my wedding ring has the opposite problem. I can’t get it off my finger as the knuckle has swollen so much. Any suggestions?

    Here’s an article with lots of suggestions. Let me know if any of them work for you! Good luck!

    • #23
  24. Brian J Bergs Coolidge
    Brian J Bergs
    @BrianBergs

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Brian J Bergs (View Comment):

    Thank you for the wonderful story. I really like my ring as well. However, my wedding ring has the opposite problem. I can’t get it off my finger as the knuckle has swollen so much. Any suggestions?

    Here’s an article with lots of suggestions. Let me know if any of them work for you! Good luck!

    Yes thank you, I have tried a number of these and failed.  The ring cutter seems to be my final option.

    Brian

    • #24
  25. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Brian J Bergs (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Brian J Bergs (View Comment):

    Thank you for the wonderful story. I really like my ring as well. However, my wedding ring has the opposite problem. I can’t get it off my finger as the knuckle has swollen so much. Any suggestions?

    Here’s an article with lots of suggestions. Let me know if any of them work for you! Good luck!

    Yes thank you, I have tried a number of these and failed. The ring cutter seems to be my final option.

    Brian

    What a shame! If you go that route, and still want to wear it, make sure it’s sized large enough!

    • #25
  26. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Brian J Bergs (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Brian J Bergs (View Comment):

    Thank you for the wonderful story. I really like my ring as well. However, my wedding ring has the opposite problem. I can’t get it off my finger as the knuckle has swollen so much. Any suggestions?

    Here’s an article with lots of suggestions. Let me know if any of them work for you! Good luck!

    Yes thank you, I have tried a number of these and failed. The ring cutter seems to be my final option.

    Brian

    Many years ago one of my classmates injured his hand (opening a sash window in the library). He was one of the few married students. Someone had the foresight to pull his wedding ring off immediately, before the fingers started to swell from the injury.  The injured classmate was very grateful for that foresight, which prevented what would likely have required the ring to be cut off if it had stayed on as the finger swelled. 

    • #26
  27. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    Many years ago one of my classmates injured his hand (opening a sash window in the library). He was one of the few married students. Someone had the foresight to pull his wedding ring off immediately, before the fingers started to swell from the injury.  The injured classmate was very grateful for that foresight, which prevented what would likely have required the ring to be cut off if it had stayed on as the finger swelled. 

    What an amazing response! Well done!

    • #27
  28. Michael Collins Member
    Michael Collins
    @MichaelCollins

    I’ve never been married, but maybe you will like this story about my mother. During vacation in New England or New York, (I can’t remember which) mothers fingers shrank a bit while swimming in the Atlantic. She was shocked to find that her ring was lost. Dad and all of us kids joined her in looking for it, but it most likely came off in the water instead of on the beach, as we couldn’t find it. When we returned to Lincoln, mother took us kids to the jewelry store to get a new ring. The salesman was a little shocked that a woman with eight kids wanted to buy a wedding ring.

    • #28
  29. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Michael Collins (View Comment):
    The salesman was a little shocked that a woman with eight kids wanted to buy a wedding ring.

    I’ll bet he was shocked! Great story.

    • #29
  30. Rōnin Coolidge
    Rōnin
    @Ronin

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Rōnin (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn:

     

    I took the ring to the jeweler to be sized, and it looks wonderful. And it grounds me, reminds me of so much history, and the love I have for my husband.

    I’m ready for another 50 years.

    From your lips to God’s ear, and may it be so. I had to stop wearing my wedding band in my late 30’s as by that time I had broken my fingers so many times that they resembled sausage rolls instead of finger.

    Well, now, that is a problem! But you had good intentions, Ronin.

    Yes, but good intentions won’t get you very far, it’s what you do in life that matters.  Stay well.

    • #30
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