07 Apr

If You Like ‘Em Put A Ring On It. Right?

Posted by Jenna, Under Married Life

When the news that Prince William wouldn’t be wearing a ring broke last week, people went cuh-ray-zy. Crazy. This lady in Chicago claims that men who don’t wear a ring are slime.

Notice anything about TH’s fingers in this picture?

No ring!

I bought him a ring off Etsy for like $30, but it’s too big and so he stopped waring it by the end of our honeymoon. H e’s never been a watch/ring person, and the ring didn’t fit him very well because I had to order it when we were living long distance and I don’t think he was sized properly. I’m pretty sure the ring is sitting in my jewelry box on my dresser? I’m not sure. If I do still have it, I plan to give it to T1 if it fits him and he wants it.

TH’s ring on our wedding day, picture courtesy of Kelli Nicole

 

I have no idea who Dr. Helen is, but I found this question on her site really interesting:

Dear Dr. Helen,

I see in the news that Prince William will not be wearing a wedding ring after marrying Kate Middleton. Is this decision different than a wife that does not take her husband’s last name?

I see many are upset at his decision but we no longer notice what I think is a similar female choice. Why? Both decisions seem of equivalent impact.

Shortwave

It’s interesting to me that Shortwave put the two issues together like that, because I didn’t change my name! I do wonder if my relaxed attitude about the name change contributes to my relaxed attitude about him deciding not to wear a ring.

Wen we got married I intended to become:

Jenna B______z

but it was so much easier to stay

Jenna Andersen

so I did!

If Prince William wants to go ring-free I don’t think we should demonize him, any more than we should be demonizing women who choose to keep their maiden names after getting married. This fight is a little bit ridiculous since wedding rings only became customary for both husbands and wives during the 20th century! Largely pushed by jewelry companies in the earlier part of the 20th century, I don’t think the tradition has the pure roots that we would all like to imagine (I realize that cultures were exchanging/wearing rings for many years before that, but it wasn’t mainstream until then).

I have no doubt that my husband is committed to me, fully. He doesn’t need to wear a piece of metal around his finger to show me that, I’d much rather he help with the baby, run his hand down the small of my back as we read scriptures together each night, or write me a love note on my birthday. Those are the kind of things Kate and William are going to need to keep their marriage strong, not an overly priced round of gold from the jewelry department at Harrods.

85 Comments


  1. When I got married, I got to keep my maiden name…Jen Anderson before…married Allan Anderson so tada! I became Jen ‘Anderson’ Anderson LOL

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  2. My Dad doesn’t wear a wedding ring either and my mom kept her last name too :)

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  3. I choose to take his name because I wanted both of us to have the same one and the same as our future children. I thought about putting them together for 5 seconds until I realized it’s hard enough for most people in the US to spell his or mine, so both together?

    As far as the ring. We live in a community with a lot of climbers. They don’t wear their rings on their fingers for their own safety. It’s well at home or somewhere with the climbing gear. Some wear it on a necklace which is a good alternative.
    I like that I have a ring because everytime I look at it I think about our wedding day and the vows we made to each other and it makes me smile. I don’t need one to feel married and commited to him but I like the symbolic.
    I chose to invest more money in that little piece of jewlery that I can wear all my life rather than in a dress I wore one day.

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  4. My husband is from Romania as were my parents, and I don’t know if it’s a European thing, but they don’t wear rings. My parents never did, neither of them. My husband has a ring that he pretty much only wears to church and special occasions. But he works in construction with his hands and wearing a ring is a hazard as it can get stuck on things and tear off his finger.

    I don’t think it’s a big deal at all, same as keeping your maiden name.

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  5. This is an interesting perspective! We picked out our rings together so that we could both be sure we were buying rings that we would both want to wear and love seeing my husband wear his wedding ring. I think I would be upset if he one day decided not to wear it. I guess I would want to know what changed. However, if from the very beginning he was anti-ring, I think thats something I would have been able to to come to terms with.

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  6. Well said! My dad has never worn a wedding band and I think he and my mom are the most committed, loving couple I know. My husband wears one, but I wouldn’t care if he stopped. I told him it was completely his choice, and he said he wanted to wear one (his dad does, and I wonder whether this is the sort of tradition that is passed through families). I also didn’t change my name and got some skeptical comments from people. I don’t feel any less committed to my husband just because we have different last names!

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  7. I think my feelings would be a little hurt if my husband didn’t wear a ring, but I’m not sure why. My father doesn’t wear a ring. Nor does my father in law. And they’ve been married happily for 39 and 40 years respectively. So I know that “not wearing a ring” doesn’t equal “not loving the wife”!

    And I thought for a long time I wouldn’t take my husband’s last name. It was a complicated and difficult decision for me. I’m glad I did it, but it wasn’t a simple choice.

    I guess it must be such a personal thing. The ring and the name change are important to us as a couple. But I can see how they might not be important to others – so I don’t see any point in getting all irate about Prince William as some people are!

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  8. My dad has never worn a wedding ring (as in, they didn’t even buy one for him) so I grew up thinking most/many men don’t wear them. It never occurred to me that it could MEAN anything. I think it’s kind of a sign of insecurity when people think that if their husband doesn’t wear a ring, he’ll cheat. Frankly, if he’s going to cheat a ring isn’t going to stop him. Whether or not he’s faithful has much more to do with what’s in his head than on his finger.

    Gogo Reply:

    Amen.

    My dad wore a wedding ring. And cheated on my mom at least twice.

    My fiance will wear a ring because he likes the outward symbolism of what he feels and believes about the commitment we’ll be making. But it’s not the ring I care about. It’s all those things that have given him the desire to wear it. And those feelings and beliefs would and could exist without the jewelry.

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  9. My dad was allergic to the white gold wedding band he and my mom picked out. He has worn a variety of silver rings that he has purchased in his lifetime of travels in Central and South America. My mom wore the original band for many years after her ring had to be cut off during her pregnancy with my twin sisters.

    I wear a $3.00 silver band that my dad had made for me in Peru. I sometimes mix it up with the engagement ring we purchased at Kohl’s for $15.00. Mr. H-B has a ring, but he found it tight and uncomfortable. Like TH, he stopped wearing it by the end of our honeymoon. My Mr. is studying to work in an industry where rings aren’t allowed for safety reasons. Like you, I’m sure he’s committed to me, so it just doesn’t matter to me if he wears a ring or not.

    I have lots of issues with the wedding industrial complex anyway, so I don’t think it came as a surprise to anyone that we went non-traditional with respect to our wedding rings. No diamonds. No gold. We always joke that instead of an engagement ring, we got an engagement mattress since that’s where we spent what we might have on jewelry.

    I knew I wanted all of us to have the same last name socially, so I legally became Firstname Maidenname Lastname. Professionally, I hyphenate Maidenname-Lastname because I had already published articles and earned several degrees as Maidenname. It’s a little unwieldy at times, but I think we made the right decision for us. The Mr. left it completely up to me, which I appreciated very much.

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  10. I am SO with you on this. I didn’t change my name and my husband doesn’t wear his ring.

    He told me from the outset that he probably wouldn’t wear it. He did try for the full two weeks of our honeymoon, but it truly drove him insane and he was constantly fidgeting with it. As I tell people who get all funny about the idea of him not wearing a ring, “Not wearing a ring doesn’t make him any less married.”

    Much like you, my husband has a difficult to pronounce Eastern European last name, whereas mine is a lovely Italian last name. I decided to keep mine because I like how it sounds and it’s easier to pronounce – it has never been an issue with my husband.

    I wish I knew why people CARE so much about these things! Live your life as you want to, but don’t freak out when others don’t, you know?

    Anna Reply:

    As someone from Eastern Europe… no fair! Who decided that Italian names are lovely :p

    (Just joking, but I actually have had people tell me to Americanize my last name because it’s “too hard to pronounce.” Well, “Bob,” your name may be easy to pronounce but in my country it’s what we call our dogs. Heheheeee)

    I still haven’t changed my last name. Was not going to originally, but now I want to when we have kids. Husband wears his ring. I like that. I don’t wear my engagement ring, and he doesn’t mind. Every family is so different… and yes, I do think it’s a European thing. Half of my male family members don’t even know where their wedding rings are :)

    Andrea Reply:

    Oh – nothing at all against Eastern European last names – I’m half-Hungarian!

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  11. Jenna, I agree with you wholeheartedly! There was a post on it over at Weddingbee, and I couldn’t believe how many girls over there thought that men who didn’t wear their rings were sketchy. I can’t imagine placing so much emphasis on something that can be easily lost or destroyed.

    My husband stopped wearing his after the first month, and I truly couldn’t care less. He’s a grown man and is allowed to do what he wants. I guess I feel like I have much bigger fish to fry in my life.

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  12. Stefanie says:

    Personally, I like to think of my husband’s ring and my ring as little declarations of our marriage. It’s less about the actual piece of jewelry and more about what it symbolizes. I actually don’t have a wedding band; I only wear an engagement ring as opposed to a set because I didn’t see the point in spending more money on a ring to fit with my e-ring (I’ve received some horrified looks over this when I explain why I don’t wear a band). And he wears a beat up old ring that he’s worn since our early days of dating (we wore matching bands back then and then I moved mine to my right hand when we got engaged). So although we both did not purchase wedding bands, we still wear rings to make a little declaration of our marriage. Plus, it makes me happy to look down at my hand and think of him.

    We both take our rings off when we workout, but otherwise, we wear them. And no, I don’t think that if he takes his ring off, he’ll magically lose his commitment to me and cheat. It would make me a bit curious if he decided to permanently stop wearing his ring for a reason other than the fit of the ring, but it wouldn’t change our marriage.

    I think it’s a highly personal and individual decision. I just wanted to give my two cents as to why my husband and I do choose to wear rings and I also wanted to say that not everyone decides to spend a ton of money on wedding bands (Obviously you know that, but I’m just getting that off my chest since, like I previously said, I’ve gotten quite a bit of flack from other women for not seeing the point in paying for a wedding band if I already have something that symbolizes my marital status).

    As an aside, he and I are both graduate students in a biomedical PhD program, and I’ve found that A LOT of men and women in academia (or at least in our field) tend to not wear rings. I’m always finding out that so-and-so is actually married, and not only is he married, but he’s married to so-and-so in the department (because most women in this field don’t change their last names either). It’s always funny to me when I find these things out.

    Stefanie Reply:

    And to address the other half of the conversation, I decided to hyphenate my last name. So I guess with my hyphenated last name, my refusal to buy a wedding band but still wearing my e-ring, and my husband wearing an old, beat up ring for his band, we represent some sort of weird compromise between the two sides…haha.

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  13. What a great post – I never would have thought of putting these two issues together!

    I didn’t change my last name but my husband wears a ring. I love seeing the ring on his finger, I just like the way his “married hand” looks. We knew from the get-go that we both wanted to wear rings – but we also both work in jobs where we aren’t in any danger from wearing jewelry. Many men where I grew up farmed, and with the machinery, it was much too dangerous to wear jewelry on their hands.

    I honestly don’t notice whether men wear them or not- I think I notice womens’ because they’re often shiny, but while my husband wears one, whether or not another woman’s husband wears one really doesn’t matter to me. To each their own!

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  14. Thanks for this. I’m not going to read that “Men who don’t wear wedding rings are slime” blog because it will probably make me mad! While my husband wears his ring and I took his last name, my anger about that article would stem from the fact that my father (a wonderful man, husband and dad) hasn’t worn a ring in over 20 years of marriage. The story goes like this: When my mother was pregnant with me, they took a family trip to the beach wherein my father shook out his towel and off! came his ring into the sand, never to be seen again. My parents were young, and poor and a ring just wasn’t a priority….and it was never really an issue. Two more kids, a house, cars, college tuition came along and the ring issue was forgetten (except at family functions when we re-tell the fun story). They have been happily, blissfully in love the entire 31 years they have been married.

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  15. I hadn’t heard, but that’s so odd that people are making such a big deal out of it! I will definitely be taking my (future) husband’s last name, but I won’t make him wear a ring if he doesn’t want one and I won’t be getting an engagement ring. I’ll probably wear a wedding band though. People get so uptight about things that don’t concern them.

    Gogo Reply:

    I didn’t really want an engagement ring either! But he wanted to give me one. So he did. And I do think it’s pretty.

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  16. Tiffany says:

    I don’t think that all men who do not wear wedding rings are slime. There likely is a portion of the men who ARE slime, but I would imagine it isn’t the majority. Even men who wear rings can take them off if they don’t want someone to know they’re married.

    For me, it means alot that my husband wears his ring. Even almost 4 years after getting married, it makes me feel special that he’s committed to me when I see that symbol on his hand.

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  17. I didn’t change my difficult to pronounce to my husband’s much, much easier to pronounce name. It was essentially a non-issue for us. As for our rings, husband wears his constantly. I had to purchase “stunt” bands to wear to work (a manufacturing/laboratory type career) when my engagement ring and wedding band started to look rough after about 2 weeks of wear. I honestly wish I only had the “stunt” bands. They are tungsten and (believe it or not) beautiful. They never scratch or need special cleaning. We could have used the money from my wedding set to go on a honeymoon. I feel a little duped for buying into the Wedding Industrial Complex tenet about wedding jewelry.

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  18. Well, you already know how I feel about it since you commented on my post about it! :) But so many people got made at me for it!

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  19. I was just thinking about this topic the other day, when I saw it on another blog.

    I think it’s a personal choice, but I *personally* would not marry someone who didn’t want to wear a ring or have some sort of outward symbol of marriage, unless it was for practical reasons (such as their job, they were allergic to the metal, etc.)

    For me, marriage is a dying institution. I believe having a public symbol is a great way of recognizing the marriage. I’ve been asked many times about my husband because people notice my ring. I’ve avoided awkward conversations in restaurants and bars when out with girlfriends (though some swear wedding rings actually attract people). It helps hold people accountable because it’s a tangible representation to them and others of the commitment. In other words – wearing a wedding ring does absolutely no harm, is the norm in our culture, and represents a beautiful & powerful bond – I don’t see a real reason for *not* wearing one (other than those I mentioned earlier).

    Does it make me wildly angry or crazy? Not at all. :) But for me, it’s a great way to celebrate marriage and I feel naked and almost vulnerable without mine? Strange, I know. If we didn’t do rings, I would be fine with doing something else representative of our life together – a tattoo or a bracelet, etc. Rings are just more practical, in my opinion.

    Christine Reply:

    I’ll give you one reason not to (beyond the allergies and jobs): Some people might feel it’s a matter of their private life, the same way some women want to be called Ms. instead of Mrs. I don’t really like the assumptions that often come up around marriage when people know I’m married. I have been patronized more since wearing a ring and I have had awkward conversations with acquaintances and relative strangers who make really negative and messed up jokes about marriage and expect me to relate. I’ve also had a lot of older men, particularly at work, who know that I’m married and default to treating me like they do their own wives, instead of the credible, professional equal that I am. These are the negative sociocultural aspects of rings, independent of marriage as an institution that I have the absolute utmost respect for. Because I believe in marriage as a public declaration, I wear rings and I love them, but I’m just saying I can see other reasons why others might not make that choice.

    Jenna Reply:

    Christine this comment was really interesting! Things I never would have thought of, but I can see how they would be very frustrating.

    Turtle Reply:

    Christine,
    I can definitely think of instances where wearing a ring professionally is negative esp for women. I would take off my ring for an interview for instance because I just don’t feel like the interviewer should be influenced by any of these factors that you describe or be allowed to guess answers to any questions they’re not allowed to ask– such as do you have plans to have children any time soon? However, I personally have found that my ring and married status in general has overall made getting along and being a part of the “boy’s club” at work easier– I’m not available as a sexual partner, so being married has diffused any tension along those lines and I think made it easier for me to be brought into the conversation as an equal. I think it’s really interesting how an outward sign such as a ring brings out these gender issues.

    Christine Reply:

    Maybe our different experiences are a factor in the ages of the men we’re dealing with? The average age of men in my organization is 40, with many nearing 50 and I’m under thirty. I think it would be different if I was working more with men my own age.

    Momfish Reply:

    Christine – I think you make interesting points about sociocultural aspects too – none of which I’ve really experienced. Unfortunately, I would not remove my ring in order to have “privacy” – I would educate these people as much as possible, and then ignore the rest.

    I am not going to let negativity dictate whether or not I wear the wedding ring my husband gave me. The same way I don’t let negativity dictate how I choose to dress, act, etc. as a woman (married or not).

    But yes, for other people, that is perfectly fine/acceptable – as I said, it *is* a personal choice. Just not my choice.

    Christine Reply:

    Yeah, it’s not realy a good career move in my line of work to try and educate people on these issues, unfortunately, especially when a lot of it can be very subtle to point of potentially being unconscious to the person doing it. For sure this depends on the specific interaction though, I can’t really generalize. I certainly don’t stay silent if people try to imply things about MY marriage, for example. I *try* to just ignore the rest:-)

    Tiffany Reply:

    I find this so interesting. I can definitely see how people assuming you’ll have kids and it will be inconvenient would make sense. I think this can happen regardless though just by being a young woman regardless of being married.

    For me, when I got married, it actually helped me a little with work to be wearing a ring. I look my age or younger, but have worked up to a more senior position so I think it makes my clients or others at my organization realize I am not just a new college grad since it isn’t common in my area for a new college grad to be married.

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  20. Oh but I wanted to add that I don’t agree with the idea that we “have to” wear rings and that it’s all tied in with the jewelry industry. I think that if you feel that way (you meaning anyone, not YOU Jenna), that you shouldn’t exchange rings at all. What’s the point in the exchange, you know?

    When Michael and I exchanged rings and said our self-written vows, it attached meaning to those bands. It’s not about the monetary value. His was quite cheap, actually!

    My biggest issue with it (and I admit, I didn’t know it was basically standard in the UK) is that it seems one sided — that the woman is expected to wear the ring while the man isn’t. To each their own, I suppose, but that’s just how I feel.

    Phew, longest comment ever!

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  21. My dad hasn’t worn a wedding ring my whole life. I think he had one when my parents were first married, but never really wore it. My mom occasionally wears an engagement style anniversary ring my father got her for their 20th anniversary, but no wedding band. My parents have been happily married for 37 years, no jewelery needed.

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  22. I like the comparison of the two questions.

    I took Hunni’s last name because it was easier for our ministry (we are both pastors) and our future children.

    He wears a ring because he’s a sweetheart and liked the symbolism for our marriage and to keep the ladies we work with from hitting on him…most of the time. Plus I inscribed our wedding date and how to say “I love you” in Spanish so he can’t forget.

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  23. My husband and I started out wearing our wedding rings, but over time we both gradually stopped wearing them. Why? Because, frankly, they got in the way. Neither one of us are into jewelry and I got tired of getting crud stuck around my diamond, not to mention I’d always manage to scratch one of my children with it by accident. It’s been a couple years now since I wore my rings on a daily basis and I don’t miss them at all (I will wear them for special occasions though). Despite us not wearing them my marriage is as strong as ever. And for us, I think not wearing our rings does for us what wearing rings does for other people. We feel like we’re sticking it to society, like we’re yelling “See here! WE don’t wear rings and we are STILL devoted to each other!” It’s kind of empowering. But that’s just us. And I did change my last name, it was something I’d always wanted to do. Getting married the summer after my freshman year of college helped avoid any confusion too:) I’ve pretty much had my husband’s last name my entire adult life.

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  24. I tried to respond to Stefanie above, but for whatever reason the site won’t let me list my name/email in a nested reply and ate my comment. Bah!

    To start off, these comments reflect only my experience and preference/ymmv/etc etc etc.

    My husband and I both wear matching bands (I have an engagement ring but rarely wear it and am ambivalent about the entire e-ring thing in general, but that’s not terribly relevant here) all of the time except when we are working out or hiking/camping.

    This is something I feel very strongly about, and I would have had a difficult time accepting my husband not wearing a ring for anything other than practical/safety reasons (and even then, it’s not like he works 24/7 and therefore has no way he could possibly ever wear a ring).

    I harbor no illusions that wearing a ring keeps my husband faithful. (And really, I’ve never heard that argument made by someone advocating wearing rings. It’s cited by people who don’t think it’s a big deal, but never by people who do, in my experience.) His commitment to our marriage keeps him faithful and it’s not tied to a piece of metal.

    But! I value that he is stating his commitment to the world every time he walks out our front door. I value that I do the same. I also appreciate that we wear matching bands– it speaks to the equality of our relationship. For me, bands aren’t supposed to be glamorous or bling-y. They’re reminders of a commitment made and a tangible connection to a partner. I think of them as little workhorses, not as ornamentation.
    (Perhaps there is something slightly territorial about all of this, but that doesn’t bother me. Except for folks who are poly, our spouses are our exclusive sexual/relational territory! There’s no shame in this.)

    Furthermore, I do not think men not wearing rings can be equated to women not changing their names. Historically (and America is the only culture which I can comment on here; it’s also the pertinent culture for my situation), men have not worn wedding bands and women have. Women have also been expected to adopt their husband’s names. This is all very tightly tied to historical notions of marriage, gender, and patriarchy/coverture. Men not wearing rings and women not changing their names are historically tied to completely opposite sides of this debate.
    Therefore, in a macro (though not necessarily in a micro–again, ymmv etc etc) sense, these decisions cannot be separated from their past.

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  25. Ha. Neither I nor my BF plans on wearing rings when we get married. I am not a jewelry person and I can’t stand anything on my hands or fingers so I’d play with the thing and lose it in a week! I hate diamonds and have no desire for an expensive engagement ring. If I did end up getting something just to have it, I’d want to spend no more than about $50 and since I can’t wear anything but gold reliably because of metal allergies, that’s not going to happen. Also, I definitely don’t plan to change my name.

    Jenn R Reply:

    Jess – my husband and I both wear plain ol’ yellow gold bands. Together they cost less than $200. I think mine was closer to $50. I like them because they’re simple and traditional (my parents and my grandparents all wore gold bands) – but the fact that they were inexpensive didn’t hurt either. Just saying. (Oh – and I didn’t change my name either!)

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  26. My husband and I both wear rings and they are very important to us. Both of us would be very upset if we lost a ring or the other person decided not to wear it.

    My father is a mechanic and has been wearing his ring on a chain on his neck since the beginning. My husband might have to take this route eventually as he is a med student, but I know he will keep wearing it.

    As far as changing names goes, to each their own. Personally, it was an important part of creating our new family. Plus, I’ve seen the awkwardness/confusion that ensues when a mom has a different last name than her kids. The convenience factor was enough for me to change it, but I actually prefer my new last name anyway!

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  27. My dad never wore a wedding ring and for years, I thought that men just didn’t wear rings. When I realized that some did, I asked my mom and she said “oh he just doesn’t like jewelry.” They’ve been married 35 years and it’s worked just fine for them. :)

    My husband wears a ring. I like that he does. But if he hadn’t wanted to wear one, it wouldn’t have changed anything. I know he’s committed to our relationship and that’s what matters.

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  28. kimberly says:

    we both wear wedding bands. I like seeing the ring we picked out for him on his finger. It means he’s mine..jk but I like that guys wear a ring it’s a outward symbol but I also think it’s a personal choice/decision between husand and wife. Also I hypenated my name, it’s long now and our kids will hate us but I am the last of my name and I didn’t want it to die with me…DH is thinking of ading my name to his legally so it won’t be as weird.

    Maranda Reply:

    I am the last person in my family with my last name. When the time comes that parents pass. I will be the only one left and If I change my last name that Line will cease to exist. I will most likely hyphenate.
    I would also encourage my FH to wear a ring. I would prefer that he did but if the circumstances arrise where he can’t, I wouldnt mind.

    Stephanie C Reply:

    This is something I considered, too and the reason why I waited so long to change my own name. In my family, the mother’s maiden name is the child’s middle name so we will share that together :)
    Not trying to change your mind, just something I remembered!

    Emily Reply:

    My mom just has a sister and her dad is an only child, so their last name was going to “die out” in our line with my mom’s generation. My mom took her maiden name as her middle name when she got married to preserve it a bit longer, and it’s my cousin’s middle name. I also plan to pass it on as a middle name for one of my children.

    I took my husband’s last name, but use my maiden name as my middle name (dropping my original middle name, which is my mom’s first name, Elisabeth…guess we’re not too creative since we keep reusing names!). Now that I think of it, maybe I should have made my husband take my last name, since he has 5 brothers to carry on his name, and I only have one! :)

    And finally, my husband does wear his ring… I like it! I think it’s kinda hot! :) We went together to pick it out because I wanted him to have something he liked, so he would want to wear it!

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  29. My dad doesn’t wear a wedding ring – he was a teacher and part of the time, he taught industrial arts, and it was a safety hazard to wear a ring.

    My fiance wants to wear a ring, but I wouldn’t expect him to. I think it’s a personal choice! I can’t believe all the fuss over the announcement that William won’t wear a wedding band – it’s 2011. It’s his personal choice. Geeezh.

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  30. Can I offer a single girls perspective to this conversation? Men wearing wedding rings make it easier for me to determine who’s off limits. The cute guy on the train with no ring…yeah, he’s fair game to flirt shamelessly with. It’s hard enough to be single out there as it is without getting my hopes up over men that aren’t available.

    Marissa C Reply:

    Having a wedding ring has been helpful in staving off the creepy 40 year old dude at Home Depot :)

    Meg Reply:

    Amen to that!

    Jenna Reply:

    Very valid point for all of us non-important people. For Prince William though, something tells me that wouldn’t be a problem. Haha!

    Marissa C Reply:

    Haha, well it isn’t going to stop some people either way! Poor dude. I don’t envy them at all.

    Stefanie Reply:

    This is exactly what I thought! It’s not like anyone in the entire world won’t know that he’s taken…so it’s not such a big deal that he (specifically) isn’t going to wear a ring.

    Stephanie C Reply:

    For some people this would just encourage flirting :\ And it has happened to both my husband and I.

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  31. Adam doesn’t wear a ring.
    He tried.
    He hated it.
    We even had it sized and he still doesn’t like it. HE will wear it to church…but that is about it.

    I changed my last name on accident….Now I am trying to decide what to do!
    ha ha…

    ♥ Celina

    QUESTION of the day- If our cultural heritage worth {$360?}

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  32. I changed my last name and we both buy a ring. That was an expectation I always had even as a child and so did he. I don’t demonize anyone who chooses to do different.

    But my heart flutters and my ovaries rev up (maybe that’s why we have two babies in two years) when I see my husbands ring on his finger. I love feeling it with my finger tips when we hold hands, I love when it shines in the son and most of all..I love when he is holding our daughter and I see it..It’s a symbol that is very dear to my heart.

    Meg Reply:

    *buy= wear

    Meg Reply:

    *son=sun (Oh man I can’t spell today!)

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  33. Neither one of us wear a ring anymore, we’re just not jewelry people. I have a very nice set in my jewelry box, and dh lost 7 or 8 before we gave up on him, lol. I wore it for a few years, but then quit. We still love each other very much, and the one time a girl flirted with him, he made sure to mention his wife :)

    Of all things to complain about…

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  34. My husband and I both wear rings, and I took his last name. I felt sort of ambivalent about taking his name or not, and he said he would like me to, so I did.

    I don’t really remember any ring discussions we had about his ring. I know that he likes his ring, and it’s really the only jewelry he wears (or has ever worn).
    When we first got married, we were still living in our college town, and hew as a bartender. I trusted him implicitly, but I know the ring helped stave off SOME of the drunk flirtations that were thrown his way.

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  35. My husband and I picked out his ring at a store on Mackinac Island. I think it cost $10 with tax. He wears it to work and takes it off when he gets home. He’ll go days without wearing it. I’m guilty as well, he bought me a beautiful diamond engagement ring, a diamond wedding band, and a plain thin white gold band to wear. I usually only wear the plain band. If anything I’ll wear my pretties on the weekend, if I remember to put them on!

    Rings are a symbol of marriage, and all of ours were a part of our ceremony, but wearing or not wearing them has no bearing on our marriage. We are married, with or without a piece of metal on a specific finger.

    That being said, I do tease my husband when he forgets to put it on while we are on vacation. Nothing like rockin’ big sparkly rings and having the hotel check in person look at you like you’re a brazen hussy because your man isn’t wearing his ring!

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  36. Great post! I’ve never equated the two subjects before, but I agree that they are similar in equality, but only if you think wearing a ring as a symbol of your marriage is the same as changing your last name as a symbol of your marriage. I happen to not go for either of these things. I didn’t change my last name and my husband doesn’t wear a ring, but not for any particular reason. (He has one which we both thought was stylish and attractive, but he fidgets with it too much and it became more of a toy to play with and bounce around and lose than a wearable item.) I sometimes wear my ring, I sometimes don’t, it usually depends on how it matches my mood, outfit, habits for the week, etc. I think my ring is beautiful, and I’m glad M bought it for me as part of the tradition of becoming engaged, but I have never thought of it as a required item to wear in order for my marriage to be valid, strong, etc. Though I CAN say that there have been a few times (Michael was not with me) when I wished I was wearing it so that I could “prove” that I was married instead of having to assert “I PROMISE I’m married and not being a jerk/lying to you/even though I look really young.” Haha.

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  37. My parents have been happily married for 32 years and I don’t think my dad ever had a ring to start with and my mom has always just worn a band, whether it be her original wedding band or an upgrade my dad gave her for another occasion. I remember thinking it was odd to see men with wedding rings because the men in my life – uncles, older cousins, family friends – none of them seem to wear them either. I’m pretty sure it’s just as common to not wear one as it is to wear one, although maybe it’s a European thing (I’m English).

    I’m sure all the men (and women!) who wear rings are 100% committed and faithful, right? Jewelry definitely does not define a relationship. In the end, it’s just a material object and while it can be very significant and has a lot of meaning to the wearer, if it happened to get lost or damaged the relationship would still be the same.

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  38. Before we married I explained to my husband that my last name was very special to me. It came from my Grandfather. My mother remarried after my sister and I were born so we were both given our Grandfather’s last name. Women are a majority in our family and we have only one male to pass on our Grandfather’s wonderful name. So my sister and I always felt strongly about keeping his name. So I hyphened my name when I got married. My husband was very excited about me taking on his name (which I still do not fully understand) so he understood my feelings but of course had his own strong feelings of his own last name. But I kept my last name and added on his last name…I love it.

    Now our rings, again my husband was more excited about our rings. I’m not crazy about diamonds but they are very beautiful (does that make sense) So he knew the cut, color and clarity…I didn’t. I found a unique silver band for him with an etched “shadowbox” design that I felt he would admire. Then I tracked down a local praised Silversmith that could size up the band and touched it up beautifully, it turned out even better. People always noticed his ring and complimented him on it.

    So with all the effort to plan & purchase our rings, I felt like wearing them daily was damaging our rings, so slowly we began to only wear them on holidays or special occassions.

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  39. I’ve found this whole thing very interesting…I have to agree that a ring isn’t necessarily a sign of commitment or lack of…I know plenty of happily married couples where one or both doesn’t wear a ring and unfortunately I also know couples where both of them wear a ring and their relationship is not very good…

    My grandfather never wore a ring and I remember asking about it – he was a farmer so there were practical reasons for not wearing a ring – but he also said that it wasn’t really common practice for men to wear rings until after WWII…

    My husband wears his ring all the time. I wear A ring most of the time…my wedding rings haven’t fit since I had my daughter and I haven’t had them resized…

    I half took my husband’s name. In BC we can assume any name we like…so I have my name on all my identification, our banks accept my name, his name or both names, I use his name in all social settings, but I still use my name professionally. It was too much of a hassle to change that…I think I probably would have just changed it if it weren’t for that. My maiden name is long and no one can spell it or pronounce it (even though you say it like it’s written and write it like it sounds) and his name is short and never gets mispronounced…

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  40. Yeah I definitely don’t care what they do. I want my husband to wear his ring but if he decided he didn’t want to then that’s fine too. People get so weird.

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  41. My husband wears his ring, but not at work. He’s also lost his original ring and I bought him a new one. I gave him the choice and he chose to have another one. He really enjoys wearing it.

    But I didn’t change my name. I have too much digital stock in my old name, and his name is too common for me to get anything clear. We agreed that the kids would have his name, and that was that.

    What I love about this is that I’m in web software and constantly making logins. my initial + his name is my secret login! Although work people think my name is my married name and my husband’s name is my maiden name. I enjoy explaining it. :)

    We also have an engineer friend who has a Celtic pattern tattooed around his finger as his “band”, which I’ve always thought was cool.

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  42. Talathia says:

    I’m getting married in October and I won’t be taking his last name; for no reason, other than I like my maiden name. I’ve always been MaidenName and I just don’t want to separate from that. IF we have kids, they will have his last name. At that point I may re-evaluate if I’ll add his last name to mine or not.

    He’s never worn jewelry, but he’s expressed an interest in wearing his ring, which has already been purchased. We went together and picked out BOTH of our rings (my wedding/engagement and his wedding band). However, if he decides he doesn’t like the way it feels, or simply, just doesn’t want to wear it, I won’t be bothered by it.

    I wear my engagement ring most of the time, only because I *WANT* to. I love looking down and seeing my ring. It makes me incredibly happy and giddy to think that I’ll be his wife very soon and that he will be my husband.

    Whether or not we wear our rings will not change our commitment to one another.

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  43. Not sure if anyone mentioned this yet, but isn’t Prince W. a pilot? My husband is a pilot and is warned often not to fly with his ring on because apparently it’s super easy to chop your finger off. Not sure how, not sure why the cockpit is any more dangerous than anywhere else, but it’s a rule. I could care less if he wears it or not.

    In re: changing one’s name I was strongly opposed to it, changed it because my husband felt so strongly and now 1.5 years later I am still a little bitter about it.

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  44. I agree with you. My husband has a wedding band, but he doesn’t wear it on the correct finger because it’s uncomfortable. I told him I didn’t care what finger he wore it on. But, it’s funny because we’ve been married for a year and a half and people are CONSTANTLY commenting about him not wearing the ring on the correct finger. They act like I should be devastated and offended. I trust my husband, who cares? I mean, if a married man wanted to cheat, that ring isn’t going to stop him. I think you’re going to see a lot more men opting to not wear a wedding band in the future.

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  45. This whole conversation (post and comments) has been so interesting!

    My husband wears a wedding ring but we actually fought about it before the wedding because….. *I* didn’t want him to wear one! My dad does not wear one (he has a chain instead) and frankly I just hate the look of rings on men. Now that we’re married though he never takes his (plain gold) ring off. He loves wearing it and I have to admit that I like it too! But if (god forbid) I ever have to get married again I definitely wouldn’t care if my husband didn’t want to wear one.

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  46. Mu husband’s wedding band is too big for him… so he wears it on his middle finger. It brings of plenty of jokes, but he likes wearing it, and honestly – I like seeing it on his hand.

    I like wearing my rings. My engagement ring has my mother’s diamond in it, and the band is just so pretty.

    Neither of us were “ring people” before we got married, but it works for us now. :)

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  47. This is an interesting conversation because my fiance and I just picked out our wedding bands. I would like to see my FI wear a ring when we are married, but I am practical and am fine if he does not. He is a landscaper and works manual labor with his hands all day. We aren’t sure what this means for his wedding band. He is planning to try it out and see if he feels comfortable wearing it. My father is a well driller and has been pulled up the machine by his finger when it got caught on his band. He hasn’t worn a ring ever since. Either way I’m sure that our marriage wouldn’t be compromised just because a wedding band isn’t worn.

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  48. Stephanie C says:

    Interesting topic! When my husband and I got married I kept my name because I couldn’t decide if I wanted to hyphenate or just keep my name. After a year I decided to take his last name and move maiden name to my middle (which means I have two first, and two middle names!).
    My husband ALSO doesn’t wear a ring. He doesn’t like jewelry, and the only thing he wears is his medical bracelet. So he got my name tattooed on his wrist. While I have an engagement ring, I don’t have a wedding band. I also have his name tattooed on my foot.
    Everyone does it differently and if it works for the couple, then who are we to interject?

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  49. I know plenty of woman who choose not to wear wedding rings, as well. I am not a ring person, per se, however I wore one since my husband and I picked out a very pretty, simple diamond eternity band. My husband also wore a ring, and I left that decision up to him since I didn’t think it was that big a deal. I must say that it did make me happy that he wanted to wear one. I chose to take my husband’s name because it was very unusual. We ended up getting divorced and I am back to using my maiden name. If I ever get married again, I will not change my name–and I may also not wear a ring.

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  50. Interesting discussion! My husband has a ring, but wears it infrequently. He is an electrician, and can’t wear it to work. When he does wear it, I think it’s sexy, but whether he wears a ring or not doesn’t bother me. Our committment is more than wearing a ring. I wear my rings most days, but have gone days without them, especially if I am digging around in the garden.

    I also kept my name. I always think it’s funny that people think spouses with different names can get confusing, but I am not sure how many cultures expect the wife the assume the husband’s name. For example, in the province of Quebec, women keep their surname after marriage. So do most middle eastern and Indian women. Interesting!

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      I'm a farm-raised almost-crunchy stroller-pushing picture-taking lifestyle-blog-writing gastronomy-obsessed divine-seeking thrift-store-combing cheese-inhaling pavement-pounding laughter-sprinkling lover of individuality and taking chances.
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