It had been over a year since the last time I looked at my wedding and engagement rings, until this past week.
My daughter and I were living in the marital home until my ex signed over the deed. This was the most solid decision he could make as we were at risk of foreclosure and as the sole owner of the home, he would have been impacted the worst. Of course, even though this was the best decision made in bad circumstances, I was not ready to leave the house financially. I had seventy-three days to move and so I frantically found a place to live.
Once I actually had all our stuff in my new home I realized that with money being so tight, perhaps I should sell my wedding and engagement rings. Those beautiful and delicate objects have been stuffed away in a drawer far from sight and mind. I couldn’t bear to look at them anymore. I put the thought away though, realizing I wasn’t ready yet to say goodbye to my rings and figured once I become desperate, I would make the plunge.
But one evening as I was sitting outside near the street at a restaurant with my friend watching a couple just married taking photos I realized it was time. There they were: a tall raven-haired bride in a long strapless mermaid-style evening gown and he, the groom with short dark matching hair and a tux, hugging each other and smiling for the camera.
Seven years ago, there I was: blonde bride in a strapless Cinderella-poufy gown, and he, the groom, my ex-husband dark-haired just like Prince Charming in his tux as we kissed and hugged. We were in the exact same spot that this couple was on the exact same street, yet there they were starting their lives as a couple while mine was ending.
Why won’t I look at my old rings? I asked myself. I went home feeling dejected and angry. I hated the couple on the street. They symbolized everything I had lost and everything that is missing. I fell asleep sad that night defeated and drunk with sadness.
The next day though, I dared myself to do it. To finally admit that it’s time to sell my ring. What have I been waiting for? What does keeping my ring do? Does it give me back my marriage? No, and if it did, would I want the exact same marriage I had? Not exactly. You see, my mind has one version of this ring and what it means yet reality is very different than my fantasy version.
In my head, I remember how he asked me to marry me. My ex was actually supposed to wait a few days to ask me at our first date spot on Valentine’s Day, yet I had thought it was going to be on an earlier night and was disappointed when he didn’t ask. When a friend of mine heard my disappointment, she gave away the news that he was going to ask and so he decided to ask me sooner. I remember how I felt when he asked and how I was a giddy girl showing off my beautiful ring to everyone, and indeed, my ring is beautiful to me. It was exactly what I wanted. He was exactly what I wanted. This is the story in my mind and perhaps you—divorced women or those of you like me going through the process—also remember your story.
To you, your rings represent that story and dream of love. You remember how he asked you. You remember all your hopes and dreams in that small piece of jewelry. They’re not just rings. They’re so much more. They’re a symbol of your life, yet now that symbol is completely disconnected from the truth.
You can kid yourself all you want because believe me, accepting that that dream is gone is a hard one to do, but how can you move forward if you’re still hanging onto a dead dream? How can you make other dreams and wishes if you’ve got a ghost in your heart and in your life?
Divorcing yourself from your ring is the only sane thing to do.
You can tell me you’d like to turn the ring into something else, maybe a pair of earrings or a necklace, but do you really want to repurpose a dead dream? Won’t you just be wearing a part of your past each day? I suppose there’s no harm in that but I would wager there is something better you can do to divorce yourself from the old and move onto the new.
Some people have suggested I pass my ring on as if I really want to hand off to someone some of my “bad mojo.” Maybe it’s just me inheriting some of my Irish mother’s superstitions but … “Here’s the ring from my divorce, my loved and cherished daughter or family. Enjoy!”
Um, no thanks.
Selling your diamond ring is an amazing idea on so many levels. You’re clearing the debris of the past away and starting with a clean slate. You’re not holding onto hope desperately but rather reaching towards possibilities with strength. Selling my ring will give me money. Money I so desperately need. But is it really money that’s of the most worth here? Well, sure you can argue that yes, money is of most importance to all divorced women struggling to get their families together, but selling the ring gives you so much more than money.
It gives you a second chance at life and at love.
It’s starting at go with no baggage, no sad memories, no false expectations, and no bad vibes.
You’re getting a divorce whether your ex initiated it or you did or you both did, so stop living in the past. Join your future. It’s beautiful and it’s waiting for you. I for one will not let the image of that married couple haunt me anymore. That may not be me with a happy ending but it doesn’t mean I have to dwell in sadness forever. I have a new story to write and I can’t waste time trying to rewrite something that is already dead and gone.