I grew up seeing the value and importance of marriage. Not in my own household, but definitely from the likes of family and friends. If I wanted to know whether someone was married or not, I’d glance at their left hand. No ring, no spouse. Pretty simple, and even more, self-explanatory. Or so I thought.

I remember swearing up and down this guy at my church wasn’t married—couldn’t be. I did the subtle glance at the left hand, nothing. While his actions weren’t ever inappropriate, during our many casual conversations, he never mentioned his wife. Ever. When I finally found out he was indeed married, I was taken aback. I completely lost all respect for him. Even though our relationship was strictly platonic, just the mere thought of me possibly being interested in a married man was enough for me to pluck my eyeballs out.

Over the last couple of years I’ve noticed an increase of missing rings from very married couples. And if you take a look at some of our favorite celebrity twosomes (Will and Jada, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Carmelo and Lala, etc.), almost none of them wear their wedding rings. If you do catch a glimpse of the diamond, it’s most likely on the hand of the bride and not the groom.

This brought up an array of questions in my mind.

Are wedding rings not deemed necessary anymore? Is it this new age of freedom and understanding that makes it acceptable for your spouse to not have to wear their ring? Does the ring even hold the same amount of value as it did in our parents’ and grandparents’ generation? And I know what most will argue, a ring won’t stop the infidelities. I get it. I really do. But infidelities aside, to exchange vows and place upon my finger the very symbol of what those vows supposedly mean only to decide not to wear the ring, feels like a slap in the face. It is a blatant disregard of feelings and the ultimate disrespect.

Let’s be real, while you may be secure enough to handle your husband not wearing his ring, why should you have to? Where is the mandate?

Tell us, is the wedding ring a thing of the past? Would you be okay if your husband decided not to wear his ring? We’re listening!

 

  • EmpressDivine

    According to the question there seems to be an assumption that all women want to wear the ring too. If I do get married I don’t think I would wear a ring. Mostly because I’m clumsy as hell and tend to lose isht and I just don’t think it’s that deep. I understand what it means to some couples especially those that value “tradition” but I have never been a traditional girl.

    I think the author (unintentionally) hit the nail on the head: “to exchange vows and place upon my finger the very symbol of what those vows supposedly mean.” The keyword here is SYMBOL. Since when did symbols start having more importance than the actual vows themselves? If my future husband decides not to wear the ring then I’ll say cool. We’ll symbolically be on the same page cuz I won’t have one on either. Lol!

  • http://www.estavamorioka.com Estava Morioka

    Call me old fashioned but…Wedding Rings Are A Must! Celebrity couples who dont wear their rings are kind of in a class of their own. A wedding ring symbolizes the unity of marriage and most importantly tells everyone (singles) that this person is spoken for. But celebrities dont need to send out the message via a wedding ring because the message was already plastered over every blog, magazine, and gossip show. Everyone ALREADY knows. It is pretty lame that these guys dont wear their rings, but do they really have to? Everyone already knows they’re married.
    Btw, I would have been peeved at the guy at church too.

  • http://birdiztheword.blogspot.com Jay

    I raised my eyebrow as soon as I saw the title. I absolutely think wedding bands are necessary. It’s a token of love from one to the other commemorating the date you tied your soul to your partner’s. It’s almost like saying “I don’t want the world to know I belong to someone”. It’s ridiculous. I can halfway understand why celebs don’t wear their rings because most likely its some huge rock that cost millions but come on, how much does it take to go get a smaller ring to wear in public? Furthermore, why even bother getting a huge rock that you only wear around the house? At least Bey & Jay got tattoos, that’s saying their at least acknowledging their vows.

    I don’t know if its just me but I still have that old fashioned love in mind. Where both (husband and wife) are proud to be married and want to show the world how much they love each other.Where wedding rings are a symbol of sentiment. I would be so hurt if my future husband didn’t want to wear a band so much so I can probably say it would be a serious deal breaker. It would just make me feel as if, being married to me wasn’t something he treasured and I can’t have that.

  • http://AirInDanYell.tumblr.com Erin

    Being that I work in jewelry… I love looking at people’s rings. I think the plain gold bands that older couples wear are the sweetest things imaginable, I love the new age stainless steel and titanium bands younger men are wearing, and I enjoy seeing the shapes and settings of women’s engagement rings and bands. With all that being said, I don’t think it’s mandatory for anybody to wear their ring at all times. Sometimes people lose their rings, sometimes their fingers are too big/too small, sometimes people forget to put them on. You never really know the circumstances. What I do think is important is for people to at least acknowledge their marriages/spouses… just like you said you were upset that the man at your church didn’t EVER mention his wife. SMH. With all the celebrity couples that you mentioned above, we all KNOW they’re married… if one doesn’t, they have to be living under a rock. Don’t Beyonce and Jay-Z have tattooed bands? There are a lot of new age ways to symbolize being married in this day and age. It’s really up to the couples.

  • liz

    ehh its just a ring, people don’t really have to wear it, just as a woman does not have to wear white or even a dress on the wedding day. What ever works for a couple . People might think I am weird for this, but I would want my husband to give me a necklace instead since I own a bunch of those but I never buy rings. Its a preference thing.

  • liz

    Also, this is just a personal thought but a person’s love or devotion to another shouldn’t really be tied down to something so material. I mean what if you lost the ring? Wouldn’t you still show your love to the other person, and wouldn’t it still be obvious to those around you who your wife/husband is?

  • Alexandra

    I used to look at left ring fingers to determine if one was married or not, but not anymore of course. Especially examining my own parents. They’ve been married for over 26 years now and neither of them wear their rings. My father lost his band years ago. I accidentally threw my mothers ring down the drain when I was younger and my father replaced it, but then she lost it at work & ever since they haven’t worn any rings. My sister wears her ring around her neck and my friend wears her ring on her right ring finger, instead of the traditional left. I don’t think rings are a thing of the past, I just think people are doing what they see fit; also remember there are some traditions where rings aren’t used as they are in the west. From tats, to necklaces, etc everyone is doing their own thing. If I had a husband I would be ok if he didn’t wear a ring. I think the marriage/relationship is more important than the ring. At one point in my parents marriage, the ring(s) were the last things (as they are) they were worried about.

    Also agree with liz.

  • Tomi-chan

    I agree with you completely. I hate how expensive the whole wedding shebang has to be. Who do you need to prove your love to?

  • Tami

    I like the symbol of a wedding ring, letting the world know you are taken. As a single woman, I often glance at a man’s ring finger to see if a wedding band exists, which means I can flirt. If I see that ring, I do not even try to flirt. That means hands off. I know lots of folks don’t wear rings anymore, and if a person tells me they are married, I will back off. When I was married, me & my husband wore rings. We both thought of them as symbols of our love…Of course, the marriage & how you treat one another is more important than the ring, but I just think it’s a nice touch.

  • msinformed4

    I don’t think wearing a ring is for the couple, necessarily, i think its for the disrespectful lurkers. I currently live in Japan, and here the wearing of wedding rings is relatively a new idea. Mostly, younger couples wear them, but older couples don’t. I agree that jewelry, doesn’t determine fidelity, but I do believe having a reminder, may cause one to think twice. Society has placed more value on the cost, class, and cut of a ring, than what it stands for. Personally I like simple statements, taken.

  • LemonNLime

    I say to each their own. Personally I don’t want a ring just because I HATE having anything on my fingers. It would be a waste of money for something I would never wear or would probably lose anyway. Plus don’t think a piece of jewelry proves my commitment to someone. At one time I was thinking a necklace might work but then I changed my mind about that because I have some amazing necklaces that I don’t want to give up just the wear a marriage necklace all the time. Btw I told my mom about not wanting a ring but maybe a necklace and to see her reaction you would thought I told her I was planning on having a human sacrifice at my rehearsal dinner! But she is pretty conservative and very religious so for her she just couldn’t understand.

  • Future Mrs. Banks

    I’m not so much of a traditional girl but for wedding rings are a must. Ours are a bit different my future hubby had them designed. My engagement ring is platinum but our wedding rings will be titanium and ours rings interlock. But rings don’t really cost depending on where you go, not big on Tiffany’s or Tacori. Something that is special for the couple has meaning for them should be the focus point not just to spend unusual amounts of money to try to out shine the next. I have friends who have tattoos because of her husband’s job he can’t where jewelry so they opted for tattoos of their wedding date on each traditional ring finger. I like the idea/symbolism of rings every time I look at mine reminds me of how he proposed and makes me a little teary eyed at times.

  • Rastaman

    Wear the ring, not wear the ring not really a big deal in the scheme of things. Writer was offended church brother did not wear his wedding band because she was feeling him. Not his fault, he being married does not make him less attractive maybe if she took the time to ask she would have learned he was married.

    People have to understand that what people do within their relationships is their business. It is not up to society to dictate behavior that does not harm the public good. This need to force others to conform to an individual’s view of how thing should be is a too much. Why do some of us spend so much time in imposing our social mores on others especially around behavior that does not affect your life in the least? Especially as so much time is invested in excusing poor or irresponsible behaviors that does have an impact on how we live.
    Save the outrage for things that matter, it makes for greater credibility.

  • LadyLove

    Some of these comments made me laugh. How can someone choosing not to wear a ring be a dealbreaker? This is yet another example of some women who focus and nit pick at little things instead of looking out for the real stuff.

    Some men (and women) dont like jewellery. If the man who loves, adores, respected and is loyal to you doesnt wanna wear a ring – so what??? While some women are so busy fussing over making statements with rings, they are marrying shady men.
    See the light, all this msall stuff is just there to distract you. Once the base is solid, the extras will come.
    Strive for a loving and commited relationship instead of a ring and a
    “romantic” proposal story to brag to your girls about.

    #peace

  • whylie2010

    Yes, married people should wear their wedding band/ring.

  • http://anyeverynothing.com C

    We both only have wedding bands and we pretty much never wear them. I think my husband wore his about 4 months & I wore mine up until about the year mark – but it doesn’t bother me one way or the other. At the end of the day a wedding band won’t stop someone from being dishonest/unfaithful, so when men hit on me – I’m up front about the fact that I’m married & I trust that my husband does the same.

  • KingJason

    I don’t like jewelry outside of a watch but I will wear it to certain functions because I think she feels good about that.

  • KingJason

    …and I like being able to flash it when I feel a woman is coming on outside my comfort zone.

  • LemonNLime

    That’s funny bc my granfather would do the same thing! That or just stick to my granmother like glue. Does it work? I’m sure there are some “women” who that just gets them going more.

  • Nadell

    If not wearing them post the date of your wedding, then what’s the point of purchasing them in the first place??? I can’t get w/ this new concept.

  • @Ebony_Amour

    I agree with EmpressDivine and Liz. It’s just a Ring. A lot of people get so caught up in tradition and symbolism that we disparage what’s most important. A man is willing to love, provide, and build a family with you, yet you’re offended because he doesn’t wear a ring on a specific finger? That’s sillier than wearing a white dress with your Kids in the wedding. Some things just need to be let go of.
    As mentioned above, if he’s going to cheat, a ring won’t stop him nor a woman who could care less about YOUR marriage vows. As longs as he Values and Respects ME and our Relationship, we can leave the wedding band at the store.

  • @Ebony_Amour

    #Cosign

  • Hey!

    My ring doesn’t stop the wrong kind of man from approaching me. Up north, most honest men don’t even bother to look! They will ask if I’m taken first…smh.

    In the south things are differn’t, the first thing they will say is, Oh I see you’re taken!

  • 4real

    I take the train to and from work and there is no way I would wear my 2+ carat diamond ring on the subway. Some nut was cutting womens’ fingers off to get their rings not too long ago. My husband works with his hands and if he was putting the ring on and off all day, he would surely loose it. We are happily married and have been for over 10 years. It is a piece of jewelry–no more, no less. You shouldn’t need anything materialistic to signify your love.

  • Leanee Beanie

    It is not *mandatory*, as the writer put it, but I do expect him to wear it. If he forgets to wear it sometime, then OK, that is fine. I take mine off every night and a couple of times per month I might forget to put it back on in the morning, and it is the same with him, too. His commitment is far more important to me than him wearing the ring. I want him to wear it as a habit, but if he just decides to not wear every blue moon then I wouldn’t be upset. As long as he conducts himself as a faithful married man and remembers his vows to me, then I’m happy. But if he decided that he would never wear his ring, then I’d be suspicious and concerned.

    He sort of set the standard for ring wearing in our marriage from the get-go. The first time he saw me without mine, he asked me why I didn’t have it. Ever sine then I wear mine 99 percent of the time,and the same with him.

    I do notice that when either one of us forgets our rings, we have more extra friendly people of the opposite sex trying to make conversation than when we do wear the rings.

  • Culturally Aware

    I co-sign everything you said Jay!

  • binks

    I agree, I don’t think it is a slap in the face to your vows or disrespectful to not wear your ring. It is a matter of personal preference it isn’t mandatory. Besides, I ‘am starting to see both men and women not opting for rings not just men and most of these couples have been married for 15+ years. I’ am not really a ring girl in general so I can’t picture myself wearing a wedding ring daily. Yes, the wedding ring is a symbol that your married but at the end of the day it is a physical symbol and that doesn’t nearly scratch the emotional and spiritual symbols your love/marriage is suppose to be build upon. Sometimes we are such a sticker for tradition that we miss the beauty of change.

  • Sami Swan Thompson

    Wedding rings, in my opinion, are beautiful tokens of love, worn at an individual’s pleasure – not a required announcement of marital status. My husband has never worn a wedding ring; he’s a cartoonist and draws all day. In fact, he doesn’t wear any jewelry at all. I’ve never had any reason to doubt his fidelity; we’ve been married for 36 years.
    I wore my wedding ring for the first few years of our marriage, but ended up taking it off because I was a legal secretary and typed for up to 10 hours a day. Even a lightweight ring was too heavy under the circumstances. No one ever mistook me as being anything except VERY married and completely devoted to my family. Now I have neurological dystrophy and can’t wear rings of any kind, because my hands swell and I suffer from chronic pain. But I feel just as married as ever.
    Please don’t fall into the trap of mistaking jewelry for devotion. Read someone’s heart, not his/her fingers.

  • Krmn87

    Tell me about it – I am surprised no one else gave her the side eye. Dude didn’t wear his ring and now he’s in the wrong because you didn’t know he was married?!? Please.

    Apparently there’s nothing wrong with your mouth, so why in your many casual conversations did you simply not ask if he was married? If that didn’t occur to you, I have to conclude you must be very young. A simple question at the beginning would have saved you the hassle and this unnecessary article.

    I hardly ever wear my rings – I don’t like jewellry on my fingers – and up until I got married had never owned a ring. My husband wears his for dress-up occasions. He’s a scientist and jewelry isn’t encouraged in the laboratory. I couldn’t care less if he ever wears it. Neither of us need a ring to remind each other of our life-long commitment.

  • new moon

    HecksNaw!! That’s ludicris. My fiance…once we say those vows…WILL never take his ring off. A women like me would not stand for that blatant disrespect and disregard for our marriage. And thank God that the man that he is, would not even think of such nonsense.
    If a man and women say before God all that stuff you say…why is it okay to pretend like it didn’t happen and like you missed the importance of it. I mean really…all a man is doing is making sure his options are still open…and a man like that is never good marriage material because he can’t be trusted. Traditions like wearing the symbol of marriage and fidelity and commitment should never “go out of style”. Besides we know why celebrities don’t rock they rings.

  • http://twitter.com/Kzoh88 Kevin Lewis II

    I am a sentimental guy, things given to me with meaning behind me are a big deal, so I would wear my ring all the time, I would like her to also.

  • Jenny

    My husband always wears his ring. He’ll even turn around after he has left the house to get it.
    On the other hand, my parents have been married going on 39 years and my dad hasn’t worn a ring for the last 20.

  • new moon

    Yes Tami…when you see a ring you KNOW that man is spoken for…which in turn means you will adjust your interaction with him accordingly. The rings are a symbol to the world that these people are married and off limits. But of course the ring doesn’t mean they love eachother more or less. .. to me its for outsiders not our personal relationship. Besides as much money as my Fiance has spent and will spend for the rings…whyy let them sit on a dresser and waste?

  • taylor

    Is this a joke? I know hundreds of married people who don’t where a wedding ring. I mean really. We get so bogged down about what makes a marriage? The dress the ring-it doesn’t mean a thing. So 1990′s. Here are people who are not married telling married people how to be married AGAIN.

  • Kish

    I think the ring should be worn. The ring is placed on the left ring finger b/c that’s the only finger with a vein that travels all the way to the heart. I’m very traditional and would have a problem if my husband didnt wear his ring. Its also a symbol of marriage to each other and the world.

    If you like it KEEP a ring on it!!!!!

  • lee

    If the man looks like the one in the photo above he should wear a ring. That is false advertising. If I were married I would not stress my husband to wear his ring because most likely I would not be wearing mine all the time.

  • I got sense!

    Doesn’t matter to. I’m not a jewelry person so I often forget to put it on but he likes jewelry so he often wears his. He doesn’t have an issue with it and if he did I would make is a point to remember more often to make him feel more comfortable but he is fine with it.

  • SunnyBoston

    A wedding ring is a symbol that a person is married. A man should wear it to show his commitment to his marriage. I understand that there are a small number of men who remove their rings because of their line of work. That I understand. Otherwise, I am VERY suspicious of men who do not wear their ring. BTW,I’ve never known a married woman who did not wear a wedding ring.

    This is because the men I know who do not wear a ring, are questionable folk. Two were ALWAYS caught in compromising positions with young women. The other was fired for cheating on his wife with another woman in church. The sad thing is that all 3 of these men are ministers. Just my take on this.

  • Pingback: It's The Bride In Me – To Wear or Not to Wear: Is it Mandatory That Your Spouse Wears a …

  • Girl

    Unless you’re a miner of Prince William, I dont see why anyone wouldnt wear their ring. The hell was the point of buying it?
    Guys dont wear it cos then a woman wont feel the need to aks for the wife so they can enjoy life without mentioning the wife at all thus fooling a lot of women. Lame./

  • Girl

    Love how you skipped over the fact that dude never mentioned his wfe. If a person never mentions a wife or doesnt wear a ring, why the hell would I ask if the person is married?

  • http://twitter.com/Grikmeer Rob Grikmeer

    The wedding ring is a surprisingly recent invention and in its earlier versions was only worn by the wife.

    My fiancée and I won’t even be buying wedding rings when we get married; neither of us like rings, we don’t believe sentimental silliness about the vein to the heart (love and thought both come from the brain), and we can’t afford to waste money on a fundamentally useless lump of metal.

    We may be getting a traditional Zapotecan bracelet made – but only as a gift from her parents and we won’t feel obligated to wear them all the time.

  • Willow

    I don’t know. During my parents 26 years of marriage neither one of my parents wore a wedding ring. Mostly because it was an expense that neither one felt was necessary to indulge in. I do remember around their 20th year anniversary my dad finally bought my mom a wedding rind. She wore it a while but after that she would only rock it sometimes. I want a ring…but I dont think it is necessary.

  • Never again

    If i forgot to place my ring back on my finger after putting lotion on and to add being half way to work, I would turn around and go back home to put my wedding band on my finger. But since my wife told me she had a affair. I will never wear it again.

    Thats the difference

  • African Mami

    The wedding ring is to ward off any potential co-wives, mistresses, lovers etc…To me it does not hold any significance other than alerting other human beings that I am married and NOT available! In essence, I EXPECT him to wear it. It is not mandatory that he does, but it sure would make me feel like a million bucks, well at least the first 5 years (Don’t they say that’s the honeymoon period). After the 5, when reality and fights start getting realer than the hardness of my hair, we’ll see the course of action to take!

  • Girl

    What a great reason for others not to wear their wedding ring! NOT.

  • Gabi

    I don’t see it as a big deal, I personally would not want to wear a ring. I never have worn them and when I do, I end up taking them off within the hour. I’d much rather get another piece of jewelry, like a diamond white goal industrial bar for my ear piercing (which I will never take out). Besides marriage is much more than just rings.

  • http://theretronatural.blogspot The Retro Natural

    Although not yet married, my beloved and I wear a simple gold knotted ring that I made for us. It’s not expensive but it means the world to us. I forget it sometimes because I don’t like wearing rings when I wash my hair but I actually enjoy wearing it…I do like certain people to know right off the bat that they don’t have a chance in hell (mainly the pushy, annoyingly arrogant men) and this pretty much helps with that area. Everyone’s different though. It doesn’t make sense to lose sleep over what other people have or don’t have on their finger.

  • http://pertheblog.blogspot.com Tracie

    No rings, no marriage..simply put. Apparently the ring didn’t mean a thing, when you took your vows, and too me the marriage didnt mean anything either.

    Like Krystal said, its “a symbol of what those vows supposedly mean…” I couldnt agree more!

  • Robbie

    Let’s be real, I will expect my future husband to wear his wedding ring. It will be something that we will discuss before we get married. Before I approach any man, I always check his left hand to see if his wearing a ring. If he does, I back off. If he does not wear one, I get the message that he is not married so I may go for it.

    It would be so embarrassing for me to go out of my way to speak to a man that I find cute and then later find out in the conversation that he is married.

    If you do not want to wear your ring, keep a photo of your wife on your desk at work, in your wallet, in your pocket, your locker etc…anywhere you like so that others can see that you are married.

    if you are a man and you do not want to wear your ring for whatever the reason may be, if a young woman comes up to you, as soon as the conversation starts give her hints that you are a married man. At least, if she is a woman with values, real values, she will hit the road.

    Bottom line, you don’t want to wear it fine but let other knows that you are off the market.

  • Lulu

    I recently married after dating for 10 years and we chose not to exchange rings of any kind. Its superficial, and historically a symbol of the exchange of monetary goods in arranged marriages. To us, the exchanging of vows means everything, and a metal band on your finger does not make you married or not. Its just old fashioned and people need to be open to new ideas and not be so traditional. Just because your parents and their parents did it a certain way, doesn’t mean you have to! This is why marriages fail because people focus on money and keeping appearances, and not on the simplicity of love and trust.

  • Stephanie

    My husband and I have been married for 5 1/2 years and for most of that time neither of us have worn our wedding rings. However, I do wear mine when I go out with my girlfriends because I know that you can usually flash that at unwanted advances and they go away. It’s not that our marriage means nothing, it’s that our relationship and what we have means more to us than a piece of jewelry. My husband and I have enough trust in each other to not cheat that we don’t have to wear our wedding rings because if one of us cheats then that’s it… the relationship and marriage are over. This is just what works for us, I have countless stories of married friends of mine that whether they had their rings on or not have cheated and didn’t regret it.

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