Kept It On To The End

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DM in Fall 2012

When to take off the wedding ring?

This is a debated subject.

When is the right time to remove one’s wedding ring?

Is it okay to take it off when the divorce papers are filed? After discovering infidelity? Only when the official papers are signed?

This subject is not settled in Scripture. So, I will offer the following thoughts as my own. They are my opinion and how I dealt with this issue in my own life.

First, I am tackling this issue as an elective issue. What I mean by that is sometimes even married people do not wear their wedding ring for legitimate reasons (e.g. a mechanic might not want to loose a finger, etc). I am not dealing with those sort of situations when formulating my answer. The situations I am considering are the ones that do not pose bodily harm to the ring wearer.

My position (opinion):

Keep the wedding ring on unto the official divorce end.

If you are still officially married, I believe you are still married in the eyes of God. Adulterous betrayal, for example, gives the faithful spouse permission to obtain a divorce without any shame (e.g. Deut. 22:22, Jer. 3:8, Mt 19:9). However, one remains married until one exercises that permission officially and legally.

So, it is wise to signal the truth of one’s marital status by continuing to wear one’s wedding ring. This marker makes the point that you are not available for another mate as you are still married. The last thing a faithful spouse needs is the added confusion during this time that comes with people acting towards him/her as if he/she is single (when the faithful spouse is not).

Finally, wearing my wedding ring to the bitter end was a matter of integrity for me. I gave my cheating ex-wife the opportunity to repent all the way to the official end of our marriage. My point in wearing my wedding ring the whole time was to take a stance that I walked away knowing I kept my vows until I was officially released by God and the state. It gave me peace doing so then and now.

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I know some Christian counselors suggest removing the wedding ring as a consequence for the cheater to see. I disagree with that advice as I just stated. Personally, I consider that as an encouragement to live a lie–i.e. advertise that one is single when one is actually still married.

No good comes from living a lie.

4 thoughts on “Kept It On To The End”

  1. Excellent, DM….Just stunning! No wonder our precious Father blessed you with Fiesty-Pants & Munchkin!

    Though I no longer wear my wedding rings, I am stilled married in the eyes of the State. Since God requires us to abide by the law of the land unless it conflicts with his laws, I still present myself as a married person.

    Until I am legally free, I, too, have made it very clear that I am NOT single or available. I have no intention of entertaining any romantic thoughts until the legal divorce. (maybe not even then!)

    Even though I know I am free according to scripture, until I am free according to the law of the land, I continue to conduct myself around others of the opposite sex as though they are my brothers, fathers, sons. All know I am still married. (most I hang out with knew us as a couple, but they no longer hang out with the cheater….hhhhmmm, wonder why?!)

    It is said that a clear conscience makes for a soft pillow. I can atest to that! (though I really do have trouble sleeping for other reasons)

    What God requires is of far more value than any whim of the flesh.

    Take care and ForgeOn!!!!

  2. I thought I would wear mine to the very end too but as the divorce has dragged on and on I just couldn’t force myself to wear it anymore especially after an incident when my stbx was particularly cruel to the kids. It was probably a selfish move on my part but I took it off that day of the incident and never put it back on- that was about a year after we separated. Like Forge, I still live as a married person and would never consider dating anyone until the divorce is final (which will be the first week of March). I sometimes regret not wearing it to the very end but I still feel like I have lived through this divorce process with a lot of integrity and that is good enough.

  3. Mine is still on although even if it wasn’t I’d not have anything to do with other relationships. It means that if someone does try to chat me up I can show them that I am still married and no thanks. It shows my husband that he is still married.I just hope I can easily get it off when eventually my divorce becomes absolute

  4. I took mine off for good after I told people I was divorcing, which was while we were still in the middle of divorcing. I did not consider myself single or date during that time. I just knew after serial infidelity that it was finished between me and my ex-husband. I’ve also heard of single (never married) women who wear wedding rings when they don’t feel like being hit on.

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