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Spouse or Partner Caregiver Forum
Took off my wedding band
I no longer wear my wedding ring. I had to take it off shorty after DW stopped recognizing me as her husband, although she accepts me as some she is comfortable having around. Early on one day she noticed my wedding ring and became somewhat puzzled by it. She wanted to know who I was married to and since I was married to someone else why was I with her. I dodged the discussion somehow and decided it would be better to just take it off and avoid any consternation on her part. She still occasionally asks me if I have a girlfriend and I always say yes it’s you. She smiles takes this as a joke.
I married a wonderful woman 47 years ago this month. We had a fabulous life together. But that woman is gone and has been gone for over 3 years. I refuse to "stuff" my marriage like a dead animal skin and keep it in the living room like "Trigger". I refuse to pretend that the shell she left behind is really her and that she is "in there" somewhere. I am totally responsible for her comfort and care. I know that. I see her on Facetime almost every day and in person twice a week. I hand feed her. I check her fingernails, her eyes, her hair and her skin. Her care costs $150,000 a year and she is worth every penny.
I miss her so much
It’s complicated and not complicated. What Pauline Boss has written about. DW is there but not there. Ambiguous loss. We’re married but only one of us knows that. It hasn’t been a marriage for years.
I still wear my wedding ring, though completely get you, David. (DW has lost so much weight that her ring just falls off.)
Even with that…yesterday I was at a bar having a glass of wine with my business partner and, despite the wedding ring (because?), the woman sitting to my left absolutely hit on me. I was more stunned than flattered.
I took mine of years ago because I was feeling more like his parent than his wife--for a dozen years now. Now I only wear a fire opal which is supposed to bring joy to the heart (still waiting), and sometimes a Celtic gold band if the mood strikes. The original one that DH bought me was from the man I fell in love with years ago who has been replaced by an imposter.
DH still wears his. Once in a while I will put mine back on but it doesn't feel the same. Just like the relationship.
I'm Stage 8 for 22 months and still haven't taken mine off. Cry a little everyday... to each
his own I guess.
I recently started wearing my husbands wedding ring on my right hand. I didn’t want it to get lost and want to pass it down to my son.
But it looks kind of great on my hand . It has 5 tiny diamonds on it and is shiny. When my husband picked out my engagement ring , he decided he wanted the sparkle too and had the band made. I’ve got used to it being there and it reminds me of DH. I find it comforting.
I will hand it over if my son wants it, but kind of hoping he doesn’t .
DH rarely wore his wedding ring. Then, just before he was diagnosed, he started wanting to wear it. But it no longer fit, so he got a new ring. Luckily it was pretty cheap - about $30 if I remember - because he lost 3 of them within a short time. After the last one was lost he stopped wearing any again.
I wore my ring with a tiny diamond until the diamond fell out about 10 years ago. I got a beautiful replacement band about 8 years ago. I've stopped wearing it, too. I'm just too sad most of the time, and no longer really feel married.
I love my rings and love DH, though the guy that's here impersonating him most of the time is a piece of work.
One stroke of good luck on this journey was me happening to notice his wedding band on the edge of the bathroom sink one day last year. (I think it was last year. Time is blurring these days. It may have been before that). Anyway, why he took it off I don't know, and he had walked away without noticing of course. I saw that accident waiting to happen: down the drain or maybe flushed, and I would have been heartbroken. Rather than giving it back to him, I put it on one of my biggest fingers and wear his and my wedding rings from that day on. They match It makes me happy for now, every time I notice it. When that is no longer the case, I will put it/them away for safe keeping.
And now for something completely different….an alternative view of a wedding band, for those who—sadly—did not have good marriages, from feminist Adrienne Rich:
It is each person’s choice to keep wearing or taking it off. No right or wrong answer. As Ed said he never had one and we all know what a great husband he is. A piece of jewelry does not change your heart.
Toolbelt you mentioned occupational activity, my DH was a welder for many years. He was on one high rise buildings, can’t remember what’s it’s called now, but it got in the leather glove, was burning his finger, motioned the crane operator, crane took him to ground, paramedics were there, had to numb him up to get his glove off, he told them they could cut his finger off but not his ring! They didn’t cut his finger off but he did have 3rd degree burn. Crazy man, he is still wearing that ring! So do I.
I have a beautiful wedding ring which we found (the setting) on our one and only cruise to Alaska in 2014. He received his Alz diagnosis in 2013 ant that cruise had always been on his bucket list, so I decided we should get it done.
I took that ring off in the spring of 2019 and have only worn it a time or two since. I realized that every time I wore it, I was reminded that I have no partner anymore, I have a "patient" who requires my care and supervision. I am a spouse but no longer a "wife" -- I am a caregiver who honors the memory of the man I married, but lives with a shadow of that man.
I am much more comfortable without a ring.