If a ring is a sign of marriage, should there be a sign for divorce? How do you handle simple social situations and interactions regarding your divorce? Do you come right out and tell people you are divorced, wait until it comes up in conversation, or ignore it completely? What about when someone asks you if you have a family? When my recently divorced neighbor moved into my neighborhood they first thing I had asked him was if he had a family. Once you’re past 30 it seems to be the natural conversation maker, so now how do you respond to that question?
Some divorcees chose to keep wearing their wedding ring to possibly avoid these social situations, avoid the stigma of divorce, or maybe to avoid being hit on! Wedding rings are symbols of marriage, and once that marriage ends, it becomes unnecessary and possibly misleading to continue to wear a wedding ring. Some may wear the wedding ring on the opposite hand, or have it made into a different piece of jewelry. Interestingly enough, according to “Popular Mechanics” magazine British women in the 1920s would cut notches into their rings to symbolize divorce.
Having children brings up another societal stigma regarding having a ring on your finger. A recent conversation with a widowed friend brought forth this subject as well. She had been wearing her wedding ring for three years since her husband’s death. Feeling that closeness to him played a part in it, but she said she mainly continued to wear it because she didn’t want to feel that society was judging her for being a “single mom” when she was in public with her child. Divorced mothers can surely relate.
Many people struggle with what and how much to tell strangers, acquaintances, and co-workers. What do you think? Sometimes do you wish that there was a “sign” or “code” so that people just know and you can avoid the questions, would you rather keep it a secret when meeting new people, or are you open to questions?
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