Should married couples wear their wedding rings?
- In ancient Egypt, men would wrap “wedding rings” of twigs or plant stems around women’s ankles or wrists.
- The so-called “Wedding Ring Effect,” or the theory that men who wear wedding rings are more desirable to women, has been discredited.
- One recent survey found that one in five British respondents had removed their wedding rings either temporarily or permanently.
- A 2019 poll revealed that 4 out of 10 millennials plan to pay for their own wedding costs.
According to a study done by The Knot in 2019, depending on region, people will spend anywhere from $1,000 to over $6,000 on their engagement rings and wedding bands combined. That is a pretty hefty chunk of money to be carrying around when the probability of losing something of so much value is relatively high. A Prudential home insurance survey found that an estimated 42% of grooms will lose their rings in the first five years, 10% in the first three months.
In addition to the high potential for loss, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says that, for many professions, wearing a wedding ring could also be hazardous to one’s health--in some cases increasing the risk of electrocution, burning, and adverse chemical reactions. And if that is not enough to sway a person not to wear their ring, the history of the wedding ring tradition has some surprising roots.
The meaning of the wedding ring has changed throughout time. Its symbolism and the tradition of marriage itself differ across cultures, and in the end, both come down to personal choice. Its origins in Egypt suggest that a ring was given as a token of a partner’s everlasting and eternal love, similar to how it is viewed in modern western society. However, in Roman times, a ring was given as a token of ownership, which is an idea that some may find very offensive today.
Therefore, whether married couples wear their wedding rings or not is a matter of the couple’s personal beliefs and traditions--as well as their economic situations and professions.
Akin to what Frodo learned in the Lord of the Rings series, sometimes a ring can mean much more than what you see on the surface!
A wedding ring goes well beyond its definition as an indispensable metal accessory. It’s a signal of mental security for kids. An adult-child pair study by a social psychologist revealed that not wearing a wedding ring can sometimes indicate a lack of commitment to one’s family--including taking care of one’s children. Kids learn by observing. Once kids see their parents as complete, fulfilled companions--fully committed to each other--they go on to feel safe in the outside world.
Respect is of utmost importance for any relationship to work. Something as seemingly inconsequential as a ring can symbolize the regard you have for your partner, as it communicates to him or her the significance they hold in your daily space.
A few years ago, TheCheeky.com launched an anti-cheating ring that leaves an imprint of “I’M MARRIED” when the ring is taken off. This invention may sound cheeky, but it reinforces that a ring broadcasts to unwanted prospects, “I’m very committed, and my marriage means a lot to me.”
Further, a ring is a visual marker commemorating the day that you and your spouse said, “I do.” Seeing it every day on your finger can strengthen the promise to be there for one another through life’s ups and downs.
Skin infections or allergies may preclude someone from wearing their wedding ring, but in all other cases, a ring should be worn.