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New Year, New Start…. is it time to take off your wedding ring?

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The subject of this blog started with a conversation between myself and my colleagues about when is the appropriate time for someone to take off their wedding ring. As far as I am aware, no-one at Clarion has been asked by a client when is the right time to take off a wedding ring. However, as usual, we all have our own opinions on the matter.

After a celebrity relationship breakdown, the paparazzi are desperate to get a photograph of the celebrity’s left hand to see whether the wedding ring is on or off. If the wedding ring is no longer there, it is a strong message to the world that the celebrity’s marriage is over. And this is so, because the whole purpose of a ring is symbolism. It is a symbol to the world that you are in a married relationship, and that your love for your spouse has no beginning and no end. There are, of course, always exceptions to the rule, one being Seal who continued to wear his wedding ring after his marriage to Heidi Klum ended – although not for very long.

It is fairly sad thought to think of the contrast between the joyous day the wedding ring is placed on a newly married person’s finger, and the day when the ring is taken off, which I imagine is done usually when a person is alone and not feeling at all joyous.

So when do people take off their weddings rings? After a little internet research, it seems that the wedding ring is usually finally taken off in the following ways:

in the argument that marks the end of the relationship, and it is not only taken off but thrown with full vigour;
after the first consultation with a divorce lawyer;
after decree nisi has been granted. This is first and temporary decree of divorce;
after discovering that your spouse is in a new relationship;
after decree absolute, the final decree of divorce has been granted; and
on starting a new job.

The day someone takes off their wedding ring, is the day that they accept their marriage is over and are ready to talk to other people about it, and this is what all the dates in the above list have in common.

That said it appears that some people remove their wedding rings, while in a happily married relationship, for two main reasons, I believe. The first is to increase their chances of meeting someone new and having an extra-martial relationship. I have in fact witnessed someone attempting to discreetly remove his wedding ring in a social situation. And second, according to an online survey in the Mail online, woman tend to remove their wedding and engagement rings in the work place or when attending job interviews. When asked why, three quarters of these women feared that a wedding or engagement ring would indicate a desire to start a family and damage their employment prospects. The article headlines that “Even in modern times, many women still firmly believe that they are pigeon-holed by their relationship status.”

These two issues aside, it seems that if your marriage is coming to an end, only you alone can determine when you are ready to take the emotional step of taking off your wedding ring. This could be at the stroke of midnight when the New Year comes, or at a particular point in the divorce process, or on an ordinary wet Tuesday. Yes, it marks the end of a chapter in your life, but in the same breath it marks the beginning of a new adventure.

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