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Is my wedding ring getting in the way of a new relationship?

 
 
JohnDon
 
Reply Tue 29 Sep, 2015 09:45 pm
Almost 4 years ago, I lost my wife of 14 years to cancer. I've had time to come to terms with it now, and have been open to, but not very actively, finding a new relationship. I still wear my wedding band though. I feel that if I take it off, I'm not honoring her life. I also wonder how our kids and my in-laws would feel about me taking it off. Honestly, I don't want to remove it because I feel naked without it.

The question that I have is, how many conversations am I missing out on because someone thinks I'm married still? Are there women that may have taken an interest if it were not for the ring? I suppose there's no way to know that, but do you take a pass on a conversation when you see a ring?
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Sep, 2015 09:52 pm
@JohnDon,
try moving it to a different finger - the ring and its memories are still with you but you're not signalling that you are married

did you and your late wife talk about your future before she died?
JohnDon
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Sep, 2015 10:44 pm
@ehBeth,
Wearing it on a different finger is something I've thought about, and I think it could be a good idea. I would have to get it re-sized.

We did talk about the future of our family if she was gone, but not much. It's harder to talk about than some might think. It was like I was giving up on any hope of her recovery. I had a really hard time with that. One part of a conversation that sticks with me was when she said she couldn't bear to imagine me with another woman. I couldn't either.

I hope I don't bore anyone with a long story here, but a little back story maybe appropriate. In the last couple of years before her diagnosis, we had not been getting along well. We fought, argued, ignored, did things out of spite, and sometimes I really hated her. I think she really hated me sometimes too. Not always, but we were just having a rough patch. we'd had them before and worked through them and came out the other end loving each other again.

After her diagnosis, there was a lot of fear of what might happen and a lot of hope that she would beat it. I thought that if I lost her I would still be able to handle everyting fine. There was a part of me that even thought that it would be easier. I still had some resentment issues. She went through chemo, then surgery to remove her stomach. It was a horrible time for her, but she was a strong willed person and fought hard to recover from what was way harder than I had anticipated. Her strength and will to live gave me a renewed respect for her, and my feelings for her grew stronger than they had ever been before.

She had more chemo and some other related surgeries that I won't go into. When the doctors found that the cancer had spread, they put her chances for survival at zero, but they allowed her to try some more experimental chemo with worse side effects. She got blisters over her wole body and in her moush and other parts. She was willing to continue, but the doctors said no. There would only be pallative treatments from then on.

Through all of this, we had grown to love each other more than ever, and I wanted her to stay more than anything. maybe that's why I still had blind hope that somehow she would pull through and beat it.

Now back to the conversation from earlier. She had said that she didn't want me to remarry, and wanted me to promise that I wouldn't. In my blind hope, I still thought she was going to make it, and I gave what I thought was a flippant and humorous response. I said "baby, I would never want to get married again." I meant it to be lighthearted jab at a time when I thought everything was going to be okay, and that we would continue the conversation. Then she drifted off into a drug induced sleep. We didn't talk about it again.

When someone is gone from your life, you think of all the stupid thing you said and mean things you did, and wish you could have done or said something different. That's one of the things I regret the most. She was on so many mind altering drugs, that I don't know how she interpreted what I said. Did she think I promised that I wouldn't marry anyone, or that I would date but not marry, or that I regretted marrying her? I'll never know.

I related this conversation with my mother, but before I could tell her the whole story, she assumed that I promised her I would never remarry. She started telling me that I shouldn't hold a promise like that and I have to go out and blah blah blah. Then in her classic way, she abrutly let me go before I could get out the whole story. Apparently she started telling others about it, because my in-laws started telling me that I don't have to keep that promise. And I have to assume that the whole clan communication spread it throughout both families, because other people said something similar to me.

So, I shared this intimate conversation with one person who wouldn't hear the whole thing, or grasp the nuances that were hidden in the details, and now everyone thinks that I vowed to stay by myself for the rest of my life. Now I wish I had someone to share all of this and more with, but I'm wondering if I could be missing out on conversations because they're not interested in someone wearing a ring.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Sep, 2015 11:20 pm
@JohnDon,
If you've been wearing it North American style - on the left hand - try moving it to the right hand ring finger (European style). Might not need re-sizing and you get the same meaning for yourself without sending the married message.
PUNKEY
 
  3  
Reply Wed 30 Sep, 2015 05:57 am
If you are thinking about entering into another relationship, then move that ring.

I sense you have a lot of guilt and misplaced obligation to your deceased loved one. Did you go to grief counseling?

You need to get self-permission to get on with your life.

I also suggest that you not enter into another relationship before you sort all these things out. You will make another person miserable with that black cloud over your head. Not fair to someone new in your life.

0 Replies
 
saab
 
  0  
Reply Wed 30 Sep, 2015 06:44 am
@ehBeth,
It is not European style to wear a wedding ring on the right hand.
There is a mixture. Germany, Denmark and Norway has that tradition Sweden. UK, France I think also Italy and Spain on the left and several others
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Wed 30 Sep, 2015 09:40 am
@ehBeth,
I agree - that was my first thought. I can fully understand not wanting to remove it - but it seems most fitting to simply move it to another finger. Maybe the ring finger on your other hand?
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  3  
Reply Wed 30 Sep, 2015 09:50 am
@JohnDon,
Quote:
She had said that she didn't want me to remarry, and wanted me to promise that I wouldn't.


I do not think anyone should ever request this of someone else. Like you said, it is likely in her pain and medication she is saying things she might otherwise not say. I know my dad when he was very ill with cancer, swore and did and said lots of things I know was not him. Considering the state she was in, there is no reason you should be held to such a promise (not to mention it is unrealistic).

Your story brought a tear to my eye. I love how you had the opportunity to reconcile and become close in the end. It must have been comforting to your wife and to you. I think your family and friends are just showing support and they care by their comments - not meaning to gossip or spread stories.

Go ahead and move the ring - even if you need to re-size it. It is a great way to show your dedication while still allowing you to be a regular old human being.
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Sep, 2015 10:17 am
If you still have your wife┬┤s weddingring you can make one ring out of the two.
http://24karat.se/images/lgu_omarb_10mmplatta.jpg
0 Replies
 
DougMissesLeslie XXX
 
  2  
Reply Tue 9 Feb, 2016 09:12 pm
I am new here, as this is my 1st post, but, this post stuck out to me, cuz I cannot remove my wedding ring, ever, as I got it tattooed on, for 2 reasons. 1) I've never been a fan of jewelry and 2) It was my way of showing my Wife my full "Lifetime" commitment to her and her only! Well, she passed away less than 3 months ago, and I am not doing well at all, cuz it was very sudden, and I not once ever envisioned a future without her. She was born with a heart condition, had 3 open heart surgeries before she was even 7 yrs old, yet I never once thought anything would ever happen. She had just turned 50 (plus 13 days) and I'm only 40 and have since realized that I was in denial, and am still in denial. I've reached out and have had a few grief counseling sessions, which have helped, but, I've been looking for young support groups in my area, to no avail (yet) Sorry for rambling, but, like I said, this one stuck out to me, cuz I can never take mine off, nor would I want to. I'm not even close to being ready to even think about meeting anyone else, but, I have thought, "What would someone think of it, if I did meet someone in the future?" I know that my Wife would want me to live again, laugh again, and eventually love again, because she had said it multiple times to me over the years, I just didn't want to hear it, because she was the "One!" I now know what true love really is, and I will never be able to settle for anything less! Most of all I miss my best friend more than anything!
jespah
 
  6  
Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2016 06:52 am
@DougMissesLeslie XXX,
Well, it's only been three months. Give it some time. But you're also right (and I'm glad you're realizing this on your own) that you had been in denial. After all, three open heart surgeries at a young age is a red flag that someone has health issues. I know you wanted to go into your marriage optimistically (I think everyone should), but reality was not mutually exclusive of that.

But let's focus on today.

Continue looking for support groups. Ask your grief counselor for help in this area. And look for other groups, too. E. g. a bowling league if you like that, or a gym if that's your thing, or a movie club or tabletop gaming or whatever floats your boat. It can be as involved, or not, as you wish. I suggest a low level of involvement, e. g. don't commit yourself to weekly bowling but instead as a fill-in if someone can't make it, that sort of thing. This is not to meet women; it's to get you out of the house and among people, and for a purpose that is not grief counseling or a support group or work or treatment.

It's just something to do for yourself. You are a worthwhile person and this is more than allowed.

I wish you well.
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Wed 10 Feb, 2016 03:45 pm
@jespah,
Thanks for answering, saw this post last night before bed and made a note to check on it today in case nobody saw it.
0 Replies
 
DougMissesLeslie XXX
 
  2  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2016 12:11 pm
@jespah,
Thank you for your kind words of encouragement! I need to figure out how to get notifications, so that I know when somebody replies, so that I can respond. Only problem at this point is that I am at work, so I can't stay long, as we're super busy (which helps immensely)

I have a grief counseling appt tonight, but will make it a point to reply much better this evening once I get home. Thank you again for being so welcoming, because I didn't know if this would be worth trying, but I can already tell that I'm glad I found this site. Take care and talk to you later Smile
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2016 12:32 pm
@DougMissesLeslie XXX,
Aw, my pleasure. Smile

Busy is good.
DougMissesLeslie XXX
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2016 09:09 pm
@jespah,
Good evening Smile I just got home from a really good counseling appointment, although I realized that I lost my wallet on the way to the the appt, but, my counselor was able to talk me down from being in freak out mode, cuz I had some very special pictures, and items of Leslie & I in there, and of course CC's and all other important info. Anyways, I have placed a hold on everything, until I can check with the place where I believe I left it, cuz they were already closed when I realized it was missing. So, a couple prayers, or some good vibes that it is where I think it is, would be very much appreciated Smile

Anyways, I was hoping that you, or another member could lead me in the right direction to discuss the events leading up to that horrible day, cuz I feel that I have hijacked someone else's thread, and that was most definitely not my intention. I would like to introduce myself, and talk about my amazing Wife and Best Friend, and I don't believe that this is the correct spot to do so. I'm still finding my way around the site Smile But, if you could give me a link to the forum and/or group that I am looking for, it would be more than greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance! Smile
jespah
 
  4  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2016 06:31 am
@DougMissesLeslie XXX,
Easy peasy.

Go here- http://able2know.org/

Hit the 'Start a Discussion' tab (the only difference between that and the 'Ask a Question' tab, currently, is that you can award a red ribbon for best answer when it's a question. Forum swag, nothing more.

Then just type (paragraph breaks are nice; we get people who post from their phones and it can often come out as an impenetrable wall o' text). As for the forum, you make one by tagging the topic. There's a line for tags; you should be able to see it.

Then just tag, with commas in between. Yours might look something like, I don't know -
relationships, love story, personal history, widower, grief

As you can see, you can put a space in there but you can't add any punctuation to tags. You can add up to 10 tags but only the most popular 5 will show up at any given time. If someone else comes in and tags your topic differently, the tags can change. We have seen graffiti tagging, so be aware of that.

And, it's an election year. A new, non-political topic is most welcome (whatever anyone's views are, I'm already tired of talking about it and my primary isn't until the first of March). People do get passionate on politics and religion topics in particular, just like we do out in the, shudder, real world. If you don't want to see someone's posts, you can always either thumb the post down or the topic or even go to their profile and hit Ignore. If you see spam or porn (probably not on your topic; it's more likely you might see it in your travels as you stroll around the site), hit Report and we at the Help Desk will hit it with a 2 x 4.
0 Replies
 
Violet35
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Feb, 2016 12:13 pm
@JohnDon,
Personally, I might be hesitant to move further along in a relationship with a man who still wore a wedding band. I wonder if counseling might help you? It's not that you SHOULD or SHOULDN'T, but it is fair to wonder how it might adversely (even subconsciously) affect a new relationship. That would be tough not to notice, as a woman. Where's the room for you, when the outward token of where his heart is, is still on his wedding ring finger? No judgements, but every choice has consequences.
0 Replies
 
 

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