All wedding rings and engagement rings are unique, both in their appearance and significance. For some couples, the rings involved with engagement and marriage are a way to publicly show their love and commitment, and they hold deep meaning. For other couples, these rings are just an expected part of the marriage and don’t have a huge significance. Regardless of what the rings mean to the couple, in my therapy practice I have found that how a couple looks at wedding rings tends to reflect the dynamic of the relationship itself.
When it comes to engagement rings, I have found that sometimes a woman will long for an engagement ring to get an added sense of reassurance. The ring helps the woman feel confident that the relationship will be growing and moving forward. Sometimes, a massive insecurity in the relationship can account for why a woman feels desperate to have an engagement ring. Other times, a woman’s partner may be slow at acting on things, so she pressures him to get married because she fears he won’t propose on his own. Either way, the importance placed on the need for a ring probably signifies something else that’s going on in the relationship.
Many married couples see wedding rings as an outward display of their commitment, and the rings give them a sense of security. When one person in the relationship doesn’t wear the ring without consulting the other spouse, either on purpose or because he or she just forgets to wear it, this act can become threatening to the relationship. The other partner may feel hurt, and as if the absence of the ring means their relationship doesn’t matter. If someone loses a wedding ring, he may panic because he knows it’s a significant part of the marriage and a way to show his love.
As a therapist, I see the positive and negative interactions regarding a wedding ring as simply an extension of the relationship’s security and connection. If one partner feels overwhelming betrayal because his partner took off her wedding ring, this may stem from a deeper issue regarding mistrust or insecurity in the relationship. Each couple is very difference, so the engagement and wedding rings in one relationship may hold very different significance than they do in another, and that’s alright. Ultimately, every couple has to decide what is right for them – some people might not wear the ring in certain situations, and their spouse is OK with it.
For another good read about wedding rings, check out this article by Cary Pennington Photography, called The Heart Behind a Wedding Ring!
About Jennine Estes, MFT
Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653