Wedding Woes

"They mean more to me than just a symbol of my marriage." Then, bean dip.

Dear Prudence,

I was widowed four years ago at 53 years old. Friends started asking if I was dating only a few months after the funeral. Some have even told me I should no longer be wearing my wedding rings. I feel like some kind of weirdo. I have no desire to date, let alone remarry. My rings have sentimental value not only because of my marriage, but because they first belonged to my beloved grandmother.

I did take off my rings for a few months because of the pressure. But I felt naked without them, so I started wearing them again. I have felt flat-out defensive about my choices and got pretty snippy with a friend about it. How should I respond to the other inquiries about these things without feeling like a bitter person?

—Not Taking Them Off

Re: "They mean more to me than just a symbol of my marriage." Then, bean dip.

  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    What the fuck is wrong with these people? 

  • If it was a very close friend or family member, I have to admit I might occasionally inquire out of concern.  If everything else pointed to her handling her grief well, I wouldn't.  But 4 years is a long time for a widow to still be wearing her wedding rings and, if there were other signs she was still deep in grief, I would talk to her.  Not even so much about the rings specifically, but my concern about how she is doing.  With all that said, overall, it's awful and ridiculous that it sounds like many people are constantly haranguing her about her choice to keep wearing her rings.

    She should have a stock answer she delivers with an increasingly frosty tone.  And end the line of conversation with telling her friend(s) she has already answered that question, she's tired of them asking, and they need to stop. 

    FWIW, I don't see choosing to not date again as a sign of potentially not handling grief.  Though I also don't think anyone should say "never", because that puts more pressure on themselves to not change.  And possibly feel guilt if they change their mind in the future.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • LW shouldn't be having any bad feelings about this.  

    I do wonder what the true story is though.  Are the rings something LW is just focused on, while friends are really trying to make sure LW is grieving in a healthy manner?  Or is LW apparently friends with a bunch of jerks?

    LW needs to do what LW needs to do.  There is no timeline for grief for anyone.  I would recommend maybe making sure LW is listening w/an open heart and mind and not reading the worst intentions ever.
  • I'd probably keep wearing my wedding ring if hubby died.  Before him, I used to have rings that only fit on that finger and used to wear them all the time.  There might be lots of different reasons to keep wearing the rings, and not all of them have to do with having difficulty moving on.  

  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    WTF? She can wear or not wear her rings. They're her damned rings and fingers. It doesn't mean she hasn't grieved, and not everyone wants to date/remarry after losing a partner, and that's ok. Her friends can fork off. 
  • My Grandfather died when my Grandma was 62. She wore her rings until she died at age 84. She never remarried (and I don’t think she ever dated, I was a baby when my Grandpa died). 

    There was nothing wrong with her, she wasn’t in deep grief, she a very active and fulfilling life. I never asked her about the rings but I do know she wore them forever. They were married for 40 years when he died. 
  • Who seriously says these things?

    My mum didn't plan on dating, but she met someone. She is not getting remarried, and still wears her wedding ring.
    He doesn't care. He's asked more than once and she said no.

    That being said WHY DO PEOPLE SAY THE THINGS!?!?
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