Tuesday, January 29, 2013

what do you do with your wedding rings when you split up?

my husband and I were married september 2011, and the last day of our honeymoon was the first day of our difficulties, which i won't bore you with.

short end of the story is he turned out to be an alcoholic.


currently my rings are sitting on my desk at work (a safe place don't worry!)

do i give them back? keep them forever? throw them in the sea?

also, i was a bad bride who never sent out all the thank you cards, mostly because things were getting worse from the minute we got back from honeymoon (this had a plus side since i didn't feel comfortable doing all the joint bank account stuff we'd planned... and now all my own money is safe etc..) anyway. i haven't sent out thank yous, and i feel embarrassed by this.

should i just chuck the rings and let the thank you cards go??

apparently ungrateful, soon to be divorced wifey :(


The sea should be reserved for items you want to memorialize. Your grandmother's ashes. Goose's dogtags.

Sell the rings or melt them down or whatever and go out for a kick ass meal.

As for the thank you cards.... I wish I could tell you to just let em go, but those suckers will nag at you forever. Try to muster the strength to write notes to your friends and fam. "Thank you for the terrific chef's knife, which I am now using to cook for myself!" type of thing.

You can do it.

(Whiskey might help.)

Image courtesy of inflated/deflated


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  2. Maybe keep them somewhere safe for awhile until you are feeling better. No need to rush decisions, I say. You'll know what to do with them eventually, I feel certain.

    Thoughts with you, ladypants.

  3. do the guests know you are divorced? If so, I think that lets you off the hook for the thank you cards...

  4. If you don't want them near you, maybe give them to a friend to keep until you can decide, with a clear head, what to do with them. I know many people who have gone that route.

    So sorry

  5. I'm so sorry, but glad you found your way out, and I hope your ex gets help. I would put the rings in a safe deposit box so they're out of sight and see how you feel a little later. Also: be gracious and write the letters, but only to your peeps like ESB said.

  6. I held onto my ring (wedding band) in my purse until one day I knew I was done and over him. I literally threw it into the trash on the way into the apartment building. My engagement ring (an emerald) is another story. I kept that with my in my jewelry box until one day I felt I could wear it on my right hand and not associate it with him at all. Good luck, my ex husband was an alcoholic too. Not fun times.

  7. I would write the thank-you cards, but I wouldn't say anything too personal like "Thanks, y'all. Cheers to cooking for one now," etc. Yes, they were at your wedding, but that sort of personal stuff is none of their business. This is a private matter, one that you have every right to (try and) keep private. As for the rings, I'm with Naurnie. Give it time, and think on it. Big hugs. I wish we could go out for coffee and dessert. :)

  8. Oh god. I'm so sorry. I agree with ESB though, you still need to send thank yous to your people. I don't envy you the task but regardless of how the marriage ended they were there to support you when it started and they deserve thanks. They'll absolutely understand the lateness, but an unacknowledged gift tends to fester in the mind of the giver.

    Maybe something along the lines of "It's been a rough year. I'm sorry this is so belated but it doesn't diminish how much it meant to me that you came out and supported me at my wedding. Having you there was __________ and {say something complimentary about how amazing their gift was here}."

    Follow it up with varying degrees of sweetness/sarcasm/suggestions based on your relationship with each person. Offer to take a friend out for drinks. Let your aunt know how lucky you feel to have her in your life, etc. etc.

    Not suggesting you write all your thank yous mad libs style, but having an outline when you go to sit down and muscle through them might help.


    1. I think this is a really good idea and love the sample thank you card you wrote. It's gracious without being weird.

      I also second needing to say thanks for support even if the endeavor didn't turn out well.

      It's like, you're grateful for your friends cheering you on at a marathon even though you don't win the race, right?

    2. Third-ing this, Rachel's advice is spot-on. It's honest but not putting too much out there. And sending thank-yous also opens the door for friends/family who may not have wanted to "disturb" you during the whole terribleness to reach out, reply, be there for you.

  9. Lady, I've got nothing on rings and thank you cards but I could write volumes on dealing with alcoholics. Take care of yourself and please reach out when you feel overwhelmed. I don't know about you, but I have never felt more helpless than when dealing with a loved one's addiction. Of all things, Alanon has actually been helpful for me. I resisted for a long time because I thought it was going to be a room full of people feeling sorry for themselves, but it really helped me navigate the best boundaries for my situation, blow off some pent up anger, and feel like I wasn't alone. Good luck, you're getting some serious Internet hugs over here.

    (I reaaaaaaally wish I could post under Anonymous for this one)

  10. 3 years ago I forgot to send out half my thank yous. I found them recently. No one has died of shame or anything. Don't worry about them - get on with your life.

  11. oh no! i have dated a couple alcoholics and actually just got married to one (he's been sober for a long time, but I remember his drinking days with a lot of sadness.)

    i really suggest seeing a therapist who specializes in working with addicts and their partners (even though you aren't with him anymore) to process everything and move on. also al-anon could really help. and sell those rings and buy yourself something gorgeous!

  12. You could be a pirate / dragon and keep a gold and jewels hoard somewhere secret... Maybe a cave.

    And save it for a rainy day? If money isn't and likely won't ever be a problem for you, then sell them at a high price (Don't devalue them just because you don't emotionally value them!)and splurge on yourself.

  13. When I was finally ready to do something with my wedding rings (after they sat in my jewelry box for months and months while I waited to feel more at ease), I still couldn't do anything. Thankfully, my two best friends stepped in, took the rings, sold them to a jeweler for me, and I spent the money on an awesome trip to London. Don't be afraid to lean on your people and let them help you. Best of luck.

  14. Here's what you do with the rings...re-imagine them! Find yourself an artist and/or jeweler and create a new custom ring (or pendant or earrings, whatevs) from the metal and jewel(s). Let it become your "freedom" ring. I did that with some jewelry from an ex. Not only did it no longer feel like...a big fat reminder of the ex and his tastes and his gift to me, but it was my very own design and piece and it felt like an awesome symbol of how powerful I could be just just me!

    As for the thank-yous...I kinda think F 'em. I don't think anybody will agree with me, which makes me think the correct proper thing to do is just write them (obviously), but I know I've never cared about receiving one. When I give gifts, I either know the people well and know they like and use the damn gift, or don't know them well and am less concerned about a limp thank you sent out just because it's what you're supposed to do. They just go straight to the trash anyways.

  15. Ok-- my husband's wedding band is one that he found while diving at our favorite swimming hole years ago. He held onto it, and when we got engaged had it resized to make it his wedding band. We love his serendipitous ring, though now I wonder if it had been flung into that water by an ex. So I have to vote for throwing it into the sea or some other spot where it can be stumbled upon. It should bring god karma if nothing else!

    Though selling it for an awesome meal is a pretty good suggestion.