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Why is my ring a trigger?

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kaylee711 posted 8/28/2014 16:37 PM

When my WS affair was exposed, I took off my wedding and engagement ring, even though I knew we were on our path to reconciliation and not divorce, or even separation. I still can't even look at the ring set, because in my mind, the set is a symbol of "tainted vows".

Today is my birthday, and my husband wants me to pick out a new engagement and wedding band set for my present, as long as it's "not to soon for me", as he says... He's really trying to meet me more than 1/2 way, so why do I still get a terrible broken heart feeling when I look at the old ring set? It's just a material possession, isn't it, or is it? Am I overreacting???

devasted30 posted 8/28/2014 16:43 PM

No, it's a symbol. For innocence, wonderful beginnings, hopes and dreams that were all shattered. I can't wear my rings either. In fact, I have a pendant on my necklace that I am wondering about too. If I received it (lousy memory) during his A's then it too will be coming off. My WS gave me some beautiful pcs of jewellery while he was cheating. WTF was that???

[This message edited by devasted30 at 4:43 PM, August 28th (Thursday)]

Crushed15Feb13 posted 8/28/2014 16:50 PM

Its an important symbol.

My WW took her ring off long time ago, and I was hurt and asked her why. She said it had gotten too small. Dumb, trusting and naive I was, I believed her. But it still hurt, and I took my ring off then also after I learned she hadn't been wearing hers.

Since our R, she has been wearing my ring. But I don't think I will ever wear a ring, or believe a promise or vow, again.

GoodAsICanBe posted 8/28/2014 16:52 PM

I threw my wife's in the lake. She wore it the whole time...

needfriendshere posted 8/28/2014 16:56 PM

Gosh no! You are not over-reacting. My H was the first one to suggest that we get new wedding rings when we renew our vows (which we plan to do at the 2-year from Dday date). He caught me staring at my rings and twirling them around and around on my fingers shortly after Dday and came up with the idea.

It is not just a material possession. It is a symbol of a promise (a vow) that was shattered.

Enjoy your new ring! You deserve it...

kaylee711 posted 8/28/2014 16:57 PM

The "A" went on for 5 years - I don't think I can remember everything he gave me over that long of a period of time. 1/2 of the items in my closet are practically "triggers". The ring being the biggest. I thought about renewing vows, but I don't know what good that would do; how do I know these vows this time around would be "for real" and that this new ring set wouldn't become "tainted", too???

trustedg posted 8/28/2014 17:01 PM

I can identify. Vows were broken, the ring has no meaning anymore.

My husband lost his ring when we were swimming in a river shortly after our marriage. A friend gave him one he had found but my H never wore it. He does not wear any jewelry. I quit wearing mine. When we began R I told him I had been hurt that he did not wear his ring. He put on the ring and has not taken it off. I have not put on my original rings (the are truly too small but I believe I would feel strange about it too) and instead I am wearing a gold band that belonged to a grandparent.

We also bought a pretty ring while on vacation (post A) and I wear it too.

Crushed15Feb13 posted 8/28/2014 17:04 PM


So sorry. I think they call anything over 1 year a LTA (long-term affair) around here. My wife's lasted 5 1/2 years before the other spouse clued me in.

It's such a devastating discovery, and you may feel like the life you were living wasn't real, but an illusion.

I hope you can take care of yourself and post here when you need support.

jaamommy posted 8/28/2014 17:04 PM

I am a BW and my ring is a very big trigger for me as well. I feel awkward without it but at the same time, I told my WH, "My ring only means something if you put the love, trust, loyalty, and commitment in to it. If not, it's just a piece of metal with diamonds."

I took it off multiple times and I've been seriously thinking of getting a new one. I picked it out myself and absolutely love it, but I feel the same way- it has like a tainted feel to it now.

BW- 26
WH- 29
DDay- February 19th 2014
Dday again- June 26th 2014
A with my sister
3 year old son
7 months pregnant with 2nd son

BlueinStLou posted 8/28/2014 17:30 PM

I continued to wear my rings until DDay#4. I took them off then. WH seemed pretty upset at first. I told him that when I believed he was truly committed to R I would accept a sincere request to put them back on.

It hasn't happened, and he stopped asking. That hurts, but we will see what happens after lots more IC.

I have wanted the engagement ring reset for years. If that was offered somewhere down the road, it would mean a lot.

WH has never been very good with "moments" or gestures like that (even in A) so I won't get my hopes up.

SadieMae posted 8/28/2014 17:31 PM

I took my wedding rings off on D-Day and never put them back on. I don't even want to see them. They were a symbol of WH's vows and love for me and so that's exactly how I saw them after D-Day... worthless. WH continued to wear his wedding ring. It drove me nuts because even though I hadn't broken my vows, wearing that ring had obviously meant nothing to him.

In July, WH and I picked out an engagement ring for me. It's the diamond he always promised me. I had a white gold band I wore as a thumb ring resized for WH and told him it's his engagement ring. He took me to a public flower garden one evening and reproposed to me, asking me to marry him in April on our 15th anniversary. We've picked out new wedding bands as well.

I will never wear my old wedding set. I don't even want to see it.

SoulShine posted 8/28/2014 23:43 PM

Ditto here. I don't feel the same about my rings either. And my rings were also my mother's wedding set that were passed down to me. It meant so much to me to be the one she chose to give them to and to wear them as a symbol of my own vows. But they just seem tainted now; like some sort of cruel joke that I didn't get what my parent's had. I've taken them off and plan to go ahead and pass them down to my oldest niece. (Mom always said to hand down rings to the women of the family, that they won't lose them in a divorce. LOL!)We picked out, and I'm now wearing, what I call my "R" ring. It's white gold with a small amethyst flanked by two diamond butterflies on the band. It's demure and tasteful and represents where we are right now perfectly. My H said that the butterflies symbolize the rebirth of our marriage and that when I am ready he wants to get a new set of wedding rings for me and he'd like for us to make new vows and maybe have a re-commitment ceremony. But only if that's what I want and only when I'M ready.

Jls0320 posted 8/28/2014 23:55 PM

I lost mine shortly after I took it off, one of my kids made it disappear, I'm sort of relieved so I don't have to see it or even feel the need to put it on.....we are currently divorcing though

Questioningall posted 8/29/2014 09:51 AM

WH refused to wear his ring during his A's, but after dday, he practically glued it to his finger. I hated seeing it there because it seemed so hypocritical. I also couldn't bear my own wedding band. To make matters worse, WH had bought his LTAP a wedding band when her H wanted her to wear one. So rings are a minefield for me. WH picked out our new bands and we both wear them as symbols of our marriage from here on out. I'm at peace with our new rings.

sudra posted 8/29/2014 11:37 AM

My gosh, how could the symbol of your marital vows NOT be a trigger after an affair??

Be gentle with yourself and don't rush things.

peoplepleaser posted 8/29/2014 12:45 PM

I was given am alternate way to think about it.

I have been of the same mindset. The ring WS gave me when she proposed to me over 8 years ago was very special at the time. She's not so big on romantic gestures, but that ring was very well thought out down to the stone in it. I took it off and gave it to her during our separation and took it back when we decided to R but did not wear it. During a discussion about how it triggered me WS was hurt but understood.

Just over a month ago she proposed again. She took me to a place we needed to reclaim, brought some if my favorite foods, a blanket, wine and flowers. We talked about all the great things we shared in our years together. Then she pulled put a little box her grandfather made (one very dear to her) and produced two rings. One was the original and the other was her grandmothers engagement ring. I cannot adequately explain the deep meaning of that ring, but will say that her grandparents "saved" her from a difficult childhood and are important to her. I will also add that the nature of our relationship and the adjustment if her family to accepting that rather than tolerating it is crucial to understanding her level of commitment by asking me to wear it. Also the thought that her grandmother probably guessed she would ask me to wear it when she gave it to her sometime in the past two years was heartwarming. WS first offered the old ring saying we had two choices. We could throw it in the lake together as a symbol if starting over, or I could wear it as a symbol of all the good we shared that put us in a position to heal from the promises she broke after giving it to me the first time. She talked about all the important things we did together while I wore it, like giving birth to our child. Then she offered me her grandmothers ring to wear as a sign of all the good to come and, among other beautiful words, proposed again.

I now wear both rings. The old one has become a shield against triggers. When I feel angry or fearful I can look down and remember for a split secondhow I was so heartbroken she broke her promises. But immediately after that split second is up, I am flooded with all the goodness we had and still have in spite of her worst moments.

I was given a gift to replace that trigger that allows me to wear it and have it help me. For everyone else, I think her suggestion is a wonderful option to consider. It won't work for everyone, but I'm in favor of the couple making a decision about how to address the issue of sentimental jewelry together as a ritual in the process if healing. Had I chosen to throw it in the lake I'm sure it would have been painful for her, but it was enough to know that she would do that with me.

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