How important can a wedding ring be in a society that’s all about individuality and self-expression? It’s a fun part of the wedding, especially for women, but does it matter? And for many others, isn’t a wedding ring just an outdated symbol of ownership?
I knew a man once who regularly removed his wedding ring when going out with the guys. Was he planning on being unfaithful to his wife? No, I’d never do that! But he loved exchanging looks and conversation with women who thought he was single and attractive.
After all, just because you’re on a diet doesn’t mean you can’t look at the menu, right? There was no intention of having sex with that other person. What harm could there be in a frisky little conversation? So goes the logic of the flesh (on the road to Hell).
Maybe you’re not that guy (or woman), but you just don’t see the importance of wearing your wedding ring all the time. You’re committed, all the way, and your wife/husband knows it – never needs to doubt it – because when it comes to your marriage commitment, it’s rock-solid. No ring could ever add to what you both know is already there.
There’s some truth in this kind of thinking. A wedding ring doesn’t make you more married than you already are. The one person on earth to whom my wedding ring is least important is the person to whom the symbol applies. Don’t get me wrong, and she wants me to wear my wedding ring and I do, all the time. I’m one of those who never take it off. But, it’s not me she’s concerned about. There’s a sense in which the last person who needs me to wear my wedding ring is my wife. It’s not really for her.
The owner of a bakery does not need to be told or reminded that he sells baked goods and he certainly doesn’t need the sign out on the street to inform him of what goes on inside his store. He’s the one person who doesn’t need the sign because he has intimate knowledge of everything it represents.
And so it is with marriage. The last two people on earth who need a ring to tell them what has transpired between them is a married couple. They know what they did on their wedding day – vows and oneness.
“The two shall become one.” It’s a spiritual and physical reality that no band of gold and diamonds can make more real to the married couple.
When you got married, you probably were over the moon excited to be able to wear your wedding ring finally. Not only is it a testament to your commitment and love, but it’s beautiful! While you may want to keep the symbol of your love close at all times (and maybe show it off a bit!), there are some instances where it’s best to leave your ring behind.
Your wedding ring is a symbol, and symbols, like many other things in marriage, are meant to be guiding principles, not rigid ultimatums. There are, of course, instances in life when you really need to take your wedding band off. There are also plenty of times when removing your band ranges from fairly unnecessary to absolutely wrong. Here are some examples.
Table of Contents
- 1 Yes: Doing Dishes
- 2 No: Going To A Bar
- 3 Yes: Going Into Surgery
- 4 No: Gardening
- 5 Yes: Cleaning (The Rings)
- 6 No: Cleaning (The House)
- 6.1 Your ring is a daily reminder to you that every decision you make will impact your spouse in some way
- 6.2 Your ring is a symbol of RESPECT for your spouse
- 6.3 Your ring is the first line of defence against infidelity
- 6.4 Your ring is a visible symbol to your kids that your marriage matters
- 6.5 There aren’t really any good reasons for NOT wearing it!
- 7 Here are a few times you shouldn’t be wearing your engagement ring
Yes: Doing Dishes
You’re scrubbing things rigorously in a cloud of bubbly foam—all of which is happening over a drain that leads to God knows where–Hell, probably. Now it a good time to take off the ring. If it slips off in the suds and falls down the drain, you will have to go through a whole lot of nonsense even to attempt to get it back. You may have to pay a plumber an outrageous amount of money, and also then there are no guarantees. Just take it off, set it on the counter way from any slippage, and slide it back on when you’re through. (They even sell little dishes just for this purpose.)
No: Going To A Bar
This should be obvious, but if you’re going to a bar place where there will be plenty of drinks and single women, leave your wedding ring on. If you deserve to wear that ring, you’re not planning on acting on any of those back-of-mind thoughts anyway. By leaving it on, you are also showing the single women that you are taken–which might, paradoxically, make them pay even more attention to you. By taking it off, you increase the chance that you’ll lose it and leaving it at home increases the chances your wife will find it. Do not let your wife find it.
Yes: Going Into Surgery
Surgery requires all kinds of science talk about blood flow and big (read: scary) machines that use metal to detect nefarious things in your body. If you’re fortunate enough to know ahead of time that you’ll be going into surgery, maybe leave the wedding ring at home and come back to it when you’re through. You don’t want to have the doctor need to cut it off while you’re under anesthetic. Also, if you die while under the knife, you want your wife to have that gold, not some sticky-fingered morgue attendant.
Unlike when you do the dishes, you can leave your ring on while gardening. Worst case scenario, it slips off and lands in front of you on the soil. Any scuffs or dirt that may be on the ring, you could always just clean afterwards. And if you accidentally bury it? That’s why God invented these.
Yes: Cleaning (The Rings)
You don’t need to clean the ring while it is still on you. I know it represents everlasting love while wearing it, but you should take it off to clean. That said, rings are slippery little bastards, so make sure you’re not cleaning it standing over the sink. Take the polish or cleaner and do so either over a surface or bowl or something where the black hole of bad luck can’t suck it in.
No: Cleaning (The House)
As with gardening, there’s no need to remove your ring while sprucing up your house. Whether it’s something harmless like putting away clothes draped over a chair or larger tasks like regrouting your bathroom tile, anything that happens to the ring can be cleaned up later. Exceptions: cleaning your toilets, stripping paint, and installing quick-drying insulation
Your ring is a daily reminder to you that every decision you make will impact your spouse in some way
A ring is a tangible symbol of the permanent place your spouse should hold in your heart, your schedule and every part of your life. From the moment you said, “I do,” every aspect of your life is now connected to your spouse. You’re “One” according to the Bible. Everything you do with your time, your words, your money, etc. will impact him/her in some way so the ring is a simple reminder that everything you touch will touch your marriage.
Check out our list of Wedding Ring Shops to help you find the perfect wedding band.
Your ring is a symbol of RESPECT for your spouse
Respect in marriage isn’t measured only by what we say. It’s often the silent acts and actions that speak the loudest. Respect in marriage is communicated constantly (since marriage is a constant relationship). The ring is one simple way to communicate that respect, ESPECIALLY when your spouse has asked you to wear it and/or communicated that it’s important to them. If your spouse has asked you to wear it, and you consistently deny their request, then you are consistently communicating disrespect and disregard for his/her feelings.
Check out our post on Who buys the Man’s Wedding ring?
Your ring is the first line of defence against infidelity
A ring isn’t a fail-proof safeguard against infidelity, and it’s certainly a simple first line of defence. Wearing a ring subtly communications the message that, “I’m married. I’m committed. My marriage matters to me.” If you’re trying to be “married undercover” by keeping your marital status a mystery in public, that’s NOT healthy. Some people (who have no respect for marriage) may still proposition you while you’re wearing a ring, but you can prevent many unnecessary temptations by simply wearing it.
Your ring is a visible symbol to your kids that your marriage matters
If you have children, one of the most important lessons you can teach them is what a marriage should look like. Have the kind of marriage that makes them want to get married someday! Show your kids the beauty of a husband and wife committed to each other in both public and private. This requires MUCH more than just a ring, but the ring will be something they notice, and it can provide opportunities for you to talk about why you wear it and what it represents.
There aren’t really any good reasons for NOT wearing it!
Like I said at the beginning, there are some practical exceptions to this rule, but overall, when it’s simply a matter of preference, why not wear your ring? There are so many positive ways it can help your marriage and no downside. If your attitude isn’t “Well, I shouldn’t have to,” and instead you think, “I always want to do everything in my power to respect my husband/wife and protect my marriage,” then you’ll be on the right track.
Here are a few times you shouldn’t be wearing your engagement ring
When you’re going swimming
Plan on going for a dip? Leave your ring at home. If you lose your ring in a lake or ocean, you probably won’t be getting it back (not everyone can spot a diamond-like Kylie Jenner). On top of that, salty or heavily chlorinated water can damage your bling, so it’s best to leave it behind.
While you should be ecstatic to embark on your deep-sea adventure, don’t forget to leave your ring behind. The saltwater found in oceans is corrosive to some metals and may cause discolouration or deterioration. If snorkelling isn’t on your agenda, but taking a dip in a swimming pool is, it’s still a better choice to take your wedding ring off. Chlorine and other chemicals found in pools can ruin your ring’s metal through dents or discolouration.
Another reason to leave your ring at home during your water adventures is that most ring losses occur during water activities. Your finger size shrinks in water, so even if your ring is typically tight and snug, putting it in water may make it lose, and it can slip off more easily. Not only do you not want to ruin your ring, but you also don’t want to ruin your adventure by losing your ring!
We know it’s kind of annoying to have to think about when to wear your ring and when to take it off, but it’s worth it. Taking your ring off and putting it in a safe place during these types of activities is the best thing you can do if you want to preserve your ring’s beauty. Oh, and of course, give your ring a quick clean every once in a while to avoid losing your ring’s unique sparkle.
When you’re cooking
If your idea of a gourmet meal is Toaster Strudels, you can probably skip removing your ring while you’re in the kitchen. However, if you feel like channelling your inner Ina Garten, you’re going to want to remove it. Food can get stuck in your band when you’re kneading, mixing and chopping, so it’s best to put it away while you create your culinary masterpieces. Pro tip: If you cook for a living (or have another profession that would prohibit you from wearing your ring) invest in a chain and wear it as a necklace while working.
When you’re working out
While a quick run on the treadmill won’t affect your shiny new bauble, you may want to skip wearing it if you plan on doing a more aggressive workout. Hitting it against hard surfaces or catching it on equipment can wreak havoc on your ring.
When you’re sleeping
Jewellery boxes and ring dishes exist for a reason! While most of us like to think we sleep like baby angels, that’s usually not the case. Tossing and turning can wear down your ring, causing the prongs around your diamond to loosen or other minor damages to take place. So, before you go to bed, remove your ring and put it by your bedside for safekeeping.
When you’re travelling
If you’re going on a vacation, it may be a good idea to leave your ring at home - especially if you plan on doing more adventurous activities. It’s easy to lose jewellery when you’re ziplining, bungee jumping or surfing.
When you’re doing housework
Have you decided that your lawn needs some TLC and want to spend your day weed whacking? Or, perhaps you think your living room has bad feng shui and requires some serious furniture rearranging? Before you get down to business, remove that ring. It’s easy to lose or harm your bling while doing housework, and you don’t want that!
It’s no secret that jewellery and heavy machinery don’t mix well together. If you want to avoid causing your ring to split, scratch, or crack, don’t wear your wedding band when doing manual labour. And if you’re like most people and sweat when you’re working hard, you’ll want to take off your ring during your project. Sweat is prone to dull your ring’s shine and can cause your ring to slip off. The only thing worse than a damaged ring is no ring at all!
One of the biggest concerns related to rings and construction projects is not even related to what can happen to your ring. It is what can happen to your finger! Some of the worst ring-accident stories involve rings and heavy machinery. Think twice before wearing your ring on the job-site. While you want your wedding band to show that you are fully committed and of the market, it is better to go without it during construction projects to ensure its (and your) safety.
When you’re washing dishes
You don’t have to remove your ring to load up the dishwasher, but if you plan on plunging your hands into soapy water, it’s best to leave it to the side. You don’t want to scratch it on a stray piece of cutlery or let the drain swallow it whole. If you’re forgetful (or just don’t want to take it off), you should probably invest in a pair of rubber gloves.
When you’re showering
A surefire way to dull your ring’s sparkle is by bringing it into the shower or tub with you. All that scrubbing and soaking can do a number on your band (heavy-duty exfoliants may even scratch it!). Leave it in your jewellery box while you freshen up so that it stays in tip-top shape.
When you’re putting on moisturizer
Don’t slip that ring back on as soon as you hop out of the shower! While your skin may need body butter’s help, your ring does not. Wait until you’ve finished applying all of your lotions and potions so that you don’t risk building up any gunk behind your band.
When you bring it in for maintenance
Even the most perfect ring requires maintenance every now and again. You don’t want to lose your bling thanks to a loose prong or broken band, so take it to your jeweller to get fixed if you start seeing any signs of wear and tear. Pro tip: this service is usually free or discounted if you visit the place where your ring was purchased.
So, you got some shiny new bling and you never ever want to take it off. This isn’t just your average trinket - it shows your S.O.’s love, affection and commitment, making it a billion times more valuable. However, you may want to think twice before mentally super gluing it to your finger. Your engagement ring is probably the most stunning piece of jewellery you’ve ever owned, so you definitely don’t want to risk losing or damaging it.