Dear Married Guys: Put Your Ring Back OnKatie Powell

I was under the impression that married men wore rings. Does that make me old fashioned? Short story: I was all about it when an attractive guy with a no wedding band of any kind started to chat me up at an art show last month. He complimented my blue eyes – classic – and tried his best to convince me that lawyers were decent human beings by telling me about how he reads books to second graders at an underprivileged school in town. Swoon worthy, right?

He was attractive, found me “disarmingly charming” and had an extensive collection of Bob Dylan records. I was amazed that I had found such a catch and was all but putting my number in his phone when a gorgeous blonde in a wrap dress walked up to us. She draped her arm around his shoulders and all but put threw the massive rock on her left hand in my face.  The glimmer of hope that maybe she was his sister and they were what, super close? quickly slipped away when she kissed him long enough to make it clear she was in fact his wife.

I was perplexed. Offended almost, that this guy who I had just spent the better part of the night getting to know was married, and his wife was looking at me like I was a stripper who showed up at the wrong bachelor party. I willed myself to just bow out gracefully but I don’t know, something not good came over me and I blurted out, “Wow, so you’re married. Good to know.”

The married man held his naked left hand up with a ridiculous smirk on his face and said, “You know, I’m not really into jewelry. Sorry you got the wrong impression.”

Not really into jewelry? Wrong impression? How was I to get the right impression? I was outraged. He had just carried on I then did what any woman would do and I texted and called my best girlfriends, filling them in on this menace to society. That’s when I became even more outraged. My friends had similar stories; some had stories that were far worse! They had heard every reason for not wearing a ring you could ever imagine:

I took it off for work and forgot.

My wife said I didn’t have to.

It’s so bulky.

Wearing jewelry makes me feel like a girl.

It messes with my golf swing.

Married men, a wedding band is not jewelry. It’s a wedding band. A symbol. You wear it to show your commitment to your wife, all the unconditional love that’s (hopefully) there and the future you look forward to sharing together. Why not wear it for that very purpose? You said the vows in front of God and everybody – choose your choice.

If nothing else, wear the ole’ band to tell single gals like me that you aren’t available because believe me, we notice the existence of a ring within the first 5-7 seconds. It’s one thing to chat it up innocently at a party, but to carry on for hours while saying things like “You’re gorgeous” while leaning in like you want to get to know me on a Biblical level is too much. Sure, there are exceptions on both sides of the story – guys who go bandless to appear single and girls who rather go after a married man – but lest we get a bad rep, most of the bachelorettes I know rather not spark interest in a married man. They find the guys who choose not to wear one for a number of erroneous reasons frustrating – false advertising, if you will.

So to bring this all full circle, I saw attractive married man from the art show in line for coffee a couple Thursdays ago. He was with his wife, laughing about something on her phone and guess what? He was wearing his wedding band.

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  1. I am a married man who does not wear a ring, other than special occasions. I find them uncomfortable, probably due to 30 years as a carpenter, a profession where wearing a ring is an invitation to losing 2/3 of your ring finger. I’ve known a few former ring wearers with this disfigurement.

    That being said, as a long-married (and quite happily so) man, when talking with ANY woman in a social situation, I make it a point to mention that fact in some way in the first few minutes of conversation. It isn’t difficult; there are always some conversational context that can “remind” you of something your wife did or said.

  2. My parents have been married for over 35 years, he’s never worn a ring. That guy was a sleazeball but that doesn’t mean that all men who don’t wear rings are jerks too. My mom doesn’t care that he doesn’t wear it, and if she doesn’t neither should anyone else, she trusts him and if my husband decides he doesn’t wanna wear his ring, I’ll trust him to always do right by me.

  3. I love that my husband doesn’t feel the need to wear his ring. I trust him and he trusts me. He hates wearing it, and I’m okay with that. I mean if he wants to flirt with other girls to give himself an ego boost, as long as he is still in love with me at the end of the day who cares??

    • Gabrielle: But what about the girls he is leading on? This issue isn’t just about you and your husband. Obviously the couple in the blog were not harmed by what happened. Honesty and making your intentions known has become a rare commodity these days. Also, if a man needs an ego boost from a woman, he seriously needs to re-check his priorities. I understand that what others think of you does matter in a sense, but I don’t think it should be at the cost of other’s feelings…

  4. My husband takes his ring off when he’s sleeping, because after a week of keeping it on constantly, his ring finger had a weird mark on it. Otherwise he wears it all day. I also have a friend who’s married, and he has a tattoo of the first letter of his name and the first letter of his wife’s name on his left ring finger. You can’t miss it.

  5. I wear my wedding ring so much that when it’s removed (to play guitar or drums), there’s a noticeable tan line. No mistaking it.

  6. I’m in the minority among my friends (men and women) who believe the ring should be worn all the time. If your job is such that you can’t wear jewelry, find some other way to prove it. I can’t fathom telling my (non-existent right now) husband that he didn’t have to wear his ring. I would wear mine, so he can wear his.

  7. You know this type of thing makes me think about the Amish custom of growing a beard after you’re married. It makes so much more sense to me now – I mean think about it, you can’t take the beard off and pop it back on later on in a ‘mischief managed’ harry potter marauder map kind of way. You don’t come up with excuses about it like oh my fingers were too skinny / fat today….. it ruins my golf swing (uh hello, I will show you a golf swing my love unless that ring stays on your finger!). Also it helps us ladies out as we don’t have to do the shifty look at his hand, which, when caught looking, proves to be incredibly embarrassing / amusing! You can see from a distance ‘oh beard? Right ok he’s taken then, where are all those clean shaven men at…’. You can see what I’m saying – right??!

    • Wearing a ring while golfing can lead to injury, as happened at my old course to a gentleman and a flag stick that didn’t end pretty. My best friend puts it in his wallet when golfing and pops it back on when we’re done. I’m not married yet but I leave my watch and ring at home whenever I hit the course / range as it torn my skin before and interferes with my interlocking grip.

      Same goes for my old research position working with lots of industrial oil / diesel / gojo.

    • That is awesome!

    • “Shifty look” – ha! Well said, though. Thanks for reading!

    • That would be funny for me because I have a beard and I’m not married:) I’ve had one for years

  8. Neither my husband nor I wear our wedding rings on a regular basis, but this is out of pure laziness (unless he’s got some hidden agenda I don’t know about, ha!), and let me explain why. My ring is a tad too tight and ends up giving me a rash (it’s got a weird, non-smooth, edge on top) if I wear it for too long, and his is too loose and has gone flying off of his hand before. Getting them resized has been on our to-do list for like the past 7 years.

    It’s never been an issue for us, and as Kylie said, “A douche is a douche, with or without a ring.”

  9. It’s worth pointing out that men wearing wedding rings is actually a pretty recent phenomenon (last 100 years or so) and most likely at the behest of the jewellery industry (who also MADE UP birthstones). That said, it’s nice to be able to know where you stand when you see a ring, on men or women.

  10. I agree and I have a story from the other side, what happened to me. Years ago, I met a women at the library and asked her out for coffee. No ring on, so I was happy and we had a great conversation with our coffee. I asked her to dinner and she readily accepted. I called before dinner to confirm the time and I heard her talking to someone in the background. I asked who she was talking to and she said her husband. I asked if you are married why go out with me. She stated that it’s only dinner and what is the problem. Wow, I was shocked! I told her to go fly a kite and that was it.

    So I agree that both sexes should wear their wedding rings

  11. I would have responded to his comment with “Um, no, you GAVE me the wrong impression”.

    At least your reaction was more held together than the one I had when I discovered that a guy I was dancing with once was married (his friends had been giving each other worried looks, had a word with him, he came back and said “I’m sorry, I have to tell you, I’m married”). My reaction was literally to run away, grabbing my friend’s hand and yelling “he’s married!”… not my most graceful exit

    • Ha! This time was only a tad more graceful because because I had been not so graceful a couples times before. Glad to know I’m not alone out there! Thanks for reading. :)

  12. I’m so with you! My fiance wears an engagement ring. This is of his own accord, after he proposed and (obviously) gave me my ring, he questioned whether guys wear engagement rings, and shouldn’t he have something that says he’s off limits too. I love that he loves to wear his ring, and know that I’m lucky to have a guy who doesn’t think it’s “too girly” or “too bulky” and he doesn’t even golf! :)

    • My husband also wore his wedding band as soon as we got engaged. His reasoning was “If you wear a ring to show that you’re already committed to someone, then why shouldn’t the guy wear his ring for the same reason?” He said if the ring ever got in the way of playing his guitar he would get a tattoo instead of ditching the ring.

    • That is pretty awesome that he volunteered to wear a ring, even during the engagement. What an incredible commitment! Thanks for sharing. :)

  13. Great post. I agree. Wear the ring. I’ve never met a married man who opted out of the ring-thing and not felt he had some kind of “agenda.” Like, if he wanted to flirt, he could, you know.

    A non-ring wearing man chatted me up on a business trip to Australia once. He ended up confessing he was married with a daughter at the end of dinner — which we did not go to alone, yay — because he felt like he was denying his daughter’s existence to say he wasn’t married. Okay, that’s great but what about your vows, your commitment, your wife!?

    I wish Prince William wore a ring. It would inspire men everywhere. But I don’t think any of the men in his family wear them. And who doesn’t know HE’S married?

    :) Rachel

    • Rachel – thanks for reading and thanks for sharing the business trip to Australia story. He sounds like a real treat! Glad you felt bad about your daughter but somehow you felt okay about your wife…WHAT?! And Prince William – YES!

  14. I think you’re spot on about this article. And let’s not forget that the time she wasted on Mr. Flirt-monkey includes lost opportunity — time she could have spent exploring other, more worthwhile companions that night.

    On a side note, I don’t wear my wedding ring (except for social events), and my husband never takes his off (even when he sleeps). I have what you call “FAT FINGERS”, where the pads at the base are as big as my thumb. Normal people, like my husband, have the widest part at their knuckles, so the ring can sit comfortably loose at the base, and never slip off because of the “knuckle block”. Since my fingers are “cone shaped”, my ring has to fit snugly or it will slip right off! Which becomes even more unbearable when my hands swell up throughout the day, turning the ring into a tourniquet. I wish I could wear my ring more often, but I just physically can’t. So I can understand why some people don’t wear their wedding rings. But ring or no ring — people in committed relationships should not be OVERTLY flirting with others! Not only is it a crime of infidelity towards their mate, it is also false advertisement towards those who are still looking to find Mr./Mrs. Right — which is already a complicated enough endeavor! I can still remember the misadventures of being single, so I sympathize with Miss Powell completely. :)

    • “Not only is it a crime of infidelity towards their mate, it is also false advertisement towards those who are still looking to find Mr./Mrs. Right — which is already a complicated enough endeavor!” — WELL SAID. Thank you for that and thank you for reading!

  15. I don’t think the point of this article is that “married men who wear rings don’t cheat”. All she is saying is that she was approached by a man who proceeded to flirt with her. Because he was not wearing a ring she felt comfortable remaining in the situation. Had he been wearing a ring she would have extricated herself from the situation. Plain and simple. My husband couldn’t wait to wear his band. Now he hates to take it off. He loves for people to see he is married. I wear my ring as an outward symbol of my commitment to him. And I do flash it when guys approach me to squash any flirtation. It may not stop the real slimeballs, but it sure does filter out the majority.

  16. I’m not sure how much I agree with this post. The only reason I feel differently is because I don’t feel a married man should be telling you all these things in the first place. I’m not a big jewelry person, and being engaged before, I really didn’t wear my ring. However, I certainly didn’t give the impression to any man that I was on the market. A ring, or any other piece of jewelry doesn’t protect anyone from infidelity, it’s the way they interact with other people. This guy sounds like a total douche, and I guess his wife has to throw herself at him in public venues to act as his fidelity protector. Which really, sucks to be her.

  17. I dunno, I work at a place where it doesnt matter if you wear a ring or not, everyone is sleeping with everyone regardless. While I love that my husband wears his wedding band, that is not what makes me trust him or makes me believe that he is loyal to me. Its how he treats me, spends time with me, talks to me, respects me, comes home to me. Just because you wear a ring, it doesnt mean that your not gonna go and cheat. Its how you act. And my husband comes from a religious family – his brothers dont wear rings because our religion states that men can’t wear jewelry – so if you notice, orthodox male jews never wear rings. They do grow beards, but they never wear rings. So getting married to my husband, it was a discussion as to whether he wanted to wear a ring or not. He opted that he wanted to. But i can tell you that his brothers, without wearing a ring, respect their wives and are loyal to their wives and family – unlike the man who decided to wear his ring a few days after flirting with you at a party.

  18. Have been happily married for nearly 17 years and have never worn my ring because I find rings uncomfortable. My husband on the other hand tactually likes jewellery but cannot where it because of his line of work. I don’t care what impression others get of me from that, end of the day a ring means nothing and I am have always been loyal & committed to my marriage regardless. I have seen plenty of other people cheat on their partners while still wearing a ring. A douche is a douche with or without a ring and if you need a ‘symbol’ in order to make you feel secure in your relationship then there’s a lack of trust there.

  19. My husband doesn’t wear his wedding ring. Hasn’t worn it since the day I put it on his hand when we got married 8 years ago (August 13, 2005). He is a firefighter, and he can’t wear his ring at work, which I understand fully. But, he is a health and Safety officer now, which doesn’t require him to be fighting fires (because of health reasons)…he just doesn’t like to wear it…he is not one to wear any type of jewelry. He has it in a special place in his wallet–it is always with him, so I feel better that at least he has it on him at all times…

  20. My husband has never taken his ring off since we got married. I had taken it off while cleaning or cooking due to the messiness of the activity. I have told my hubby that it is ok to take his ring off while at work due to safety reasons, but he prefers to wear a horrible glove to protect his ring, instead of taking it off.

    About men saying that it is uncomfortable, BS!!!… my hubby picked his ring and he made sure it did not bother him at all. There are so many designs and sizes that comfort does not have to be sacrificed.