“I don’t understand the point of wedding rings,” I’ve overheard several people say recently. “What are they supposed to do? It’s not like they magically keep people from cheating.”
Whether it’s a simple gold band or a giant gem worthy of the movies, the act of wearing a ring doesn’t automatically make someone’s relationship more secure or committed — and it certainly doesn’t keep a person from cheating on their partner. Wedding rings don’t save marriages, and they’re not a sign that a relationship is healthy or loving.
I can understand why some couples decide wedding rings aren’t really their style. I mean, it’s not like having a ring on your left hand can really do anything. To my great disappointment and confusion, sporting a wedding ring doesn’t even seem to scare off the creepy men aggressively asking for my phone number or a date.
But even though wedding rings don’t make a marriage, I still love mine.
My blue topaz wedding ring belonged to my great-grandma, and my husband’s ring has been passed down through several generations in his family. Our rings help us feel connected to our families — specifically, family members we’ve lost.
My great-grandpa gave my great-grandma the little gold ring with a blue stone on their one-year anniversary. It was just the beginning of their adventures.
“We had a lot of adventures together,” my grandma told me once.
And they did — walking on the Great Wall of China, taking a tiny boat up the Inside Passage in Alaska — and when they got tired of suburban life, retiring to the country where they lived sandwiched between apple farms and ranches.
When I miss my grandparents, it helps to have a piece of jewelry that reminds me of them. Plus, it reminds me how they were so happily married for such a very long time. It’s an encouraging example of what a marriage can look like.
But even if my husband and I didn’t have rings that had been passed down through our families, I’d still want to wear a wedding ring.