couples

Why you should divorce your diamonds when you divorce your ex.

It had been more than a year since the last time I looked at my wedding and engagement rings. Until this week.

My daughter and I lived in the marital home until my ex signed over the deed. This was the most solid decision he could make: we were in risk of foreclosure and as sole owner of the home, he would have been impacted the worst. Of course, even though this was the best decision made in bad circumstances, I was not ready financially. I had 73 days to move and so I frantically found a place to live.

Once I had all our stuff in my new home I wondered if, with money being so tight, I should sell my wedding and engagement rings. Those beautiful, delicate objects had been stuffed away in a drawer far from sight and mind. I couldn’t bear to look at them any more. I put the thought away though, realising I wasn’t ready yet to say goodbye to my rings. I figured once I become desperate, I would take the plunge.

Laura

But one evening, as I was sitting outside at a restaurant with my friend watching a couple just married taking photos, I realised it was time. There they were: a tall raven-haired bride in a long, strapless, mermaid-style evening gown and he, the groom with short dark matching hair and a tux, hugging each other and smiling for the camera.

Seven years ago, there I was: blonde bride in a strapless Cinderella-poufy gown, and he, the groom, my ex-husband, dark-haired, just like Prince Charming in his tux as we kissed and hugged. We were in the same spot this couple was on the same street, yet there they were, starting their lives as a couple - while mine was ending.

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Why won’t I look at my old rings, I asked myself. I went home feeling dejected and angry. I hated the couple on the street. They symbolised everything I had lost and everything that was missing. I fell asleep sad that night, defeated and drunk with sadness.

The next day though, I dared myself to do it. To finally admit that it was time to sell my ring. What had I been waiting for? What did keeping my ring do? Would it give me back my marriage? No, and if it did, would I want the same marriage I had? Not exactly. You see, my mind has one version of this ring and what it means, yet reality was very different to my fantasy version.

"I remember how I felt when he asked and how I was a giddy girl showing off my beautiful ring to everyone."

In my head, I remember how he asked me to marry me. My ex was actually supposed to wait a few days to ask me at our first date spot on Valentine’s Day. I thought it was going to be on an earlier night and was disappointed when he didn’t ask. When a friend of mine heard my disappointment, she gave away the news that he was going to ask, and so he decided to ask me sooner.

I remember how I felt when he asked, and how I was a giddy girl showing off my beautiful ring to everyone - and indeed, my ring is beautiful to me. It was exactly what I wanted. He was exactly what I wanted. This is the story in my mind and perhaps you - divorced women, or those of you, like me, going through the process - also remember your story.

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To you, your rings represent that story and dream of love. You remember how he asked you. You remember all your hopes and dreams in that small piece of jewelry. They’re not just rings. They’re so much more. They’re a symbol of your life, yet now that symbol is completely disconnected from the truth.

You can kid yourself all you want because believe me, accepting that dream is gone is hard to do, but how can you move forward if you’re still hanging on to a dead dream? How can you make other dreams and wishes if you’ve got a ghost in your heart and in your life?

Divorcing yourself from your ring is the only sane thing to do.

Laura and her father, walking down the aisle on her wedding day

You can tell me you’d like to turn the ring into something else, maybe a pair of earrings or a necklace, but do you really want to repurpose a dead dream? Won’t you just be wearing a part of your past each day? I suppose there’s no harm in that but I would wager there is something better you can do to divorce yourself from the old and move onto the new.

Some people have suggested I pass my ring on, as if I really want to hand off to someone some of my “bad mojo.” Maybe it’s just me inheriting some of my Irish mother’s superstitions but … “Here’s the ring from my divorce, my loved and cherished daughter or family. Enjoy!”

Um, no thanks.

Selling my ring - selling your ring - is an amazing idea on so many levels. You’re clearing the debris of the past away and starting with a clean slate. You’re not holding onto hope desperately but rather reaching towards possibilities with strength. Selling my ring will give me money. Money I desperately need. But is it really money that’s of the most worth here? Well, sure you can argue that yes, money is of most importance to all divorced women struggling to get their families together, but selling the ring gives you so much more than money.

It gives you a second chance at life and at love.

It’s starting at 'go' with no baggage, no sad memories, no false expectations, and no bad vibes.

You’re getting a divorce whether your ex initiated it or you did or you both did, so stop living in the past. Join your future. It’s beautiful and it’s waiting for you. I for one will not let the image of that married couple haunt me any more. That may not be me with a happy ending but it doesn’t mean I have to dwell in sadness forever.

I have a new story to write and I can’t waste time trying to rewrite something that is already dead and gone.

Laura Lifshitz is a pint-sized, battery-operated, tour de force of wit and neuroticism. A comedienne, writer, Columbia University graduate & ex- MTV personality, Laura will work for self-validation and chocolate. A contributor for the New York Times, the Huffington Post, PopSugarMoms, and more, read her rantings on sex, marriage, divorce, parenthood, and life at frommtvtomommy or follow her on Facebook or Twitter. She likes to make friends with strangers.

This post originally appeared on DivorcedMoms.com and has been republished here with full permission.

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