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.
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.
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.
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.