A couple of days ago I had a sudden and strong urge to stop wearing my wedding ring. I love my husband and I love being married. The urge had nothing to do with that, at least I don’t think so. Since then I have been trying to psychoanalyze myself and figure out what it’s all about.The urge came over me as I was participating in a philosophical discussion group. As I sat there, I realized that I have been becoming more independent as of late. I do things by myself that I would have never done without being attached to my husband’s side in earlier times. Suddenly I wanted to be just me. I didn’t want my marital status broadcast to anyone who glanced at my left hand. I didn’t want be perceived by others as a part, but as a whole. More deeply, I wanted to really see myself as a whole. I wanted “just me” to feel like it’s enough, complete.
Don’t get me wrong, I feel like I have a wonderful relationship and I am a better person for it. I don’t want to detract from that. However, something in me wants to feel complete and to be able to relate to the world as simply Amy. Much of my sense of self has been bound up in being a married woman. I derive a sense of worth and security from it. Now I’m ready to explore my sense of self without that shiny rock on my finger showing the world that someone else thinks I’m worthwhile.
I could stop there, but I also think there’s something more to it. Somehow wearing the ring makes me feel as though I can’t engage fully or be fully present with other people. I feel like the Mormon coloring to my marriage experience has led me to be somewhat closed off in my relationships with other people. Somewhere along the way I internalized the idea that it is not appropriate for me to socialize with men. I overreact to the point that in some cases I can barely manage to be friendly. I want to be more emotionally available to a wider range of friendships and interactions. I don’t want so much of my psychic energy to be bound up in preoccupation with my marital status. Somehow all these things have become imbued into the symbol of my wedding ring for me. It’s time for me to undo some of that.
I like my ring. I don’t plan to completely abandon it. But maybe some days I won’t wear it.