This post is sponsored by Worthy.
One of my earliest memories is of me sitting at the top of the stairs in my footie pajamas, tiny legs dangling, and tears streaming down my cheeks as my mother lobbed her wedding ring down the stairs, yelling, “Sarah, if you can find it, you can have it.” So believe me when I say that I can feel in my bones that the release of a wedding ring comes with a powerful emotional charge—and that deciding what to do with your wedding ring after divorce is agonizing.
That being said, I’m not a member of the “Big D” club personally, so I can only imagine what it might be like to have to make the decisions that accompany splitting from a long-time partner. Custody arrangements. Finances. Where to live. Who gets the pets. What to do with your life now that your identity isn’t tied up in another person.
And then there’s the ring. As I sit and look at my own ring, all kinds of emotions run through me. Mostly my engagement ring reminds me of the look in my now-husband’s eyes on the Christmas Eve he proposed and the gloriously stifling heat when we said “I do” outside under the scorching July Texas sun. Tears well up when I try to wrap my head around what I would do with it if he and I were to separate.
What do you do when the ring doesn’t symbolize a loving marriage anymore, but just a huge amount of pain, suffering, and, perhaps, a long drawn-out divorce?
My hat is off to all you powerhouse women who have had to or are currently going through that situation.
Now, let’s look at what to do when the ring doesn’t symbolize a loving marriage anymore, but just a huge amount of pain, suffering, and, perhaps, a long drawn-out divorce. There are two obvious paths to take: You let the ring chill out stuffed way, way back in your closet—or you sell the damn thing. We talked to some NextTribers who have gone through the whole “what to do with my ring now that my marriage is over” conundrum and found there are some very good reasons to get some cash for that ring once you are divorced. (And nowadays, there are services like Worthy that are all about making that sale process go smoothly.)
Here’s why some NextTribers decided to part with their wedding jewels:
Your Wedding Set Can Help Create Something Beautiful for Someone Else
Clearing your personal space can feel like ridding your home and life of some seriously bad juju. Not only that, when you sell your ring, you’re pretty much giving it a whole new wonderful life.
That was the case for NextTriber Nancy M, a surgeon who admits that she didn’t wear her ring much even while she was married (scrubbing in and out and all) and even completely stopped wearing her ring after briefly losing it on her 13th wedding anniversary.
I didn’t feel that a ring that represented a divorce should be handed down to anyone in my family.
“Removing it then was also emblematic of the changes that started happening as my marriage became a roommate situation with very different lives, with interests other than the kids,” Nancy explained. “By the time I went through a very difficult divorce after 26 years of marriage, the ring had been stuck in a drawer for a very long time.”
Nancy’s history with her ring led her to make the decision to sell it in hopes “that the parts will be better than the sum of the parts. The separated parts will lose the emotion of a failed marriage that was kept together long past its expiration point,” she says. “The individual pieces can become of value to someone else who can take the gold, the baguette diamonds, the marquis diamond and make it something new. In other words, I didn’t feel that a ring that represented a divorce should be handed down to anyone in my family. It doesn’t just need a new home, it needs to be broken down and rebuilt into something wonderful for someone else.”
Letting Go of Your Former Wedding Ring = Letting Go of Responsibility
“I am just eager to let go of the responsibility of keeping track of the ring … which I obviously do so well,” she jokes, referring to the previous loss of her ring. By selling the ring, one never has to worry about where it’s stashed again—especially if one is moving after a divorce.
Selling Your Ring Can Help You Give Back
I decided to keep it and throw it in the river as a testimony that my ex could never control my life again. But then I changed my mind.
Divorce sucks—but that doesn’t mean you can’t spin the experience into gold by helping someone else.
“This year, I sold my wedding ring on Valentine’s Day and donated the proceeds to a domestic violence prevention center,” an anonymous woman shared in NextTribe comments. Think of selling the ring as a windfall you can use to do good in the world—a way to pay it forward and support a cause you believe deeply in.
Let’s Not Skip the Meaning of Money!
The saying goes “diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” but that adage is actually incorrect. Food is. Yup, why not take this thing of value that has lost its loving sentiment and use it to pay some basic bills—or do a little celebrating of the start of your new life, even if it isn’t feeling fully fabulous just yet.
Virginia F. took this path when it came to her ring. “This wedding ring is my heart,” Virginia wrote us on Facebook. “I tried the other day to rid myself of it. It came to a whole $100 offer at the pawn shop. I decided to keep it and throw it in the river as a testimony that my ex could never control my life again. As I threw my arms up to say goodbye, I changed my mind again. I got the 100 bucks and invited two friends for pizza and beer.” Whether you use the funds raised to by basics or to say cheers with a few friends, it sounds like a great idea to us.