The Ring Doesn’t Mean A Thing


Newlyweds, happily married, “working things out”, or plain confused, describes the status of countless marriages.  What is clear however is their status, made known by the big or small wedding ring worn on the respective finger. While a ring may not always be worn by the husband, the wife regularly wears hers.  Though when going through serious marital issues and the wife is faced with evaluating her situation-considering whether to stay or leave the marriage, or in the process of going through a divorce, many wives stop wearing their wedding ring.

The sudden transition from wearing a ring to being ring-less is a new adjustment made known to the public. If her decision is to keep it off, she obviously can expect questions, judgment, and investigation.  In order to avoid that stress, the transition happens immediately and a new ring-symbolic of nothing, replaces her wedding ring.

Perhaps the wife is faced with infidelity. Take for example, my cousin’s close girlfriend, a Nigerian professional living in New York who is currently married to her husband of 6 years.  She learned that her husband was having an affair within the most recent few months of her marriage. She now struggles with moving forward; unsure whether to get a divorce, work things out or even separate.  However, she is clear on one thing and that has been to stop wearing her wedding ring.  Knowing that people are used to seeing her with a wedding ring on, she knows that without it, it will attract the exact attention women experiencing marital issues want to avoid.  Therefore, to guard against meddling mouths the art of “accessorizing” comes into effect.  Ever since her band ban (no pun intended), she now wears a costume ring on her left hand finger that looks just like a wedding band.  How pathetic!  She made the decision to stop wearing her wedding ring but rather than to fully accept and deal with her new position, she instead runs from it.

No doubt is it a difficult time and hard to go through when your own marriage is falling apart and you have reached the point where you at least temporarily decide to stop wearing your wedding ring or indefinitely. However, if you are realistic about how the marriage is going, you must be real in all aspects.  Wearing a look-alike wedding band as the so-called wedding band is immature.

Divorced or married? A very close friend of the family, a single mother of 4 has been divorced for nine years and every day since her split she wears a costume ring, designed only for accessorizing on her left hand’s ring finger.  Sadly enough, it resembles an engagement ring.  Her choice of finger is no coincidence.  She does not wear a single ring on any other finger except for one.  Perhaps her thought process may be, “Wearing this ring creates the illusion that I am not single.”  Whatever the thought process, as Kim from the Atlanta Housewives put it, “The ring doesn’t mean a thing!” What is the ring symbolic of? Certainly not marriage, or is it supposed to be a reminder of your liberation? The marriage is over so get used to a ring-less plain finger until further notice.

I know a handful of women either married or divorced who either are ashamed, embarrassed, or unhappy with the state of their relationships or the reality of being out of one. They continue wearing “dress-up” rings and bands on their ring fingers to put up a front.  When I see them, I cannot help but to say in silence, “You aren’t married, so why are you wearing a pretend ring as if people don’t already know your situation,” and when I see those who are married the emotion is similar, “Your wedding ring is obviously off, so leave it that way.  Who are you fooling with that “accessory” ring?”  Deal with the choice you made and by doing that you are real with others, but most importantly yourself.  It is that type of courage that lets others know that they do not have to pretend or hide about their marital status.

Photo Credit:

By: Ashley I. Okonkwo


  1. I love this! Great article Ashley, you hit on key factors that should be taken into consideration. The ring simply does not mean a thing when you are unhappy and alone. The ring serves a status of symbol, but does not show the love that is now lost. I'm sorry females need to get it together and realize their worth and because he is not treating you right or everything went sour there is NO NEED to keep fronting. I know for sure, I can see right through the fakeness. STOP BEING FRAUDULENT!!

    Let me address, those women who feel the urge to replace the ring. You're a damn fool, I would never degrade myself and do something so stupid like that. That is definitely a sign of insecurity and I will need these ladies to get it together. Yes, your relationship is now sour or even OVER, there is no need to attempt to keep the JONES in your the end of the day you're screwing up your own psyche and in my book your DUMB (point blank)

    Ladies, I believe need to find something else to do than occupy their time and worrying about their mate who obviously does not love you anymore. Find a support group, read a book, join a church…find something else to do because the stress and being a phony, is only hurting you when he damn sure is on to the NEXT! Stop giving these fools the time of day to still control you, those days are over. Start being real & things will improve for self!!

    • Very much easier said than done. Let's hope you won't have to deal with this issue in the future. A little bit of humility will help u in the future, my dear. You sound so young and naive!

  2. Excellent article first of all, very insightful article and very true because I do see a lot of females who wears ring on their wedding finger. To tell the truth, when I do see them I always assume "she is taken", now that you mentioned this "accessory" ring females wear to replace the wedding ring due to whatever reason, I keep that in mind. I also like the fact how you always use an example from your own life to enhance the point you trying to get across and to also show that you have experienced what you are writing about.

    Great Job once again, keep them coming

  3. This article is on point Ashley, it always bothers me when i see women with rings on their married finger and i already assume they are married, then i hear from a third party that she is divorced or separated. This article really hit the major points of used to be married women still wearing their rings because of shame or liberation, if you trying to liberate yourself, you should feel free to do without the ring even if you know people are going to talk about you. Overall this article is well written and women in these positions need to read this and stop focusing on what society says and live their life.

  4. the real problem is people get married nowadays for the wrong reasons…not neccesary because they in love but due to some reasons thet may range from been forced into,infatuation,gold digging and the list goes until two people take the institution of marriage for the sole purpose of love,trust,communication,friendship and the fear of God amongst others,then i dont think you would have a problwm of taking the ring off.

  5. This topic is very interesting Ashley and i belived tht wearing a ring symbolizes the status of ur relationship and if it's not working out there's no reason while one shld keep wearing it…lol for instance by bf give me a promise ring tht i used to wear all tht time and when he started acting up i stop wearing it like smh i'm nah gonna fool myself or ppll around me cuz it's all about being happy wif who u wif *_*

  6. well i believe culture plays an important role in a situation like. Lets look at most African cultures, since u site some as an example;.. As a female reaches the age of 25, you are expected to be married, if not they it is believed something is not right

    so imagine when you get into the marriage and then divorce pops in, you become the laughing stalk of the community, people will not ask what happened in the relationship, but call the female names. this is why some people act the way they do..

    so on some real issh…we should blame the community forcing these people to act the way they act

  7. I absolutely love this article. Great job Ashley. Its either women what to maintain their pride by wearing accessories to cover a breakup or they want to use accessories to hide from men. Either way its just plain sad. Confidence is something that is lacking in many of these situations and that needs to change in our community. Great Job once again!

  8. First nice article Ashley. And Good point Adebare, I think they wear it after divorce and seperation maybe because they miss it or they wanna scare some guys away. And when it comes to married couples wearing there ring, i feel like the wife wants to show off more than the husband. Cuz men and women see marrage different.

    • Wow, definetely different takes on it. some say security blanket others feel women should stop fooling themselves and even others. great viewpoints. thanks everyone

  9. Wow, my friend Domo..put me on to this article and it was amazing. The article hits home because I am guilty of doing just that with the accessory ring since me and my boo we’re on bad terms. Now that I reflect, I was indeed foolish..but I have learned to make things better for myself and realize my worth.

  10. this is a fabulous article!!!! this article shows how sad some people are and how low they stoop to hide their marital issues you keep on writing!!!

  11. Funny thing is I experienced a failed marriage at the very young age of 26. For the first week I wore my ring. Eventually I decided I needed to truly start getting used to my new self. It really is a security blanket. Matter of fact, whenever I go to job interviews, I wear my full ring set (always works by the way) as per image.

    I no longer wear my ring. Heck I wear a ring on every other finger except the obvious. I've really moved on with my life. Maybe it's because I'm still very young, I don't know. However, I completely understand why these women do these things. It's not always about what others would think, sometimes it may just be their religious views.

    I understand that (surprisingly) it's irritating to you, but remember: TO EACH HIS OWN!

  12. I think in a way.. its like a blanket from reality you know? like they know their married… and all that.. but they cant bring themselves to term with reality and whats happening.. so they put on that "accessory" ring as they call it to kind of shield themselves from the reality of whats happening.

  13. I don't think women should be blamed all the way in this matter, we should probably look at things on a case to case basis. Wearing an accessory ring can be part of therir grieving process, we all know that women are emotional creatures and if the divorce/separation was unwanted on the woman's side an accessory ring is there to raise hope or maybe give her the impression that she is still linked to the man.
    I do agree that insecurity and judgement of others is a key factor to all and women need to get over this ring idolatry (whether married or not) and move on to more important things. We have to learn how to embrace and enjoy our status at any point of our lives (single, in a relationship, married or divorced).

    Good job Ashley 😉

  14. All these are hypothetical assumptions none have any idea about what's going on in their psych. I cannot jump to conclusion that it's because they are "ashamed or fool or whatever but i think they have their reasons contrary to popular beliefs. I don't think it's the right thing to do but we all don't do the right always but the necessary thing. If all those affected by this "defect" read this article they will realize it and hopefully choose to do what make them feel real.

    Insightful article Ash!

  15. Its a sad situation that people don't know when to give something up. In general people need to know when to call it quits and move on. Another thing to point out is that people need to stay true with themselves and accept reality for what it is.

    Great article Ash!

  16. I have been divorced for 7 years. I have 3 lovely children and I don't wear a fake ring. I am not ashamed of being a divorcee. Life happens. Let's keep it moving….

  17. Pls women ii need Ūя̲̅ advices,am married Ƒσя 2 years with A̶̲̥̅̊ βǻβγ̲̣̣̥ girl who is 20months but M̶̲̥̅γ̲̣̣̥ husband is so lazy onn bed he releases immediately he penetrates into ♍ƺ.he’s pushing ♍ƺ out am confused pls advice me


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