That day when my divorce was final, I finally had to take off my wedding ring. Until then, I thought that somehow there might be an outright miracle in the courtroom, and my husband would walk over to me and say, “Suzy, what are we doing here? Let’s just go home and fix this.”
But he didn’t. So, I had to take off the wedding ring that he had put on my finger while we were still in college 33 years before.
I cried my way home from the courthouse that day. I knew that my life was going to be forever changed in ways I could never have imagined. I knew deep down, I was in charge of my own recovery, but the grieving and healing were much harder and took much longer than I ever expected. I’ve heard that from women who felt that way even when they wanted the divorce.
My emotions were erratic and surprisingly intense. I sobbed. I screamed. I didn’t feel like eating and sleep was elusive. I thought I might not ever really get over the heart-wrenching devastation that I felt.
I was also overwhelmed and unprepared to deal with all of the financial stress. I met with our friend who had always done our taxes, and he said, “Suzy, the first thing you have to do is sell your house … NOW! You can’t afford it, and you can’t take care of it. Sell things you don’t need.”
Taking care of the finances was new to me, and I had other huge challenges I had to face like figuring out where to live, how to support myself, how to adjust to living alone.
For a while after any divorce, everything reminds you of life before the divorce. You have to figure out how to deal with the seasons and the holidays and vacations and special places and foods and traditions and simple things like your back deck in the summer.
I soon discovered that the things I sometimes had the most trouble with were the little things like that empty space on my “ring finger” of my left hand. Every time my hand was even in my peripheral vision, all I could see was that pale, indented empty space. And it hurt my heart every single time.
Some women repurpose their rings. For me, re-purposing wouldn’t have worked. I would have still had to look at it. I didn’t want to pass it down to children as a reminder of what had happened to our marriage, either. So the next year at our city’s Art Fair I bought a bold, artsy ring that to me represented power and creativity and my growing confidence. I loved it, and it gave me courage every time I saw it on my hand. Selling your wedding rings can be one of the best things you can do to move forward after divorce. It can also be a great recovery gift to yourself to have more financial peace of mind.
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