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What Signals Are You Sending When You’re Not Wearing Your Wedding Ring?

Jennifer Hargrave returned to CW33 Morning After to chat with Jenny Anchondo and Ron Corning on the topic of wedding rings. Did Jenny start up the rumor mill by forgetting to wear hers – and what if anything does it mean when couples start leaving off their rings. Watch the show below or scroll down to the transcript – lightly edited for easier reading



Okay. We’re talking with our favorite divorce attorney, Jennifer Hargrave from Hargrave Family Law because the last time we chatted with her, we got on to a sidebar discussion about not wearing your wedding rings. I was saying that I forget to wear mine all the time and I didn’t think anything of it. Yeah. So then apparently people were saying wow, Jenny’s not wearing her ring!  And I thought, oh man, I’m getting the rumor mill started. Jennifer, is it an issue when people don’t wear their rings?



You know, one of the first symbolic acts when somebody files for divorce is to take off their wedding rings. Certainly, the wedding ring is a symbol that you are betrothed, you’re taken, you’re off the market. And so not wearing one could be sending the signal that you are available.



Oh my goodness. Well, I’m socially distanced over here. So we’re in good hands. Jennifer, let’s talk about the idea that sometimes people can almost be more attracted to somebody who’s wearing a wedding ring. What’s that about?



Right. It’s called the wedding ring effect. And usually, it’s men who are wearing wedding rings that are more desirable to women. The women think that because he is wearing that ring, that he must have all these wonderful characteristics of somebody who you’d want to be in a relationship with. Of course, I would have to ask, is that married person that you’re going after really the kind of mate that you want to have? So I think you have to be aware of the fact that somebody may appear more attractive to you,  but if they’re available to you, they’re not the mate that you’re going to want.



They’re going to end up hiring Jennifer as their divorce attorney down the road. Now there are certain professions. Mine is not one of them, but there are a lot of professions where you can’t really wear a ring. Maybe if you’re lifting weights all day, or if you do manual labor or work on a farm, how does that sort of play into it? Yes. Incidentally. I do not do that so I don’t have that excuse.

Some people, like my brother-in-law, has a tattoo on his hand. Like she’s branded him. She’s like you are getting tattooed. People are seeing this. Does it ever cause controversy for people when one person says I can’t wear the ring because of work.



I think there are certainly occupations where wearing a wedding ring would be considered an occupational hazard. You know, you could get electrocuted or it could get hung up on machinery or people working in the food prep industry could have sanitation issues. I think for nurses, it can be an issue as well. There are other options like you talked about his tattoo. There are silicone rings also. If somebody wants to be wearing a wedding ring, there are other options out there for them. If they don’t want to wear it, I think that’s where the question comes in. Why are you not wearing your ring?



Well, because I had sushi last night and my hands were swollen and I didn’t want to shove it on, Jennifer. Listen, is this something people should discuss before marriage or in a prenup, or postnup. Is this something people should discuss beforehand to ensure that one person doesn’t get hurt by the other person not wearing the ring.



Sure. I think any time you can discuss your expectations prior to marriage, that’s really healthy. If you are already married, you should still be talking about what your expectations are. So if it’s important to you that your spouse wear the wedding ring, have a conversation with them about that and let them know.  Otherwise, you’re just going to be feeling frustrated and you could probably be putting all kinds of meaning and interpretation around them not wearing a wedding ring. When in fact the reason is, like Jenny, because they’ve just had sushi. So you know, communication is important and is a good way to avoid a divorce attorney like me in your life.  



Well, the other issue here, Jennifer,  is that some people are wedding ring hawks. They’re keeping an eye on who’s wearing and who isn’t. I’m not that person. So when someone says to me, does Jenny not wear her wedding ring? I go, I thought she did. I never noticed. Is that a generational thing? 



You know, I, I don’t know if it is generational. I think over time it has certainly become much more customary for both men and women to be wearing wedding rings. So like I said, one of the first things that happens when somebody files for divorce is they stop wearing their wedding ring. Usually and especially if they’re the one who’s filing. So it does signal to others that you are maybe available.



I think it’s the women that notice and ask questions about why someone might not be wearing a wedding ring. I doubt that a man would notice as much. I mean, maybe that’s a generalization.



It was men asking me about you.



Oh, wow. Well, I’m just kidding. 



Well, in case things go south, it sounds like you’re pretty good. Oh my gosh, we got some prospects.



I had more questions, but we can’t top this. Good to see you, Jennifer. No more sushi for me and ring on,  silicone,  tattoo, whatever. Good to see you. And thank you for the chat here.

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