RELATIONSHIP TOGETHER? EASY? BY: JUDITH RAPLEY WATERMAN, B.A. FOUNDER, CEO, COACH & BUSINESS STRATEGIST JMR Coaching & Consulting Services Judith@judithrapley.com What? It was lost? Here we were a week after our 5th year anniversary and his wonderful milestone fun-packed birthday celebration week. How could he be telling me that he had lost his wedding ring somewhere in this week’s festivities? I was so angry at him. Mad, in fact. How and when was it lost or misplaced? Maybe when he took it off on Tuesday to work on the truck and make sandwiches and salads? Maybe it was later that day when he had to wash the truck and had to get underneath to replace the propane. I was angry! I was hurt! And he was going to know it. 3 Photo: freepik.es Now intellectually I knew a band doesn’t a marriage make but it was sentimentally and spiritually important to me. To us. This was a big deal. These rings had been exchanged in love as we were wed. They had been prayed over, blessed and presented on that beautiful ceremonial day we had just watched by video the week before on our anniversary morning. I didn’t speak to him without ice in my voice for 2 days. I was no longer going to wear mine. Let him see how that felt. Yes, he tried to connect with me, just smooth things over and move on but I couldn’t. I needed some time with this milieu of female thoughts and imaginations running through my head. On day two, I didn’t even want to be around him. I wanted him to sleep in the doghouse, except we don’t have a house. Nor a dog. And we live in New York City. A homeless guy is the usual here. This time was well spent and utilized for me to come back to my full senses. After forty-eight hours of thinking about it all, in between all the things I had to and needed to do, after forty eight hours of being in my feelings, owning them and dissecting them, along with two sister girlfriend conversations, with better sense and some clarity I spoke to him about it all.
I realized I had been afraid. I was afraid of what people would say. For those gossips and nosy people who had seen him with a ring and now wouldn’t. As a single woman, in today’s society that’s what I typically had used to determine if a man was married given most men’s dubious behaviors today, so now how would other women be able to know he was taken? Even though he, like most of my male friends seem to say that a man with a wedding band somehow seemed to attract more of some women’s attention. What a thing huh? But that’s another conversation for another time. During that time there was so much I thought and over-thought. Did he lose it accidentally, or on purpose? If so, my imagination running wild asked, what does that mean? Photo: pixbay.com What did this all mean about us? About him? About me? As we took some time to talk about it, I expressed that I was angry, disappointed, hurt and afraid. He apologized. I spoke to how important the rings and us wearing them were to me. What it had meant at the beginning of our lives together when he had brought me such a beautiful engagement ring. One that I knew he had invested a lot to purchase, and just in the style that he knew I liked. And I had done the same with him. He listened. But then my usually non-talkative husband also shared how that was so different for him and how although he was sorry and respected the intensity of its meaning to me, he felt that it was an object of that symbolism, not the source or object of the emotions or the strength of our marriage. He could not say that it shared the same weight for him but that he had adorned it and worn it mainly for me. And with or without it, he was the same man and husband. And I was his same wife. Yes, he certainly felt bad about the loss but in an uncomfortable honesty that I didn’t really like hearing it, I had to listen to his point of view, trying to do so without judgment. He acknowledged my feelings. I thanked him for apologizing. He made me know again that not wearing a ring did not change his integrity, his love, his respect, his honor of me or our marriage. Yes, he apologized yet another time wanting the conversation over and everything forgotten. Not so fast. I let him know that no matter what he said or would say, it didn’t control how I felt about the situation immediately. The rest of my feelings about it were mine to manage, not his to fix or take away. He appreciated that release of responsibility. And then we moved on. Warmer and with much better understanding, with more love and more respect. Photo: freepik.es 4