What divorced readers did with their wedding rings


A Magazine article on when to take off a wedding ring after a marriage fails generated a large response from readers.

It came after Katie Holmes was photographed in New York without her wedding ring, having filed for divorce from Tom Cruise.

The feature asked when it was appropriate to remove the band, and explored the symbolism of doing so.

Here, readers share their stories about the dilemma of what to do with a symbol of marriage once the relationship has broken down:

Vinny, Bournemouth

When I was married in 2000, after the ceremony my wife and I took photos of our hands and wedding rings at Bournemouth pier. Ten years later the marriage failed.

The day before she left to start a new life in Ireland, I took her back to the same pier. We walked to the end and I took both rings out of my pocket.

I said that it was apt to end it all where it began, and we should throw each others rings into the sea as a symbol of the end of our marriage. We did just that - but it was really surprising just how difficult it was to bring ourselves to cast them into the waves.

Anonymous, Belfast

Image caption The press focused on Holmes's discarded wedding band

My ex-husband and I swapped our platinum rings pretty much immediately on separation, as we had always believed we had bought them for each other and so we got back the one for which we paid. I wore his on my middle finger for a few months.

However, as things got nastier as divorce proceedings progressed, I hurled my husband's ring into the bin one morning to be taken away to landfill. It made a most satisfying "ping" noise as it landed and was the most cathartic and symbolic action of my life.

Sometimes I regret throwing away something which was worth a lot of money (I could have given it to my kids).

But mostly I enjoy the memory of how it made me feel to do so.

And I imagine someone who needs the money more than I, out with a metal detector in a few years' time, might find it and have better luck with it than I did.

Jonathan, Bristol

My wife and I stopped wearing our rings pretty much mutually at the same time a few years ago. Our marriage has been difficult for a long while, and although we both made excuses that "the ring is too tight", or "the ring became too loose" (and still repeat these to family and friends).

We remain together, as we still work best as a unit, but nothing else remains of our marriage. Perhaps one day we may reconcile and put the rings back on, but they have lost their symbolism, so I doubt it.

Heather, Milton Keynes

Image caption Disposal at sea is a popular suggestion

Both our wedding rings, from our first marriages are lying at the bottom of the deepest lake in Crete. They were thrown in on a very romantic night, with beautiful surroundings, and planning beforehand. I threw his old ring, and he threw my old ring. Best thing we ever did.

Leon, London

My wife and I separated three months ago and i have kept my wedding band on for two reasons.

One, I am officially still married. Two, I don't really want to discuss the split with anyone other than close friends.

Susan, Perth

I still wear my ring and I've been divorced for two years. It's an unusual wedding ring, two separate rings intertwined which had our names engraved on the outside of one ring and the date of the wedding engraved on the outside of the other.

I had the wedding date and his name removed from the ring and just wear it on my other hand because I like it so much. I don't look on it as a wedding ring anymore, it's just another nice piece of jewellery I have.


After a particularly stressful divorce, following a tumultuous marriage it has to be said, I drove at random through the countryside and took off my wedding ring then threw it into a field.

To this day I have no idea where it went, but the act served as an underline, an ending, no turning back.

As I did it the words of the vicar when we were married echoed in my mind: "A ring is a continuous band and is a symbol of your continuous love for each other".

I often wonder if a metal detector found it and wondered how it got there.

Nicola, Oxfordshire

I had a friend of mine who makes jewellery turn my wedding ring into a little gold pig. She also turned her husband's ring from his previous marriage into a witch's hat and I believe they use it as a Monopoly counter.

Tim, Chatham

I was divorced about four years ago after 30 years. In those years my finger had got fatter and long before the divorce I couldn't have taken my ring off even if I wanted to.

Obviously I could get it removed, but it would probably mean damaging it permanently and I don't think I want that to happen because of the happy times there was in those married years. Sentimental perhaps, but that's the way it is for me.