The MANual: Wedding Bands

Is It Okay To Take Your Wedding Ring Off?

Your wedding ring is a symbol, and symbols,  like many other things in marriage, are meant to be guiding principles,  not rigid ultimatums. There are, of course, instances in life when you really need to take your wedding band off. There are also plenty of times when removing your band ranges from fairly unnecessary to absolutely wrong. Here are some examples.

Yes: Doing Dishes

You’re scrubbing things rigorously in a cloud of bubbly foam—all of which is happening over a drain that leads to God knows where–Hell, probably. Now it a good time to take off the ring. If it slips off in the suds and falls down the drain, you will have to go through a whole lot of nonsense to even attempt to get it back. You may have to pay a plumber an outrageous amount of money, and even then there are no quarantees. Just take it off, set it on the counter way from any slippage, and slide it back on when you’re through. (They even sell little dishes just for this purpose.)

No: Going To A Bar

This should be obvious, but if you’re going to a bar place where there will be plenty of drinks and single women, leave your wedding ring on. If you deserve to wear that ring, you’re not planning on acting on any of those back-of-mind thoughts anyway. By leaving it on, you are also showing the single women that you are taken–which might, paradoxically, make them pay even more attention to you. By taking it off, you increase the chance that you’ll lose it, and leaving it at home increases the chances your wife will find it. Do not let your wife find it.

Yes: Going Into Surgery

Surgery requires all kinds of science talk about blood flow and big (read: scary) machines that use metal to detect nefarious things in your body. If you’re fortunate enough to know ahead of time that you’ll be going into surgery, maybe leave the wedding ring at home and come back to it when you’re through. You don’t want to have the doctor need to cut it off while you’re under anesthetic. Also, if you die while under the knife, you want your wife to have that gold, not some sticky-fingered morgue attendant.

No: Gardening

Unlike when you do the dishes, you can leave your ring on while gardening. Worst case scenario, it slips off and lands in front of you on the soil. Any scuffs or dirt that may be on the ring , you could always just clean afterward. And if you accidentally bury it? That’s why God invented these.

Yes: Cleaning (The Rings)

You don’t need to clean the ring while its still on you. I know it represents everlasting love while wearing it, but you should take it off to clean. That said, rings are slippery little bastards, so make sure you’re not cleaning it standing over the sink. Take the polish or cleaner and do so either over a surface or bowl or something where the black hole of bad luck can’t suck it in.

No: Cleaning (The House)

As with gardening, there’s no need to remove your ring while sprucing up your house.  Whether it’s something harmless like putting away clothes draped over a chair or larger tasks like regrouting your bathroom tile, anything that happens to the ring can be cleaned up later. Exceptions: cleaning your toilets, stripping paint, installing quick-drying insulation,  

Bottom Line

You can take your wedding band off if the occasion demands it–but only to protect the ring, not to hide the fact that you’re married.

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