As an image consultant, I assist men as well as women with their personal and professional image. Accordingly, I like to peruse men’s magazines that discuss matters of style. I was intrigued to see an article in the June/July 2008 issue of the men’s magazine Details, that tackles a subject I haven’t noticed any of the women’s magazines dare to address: the married man who doesn’t wear a wedding ring.
Kayleen Schaefer’s article “Stop Hiding the Wedding Ring” is bluntly subtitled “Whatever their logic, married men without bands all send the same message.” A 40-something married CFO who refuses to wear a wedding ring is quoted as saying he finds the ring suffocating, “like, I have this on my finger because the other person owns me.” Other men remove their rings only occasionally and for very different reasons. And believe me, women notice the lack of a ring.
To men who hold the earnest view that a wedding ring is “a discomfiting symbol of possession,” Ms. Schaefer points out: “right now there are married men in bars across the country using ringless hands to help them solicit extramarital sex; they’re not doing the guys who claim to shun the band for spiritual reasons any favors.”
The sad fact is that I am personally aware of a number of male jewelers who are married but do not wear wedding rings. Whatever their logic, I urge them to reconsider this omission. If there is any person who should be promoting the idea of men’s jewelry, quite aside from considering the matter of tranquility on the home front, this man – the male jeweler – is the guy who should be wearing a noticeable (and noticeably attractive) wedding ring.
And if one ring is too limiting from a style perspective, then, cultural mores permitting, he can explore with his spouse the possibility of having more than one style of wedding band, perhaps one in yellow gold and one in a white metal, or one plain and one set with stones, to coordinate with apparel or the occasion. Having a wardrobe of jewelry bands is not inappropriate.
For the guy who wears a wedding band but chooses to lose it temporarily from time to time, the following Q&A from the Details archives may give him something to chew on:
Q: I’m 24 years old and work in financial communications. Many of my colleagues and superiors are married; not one wears a wedding ring when working. Am I hopelessly traditional, or are wedding rings no longer required wear?
A: Sounds to me like you work in a nest of knaves. But if your colleagues are cheaters, they’re probably just cheating themselves. Fast-and-loose women would rather go with married men who wear a ring than with sneaks who pretend to be bachelors.