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Selling My Wedding Band Was Harder Than I Thought It Would Be

But it was a reminder of all I had lost.

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wedding bands with a price tag wrapped around them
Jeff Elkins
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When I got engaged almost 20 years ago, I couldn’t stop looking at the new platinum band on my hand. When I’d be in a store with my fiancé … man, did they sparkle under fluorescent lights.

After my ex-husband moved out a few years ago, I couldn't bring myself to take my wedding and engagement rings off. I felt like it would be insulting and rude. After all, we were still married and no final decisions had been made yet. I’d figured I would wait it out and take them off when it felt right. Maybe we’d discuss when we should take them off.

He came over one evening sans wedding ring to get the kids after he had been in his new condo for about five days. Suddenly, it felt right to remove them. We didn't need to have a talk. I slid mine off and busied myself. It wasn't out of haste or hurt, either. It felt like it was OK for me to do it because he had done it; I felt settled.

After it sunk in, I stared at my bare, left ring finger just as much as I did when the rings were first placed there. It reminded me I was exactly where I was supposed to be in my life despite being scared out of my ever-loving mind.

I thought for sure I would sell them right away. I had visions of taking a trip or investing in real estate. Of course, trading them in for a bigger diamond for my right hand crossed my mind more than once, too.

But in my desk drawer they sat. I placed them in a tiny velvet bag and cinched it tight.

The longer the rings from my marriage shared the same room where I slept, the more they haunted me. Their presence marinated in my heart and made my soul ache. Every time I walked by my desk or opened it to get an important document I froze with guilt and heartache.

Exciting thoughts about shedding them, doing something fun with the money and starting over were replaced with stirred emotions that left me paralyzed.

I’d opened the bag a few times to look at them, hoping the relief would come. Each time, I could feel the beat of the music at my wedding reception. I could taste the hot artichoke dip and crusty bread we had as an appetizer. I could smell my sister’s room where I put on my veil and applied one last smear of lipstick.

And yet, I couldn’t let them go. They were a reminder of everything I had ahead of me the day they were placed on my finger — the house we build, the three kids we made, all the Christmas mornings and all the kisses goodbye.

And they were a reminder of all that I had lost.

The rings stayed in the back of my white, lacquered desk for over two years until I came across the online site — a place where you shipped your rings out and they took care of the rest.

It was exactly what I needed. The idea of putting them in the car with me to have them appraised as I waited staring at sparkling jewels or couples picking out rings turned my stomach.

I needed this to be fast and easy, and it was. After sending them out, everything I didn’t have the heart to do was taken care of. The money was plopped in my PayPal account, and I was free to do what I wanted with it. I didn’t have to talk to anyone. I didn’t have to stand there and think about my rings sitting behind glass, wondering if they’d get scooped up.

Selling my bands wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. But keeping them was. I didn’t realize that until I finally took the steps to give them a new life. In doing so, I was able to free myself. We know when something is past its prime because of the way it can take us down.

It was time for me to let my rings go. And it was also time for me to move past everything they represented. The only way to do that was to get rid of them. I’m glad I did it the way I did it. I just needed to wait until I was ready.