Is it a Betrayal?

My rings are sitting on top of your urn… I’ve had them off for a while now – they were hurting the boys whenever I played rough with them.

So I took them off.

Some days, my hands feel incredibly naked.   Some days, the spot where your ring belongs on my hand is achy with want.

And I go get them, and put them back on.

Other days – I barely notice their lack.

Neither is the ring that you gave me – both are rings that I gave you – one I purloined when my rings went missing.

But they are a symbol of our marriage.

Is it a betrayal that they’re not decorating my hands?

And then, last night, there was a man in my house.  It wasn’t a *date* per se, it was companionship.

I offered him a massage, in trade for a massage for me (my neck was incredibly sore) and he came over with a bottle of wine and we spent the evening together.

Nothing inappropriate happened.

Massages happened through shirts.

Children were in and out of the living room, coming up and down the stairs – so we were never “alone.”

But during the massages – I took off the necklace.  The pendant with your ashes that I wear next to my heart always.

Was that a betrayal?

I don’t know…  What I know is that I had a lovely evening.   What I know is that for the first time in many months, I had a someone touch me in a pleasant way that did not involve a hug.  (Hugs are great by the way – I love them).  What I know is that I got a chance to get to know someone better.

I woke this morning with pleasant memories of the evening, a boy snuggled up beside me, and a plan for a fun night tonight.

And knowing my husband – he would not have seen me spending an evening with another man as a betrayal but as a an opportunity to connect with a friend – so that is how I will see it.

Besides – Mark is always with me, always sitting next to my heart.

I don’t know if I had blogged about this before – but when planning my tattoo – someone asked me: “What if the next guy doesn’t like it?” And my answer to that is – then they are not the next right person for me.

My husband will always be a part of me.  The jewellery I wear doesn’t change that. 



4 thoughts on “Is it a Betrayal?

  1. Beautifully stated and observed.

  2. rebecca says:

    Thanks for sharing Jane. The ring I wear isnt either one of our wedding bands. Its one I bought a few days after he passed. I want to get a tatoo in memory of my love, but havent decided what or where. I have friends Ive met that I enjoy my time with. Nothing happens because Im not ready yet. I know my love would be ok, as he told me to go on with life. I still have our girl to raise and until I feel I am ready I will wait.

  3. Rose Chimera says:

    I struggled with the same issue….am I betraying Mike? Am I cheating on him if I accept a dinner invitation from another man? It sure FELT like I was cheating! I wore my rings for almost 2 years. I just didn’t see a reason to take them off. After all I was married….just to a dead man. So why not wear them? I realized one day that they would never morph into just a pretty piece of jewelry. I’d never forget the day Mike put them on my hand but if I kept wearing them does that mean I haven’t moved on? Or haven’t accepted Mike’s death? I finally took them off one day. That last about 24 hours, my hand felt naked and the absence of the rings was more obvious to me then wearing the rings. I put them back on. Wore them for a while, took them off. Ugh…there’s no one that can tell you what’s right or what’s wrong its such a personal thing after all.

    Mind you I considered what Mike would have thought. I don’t think he would have noticed if I had rings on or not to be honest. But he was a practical man and he would tell me something like, “hey I’m gone ok? Do what makes you happy, I’m good up here in Heaven waiting for you.” He’d probably laugh too.

    Do we need permission from our loved ones who have passed to move on? I don’t know. Maybe sometimes.

    I am 100% behind you re: the tattoo if the man doesn’t like it or is intimidated by your memories and your previous life, then he’s the wrong guy.

    I totally get it now, why widows and widowers often get together in a new relationship. They’ve both lost someone and have been there done that. How can anyone understand unless they’ve been through themselves? It makes sense to be with someone who can completely understand the entire experience; including the very painful and tough job of moving on after a death…

  4. nivadorellsmith says:

    Your post took my breath away because I relate to it so much! It took me about 14 months to stop wearing the actual wedding ring. But I like having something on that finger, so now I wear a different ring that looks less like a wedding band. There is no right or wrong, only what feels right or wrong, which is different for each person. Thank you for articulating so beautifully what so many of us are feeling and experiencing.

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