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Guest blogger: Donna F. Ferber

When Mr. Ex and I separated, I responded with my usual trip to Amazon.com to locate resources. One of the books I purchased was From Ex-Wife to Exceptional Life: A Woman’s Journey through Divorce by Donna F. Ferber. I mention it in my “on my nightstand” bar on the right.

Imagine my surprise – and delight – when she commented on my blog! And my further delight when she offered to guest post.

Let’s hear it for the blogosphere!

Women and Divorce -The Lore of the Rings

As we make our way through the arduous and challenging transition from married to single, we are bombarded by a myriad of changes and adjustments. Some of those are private and practical changes, such as getting comfortable sleeping in the middle of the bed. Others are more public and symbolic.

Perhaps there is no symbol more laden with meaning for women than their wedding ring. Inevitably, when a divorce is imminent, the question arises – when is it appropriate to remove my ring?

The time to remove your wedding ring varies from woman to woman. Women who experience betrayal often feel the marriage ended at the moment of discovery. They may feel that to continue to wear the ring is hypocritical. Other women entertain taking it off when divorce papers are filed or served.

Still others feel married until the divorce is legally finalized. Others continue to wear their ring long after the divorce, especially if they did not want the divorce or if they feel that, for religious reasons, the divorce is invalid. Women in the work place sometimes continue to wear it as a way to avoid questions at the office. It provides them with a sense of security and it wards off unwanted suitors! Still other women continue to wear their ring, but transfer it to the other hand or wear it on a chain around their neck.

The point is that there is no “right” time to take it off. If the ring is an important symbol for you, then the act of removing it should mean something as well. Do this mindfully, not in anger. Do it when there is acceptance and inner understanding. Do it when you feel ready. Do it as an affirmation of your single status. It doesn’t have to just mark the end of the marriage; it can symbolize the beginning of your commitment to yourself, “to love, honor and cherish” yourself.

Today’s Thought: I will consider what my ring means to me. That will help me know when it is appropriate to take it off. I will acknowledge the removal of my ring reflects the end of something, but that it also can symbolize my new single status. I will work just as hard to be a good companion to myself as I worked to be a good companion to my spouse. I know more about life now and I have more to offer myself than ever before. All the things I learned about myself through both my marriage and divorce will now provide clues and insight on how to “be” with myself.

©2009. From Ex-Wife to Exceptional Life: A Woman’s Journey through Divorce by psychotherapist by Donna F. Ferber, LPC, LADC, won an Honorable Mention Award by the Independent Publishers Association. The book is now a classic in the field and has been a constant companion and support to thousands of women as they struggle with the demise of their marriage. The author is a licensed psychotherapist in Connecticut. Her newest book, Profileactics: A Guide for the Prevention of Ill-Conceived Personal Ads is available at bookstores and at Amazon.com. To read more about the author and her work, please visit http://www.donnaferber.com.

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Nancy Goodman is a counselor/coach in Idaho (yes, that Idaho) and a former student of mine (yikes!).

She writes a wonderful blog about the elusive quest for happiness, Fumbling Towards Serenity.

Her recent blog post about combating self-talk was just wonderful. It really hit home for me – it’s so easy to drown yourself in feelings of unworthiness when facing divorce.

Thanks, Nancy!

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