Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Husband's Lack Of Wedding Ring Upsets Wife, Interests Other Women

Dear Tazi:

My husband and I are having a disagreement and I feel he is being too stubborn to see my side while he feels I am being over-reactive.  "James" refuses to wear a wedding ring. He says it chaffs his hand when he is writing (he is left handed) and it is very uncomfortable for him to wear so he feels he should not have to wear it. He wears his college ring on his right ring finger, so it is not like he is adverse to wearing a ring - just the one that symbolizes the vows we took and our lifetime commitment to each other. (I have asked him to wear his wedding ring on his right finger, but he said he would feel naked without his precious college ring!).

Last night we went out for the first time since our son was born two months ago. It was supposed to be a pleasant evening, but was ruined by James' refusal to wear his wedding ring. While waiting for our table at the restaurant, we were sitting at the bar so James could watch the hockey playoff game that was on TV. I stepped away to use the ladies' room only to find James chatting with another woman when I returned!

The woman was very sweet, but I was in no mood for her politeness. She told me she was "chatting with [my] boyfriend about the game" and asked me if I liked hockey, too. I responded that James was not my boyfriend but my husband and that we had just had a baby! She apologized for the confusion and explained that she meant no offense - that he wasn't wearing a ring so she assumed I was his girlfriend!

The woman then tried to sooth my ruffled feathers by asking me about the baby (boy or girl, how old, etc.); asking me if I am a first time Mom and sympathizing with the new stresses and lack of sleep; and then offered to buy both of us a drink to congratulate us on the birth of our first child. James was all ready to accept (which made me even angrier) but our table was called. By that point I was in no mood to be out and just wanted to go home, so we did.

When we got home, James started in on me about how rude I was to "that nice woman who offered to buy us drinks". He told me that her husband is away on business and that the bartender is her brother-in-law so there was no way she was hitting on him. I told him he had to be awfully chatty with her to know so much, but he explained that the bartender was the one talking to her, not him; he had simply overheard. I say he was eavesdropping on the conversation of a woman he found attractive!

Tazi, I am insisting that James wear his wedding ring - period. He has offered to wear it when we go out somewhere or when he goes out with the guys (he is in a bowling league), but I do not believe this is enough; he is not my part-time husband and I do not want him to act like one. James insists that my all or nothing demand is unreasonable and so is my reaction to the woman at the bar. He brought up the fact that I did not wear my rings during the last trimester of my pregnancy, but that was because they did not fit - my fingers were swollen! Now who is being unreasonable!

Tazi, I went through the pain of labor for this man! The least he can do is put up with some mild irritation until he adjusts to wearing a wedding ring. Don't you think so, too?

Feeling Jilted

Dear Feeling Jilted:

First I want to say congratulations on the birth of your baby boy! Being a new parent is an exciting but stressful time, as I am sure you are discovering. I am also sure that you are experiencing a lot of postpartum hormonal changes and maybe even feeling just a little bit insecure about your post-pregnancy body. Could these feelings be coloring your reaction to seeing your husband talking to a woman about a hockey game?

The woman you describe sounds like a lovely lady who felt simply awful about her assumption that you were James' girlfriend and not his wife, but I do not get the impression that she was hitting on him - especially since her brother-in-law was standing right there tending bar. Often times at restaurants where there is a bar area there is also a jovial camaraderie among the patrons - both regulars and those who they have just met. Polite conversation between two people of the opposite sex does not mean there is a flirtation going on; it simply means that there is a welcoming spirit present.

I can understand your concern that your husband is purposely trying to hide his marital status in order to attract women, and not knowing him I cannot make a judgement on this matter - only you can. Do you honestly suspect your husband is interested in cheating on you? So interested that he will take the five minutes that you are in the ladies' room to try and score another woman's phone number? If this is the case, I strongly suggest both marital and legal counseling!

For argument's sake, let's say that your husband doe snot like wearing his wedding ring because it chaffs him. Some people suffer from sensory perception disorder; your husband may be one of them. These people have super-developed sensory nerves that make them very susceptible to touch. One result of this disorder is that people who have it cannot wear clothing that is in any way restrictive or binding because it makes them tense and causes anxiety (from mild to severe). While your husband may not have this ailment, try to understand his position. While chaffing is not as painful as labor, over time it can become both physically and mentally painful.

I like your husband's compromise, but I think it can be taken a step further. If he has his ring sized 1/4 to 1/2 size too large for his finger it should reduce the chaffing while keeping the ring secure on his finger. For now, please accept his compromise as a sign that he is willing to meet you halfway. In time, wearing a ring on his left hand may get easier for him. If it does, ask him to wear it more often. Eventually your husband will reach a point where his hand does not feel right without his wedding ring - just as his right hand does not feel right without his college ring.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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