About half of American adults are married, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And love is the main reason that most take that walk down the aisle. People also value the companionship and legal benefits that a recognized union provides. But the landscape of marriage is evolving so that questions like reusing a wedding ring are subject to debate.
While the percentage of legal unions sounds high, it’s actually a significant drop from the 72 percent reported in 1960. Remarriage is becoming more of a thing too with 40 percent involving one or both spouses. You may not have the same formal wedding and reception the second time around. But the exchange of rings is still a big deal.
Till Death Do Us Part
The probability of a first marriage lasting the test of time has cultural and family influences. Other factors come into play as well. Infidelity on the part of one or both spouses occurs in over 40 percent of unions. Only 31 percent of relationships survive. But people don’t give up on trying again; rather, they’re more careful the next time around with fewer women saying “I do.”
The number of people giving wedlock another shot has nearly doubled from 13 percent in 1960 to 23 percent today. The stigma of being the divorced woman doesn’t exist now as it may have in your parent’s day. And now you can consider things such as using a wedding ring from a previous marriage.
Reasons You May Consider Using a Ring From Previous Marriage
Probably one of the overriding reasons you’d think about that ring is if it is some kind of family heirloom. Your main association with it isn’t your ex, but rather your mother or grandmother who wore it before. And who knows? It may even be a ring that her mother had too. That makes for a compelling reason to say “Yes” to using it again.
The Money Thing
Let’s face it. A wedding ring can be a major investment if you want something really nice — and that’s not even taking into account the price of the engagement ring. The average cost for the latter runs about $5,000, according to Wedding Wire. Money is a big influence in a marriage anyway without the added burden of more expenses.
Reusing an old wedding ring may offer a practical solution if things are tight. And if your fiancé isn’t overjoyed at the prospect, it can be a temporary fix until you both can get on stable financial footing. Then you can replace it with something more appropriate perhaps when you both renew your vows at a later date.
You Like It
We won’t fault for this one. You may simply just love the look of your old ring. You likely spent some time searching for the right one. And if it was a custom ring, you probably won’t find one similar to it. Go ahead and keep it if that’s what you want. Just make sure that your fiancé doesn’t have strong feelings about it. That brings us to reasons you may want to nix the idea.
Why It May Not Be a Good Idea
Marriage has a lot of superstitions and traditions associated with it. While it may not bother you, it may be a different story for your fiancé. About 53 percent of unions will make it to the 20-year mark, estimates the CDC. Luck may have little to do with its stability. But you should still honor your partner’s wishes. After all, compromises are a necessary part of a relationship.
You’ll see a positive message with that decision. It will show that you put their feelings ahead of your own. It’s a small but powerful gesture if you don’t have a compelling reason to stick to your guns.
Other Bad Karma
You should also look out for your own feelings too. If your divorce was especially painful, reusing that ring could stir up bad memories. That applies to you and your friends and loved ones who may have witnessed your misery. It’s essential to be honest with yourself. Don’t let external pressures force you into a decision you don’t want to make.
Disapproval from Others
You’ll likely find that someone in your circle will disapprove of your choice. It’s something you should prepare yourself for in case they are vocal about it. Consider carefully what that impact may have on you and your fiancé. The last thing you need at this time is bitterness as you two are just beginning your new life together.
These can be some tricky waters to navigate especially if family members are involved. For example, if your mom and fiancé don’t have the best relationship, it’s not going to make things better to use her ring again.
Not a Matching Set
Many couples view their rings as something that represents them as a union. That’s why you see wedding rings sold in matching sets. If that idea is important to either of you, you may want to forgo using your old one in the exchange. You can always wear it on your right hand if it’s a treasured heirloom you still want to wear.
Making the Decision
When it comes down to it, it remains a decision between you and your fiancé to discuss. It may not seem like a big deal, but a wedding ring carries a lot of symbolism for you two as a couple and others in your life. Think about the significance of your choice now and down the road — especially as it applies to your fiancé.
Your wedding rings should be a source of joy for you two. That should be the first association you both have with your rings. Have an open and honest dialogue about it first. Think of it as a trial run of many joint decisions you’ll need to make during the course of your marriage. A great marriage, after all, begins with a good friendship.