Thursday, 7 March 2013
ANOTHER PIECE OF METAL???
Recently, I encountered a married woman who works as a marketing personnel in an oil company. I noticed also that the symbolic finger of marital bond was also not adorned with a ring. Being the curious cat, I asked her if she was divorced or separated and she gave me a surprising look before replying excitedly that she is happily married. "Where is the wedding ring?" I inquired.
She gave me a sly grin and said in a low tone "it's not good for my career"
Aha!!! I exclaimed. How can one tell if you are married or not without the wedding ring?
The wedding ring is a piece of metal exchanged at a wedding as symbol of unity, of bonding, of oneness. It indicates that the wearer is married, out of bounds from others. With a history as old as time, the wedding ring had its roots in roots in Egyptian culture, where it served as a symbol of a man's belief in his wife's ability to "care for his house" and with the Greeks and Romans, where the ring was given not to a woman but to her father. Not until 860AD did the Christians adopt this trend but it was derided as a heathen practice. By the 13th century, Bishop Durant changed the concept by signifying the ring as a symbol of union of hearts.
This symbolic nature of the wedding ring has made it one of the prerequisite of a wedding. Be it sparkling diamond or a plain metal, the wedding ring still represents the union between a man and a woman.
Marriage as a higher institution of relationships that exists between a man and a woman is not a bed of roses. It comes with its own ups and downs and only the strong at heart can stand the turbulent waves.
While the wedding ring signifies the bonding between a couple and as an indication that one is married, one can't help but wonder if it actually the wearers belong to the same school of thought.
In Nigeria, rings are not exchanged at the traditional weddings. However, recent shift to westernization is beginning to show that this trend may soon be imbibed if not already in practice.
After the frivolities of the wedding, where does the wedding ring stand? Is it a reminder of the marital bond between a man and a woman or just another piece of fashion item? Does it really differentiate the married from the unmarried?
Ladies get overly excited to show off their wedding rings to friends, colleagues, loved ones and whoever is interested but when the vicissitudes of marriage hits, can one still look at that ring and cherish what it upholds in the marital institution?
A few may argue that the wedding ring if constantly worn can leave an indelible mark on the finger, while some may feel that it's not necessary to wear it constantly. My argument is this, if this piece of metal represents total commitment of two individuals to each other, should it be worn at all times? Do circumstances like career relegate the symbolism of this wedding bond? Does the wedding ring keep the wolves at bay? Is it just a formality at weddings or is it a sign of responsibility?
A research in my small circle of friends showed interestingly, that there was no dispute about the symbol of the ring but the only ideology being proposed is this: "one's commitment to one's partner is not determined by the wedding ring."
A Tanzanian friend of mine argued that in his country that unmarried men are attracted to married women with the wedding ring; the wedding ring is just a piece of metal and nothing more.
Back home, some still argued that any married person who doesn't wear the wedding ring is a cheat. This is often the general perception of cheating spouses. It is believed that a married person should at all times wear the wedding ring as a reminder of their marital status and to keep away from straying.
Overtime, we have seen single men courting married women irrespective of the adornment of the wedding ring on the finger. What impression does this give?
Like the marketer pointed out, the wedding ring could be a barrier to success especially if one is the breadwinner of the family. Where does this leave the wedding ring? Should it be discarded or still regarded as a priceless marital vow?
Does the wedding ring really play any role in one's marital lifestyle? If wearing of the wedding ring does not prevent cheating, won't it better if it is not worn at all?
Now for the wives who prefer to keep the wedding ring at home to attract more clients for their company, what difference does it make if you wear the ring and still play along? Is the game played by the ring or the heart?
Besides those who have hidden agenda for not wearing the ring, there are some who don't attach values to it and sometimes see it as a burden. Some don't wear it out of forgetfulness or nonchalance.
After weighing the pros and cons, I think it's not compulsory to wear the wedding ring at all times if it means nothing to the individual. One can decide to place it on the bedside drawer or somewhere else if wearing it makes one uncomfortable. But if you attach your marital vows to it and it helps to keep temptations out of your way, please do wear it.
At the end of the day, It depends on the heart. A faithful husband or wife does not need the wedding ring as a constant reminder of his pledge to his spouse to remain faithful.
Be it a rubber band or a piece of metal, the wedding ring should be acknowledged as a symbol of union between a man and a woman.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN