Real Love and a Nine Dollar Wedding Ring

It probably shouldn’t have been a big deal to me. But it was. After our honeymoon, my husband stopped wearing his wedding ring.

He’s a mechanic and has explained so many times.

“If I held a wrench and touched a battery post, I could lose my finger.”

It wasn’t that I didn’t believe him. It just sorta made me sad. I’d worn my wedding band every day since we married.

A couple of months ago, our daughter told me about a silicone ring for people who work with their hands.

“Think your dad would wear one?”

“They’re only $9. Can’t hurt to try.”

After 36 years of marriage, I ordered my husband a new wedding ring from

Was I being silly to care so much? 

Would he wear a black, rubber-looking ring?

A few days later, his ring arrived.

The big moment…

After supper, he sat in his recliner. I hid the ring inside my clammy palm. My heart fluttered like we were teenagers. “I bought you a little surprise.”

Does he love me enough to wear a nine dollar ring? That’s the real question.

I gave it to him.

He put it on his finger.

“Will you wear it?”

“Sure, why not.”

“Really? Wow!”

I could’ve talked all night , but I could tell–he didn’t have anything else to say about it.

This past Sunday at our porch party

“I just love your new ring. How do you feel about it?”

He looked at me like I was speaking Pig Latin.

“How do I feel about it?”

“Yeah, I mean–”

“It’s like brushing my teeth and putting on my underwear. I don’t have feelings about it.”

Well, I do.

We both laughed.

You love me enough to wear a nine dollar ring. Because it matters to me.

That’s the stuff real love is made of.

And it only took me 36 years to figure it out. 🙂

What have you learned about real love? It’s not exactly what we thought, is it? 






  1. Great story! Rick’s reactions to all of this feeling stuff is entertaining. It is funny how something that we hold onto for 36 years can be such a non-issue for others. Most can be solved so simply and such a low cost…even $9. Thanks, I am still chuckling over Rick’s reaction and can almost see his facial expression!

    • Hahahahahaha, Tom. He had the most peculiar look–like he really, really didn’t understand how he could have FEELINGS about a silicon ring.

      But I sure did. 🙂 🙂

  2. Love this Julie! Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you, Nora! Thanks so much for “coming to see me.” 🙂 🙂

      Miss you. I can’t hang out with you without laughing about something. You are soooooooooooooooooooooooooo much fun to be with. 🙂

  3. Patricia Martin says:

    I certainly can relate!!! One of my family members has given me expensive gifts over years. however, one Easter, this relative gave me two gifts that though they were inexpensive compared to the others, I still remember them : a movie and a journal.((: I have enjoyed using both and think they are the best presents ever! When is your wedding anniversary,Julie? I hope you and your loved ones are not Popsicles right now, and maybe soon the Spring will say hello to Georgia.();
    Patricia (:

    • Patricia, isn’t it special the way certain gifts mean so much to us? And so often, its NOT about the amount of money spent, but the love that’s behind the gift.

      Our anniversary is Dec 9th. I’ sitting here looking out my little loft window and watching something fall. Maybe snow? Maybe heavy white rain? It looks almost too wet to be snow, but they’re predicted it. It’s been the huge story in GA all day–interviewing anyone and everyone. 🙂

      We’ll see. I did get a gallon of milk today–just in case.

  4. Anna Haney says:

    Rick reminds me of my spouse in many ways and he also reminds me of my dad. But I really can relate to the wedding ring aspect. As you know, I’ve been dealing with this spider bite on my wedding ring finger since January 2 and I am about over it. The steroid cream I was prescribed bothered me tremendously when I first started using it. I’ve soaked my hand in Epsom salt water and, well, whined a lot. I have a similar ring my mother in law gave me, which fits, but it’s just not the same. I feel naked without it. I wanted to go get it resized as quickly as I could. Don has not rushed into that. He tends to hold off on making a lot of big decisions, which impresses me sometimes and annoys me a lot of times. When I have cried over it, he’s told me that he understands, but he loves me anyway, that we are still married. Sometimes that makes me feel wonderful. Other times, I am annoyed by that comment. This morning, though, I was able to get my real engagement ring back on. It feels good. Although we have only been married for 5 years, we have been friends for 20 and dated seriously for 4 years before getting married, so being without this ring feels, to me, anyway, the same way I imagine it would feel to be without him in my life.

    • Cathy Mayfield says:

      Anna, your love for your husband rings out through your words! Imagine being married for 33 years, never removing your wedding ring, and suddenly, not being able to wear it for almost a year! When I had surgery on my hands about two years ago, I had to take mine off. Too scared to let it dangle on a breakable chain around my neck, I kept it in a special box my daughter made for me. When I finally thought I could put it back on, alas! My finger size had changed dramatically, and our financial state would not allow getting it resized. I cried many times, but here’s an example of that real love Julie mentioned – my youngest daughter sneaked into my box and took the ring. For Christmas that year, she gave me a small present wrapped in a jewelry box. Expecting a pair of earrings she’d made, I gasped when I saw my ring. The tiny card inside with it read, “I’m paying to have your ring resized whenever we can get to the jewelers. Merry Christmas!”

    • Anna, I’m sorry I’m just now getting back to read my precious comments.

      I’m hoping, praying, believing you will get your ring back on–without having to re-size it. This time, to me, in my little heart, I think Don’s right. I’m believing it will slip back on your finger.

      Didn’t realize y’all had been friends for 20 years!!!


  5. Cathy Mayfield says:

    OK, so if I don’t stop laughing, I won’t be able to type! 🙂 I LOVE your husband’s response!

    “Real love” is my long-suffering husband putting up with four crazy women in the house for 30+ years, and all of us of the creative bent! It’s the devotion on my oldest daughter’s face as she worships through song with the gift she’s been given. It’s watching my only married daughter and her husband wash each other’s feet during their wedding ceremony. It’s remembering the tears streaming down Michael’s face as he pledged his love to her. It’s my youngest daughter sharing a story with a resident at the senior care facility where she works, a resident who always says, “Here comes trouble!” It’s my Golden retriever’s tail wagging, “Hello! I missed you! You were gone forever!” when I’d only walked out of the house to get the mail. It’s remembering my mother meeting my dad at the door when he came home, to kiss him hello, every day of their 46 years together. It’s a $5 bill tucked in an envelope by my grandmother, sent to us when we lived in a big city for my husband to go to college. It’s honoring my other grandparents’ memory by secretly paying for an elderly couple’s dinner at a restaurant. It’s the over 100 “friends” I have on Facebook, when I grew up with no friends except the best ones – my family.

    But more than all of this, real love is a Man whose love for me nailed Him to a cross. And the best of the best – the real love I’ll receive when I join Him in heaven and wrap my arms around Him and see His smile, when He says, “Welcome home, my daughter!”

    • Pam Kulczar says:

      Cathy….that is BEAUTIFUL! and SO TRUE!!! What a BEAUTIFUL REMINDER to us all!! 🙂

      • Cathy Mayfield says:

        Thank you, Pam. I could feel the love you and your husband share through your words. It, also, gave me a jolt when I realized my husband and i will celebrate our 40th in a few short years! Wow!

    • Oh, Cathy…..

      What can I say that’s worthy of your words?

      Oh, my…..

      Thank you. And thank YOU, Lord…

      Thank you…So very powerful, my friend–from one writer to another.

  6. Oh Julie … yes. My husband was an airplane mechanic in the air force when we married. He could never wear his ring. It hurt my heart. I never really understood. And I don’t think the ring was much value to him … just another object … it didn’t prove his love to me, etc. I think it’s just another area where women and men differ. I can’t believe another endured this. Your husband’s comments are so sweet and so manly. I just love it. Something about growing older … you appreciate things, comments, ways, that you didn’t appreciate in your youth. Growing older definitely has its perks. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Thank you, Shelli! Since you and I are all about FEELINGS, your response feels so nice. You understand!!!

      Ohh, how long it took me to begin to comprehend men and women aren’t the same. And husbands can show love in very different ways.

      So much love to you, my friend. I bet our husbands would have a good time talking–and NOT about their rings. They could talk about wrenches and fixing things. 🙂

  7. Jacqi Barker says:

    Sweet story 🙂 true love.

    • Thank you, Jacqi! I keep thinking maybe we’re going to be able to make it the Night of Worship tomorrow, and maybe we’ll see each other! xo

  8. Stephanie says:

    When my husband and I got engaged, he was just out of the rehab facility after a car accident which nearly took his life a few months prior. He hadn’t even returned to work, as he was still recovering. I had a one year old daughter from a previous relationship who he even then loved as his own. Talk about having about 2 pennies to rub together! But the next day he went and talked to his last employer, who gave him his job back =) Every week when he got paid, he took out just what he needed for gas and food (still recovering at his parents’ house) and gave the rest to us. He saved and soon gave me a simple silver band. No jewels. And it is more precious to me than the most dazzling diamond. And he has the same. A daily reminder of our humble beginnings. Rings are special. And I’m glad Rick wears his $9 ring because it means something to you.

    • Stephanie,

      This is beautiful–so deep and wide and full and rich.

      This is real love–through and through. It’s so much more than we knew, isn’t it. xoxo

  9. Pam Kulczar says:

    Oh, Julie! I LOVE this!
    My husband is a mechanic also!

    He would NOT take off his ring….finally, one day, I turned his hand over….several years into our marriage….and I noticed a ‘notch’ in the edge of his wedding band. I asked how did that happen? He had ‘caught’ it on a battery post and the ring ‘melted’ in that area…also burned his finger! (Something else had happened that week in the shop, and had ‘injured’ his hand, so I didn’t know for a while that the ‘battery post’ had played a part in the injury.)

    I TOLD him to ‘TAKE IT OFF–that ring wasn’t worth him losing his finger….I know you love me and I know we’re married….you know we’re married…nearly everyone in this town knows we are married!”

    NOW, he wears his ring starting Friday evening when he comes home….and wears it all weekend.

    THAT ‘notch’ is a symbol of his love for me…in my eyes! He was willing to almost ‘lose’ his finger rather than take his wedding ring off!

    BTW….we’ve been married 40 years now. His hands are a little ‘puffier’ now, and sometimes it’s difficult for him to wear…so he wears it on a chain. We’ve bought a different ‘wedding band’ that he ‘wears’ now. I STILL look at that ring occasionally, and get all misty-eyed! 🙂 A true ‘tangible’ reflection of his love for me! 🙂 🙂 I am TRULY BLESSED!

    • Pam, this morning at our porch party, Rick said, “Did you read your blog comments?” I told him, I’d gotten started, but hadn’t read them all. He said, “You’ll see, I was telling the truth.” 🙂

      Your words are beautiful–and your man never even told you he’d gotten hurt. That’s real love, isn’t it? Something we admire, that’s sometimes difficult to understand, but we know it when we feel it.

      Thank you, so much, for this precious comment. And I’m so happy for you–40 years!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      And he wears it on a chain…bless his sweet heart.

  10. Shelley Elaine says:

    Thank you Julie for this great post! My husband is a logger who mechanics a lot on his equipment and he actually almost lost his finger because of that very thing-his wedding band was melted and so was his finger-he couldn’t wear it for a long, long time, while his finger healed. I felt HORRIBLE about it, yet I, like you, still really wanted him to wear a symbol of our marriage (of 18 yrs now). I wouldn’t ask him to but unbelievably, he began wearing it again-ugly, melted spot and all-kind of a symbol of all our marriage has been through and survived-BUT thanks to your post, I am DEFINITELY going to order him one like Rick’s-what a GREAT idea! Never heard of it-THANK YOU so much for sharing!!!

    • Shelley, oh, my, oh, my. I’m tearing up with the love from your husband.

      I’m not sure if you saw my above response, but this morning at our porch party, Rick mentioned having read the comments. He said other men had been hurt by wearing their wedding rings.

      You’ll have to get one of these safe rings for him! Let me know what happens. BTW, I wasn’t sure what size Rick wore, so I took his old ring to Walmart. They sized it. And I ordered a 9-10. 🙂

      Can’t wait to hear what happens!

  11. marci says:

    Real Love. Yes, those rings are so much more than just a little band. I had to smile as I read your story. I knew just where you were coming from and understood. My husband also has always worked with his hands, and I know about the problem of wearing a ring for him. His would get caught on things and he stopped wearing his too. It (secretly) made me a little sad. I will say, in time I got use to him not wearing it. I guess it was seeing the other ways he showed he cared, or just the help of the Lord in this case.. How great that you found a ring husbands could wear safely. Your sharing that information, I am sure will help more people. We come together, and share, and that is so wonderful! Thanks for sharing your story and the pictures. Thanks for jarring my memory and reminding me of some of my own stories connected to my own little band I wear on my hand.

    God Bless,

    • Hey Marci’a! I’m just so thrilled I decided to write the Ring Story–and that people can relate.

      That’s exactly how I felt–secretly sad. And we know they love us! Just a tiny bit of sadness, though.

      I’m studying my hands now–looking at my rings. It’s not about how much they did or didn’t cost, is it? 🙂

      So grateful for your friendship.

  12. My husband never wore his either. He had no real reason, just wasn’t a ring guy in general, he said. It did make me feel bad at first. But then I grew used to it. Ohhhh- I’m tearing up now. Shortly after I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I felt something odd on his finger as he grabbed my hand one day. THE RING! After all these years, he was wearing his wedding band and I asked, “Why?” As a symbol of his love for me, he thought it was something he could do to show me he cared.

    Our guys, they’re keepers, aren’t they? The real deal, and I feel so lucky to have my Rick, just like you have yours 🙂

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story! I’m all teary-eyed with remembrance now.

    • arie says:

      My two fav bloggers…Vicky and Julie! Interesting how your husbands are similar. My favorite is his comment “it’s like brushing my teeth or putting on my underwear…..”

      • Waving at you, Arie. Vicky, I hope your’e seeing this! 🙂

        And he had a totally straight face when he said it. Blew my mind. How in the world a ring could equal wearing underwear???????

        I even wondered if it was blog-appropriate, but decided, what the heck. He said it. Surely other people wear underwear too. 🙂 🙂


    • Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Vicky.

      YES. You nailed it. Sometimes it’s the things they do, those seemingly small actions–NOT WORDS, and we know the love is so much bigger than we can comprehend.

      All my love this morning.

  13. Kay Shostak says:

    When Mike went to work for the railroad 30 years ago he was told not to wear his ring, and he was in management. New employees were shown a video of lots of injuries due to wearing rings. He said it was gruesome.

    • Thank you, Kay. I’m sure Rick read your comment (along with the others) about the real dangers involved.

      Just me and my sensitive spirit. :/

      But I’m —-wo-hooooo—– thrilled about his new ring!

  14. Oh, I LOVE this story! First of all, I love that you responded exactly as I would have…”How do you F-E-E-L about it?”

    And second, he responded exactly as my Gary would have…”Feel? It’s a black rubber-looking ring. I’m wearing it, aren’t I?”

    Hahahaha! Don’t you just love long-married love that can understand the difference without getting bent out of shape. He wore it because you asked him to…and that’s what matters. 🙂
    Hugs, my sweet feely friend…

    • Laughing right now, Vonda.


      But I guess if our men were all gushy-mushy like we are, they’d be other the top and we couldn’t take the sweetness–like living in a Hershey Bar factory.


  15. Julie,

    You always seem to touch on something in my life in some way. When my husband and I got engaged 18 or so years ago, we simply went to his friends pawn shop and picked out an affordable but very small ring. I was thrilled, but in some ways very disappointed that he didn’t get the ring on his own and “pop the question,” so to speak. Now, almost 18 years later I know that that just isn’t his style. He did surprise me with a beautiful diamond anniversary band on our 5th wedding anniversary…so I have a beautiful set of rings that signifies our special love. But guess who is the one who has never taken his ring off? You guessed it…I take mine off every day when I get home. He has never taken his off, not once. Things work both ways it seems!

    • LISA! That’s huge! Huge! Huge!

      He’s never taken off his ring. I love it!!!!

      And he’s such a romantic guy to celebrate your 5th anniversary that way. Sounds like he thought it up all by himself. 🙂

      • He did go and pick the anniversary band all by himself. He knew I really wanted one but I had no idea he was going to do it. We met after work one Wednesday, no special day or anything, and when I sat down and we had ordered he just plopped this velvet box in front of me. I was shocked! It was exactly the anniversary band I wanted! I guess he did listen when I subtlety dropped those hints! 😉

  16. Sharon says:

    What a beautiful story….

  17. “It’s like brushing my teeth and putting on my underwear. I don’t have feelings about it.”

    Rick’s reply made me laugh out loud. And I needed that today! Thank you!!!!

    • I’m so glad, B.J. They’re just so different than we are– aren’t they–our husbands!

      I miss you……..

  18. Eileen says:

    Such a sweet, touching story Julie. Way back when I was first married, my hubby had a physical job and would not wear his ring either. And yes, I was hurt. But, he would say it was only a symbol and in his heart was where his love for me was. He couldn’t understand why I felt like I did. I guess men are different that way. Anyway, as the years went on I grew used to it and never said another word.

    I loved Rick’s reply to you. After a very long day, it gave me just the laugh I needed. xxoo

    • Eileen, I’m so glad other women understand how I felt.

      I wasn’t as quiet about it as you. You did my word for 2012 and Surrendered, which is so amazing. You let go. Which is so beautiful. Even though I finally hushed about it, I still thought about it. :/


  19. I love this! Real love is definitely not what I, a starry eyed nineteen year old, thought it would be. It’s real alright, and real isn’t all romance and roses! It takes endurance, forgiveness, and a lot of willingness to change. But, it’s richer and sweeter because of this.

    • So true, Elizabeth. Perfect words–endurance, forgiveness, and willingness to change.

      You were 19! We were 18 and 19. Love is SO MUCH DEEPER, WIDER, HIGHER than we could understand, isn’t it.

      Thank you for reading…and understanding.

  20. Colleen Capes Jackson says:

    Great story, Julie. My husband is an electrician and couldn’t wear his band because of safety reasons too.

    • Yep, Rick told me I had several comments about men who are just like him, Colleen. 🙂

      I still think one of these days, our guys would like talking to each other–not about feelings, of course, but about cars and whatnot. 🙂

  21. Relationship goals. Although I hope it won’t take me 36 years to get there. 🙂

  22. Vivian Vandingliana says:

    I love your family and I like your husband’s philosophy ‘Life too short to live like others we must have some differences’ i wanna be like him

    • Such a kind comment, Vivian! Thank you so much for reading, and for letting me know you understand.


  23. Vivian Vandingliana says:

    Your story ‘Learning to love their difference’ has been translated in our language, and i really love it

  24. Melinda says:

    Thanks for putting that link in today’s post. Loved your stay-cation pictures and thoughts and I do think all we have to do is say “thank you, Jesus” every day to make ourselves wake up to what we have. Loved reading all these comments about guys and rings. Mine wears his but we’ve had discussions about safety. I wasn’t much of a ring wearer myself before and I’m on my 3rd, yes, gasp, 3rd wedding ring. Kind of a long story but I do keep this one on always now..
    Enjoy your blog always, Julie. Wish you would come to a classmates lunch sometime. it would be fun to see you..

    • Julie says:

      I have to hear the story of all your rings, Melinda. When’s the next lunch get-together? Will FB message you, and THANK YOU for reading and letting me know!


  25. Jo Ann Thomason says:

    July, this is soooo sweet. I love yourf writing. style. It’s easy ti visualize what you are saying.
    Prayers for our Lord’s special blessings on you and Rick and your family.

    • Julie says:

      Thank you, Dearest Jo Ann. Means so much and your words went right to my heart.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.