I have a male co-worker who is married — happily married from what he says. But I notice he hardly wears his wedding band. I asked him about it and he said he’s not a fan of jewelry. I have no reason to suspect he’s not being faithful to his wife but as a single women I’m always disturbed by married men who don’t wear their band. What are your thoughts on this?

– Cheryl

What’s in the heart and mind should be all that matters. But it’s not that easy. For many, especially women, it’s also about what’s on the finger. The wedding band is symbolic of the covenant between husband and wife. Without it, symbolism is quickly replaced by suspicion. Warranted or not, people think the worse of a guy going hando-commando. To single women, he represents an untagged married member of the male species roaming freely and unmonitored while preying on the unsuspecting. He’s the character, that rears his head in every Tyler Perry screenplay, that women can’t despise fast enough or hard enough.

He’s guilty until proven innocent. That’s one way to look at it. The other way is a little less cynical. For a lot of men, it’s not about wanting to appear single. Some men, like myself, really don’t care for jewelry. For instance, sometimes I feel like my ring is cutting off proper blood circulation to the rest of my body, including my business. This is a problem. I told my wife it’s either the ring or the sex; my blood vessels can’t handle both. Because she knows me the way she does, she could only laugh and tell me to shut the hell up. See, my wife displays the tempered sensibilities of a lot married women (at least those I talked to). They tend not to get riled up because the hardware isn’t welded to our fingers. In fact, they rather we just be honest about not liking rings and stop claiming pseudo-diseases like “ring-a-titus”.

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