I’ve been divorced for a decade but still wear my wedding ring with my ex-husband’s name engraved inside… even though he has remarried: So when IS the right time to take it off?

Most brides proudly slip on a wedding band with the glowing certainty it will be a fixture on their left hand till death do us part. But when a marriage ends, must the ring inevitably go for a burton too? TV hosts Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes were both spotted still wearing their wedding rings last week, despite recently calling time on their 14-year marriage.

So, when should you remove yours — the second you split, or even, perhaps, never? We asked five divorced Femail writers for their take, with some surprising results…

Lisa Hilton has been divorced for more than a decade, but still wears both her wedding and engagement ring

Ruth Langsford is seen out and about for the first time since news of her split from Eamonn Holmes became public

The presenter was still sporting her wedding and engagement ring

Ruth Langsford is spotted in the wake of her split from Eamonn Holmes, still wearing both her wedding and engagement rings

Eve Simmons: ‘I hid it away a week before we split’

Mail health and wellness editor Eve, 33, split from her husband of six months in November 2022, having been together for nine years.

I took my rings off a week before it was officially over. They were gone 72 hours after he’d launched a missile on our nine-year relationship, and six-month marriage, by telling me he was ‘no longer sure’ he wanted to be married to me.

He also refused to leave our marital home, which left me with no choice but to traipse back to a small bedroom in my mother’s flat.

It was the weekend and he wanted time to ‘think’.

Eve Simmons split from her husband of six months in November 2022, after nine years together

Eve Simmons split from her husband of six months in November 2022, after nine years together

I have to carry on as normal, I told myself. Distraction is the key to faux happiness. I took Mum to brunch, caught up on emails. And every time I caught sight of my ring finger, I was drawn straight back to hell. I remembered my unenviable situation, and the tyrannous thoughts came flooding back.

Had we been as happy as I’d thought? Were his tears on our wedding day all for show? Did he ever love me at all? And if he didn’t, would anyone? Ever?

I stomped back to the flat and took both rings off, placing them in an old coin purse on my bedside table. Two days later, I buried them at the back of my make-up drawer. A week later, he told me he wanted a divorce. I moved to Mum’s permanently (at the age of 31), and our house was sold within six months.

Ultimately, taking my rings off when I did was a good idea. It would have been easy to choose blind hope, but ripping off the plaster — or emerald-cut diamond in this case — helped me accept my new reality.

And when the final blow came, it wasn’t as flabbergasting. It was still horrific. But at least I had some semblance of a plan. Perhaps I had a weaker emotional connection to my rings given my relatively young age, and the embarrassingly short length of the marriage.

Shortly before we sold the house and parted ways for ever, he asked for the engagement ring back. It was odd, given that he had yet to return a sizable chunk of money my mother had given us. But I didn’t want to fight. I left it on his pillow when he was out, with a letter confessing I still cared about him — and hoped one day we could be friends.

Before I left the house, I stopped to think about the agony he’d caused. The look on my mother’s face when she learned he’d refused to return her savings. I ran back up stairs and picked up the ring.

Lisa Hilton: ’11 years on, I’m still wearing both rings’

Lisa continues to wear her wedding rings - but has moved them to her right hand

Lisa continues to wear her wedding rings – but has moved them to her right hand

Lisa, 49, is the author of the erotic Maestra trilogy. Currently single, she has been married three times and has one daughter.

When is the right moment to remove your wedding ring? In my case, the answer is never.

I didn’t wear rings during my first two marriages, youthful misadventures in my early 20s.

But I divorced my last husband in 2013, after 12 years of marriage, when our daughter was seven, and more than ten years on, I still wear both my wedding and engagement rings, although I have transferred them to my right hand. I don’t know if I will ever take them off.

My third divorce split my life irrevocably into the time before and the time after. I found it extremely painful and, in many ways, I am still sad and regretful that it happened, although my ex-husband and I managed things in an amicable manner.

So why would I torment myself by retaining the visual symbol of a failed marriage? True, that relationship did come to a legal end, but through it I have my daughter, and the rings are a reminder of the bond I’ll always have with her father.

He has since remarried, so wears a new ring, but he has no problem with me continuing to wear mine.

My wedding ring has my ex-husband’s name engraved on the inside, while my engagement ring was a family piece, given to me by my former mother-in-law (with whom I still get on very well).

They represent more than the promises my ex and I made; they are part of my history and my daughter’s too. She will own them one day, and perhaps pass them on in turn.

For some people, taking off a wedding ring can obviously be an important signifier of freedom, but it’s not compulsory. Rings are deeply meaningful objects and nobody should feel pressured to remove one.

At first, continuing to wear mine made me unhappy, but with time I have come to feel proud of them, and think I would even keep them on if I married again.

My marriage obviously wasn’t perfect, but they recall one of the most meaningful periods of my life.

When I look at them now, they evoke both melancholy and celebration, marking a past that is gone but which still resonates. Removing the rings wouldn’t erase the memories, and I wouldn’t wish it to.

Julie Burchill: ‘I wore mine until it was time to swap it for a new one’

Julie Burchill, who is now married for the third time, decided to keep her wedding rings on until she got hitched again

Julie Burchill, who is now married for the third time, decided to keep her wedding rings on until she got hitched again

Julie, 64, a columnist and author, has been married three times, divorced twice.

I’ve never been keen on jewellery. During my long, louche life, I’ve given away three Rolexes; once, drunk, to an actual tramp, the other two, sober, to people I felt sorry for.

But I do like a wedding ring. I’ve had three — from unions lasting five years, ten years and 30 years respectively. As such, I can understand the debate over when to remove the ring; on breaking up, after the decree nisi, or after your ex takes theirs off, perhaps? (Not an issue for me; men who wear any jewellery apart from religious emblems give me the ick.)

Personally, I always wear the old one till I get hitched again, when I like to dramatically pitch the previous one into a significant body of water; once the Thames, once the sea at Brighton, both with a feeling of cold-blooded and performative closure. I was the bolter on both occasions. Had I been dumped rather than doing a runner, I might well have felt differently — who wants to wear proof that one is no longer loved?

But I’m an eternal optimist, and always see each marriage as a huge new adventure. I first got married at 18 and I’m 64 now — I’ve never been without a wedding ring in all that time. I’d feel naked without one.

But the wedding ring that means the most to me is my mother’s; she was a sweet-natured, loyal, emotional woman who was faithful to my equally splendid father all their lives.

When I look at her plain gold band, which I keep in a box, and my flash current number, with its nine different coloured diamond chips, I do feel the distance between our attitudes to marriage. But I feel no regret, as my life has suited me well and my marriages — in all their genuine original bliss and subsequent complications — have been an integral part of this life less ordinary which I craved as a young girl; always the bride, never the bridesmaid.

Rosie Green: ‘My ex threw his across the kitchen island’

Rosie Green found removing her ring to be 'strangely empowering'

Rosie Green found removing her ring to be ‘strangely empowering’

Columnist Rosie split from her husband of 15 years in 2019. They have two teenage children.

Heartbreak is invisible. To the outside world you bear no scars, yet inside you are entirely broken. I secretly carried the pain of my 15- year marriage collapsing for six months. Nobody knew. Then I took my ring off and suddenly everyone did.

Taking your ring off is a public statement. A cursory glance at the third finger of your left hand and your boss/postman/kid’s teacher knows your relationship is over. Or as good as.

I don’t know why Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes are still choosing to wear theirs, but I imagine it to be a mark of respect for each other.

My split was not so amicable.

When I took off my ring, it was bittersweet. I wouldn’t have countenanced removing it when I was fighting to save my marriage. Quite the opposite; I liked that it was a physical reminder to my husband of the promise he made. Yet six months of his devastating words and actions showed me he had clearly checked out.

With sudden clarity, I took off the ring without ceremony. It felt strangely empowering, like a release from the ego-crushing battle I’d been fighting every day. As it languished upstairs in a box, I realised I could design my new life, find myself again and perhaps make room for someone new.

My ex was, surprisingly, more emotional about removing his ring, and threw it across the kitchen island in a flash of anger.

Of course there was sadness too. How could there not be? The ring is a physical reminder of the day when it was slid onto your finger, imbued with so much hope.

I know some of the men I’ve dated have felt massive shame and embarrassment around taking theirs off. To them it represented failure, letting down their children and their wider families.

But I didn’t feel that. Perhaps because I don’t feel I orchestrated my marriage’s downfall?

Looking at my bare finger, I can see the indent is still there from where it used to sit. It’s been five years since I took it off and I wonder if that hollow will be a bodily reminder for ever.

A marriage is not easily erased. And nor should it be.

Marison McGilvary: ‘I bought us new ones… we never wore them’

Marion McGilvary bought new wedding rings for herself and her husband after a bad patch - but they never left the box

Marion McGilvary bought new wedding rings for herself and her husband after a bad patch – but they never left the box

Marion, 65, has been separated from her ex-husband for 15 years. They share four grown-up children.

After the first ten years of marriage, I rarely wore my wedding ring or my engagement ring. I love modern jewellery and preferred other, more arty forms of adornment than the antique sapphire and slim gold band that, in any case, no longer fitted my — by now fatter — fingers comfortably.

My husband’s ring was misshapen and also too small, so for our 25th wedding anniversary, I bought us both new rings. We’d been through a very bad patch and it felt like a romantic gesture of hope and renewal.

But they never left the box.

The night before the anniversary, I intercepted a text that confirmed he hadn’t actually broken it off with the female cause of our troubles. The flowers he’d bought went straight into the bin, while I’ve never worn the silver Georg Jensen bracelet he gave me anyway the next day.

I hate the sight of it. Had I worn a wedding ring, I would have put it in a pie and fed it to him.

Crushed, I took the new rings back to the shop, and neither I nor the shop assistant made eye contact as she refunded me.

I often wonder if the bad luck was passed on to whoever bought them after me. I certainly won’t be giving my original wedding ring to any of my children. It should probably be thrown away, even though my ex and I are on the best of terms these days.

It’s been 15 years since we split but he still sends me flowers on our wedding anniversary.

But all the same there’s just something symbolic about a failed wedding ring.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk