DEAR ABBY: I am a 45-year-old woman with two daughters, ages 20 and 23. I married my high school sweetheart, "Cooper." I had heard rumors that Cooper had strayed from time to time, but had no evidence to back it up, and, of course, he denied it.
I went by my husband's office one day to surprise him, and his new secretary informed me that Cooper had just taken his wife to lunch at a local bistro! I went right over there and found them whispering, kissing and feeding each other. I did not make a scene. When Cooper arrived home that evening, I confronted him. He tried to deny it. I called him a liar and he slapped me! (A first.) He moved out that night, and I filed for divorce.
I pawned my wedding band and engagement ring. The clerk asked if I was going to buy a divorce ring. I had never heard of one. I searched online, found a nice one, ordered it and wear it proudly.
Cooper and his parents are livid! They say I am poking fun at him and accuse me of "promoting divorce." My friends and oldest daughter think it's cool. Some of my divorced friends have ordered rings, too. The ring is different in design, beautiful, makes me feel good and shows my independence. Should I feel guilty for wearing an identity ring like this? -- DIVORCING AND LOVING IT IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR DIVORCING AND LOVING IT: No, you should not. The next time Cooper and his parents accuse you of "promoting divorce," remind them that it was Cooper who promoted divorce by openly cheating on you. If the ring brings you pleasure -- and comfort -- then enjoy it.
However, please be aware that many people will not understand its significance -- and if you wear it on the third finger of your left hand, they may think you are still married and unavailable.