When to take the Ring Off?

It is completely up to YOU!

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What does the ring mean?

Let’s start with “What does the ring mean?” Once again, I went to “Google”…

The Story and Meaning Behind A Wedding Ring: “For all couples, the exchange of wedding rings on your wedding day is the end one journey and the beginning of another. The ring signifies the love and commitment the couple have for each other.”

The meaning of a wedding ring: “The circle shape of a wedding ring also holds special meaning. A circle is endless and has no beginning or end. This means that a circle goes on forever, just like the love a married couple have for each other. The circle shape of a wedding ring signifies that your love for one another is endless and will last forever.”

As I am writing this, I find my eyes watering just a little. It has been 10 years since my divorce and reading what the wedding ring means can still hurt my heart. For those of you who have been divorced, I am not sure what your feelings were and still are, but it continues to be a roller coaster for me at times. Do you remember how he asked, what your feelings were, how he felt? I sure do, like it was yesterday. As sappy as Ric was, this was not his finest moment. He could never keep a surprise. The day the ring was ready, he rushed to go get it and raced home. He emerged through the door like a super hero as I was working with the cable guy. Ric ran up to me with cards, the cards that have all the writing in them (you know the ones) he needed me to read every word that he underlined. With tears in his eyes, he opened the box and got on one knee and said, “It’s 1/2 carat bigger than Beth’s (his 2nd wife). Will you marry me?” As he put it on my finger he also added that I should probably put it on my right hand as his divorce was not final and she will most likely flip. Guys, I hope yours was a little more romantic.

When I first left Ric, I was so sad and lonely. Then depressed because I failed, then to anger, hurt, disappointment, sorrow and fear because of the abuse I had endured. To finally, complete abandonment. My mother was divorced twice and now so was I. I wanted to believe in forever, true love, prince charming, all of it. These emotions were all over the place for years. I also remember very clearly when I took my ring off. It was just a week into our separation, but I needed to sell it to pay my attorneys. I remember looking down at my hand for months feeling like something was missing. After speaking with many friends that were divorced, men and women, there were many different answers to the question…when is the right time to remove the ring?

Here are my findings:

  1. If you are the one initiating the divorce, you might have made up your mind and you are moving on. That is the time to remove the ring now that you are clearly ready to move on.

  2. If you are the spouse that did not initiate the divorce and you are not ready to let go, life is much more complicated. Keeping the ring is a sign that you are not ready to let go and move on yet.

  3. If the divorce is mutual, it is usually when one spouse takes the ring off first that the other spouse will take theirs off as soon as they find out.

  4. If you have children, it is complicated as well. How will they feel?

My conclusion is, there is no cut-and-dry answer. I truly feel that it is a very individual decision when to take your ring off. There is no right or wrong time. No one is in your story, no one knows what your day-to-day feelings are, and no one should judge when it is the right time for you to take the ring off. I actually still believe in marriage and the RING. I have just picked the wrong partners. Next time, I will listen to that “still soft voice” and there will be a forever.

Confidence: What is it and How do you get it back?

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I sometimes wonder, what happened to my confidence? So, I did what everyone does in these situations… I Googled it!

Confidence - the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.

Faith - complete trust or confidence in someone or something

WOW! They are the same. There have been times in my life, I will admit, that my Faith has not been strong. I have been broken. However, there has never been a time that I did not believe in God. In fact, there were many times when I wondered where he was.

My mom has always taught us to “fake it till you make it”. I remember in the late 80’s when the stock market crashed and she had to declare bankruptcy, she kept her mink coat and her MR2. She told us that she can’t go to clients in a beat up car looking like she had no money. She told me the same thing when I began personal training and going to very wealthy clients’ homes. I leased a nice car, invested in my training uniforms and showed up like the successful professional that I was becoming. My theory on faking it till you make is: I am faking it right now but very shortly, I will make it!

Faith and Confidence is not something you can not fake. You have to believe it in your soul. I want to share 5LLs (Life Lessons) to FIND IT and GET IT BACK!

#1 Don’t Stop Believing!

I don’t know about you, but music gets to me. I will revert to Journey’s iconic hit song, which reminds you not to give up when your’re livin’ in a lonely world. Roll the dice, just one more time.

I know there are times in our lives that we want to stop believing, but we can’t. It is imperative to surround yourself with people that believe in you; sometimes more than you believe in yourself. Make sure you choose carefully who is “inside your ring”. I hired an amazing therapist who ever so gently helped me find me. Ask for support! There are things we need to ask for help with. It is especially hard as single, strong ass women!

#2 Be Fearless 

Gym Class heroes - The Fighter

“Until the referee rings the bell, until both your eyes start to swell, until the whole crowd goes home, WHAT we gonna do ya’ll? Give em HELL. Say to me….There goes a fighter!!! if you fall get up off the floor. “

Failing isn't your enemy; it's fearing failure that truly cripples you. If you set big goals and have big dreams, you're going to feel overwhelmed, and you're inevitably going to feel like you can't do it. In those moments, you have to look inside yourself, and gather every ounce of courage you have and just keep going. Every single wildly successful person has been afraid, and they've kept working and taking risks anyway, because what they are trying to accomplish is more important and urgent than their fear of failure. Think about how much you want to achieve your goal, then put your fear to the side, and keep going, one day at a time.

My brother, Scott always says to me (to this day) “get up before you realize your are bleeding”.

#3 Stand-up For Yourself   

Christina Aguilera - Fighter

“After all you put me through, you would think I despised you, but in the end I want to thank you for making me that much stronger.”

When your goal, project, etc. is in its early stages, and someone says that your goal is stupid, or that you can not do it, it's tempting to believe them because they're joining the chorus of doubts inside your head. Logically you think, "How can I be right when this person and all these doubts in my head are telling me I can't do this? That this idea is stupid." And you have to tell those people, especially the voices in your head, that they're wrong. You have it in you, so tell them you believe in your goal, you believe in yourself, so you're going to accomplish it. There's a great line in 10 Things I Hate About You, when Joseph Gordon-Levitt is about to give up his pursuit of Larisa Oleynik, and Heath Ledger gives him a pep talk, ending it with,"Don't let anyone, ever make you feel like you don't deserve what you want."

#4 Ask God for help

Hillsong Worship - Be Still

“Be still and know that the Lord is in control. Be still and watch as giants loose control. You silence all my fear”.

I am responsible for my life choices and I work every day to forgive myself for those choices. My choices have also helped me become me. There have been times when I wondered where God was, why wasn’t he answering my prayers? Why did he leave me? Have you ever felt this way? I want you to know, without a shadow of a doubt, I know he has never left me, even when I sometimes left him.

There is not one day that I don’t ask God for help. Man, oh man I need him! I can not do this on my own. I could not make it through the challenges in my life without him. I sometimes get on my knees, and with tears in my eyes just ask for a “hug”. I actually feel it too. This is one of the most important LL (Life lessons) for me.

#5 Gratitude

Moana Soundtrack — How far I’ll GO

“Where I long to be…the light at the night of the sea…SHE CALLS ME!”

No matter what is going on in my life, I am thankful, grateful and loved. I thank God everyday for the blessings he continues to give me. I live on the water and make sure everyday I show complete gratitude for this opportunity. My pastor shared that when you smile….God is in that smile and we are showing him gratitude.

I read an article about the 31 Benefits of Gratitude You Didn’t Know About: How Gratitude Can Change Your Life. I will share a few of my favorites as well as the entire article.

Gratitude makes…

  • us happier

  • people like us

  • us healthier

  • you live longer

  • us feel good

  • you look good - who doesn’t want this?!

Life is an Adventure and we are here to make the most of it. Be grateful for the things around you, have fun, play and enjoy life. I am so blessed to live on the water and paddle board with my boys and I absolutely make the most of it.

I repeat to myself “My Faith is Bigger than my Fear.”

10 years ago I got my first tattoo that symbolize Psalms 46:10 “Be Still and know that I am God,” and for 10 years I have been still. I recently got my 2nd tatoo that says “FAITH” on my wrist.

It is now time for me to step into absolute FAITH. Come join me…

Lessons Learned: Women in difficult relationships: fight for your life and emerge a champion!

This may be the hardest lesson of all for me, so I will start here. How do you fight for your life when you are broken and wounded to your soul?

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Have you ever felt this way? Have you ever wanted to give up because you felt there was no way out? Have you ever thought that maybe God was not hearing your prayers? Ever felt so alone and afraid that you did not want to go on? I HAVE!

I can honestly say that the biggest mistakes in my life have been my choices in men. I have made it a habit of painting all the red flags green. Can you relate? It’s okay…there is light and hope at the end of the tunnel, ladies. AGE AND EXPERIENCE! I know, I know, but it’s the truth. No one is going to listen to you when you tell them to run when they are in the thick of it. I know I wouldn’t. You have to share your experiences, do not judge (because you have already done it) and pray for them.

My last relationship almost killed me. Being married to Ric was my new full time job. I was his personal trainer, coach, accountant, lover, therapist, arm charm, the list goes on and on. It makes me tired thinking about it, but I loved him and I was going to save him. But who was going to save me? As amazing as Ric was, he was just as abusive. Being a bipolar alcoholic will do that to a person. I held on tight to the highs so I could forget about the lows. One day, 10 years in, it was so clear, “I am going to leave him, not sure when but I am going to save myself.” I prayed and prayed that God would save me. Are my prayers bouncing off the ceiling I wondered at night as I cried myself to sleep. One of the most painful things anyone can say is “Didn’t you know what you were getting yourself into?’ You never know what someone’s story is until they share it with you. From the outside we were a happy, loving, passionate couple.

I got him inside the ring, his last match and then he was to retire.  I remember watching him walk down the long walk to enter the ring, I was so proud of him, of his accomplishments, of his kids.  I also remember thinking to myself “my job is done here and now I have to save myself” Four months after that match, I was praying in my office that God would hit me in the head with a frying pan because clearly the other approaches were not working.  Something did happen, and it was enough to finally pack my belongs and leave Ric and this life that was never really mine.  Harder than leaving was not communicating with him.  I have to be honest and tell you that at this point I was just as codependent as he was.  One of my best friends offered for me to rent her sister’s condo and her and my cousin helped me move what little I could fit into a couple of SUVs.  It’s possible I cried and had a bottle of wine every night for the first month.  My family and friends comforted me and supported me.  God protected me and guided me through one of the most challenging times in my life.  I found an amazing therapist and with her support and reading some amazing books began to heal, began to find Tiffany again. I began to forgive.  

I am on a mission to empower women’s voices. It is critical to tell our stories, to unite us, to help us forgive ourselves and the abuser. It is time to get our power back. It has taken me 10 years to publish this book. I was afraid - afraid of being vulnerable, of what might happen to me and my family. God has blessed me my whole life and has never left me even when I wanted to leave. I am sharing my own deeply personal story of struggling to survive a turbulent marriage and finding the courage and confidence to take control of my life. Through this process I was able to forgive, heal and come out of the Ring a Champion.

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