Lady Causes A Scene After Accusing Widower Of Being “Misleading” For Wearing Wedding Ring, Asks The Internet If She’s The Jerk

Have you ever been the one to make everyone in the room suddenly freeze, their puzzled sights pointed in your direction after asking something that seemed completely okay at the time?

When a 32-year-old woman by the username u/Ideal-Mind3099 decided to ask her new colleague “James”, a recent widower, about the wedding band on his finger – things went into an opposite direction from what she did expect. Annoyed by the fact that he was giving people the wrong impression about his relationship status, author of the story couldn’t help but give “James” a piece of her mind.

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Causing a very uncomfortable lunch break by getting a reaction she did not remotely anticipate, Ideal-Mind3099 turned to the ‘Am I The A-Hole’ subreddit to see whether it was her morally-dubious approach or colleagues’ interpersonal skills at blame.

Annoyed by the fact that her colleague’s-widower’s wedding band is giving the wrong impression, woman decided to tell him so and the situation went out of hand

Image credits: Jonathan Francisca (not the actual photo)

Image credits: Ideal-Mind3099

Dealing with the loss of your loved ones, after all, is one of the most gut-wrenching experiences people go through all the time. In fact, the level of anxiety and pain that grieving spouses have to cope with is so high it’s ranked as the highest level of stress on the Perceived Stress Scale a person must go through. That’s why “a lot of people usually don’t know how to pick the right words or feel uncomfortable touching the subject,” Fred Colby, the co-founder of Pathways Men’s Grief Group and the author of ‘Widower to Widower’ told Bored Panda.

As the survivor of such life-shattering loss himself – a beautiful marriage that lasted almost 50 years – Colby knows perfectly the everyday struggles grieving widowers must face. “Most men tend to be loners. And I know that for a lot of us taking the ring off is an act of disrespect.” The way he sees it, “James” is experiencing what he calls the ‘Deep grieving’ phase, the most challenging of them all, and it’s completely normal that the ring is still on his finger.

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“Many of us, including myself, have a hard time visualizing our wives in our thoughts,” Colby explained, adding that “James” is probably wearing it for her memory and to show he’s still committed to his wife.

While he knows better than most people that grieving widowers can be socially awkward and the whole subject a conversational minefield; Colby thinks this story sets a good example to others of how sometimes we tend to misjudge our understanding of what’s socially acceptable when mourning or going through a rough patch. “I’m afraid the lady has poisoned the well in the whole workplace for “James”. If only she had left that part alone, they might have become friends.”

Everyone agreed that the lady should have kept it to herself

Whatever the author’s intentions were, Colby reminded us nobody should expect too much from a grieving person in the first year. “Just be a friend and then, maybe as the gentleman heals he will be able to establish a real connection.” Small steps, as he puts it.

Colby also advises that it’s best to let widows tell the story themselves, as it’s part of the healing process. But for those who want to start the difficult conversation themselves, help a struggling friend or colleague to overcome this barrier, there are a few ways to approach it.

According to Edy Nathan, a celebrated psychotherapist and the author of ‘It’s Grief: The Dance of Self-Discovery Through Trauma and Loss’ and Psychology Today’s column ‘Tales of Grief‘, the first step is to get them to imagine what it would be like to take it off. “‘I see you’re still wearing your ring. What your partner would think if you took it off or left it on?’” are some of the appropriate questions Nathan suggests to Bored Panda readers, reminding everyone that “there’s no right or wrong timeline when a ring needs to be taken off.”

Of course, this doesn’t mean that any of this will certainly help to avoid conversational pitfalls when talking to a mourning person. As Nathan pointed out to us, each case is different. “There is no right answer here. Many of them grief in such a way that it is not only complex but complicated by other factors.” Just like Colby, she said that a lot of people undergoing the most turbulent period of their lives, especially men, tend to turn to controlled substances or casual fornication to ease their pain.

Although, when it comes to grieving there isn’t much space for a silver lining, Nathan claims people’s understanding has changed. “There is a change in the most recent generations of men, I believe.” Based on her experience, Nathan sees that more and more widowers are searching for the truth. “They want to honor their emotions, and we can see it in the way they are responding to work/life/joy balance.”

Finally, Colby gives us his final advice: “Just be understanding. That’s at least what we can do.”

The post Lady Causes A Scene After Accusing Widower Of Being “Misleading” For Wearing Wedding Ring, Asks The Internet If She’s The Jerk first appeared on Bored Panda.


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