03/28/2012 12:54 pm ET Updated May 28, 2012

I Sold My Wedding Ring To Move Forward After Divorce -- Maybe You Should Too

If you're divorced, what did you do with your wedding ring? Is it tucked away in a drawer somewhere? Do you ever look at it?

I had little hesitation about what to do with my wedding ring after my second marriage went south: I promptly sold it. I got $90 for it from an outfit that buys gold. Not bad, I thought, for a plain band.

Why did I sell my ring after the divorce three years ago? I wasn't just interested in the money. I wanted to heal some wounds from a painfully disappointing divorce.

For me, anyway, selling the ring was a tangible indicator that the marriage was over, finished, kaput. I wouldn't look at the ring anymore and question why I got married or why the marriage failed. I wanted to move forward, not live in the past -- and selling the ring helped facilitate that.

I know some divorcees, both men and women, would never sell their wedding ring. It might hold happy memories from the marriage. Or they might think selling such a symbolic piece of jewelry is classless.

To each his own.

After divorce, people have different ways of mourning the death of the marriage and different ways of pulling themselves together emotionally.

I didn't sell my wedding ring to spite my ex-wife. The sale really had nothing to do with her at all. It was to help me find closure.

If you're recently divorced, it's important to find your own way to pick up the pieces of your shattered life and move forward.

Pick a divorce recovery method that works for you

I could suggest joining a divorce support group, such as DivorceCare. I did. I could suggest reading books on divorce recovery, such "Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends." I did.

But you need to find personal ways -- unique to you -- to close the book on the marriage.

Maybe you need to discard all the photos from the marriage. Maybe you need to remove any reminders of your ex from your house.

Only you can decide. But I believe strongly that you need to find a concrete symbolic gesture for your own emotional health. Why do people hold funerals after someone dies? Partly to provide survivors a benchmark to grieve and start healing.

I want to make something clear: I do not recommend taking an action after a divorce that helps you but hurts your ex. You might feel better, temporarily, by retaliating against him or her in some way.

But resist the urge. Retaliation is petty and counterproductive to your healing - and to that of your ex. After a divorce, wish the best for your ex -- don't try to harm him or her.

When I sold my wedding ring, I didn't email my ex-wife and say, "Hey, I just sold that crummy wedding ring you gave me! I never liked it anyway! Glad to be done with it -- and you!"

No, I sold the wedding ring quietly and didn't tell anyone. My ex still doesn't know unless she happens to read this article.

Divorce recovery is a personal process. Don't judge others for the steps they take. And don't limit yourself in devising a personal way to mark the end of one life and the beginning of another.