One morning, several summers ago, I was washing my hands when I noticed the empty prongs of my diamond ring staring up at me like some bizarre surgical tool. As the water poured down the drain, I felt my heart sink. Thinking that the diamond might have fallen off during hand-washing, I elicited the help of my husband, Mason, who, along with many other endearing qualities, is a one-man fix-it machine. Within a short time, wrench in hand, he disassembled the pipes below the sink, searching for my gem amid the tar-colored muck. I had already searched the sheets and covers in the bedroom, and scanned the floors. At the time, we both came up short.

It is customary for a Jewish groom, a chatan, to place a simple wedding band on the kallah, a Jewish bride’s pointer finger, under the chuppah. It is a means of giving the bride something of value.

But it’s often the diamond ring that is more sentimental. Perhaps the diamond ring symbolizes a love that, like a diamond, was intended to last forever.

My first husband was unable to afford this luxury. In my 20s at the time, I didn’t feel the need for such a ring. We were in love, and that was enough. Nonetheless, my fiancée’s mother, feeling that I had been deprived, generously passed along a family heirloom: an aquamarine ring, surrounded by small seed diamonds. When that ring was stolen during a house break-in, I was reminded why I had stopped wearing it. Despite best intentions and multiple attempts at couples’ counseling, the promise of a loving, committed relationship had long faded away.

I felt my heart sink

Rather than a fiancé, it was an aunt who gave me my diamond ring. The ring was Aunt Dot’s sole physical treasure—a gift her husband, Sam, my father’s older brother, presented to her. I still remember Sam and Dot holding hands well into their 70s while taking walks. I had always wanted to look at a partner with the same love with which Dot looked at Sam, especially after a 30-year marriage. After Dot, who married in her early 40s and was childless, lost Sam, she continued to wear her treasured ring. Several years later, Dot had a series of strokes when she was in her 80s. During one visit with her in the hospital, she was convinced that her time had come. She hesitantly slipped the ring off her finger and gave it to me. I stared at the ring’s simple elegance and thought of the love it represented for my aunt.

By that time, I was already divorced and had begun my voyage to becoming a ba’al teshuvah: a returnee to traditional Jewish observance. In the process, I learned that the excitement of romance, and the long list of attributes and interests that seemed important in a partner meant little compared to a husband’s character, faithfulness and genuine concern for his partner. The list and preconceptions also meant little compared to a couple’s willingness to include Jewish morality and practices in their lives meant to help ensure a loving marriage.

When my current husband and I married, I asked him to “gift” me my Aunt Dot’s ring. I understood that the diamond was only a symbol, and that the practice of committing oneself to love and understanding of one’s partner was the true treasure. When I lost the diamond, I felt the hurt of having lost both a beloved aunt’s cherished possession and a physical manifestation of my spiritually inspired marriage. Seeing the cold metal prongs devoid of the diamond made me feel as if I had damaged a symbol of love.

As a team, Mason and I had been discovering one another’s glasses, one another’s keys, and often, through the silence, one another’s thoughts and words. The ability to unearth what was sometimes unreachable within and outside us was just one way in which we complemented one another. Of course, our marriage wasn’t perfect. Then again, the marriage between G‑d (the chatan) and the Jewish people (the kallah) that occurred when the Jewish people accepted the Torah hasn’t always seemed perfect either. Yet the promise of love that flows from co-existence, deep caring and dedication continues, with effort, to grow stronger. This holds true for both a relationship between spouses and in our personal relationship with G‑d.

I wasn’t totally surprised whenThe promise of love continues to grow stronger later that same day, my grounded, eagle-eyed husband walked into the bedroom, intuitively looked down at the rug under my computer desk, picked up the diamond that had become dislodged from the ring setting and unceremoniously placed it in my hand. A simultaneous wave of relief and gratitude flooded over me as I looked into my husband’s loving eyes and then down at the gem.

Never one to let grass grow under his feet, my husband offered to immediately bring the diamond and setting to the neighborhood jeweler for repair. He called a bit later to let me know the jeweler’s diagnosis: the prongs had worn down, and the setting would have to be replaced. My husband offered to provide a new, more elegant and costly setting, rather than the comparable setting the jeweler offered. But I didn’t want to change the ring and sense of constancy it had come to represent. I just wanted it back on my finger as much in its original state as possible. I wanted to maintain the same symbol of love that I had come to cherish more as the years passed.

“Perhaps you want a bigger rock?” persisted my husband.

I have two rocks in my life that uphold me: G‑d and my husband. And through those supportive rocks: beautiful family and friends.

No, I told him. I don’t need anything more.