When Brandon and Kathy Gunn got married nine years ago, it was a day they would never forget, but it was also just the first day of the rest of the life they would build together. Through life’s ups and downs they have only grown closer and their love has grown stronger.

Recently they were reminiscing about their own wedding as they prepared to go to another, and they started discussing their favorite wedding gifts. That’s when Kathy remembered a box that was sitting unopened at the top of their closet.

The box had been a gift from Kathy’s great aunt Alison, and attached to it was a card that read, “Do not open until your 1st disagreement.”

Of course, the couple had had many arguments and disagreements over the years, but for some reason they had never opened the box.

“I honestly think that we both avoided turning to the box, because it would have symbolized our failure,” Kathy said. “To us, it would have meant that we didn’t have what it takes to make our marriage work – and we’re both too stubborn and determined for that. So, it forced us to reassess situations. Was it really time to open the box? What if this isn’t our worst fight? What if there’s a worse one ahead of us and we don’t have our box?!?”

The couple was curious to see what Alison had given them – what was the secret “trick” she knew that would save a marriage on the rocks? – so they decided to open her present.

When they looked inside the box they couldn’t believe their eyes. Inside were two notes – one for Brandon and one for Kathy – and wrapped in each note was some money.

The note to Brandon read, “Go get flowers and a bottle of wine,” while Kathy’s note said, “Go get a pizza, shrimp, or something you both like… Get a ‘bath’ ready.”

The box also contained some wine glasses and everything they would need to create a soothing and romantic bubble bath.


After opening the box Kathy said it was by far the best wedding present they had received.

“We thought the box would save ‘us’ – and in a way it did,” she said. “For 9 years (and three moves) that box sat high on a shelf in various closets gathering dust, yet it somehow taught us about tolerance, understanding, compromise and patience. Our marriage strengthened as we became best friends, partners, and teammates. Today, we decided to open that box, because I finally had a realization. I realized that the tools for creating and maintaining a strong, healthy marriage were never within that box – they were within us.”

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