Once a couple celebrates their love for each other at their wedding, it seems like the fun is over. But then they go on their honeymoon, settle into their new lives as a married couple, and they have an important task to complete: opening their wedding presents. But for Brandon and Kathy Gunn, one of their wedding gifts had a note telling them not to open the gift until they had their first fight. The gift turned into a competition for the couple, and neither of them wanted to open the surprise.
Receiving An Unusual Gift
Brandon and Kathy Gunn celebrated their love in September 2007, in a beautiful wedding ceremony in Jackson, Michigan, in front of hundreds of their closest friends and family members. Unlike most couples, Brandon and Kathy decided to open their wedding gifts after the wedding reception in front of their guests, instead of opening them by themselves after their honeymoon.
The Gunns opened several presents before they arrived at one present that stood out from the others. The mysterious gift was given to the couple by Kathy’s Great-Aunt Alison, and the gift box included a note, saying, “Do not open until your first disagreement.” The couple was confused about the gift at the time, but they decided to respect Alison’s wishes. They didn’t open the package for nine years, so the box eventually grew cobwebs.
Not Wanting To Open It
When the couple didn’t open the gift after two years, Kathy’s mother grew concerned. She wondered if the gift might contain something perishable or time-sensitive, but Alison quickly reassured everyone that the gift was fine. But Alison had her own concerns: Why weren’t they opening the gift?
Alison was shocked that after two years of marriage, the couple hadn’t opened the gift. Certainly, they had a disagreement during those crucial first years of marriage. Kathy was quick to share they had disagreements. She wrote in a viral Facebook post, “Now, there had obviously been plenty of disagreements, arguments, and slammed doors throughout our nine years.” But in the Gunns’ eyes, if they had opened the box, it would have been a failure. Kathy commented, “There were even a couple of instances where we both considered giving up…but we never opened the box.”
Brandon and Kathy are both competitive people, so neither of them wanted to give up and decide it was time to open the mysterious box. Over nine years, the couple moved several times, started a family, but throughout their marriage, they didn’t want to open the gift. Kathy added, “I honestly think that we both avoided turning to the box because it would have symbolized our failure.”
Finally Opening It
After nearly a decade of marriage, the Gunns decided it was finally time to open the mysterious gift after a disagreement in May 2016. They were talking about their wedding when they remembered they hadn’t opened Great-Aunt Alison’s special gift to the couple. But they were still scared to open it. Kathy commented, “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?!” Without the box, could they mend a fight? But they didn’t have to worry.
In the box, the Gunns found two notes, money, wine glasses, bath items, and a vase. The notes contained detailed instructions. The note for Kathy stated, “Go get pizza, shrimp, or something you both like. Get a bath ready.” The note for Brandon advised, “Go get flowers and a bottle of wine.” Kathy’s Great-Aunt Alison seemingly set up a romantic plan of action for Brandon and Kathy’s first fight.
Kathy was puzzled about the gift. She said, “All along, we assumed that the contents of that box held the key to saving a marriage.” But then she realized the gift was a reminder that when the couple has a fight, all they have to do is make up and do something nice for each other. Since Kathy and Brandon waited nine years to open the box, Kathy realized the tools for creating and maintaining a strong, healthy marriage were never in the box. They were within them the whole time. They didn’t need the box. They’re going to be just fine on their own.
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