After spending hours adding the perfect items to your wedding registry, it seems impossible that a bride and groom could just not open one of their wedding gifts. But for one couple, it took them nine years after their wedding day to open their last wedding gift.
Kathy and Brandon Gunn had a wedding present sitting in the back of their closet for nine year until they finally opened it this past May. Kathy posted her story on Facebook, and after being featured by the Love What Matters Facebook page on August 29th, her post garnered over 12,000 likes and 1,500 shares. (You can see the post below.)
The gift, Kathy explained in her post, was from her great Aunt Alison, and had an envelope taped onto it that read, "Do not open until your first disagreement."
"Now, there had obviously been plenty of disagreements, arguments and slammed doors throughout our 9 years," Kathy explained in her post. "There were even a couple of instances where we both considered giving up...but we never opened the box."
So, what finally drove the couple, who now have a 6-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son together, to open the gift? Funny enough, they were sitting on their deck together at their home in Michigan, enjoying a glass of wine and wondering what gift to bring to an upcoming wedding in Kalamazoo when they realized that there was an unopened gift in their house. She said the reason that the box remained unopened after all this time, even though they had certainly had their share of arguments over the years, was because they were "too stubborn and determined" to open it.
"It forced us to reassess situations," she explained. "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?!? As my Great Uncle Bill would say, 'Nothing is ever so bad that it couldn't get worse.'"
That night they finally opened the wedding gift, and inside they found two hand written notes wrapped around two different bundles of money, wine glasses, a vase, and bath products. The two notes, addressed to Kathy and Brandon separately, included instructions on exactly what each of them should do with the money. Kathy's note told her to draw up a bath and buy a pizza, while Brandon's note told him to buy some flowers and a bottle of wine.
This creative, heart-felt gift went from collecting dust in their house to becoming a major source of joy and learning for the couple.
"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," Kathy wrote in her post. "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."
The Huffington Post caught up with Kathy and Brandon after their story went viral to ask them what the most important lesson is that they have learned throughout their marriage.
"Life throws so many twists and turns at all of us, outside of marriage, and dealing with those problems can be difficult without someone to count on, lean on, confide in or cry with," Kathy told The Huffington Post. "Brandon is my constant. No matter what struggles I am faced with, I know that I can always count on him to be in my corner and me in his. It's so much easier to get through life when you have someone that will always be there for you and that would do anything for you, no matter the day or time."