It seems unthinkable that a bride and groom could not accept one of their wedding gifts after spending hours selecting the perfect items for their wedding register. On the other side, one couple waited nine years to get their final present after their wedding day.

Kathy and Brandon Gunn kept their wedding gift sitting in the back of their closet for nine years before opening it in May. Kathy shared her story on Facebook after being featured on the Love What Matters Facebook page on August 29. It earned over 12,000 likes and 1,500 shares. (See below for more details.)

Kathy explains in her story that she received the gift from her great aunt Alison, who gave it to her with a note that said, “Do not open until your first argument has been resolved.”

Kathy observed in her piece that there had indeed been many conflicts, arguments, and slammed doors throughout their nine years together. We both pondered giving up on a few occasions… “However, we never did open the box.”

What made the newlyweds, who have a six-year-old daughter and a three-year-old boy, finally open the gift? They discovered an unopened talent in their house while sipping wine on their Michigan patio and pondering what gift to give to an upcoming wedding in Kalamazoo. Even though they had had their share of conflicts over the years, she claimed After all this time, they were “too stubborn and determined” to open the package.

“It made us reconsider things,” she said. “Did it occur to you that it was time to remove the box from the box?” Is this the most difficult war we’ve ever fought? What if the storm becomes stronger and we don’t have our box? “Nothing is so awful that it can’t get worse,” as my brilliant uncle Bill used to say.

They discovered two handmade cards wrapped around two bundles of money, wineglasses, a vase, and bath goods when they finally unwrapped the wedding present later that night. Kathy and Brandon got their memo with specific instructions on spending the funds. Brandon was told to go out and buy flowers and a bottle of wine, while Kathy was told to take a bath and order pizza.

Instead of gathering dust in the couple’s house, their thoughtful, creative present became a source of immense delight and enlightenment.

Kathy noted in her essay that the box had been gathering dust on a shelf in various closets for nine years (and three moves). Still, it had somehow taught us tolerance, understanding, compromise, and patience. Our marriage grew more assertive as we became closer as best friends, partners, and comrades. We finally opened that box today because I discovered something. The materials we needed to develop and maintain a strong, healthy marriage were always available to us, not in a box.”

After their tale went viral, the Huffington Post interviewed Kathy and Brandon to find out their most crucial marriage lesson.

“Life presents so many twists and turns outside of marriage,” Kathy told the Huffington Post, “and dealing with those obstacles can be difficult without someone to lean on, confide in, or cry with.” Brandon has always been there for her. I know I can always rely on him to be in my corner, and he knows I can rely on him to be in his. Life is a lot easier when you have someone who is always there for you and will go out of their way to help you no matter what hour it is.

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