Fact—marriage is not easy. Actually, the easiest part of it all is getting married. And then after the party is over, the real work begins. Just ask Kathy and Brandon Gunn of Michigan.
The couple tied the knot nine years ago and on the day of their wedding, they received a gift from Kathy’s great aunt Alison. In a Facebook post that has now gone viral, Kathy wrote that on the plain white box her aunt Alison had placed a card that read, ‘Do not open until your 1st disagreement.’
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As you can imagine, there were plenty of “disagreements” in those nine years, because … well, marriage, but Kathy and her husband never opened the white box.
“I honestly think that we both avoided turning to the box, because it would have symbolized our failure. 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?!? As my Great Uncle Bill would say, ‘Nothing is ever so bad that it couldn’t get worse,” she wrote on Facebook.
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Finally, last May, the couple decided to open the gift. And, no, it’s not because they got into a huge argument and are getting a divorce. They were simply curious to see what her aunt’s gift was. They found two notes (one for her and one for him), some cash, wine glasses, and some bath products. Katy’s note read: “Go get a pizza, shrimp or something you both like. P.S. Get a bath ready.”
And Brandon’s note read: “Go get flowers and a bottle of wine.”
“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.”
And this is what marriage is all about.