The unassuming white box came from their Aunt Alison with a letter labelled “Do not open until 1st disagreement.”
Kathy admits that there have been “plenty of disagreements, arguments and slammed doors” since their wedding day. Yet despite this, the box remained unopened, gathering dust in various closets over the nine years and three moves.
“I honestly think that we both avoided turning to the box, because it would have symbolized our failure,” she wrote. “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. “
Instead, the box forced the couple to reassess the situation during each disagreement — “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!“
While discussing wedding gift ideas for an upcoming wedding they were attending, the couple finally decided it was time.
Inside the box, they found two wine glasses, a vase and a collection of bath products. There were also two bundles of cash wrapped in hand-written notes addressed to Kathy and Brandon.
Kathy’s note read “go get a pizza, shrimp or something you both like” and told her to get a bath ready. Brandon’s note instructed him to buy flowers and a bottle of wine.
Solid advice there, Aunt Alison. But the most valuable gift in the box was what it had done for their marriage.
“It somehow taught us about tolerance, understanding, compromise and patience,” Kathy wrote. “Our marriage strengthened as we became best friends, partners, and teammates.”
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