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“Do not open until first disagreement” is what is written on the envelope enclosed with the wedding gift.

Credit: Facebook / Kathy Hocter Gunn

When Aunt Alison presents the gift to Cathy and Brandon for the first time, they agree to honor her wish and decide not to open the gift until their first fight.

There was obviously a lot of bickering and fighting throughout their 9-year marriage, but Kathy and Brandon never opened the gift.

Credit: Facebook / Kathy Hocter Gunn


“Honestly, I think we both avoided turning to the chest because it would have symbolized our failure. For us, it meant we didn’t have what it took to make our marriage work – and we were both very stubborn and determined.”

Therefore, it forced us to re-evaluate the situations. Is it really time to open the safe? What if it wasn’t our worst fight? What if the worst was ahead of us and we didn’t have our chest?!? As my great-uncle Bill said, “Absolutely nothing is so bad it can’t get worse,” she added.

One night, as the couple pondered what they would receive for a wedding in Kalamazoo, Kathy remembered Aunt Alison’s gift that made a lasting impression on her.

Credit: Facebook / Kathy Hocter Gunn

Then they decided to open the present. Once the box was opened, Kathy and Brandon saw two letters, one addressed to Cathy and the other to Brandon.

There was money inside the letters.

The letter to Cathy reads, “Go get some pizza, shrimp, or whatever you two like.”

Credit: Facebook / Kathy Hocter Gunn

During Brandon’s speech, he told her to “go get some flowers and a bottle of wine”.

Credit: Facebook / Kathy Hocter Gunn

Besides the letters, there was a crystal vase, two crystal wine glasses, bath soap, lotion and bubbles, all when the couple should have needed them most.

Credit: Facebook / Kathy Hocter Gunn


“All this time we’ve assumed the contents of this vault held the key to saving a marriage — an old trick — unbeknownst to us newbies,” Kathy wrote.

Cathy added that it wasn’t the contents of the box that meant so much to her, but rather the meaningful message behind it.

Credit: Facebook / Kathy Hocter Gunn

“After all, my uncle and aunt have been married for almost half a century, so we thought the fund would save us – and somehow it did.”

Instead of opening the box at the start of their marriage, Kathy and Brandon decided to work through their issues and find solutions to their arguments that helped cement their marriage for all these years.

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