The Marriage Project | Nathan & Ebby

Nathan & Ebby got engaged in the snow, married in the rain, had 1-year-anniversary photos with spiders, and then braved our sketchy studio for this project.


Marriage looks good on them, and they're one of the most best-friends kind of couple I've ever met. Nathan is the stoic (aka "I have no feelings"), book-reading, organized, sarcastically hilarious type, and Ebby is an effervescent, creative, less-organized hairstylist. They are proficient in movie quotes and weird faces, and just get a kick out of each other.


Looking through their 1-year photos, I literally started crying (I've been an emotional basket case ever since we got married, and anything to do with love/marriage/cat videos destroys me). Seriously though, they're really into each other and it's beautiful (and hilarious) to see. 


their marriage in one word


definition of love

To him: denying himself, making her needs more important than his. Jesus showed us the ultimate act of love: lowering himself to becoming a human, and then dying for us. As the head of the household, he's responsible for his family. If she's had a bad day, putting aside his bad day and listening to hers. If she's tired, making dinner.

She thinks he nailed it.


ways they've changed since getting married

She's learning to be on time, and to be more tidy (because she knows her mess makes him crazy).

He's learning not to be twenty minutes early to everywhere.


favorite things to do

Reading books out loud together (sometimes in fake southern accents). 

keeping it fresh

He writes her letters (they don't have to be long).

They're intentional about learning and growing together, and reading books about marriage--you don't buy a car and then never fill it with gas again and you don't have kids and then leave them to their own devices. Marriage is meant to be invested in and nurtured.


the biggest surprise about being married

It's not as hard as they thought it'd be.


how they rocked their first year of marriage

The people around them did their jobs to prepare them. Her parents (awesome people) encouraged them toward premarital (actually, pre-engagement) counseling. Their relationship was very down-to-earth, and didn't create false expectations about what marriage would be like. It was a grocery-shopping, sweat-pants wearing, making-dinner-together-at-her-parents-house, no-pressure-to-perform kind of relationship, so they really knew each others' down-to-earth, everyday selves. They didn't expect marriage to be quite like Pinterest would have you believe, and knew that marriage was more about the every day than about a flawless fairytale.


favorite thing about being married

How funny it is (a lot of it is bathroom humor).


hardest thing about being married

Learning to deal with being wronged, and not holding it against each other. Finding out that they're not as great and unselfish as they'd hoped. Hard, and humbling, but so good to have a spouse who is your mirror to show you that you have plenty of growing to do.


marriage advice

His: Marriage, like love, is a choice. It's not a mood, and it's not a consumer relationship--all about them fulfilling your needs. God sure didn't love us as far as we reciprocated and fulfilled his needs. Marriage is about choosing, every day, and saying "I do", every day, not just on your wedding day. It's easy to make it about yourself and start saying "I don't". 

Hers: Without a basis of friendship, things are going to be a lot harder than they need to be. You need to marry someone you're in love with, but, it's actually important that you like the person. Just like being around them. Marriage is more about hanging out than about continuous la passion. 



Say "I love you", even if you don't feel like it. Love them in the way they receive love, not in the way it's easiest for you to love them.


Go to bed mad at each other. Even if it means turning the light back on and saying "Wake up, here's your gloves. We need to fight this out."

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advice to husbands & wives

He loves that she doesn't embarrass him in public, or make him look stupid. Not because he's not an idiot (he says he is), but because she's choosing to respect him, not just to his face, but to her friends. Behind every great man, is a great woman who believes in him and respects him even when it's kinda undeserved.

She loves that he looks at love as a choice: he's committed to loving her, and it's not dependent on his feelings at any given moment. Girls are just weird and crabby for no reason sometimes (usually it's because she's hungry), so accept your wife for who she is, even when she doesn't make sense. (She might just need to inexplicably cry for awhile). 

Wives need to hear their husbands love, affirmation, and encouragement more than they'd think is reasonable. A woman who is loved and affirmed by her husband can do anything. It's like a good hair day.



what he loves about her

She's hot. 

She's unsquelchable. She is who she is, all the time. 

what she loves about him

He's earnest and irreverent at the same time. He really has "good intentions" and wants to do the right thing, treat people well, and seek God. And he also doesn't take things and people too seriously, and isn't afraid to question things.

He's more of a servant, and just, an even better guy, than she knew before they got married.