A couple days ago marked the first time I ate dinner without my wife since we got married.We knew when she dropped me off on campus at 7:30 a.m. that it was going to be a long day for both of us. She had several hours to put in at the bank where she worked, followed by a mandatory HR meeting. I had a midterm to take, a class presentation to make, a club meeting to run and a newspaper to put out.So as I lingered an extra moment in the warm car before kissing Annie goodbye, I tried to imagine sitting with her at our dinner table, talking about the small victories and disappointments endured in her absence.Sometimes that image is the only thing that keeps me motivated throughout the day.We hadn't been apart too long, though, before I realized I had forgotten about an informational internship meeting I had to attend that night. I knew the responsible adult thing to do would be to attend the meeting and explore my internship options, but I also knew that it would mean my wife and I would be eating dinner separately.Under normal circumstances, I suppose this wouldn't have been such a big deal. But between my homework, her independent study and both of our work schedules, we hadn't been spending much quality time together, and I feared it had started to take a toll on our relationship.The day dragged on, the small disappointments became much more numerous than the small victories, and by the time I called Annie that afternoon, I had decided I would skip the meeting, for my sake and hers."I was going to go to this internship thing tonight, but I'm not going anymore," I told her. "I'd rather spend the night with you."She replied like any loving, supportive wife would: "It's up to you, but I'll be OK if you go to the meeting. I think it would be good for you to keep your options open."She was right, and her encouragement was just barely enough to get me through the rest of the day. When she picked me up on campus sometime around 9 p.m. I was tired, stressed out and cranky.Again demonstrating her wonderful, Christlike qualities, Annie spent the next hour listening to me talk through the challenges of the day and offering advice, comfort and support. She helped me see things more clearly, she inspired me to be kinder and she quickly lifted my spirits.There's been a lot of talk lately about preserving the sanctity of marriage. Millions of voices are trying to make themselves heard in this generation-defining debate, and oftentimes the world — whether symbolized by partisan pundits or overly long work schedules — can blur our perspective of what's most important.No matter what side of the gay marriage debate you're on, you recognize that legislation and constitutional amendments have their place in the process. But as Annie and I sat in our living room that evening, sharing our most private hopes and fears, I believe we were doing our small part in defending and enriching the institution of matrimony.Maybe the most important battles in the fight for marriage will be fought in the living rooms of newlywed couples.