When it comes to relationships, I'm certainly no expert; all I can do is share what I've learned and hope I don't keep making the same mistakes. It's been more than a year since my marriage ended, and, well, hindsight is 20/20. Here are some valuable lessons and suggestions for a strong relationship:
1. Love. Don't underestimate love. It's everything. Without it, you don't have a relationship. You'll lose respect for each other and you'll stop caring what happens, so you have to take care of it.
2. Act. Love looks different on each of us, but however you do it, do it. Love as an emotion feels wonderful for the person who feels it, but that doesn't do much for the other person. Love is an action.
3. Read. Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is a fantastic book on marriage and relationships in general. I realize that a recommendation from someone whose marriage didn't work out might not mean much, but I promise, it's insightful and will have an impact on you. And it has games!
4. Share. If your goal is to share your life with someone, then share it. Some couples value their individuality, and leading somewhat separate lives doesn't bother them. But at some point, even the most independent person must share feelings, physical space, or activities with his/her partner. Otherwise, why bother being together? Keeping feelings secret, in particular, is a great way to breed resentment, fear, and distrust. Be curious about the other person's thoughts, feelings, and actions.