We all know that trust is a basic requirement in an intimate relationship. How can you open up to someone you don't trust? You can't!

Let's assume that you have been in a relationship and the trust level is good. What do you have to do to maintain, or better yet, to increase, that trust level? In the best-selling book, The Four Agreements, Don Miquel Ruiz summarizes the first agreement as "Be impeccable with your word." This principle is easy to state but difficult to live by.

We rephrase this principle another way: (1) Say what you mean, and (2) Do what you say. Let's look at these two directives in terms of building trust.

Suppose John tells his partner that he will be responsible for taking out the trash once a week, the night before trash pick-up. In reality, John starts forgetting to take the trash out. In John's mind, this is no big deal -- he'll just take it out the next week. His partner, however, does not like how extra garbage looks by the side of their house and worries about pests. She begins to wonder if she can trust John when he promises to do something.

You may think, "Hey, what's the big deal with trash?" However, in your partner's mind, if you can break simple promises, maybe you will break bigger promises. What about your biggest promise in your relationship, "to be faithful to each other?"

Our best advice for building trust in your relationship:

1. Do your best to keep your promises and agreements.

2. Let your partner know as soon as possible if you aren't going to be able to honor your word.

3. If necessary, re-negotiate your agreement to something you can achieve almost every time.

Author's Bio: 

Diane and Lewis Denbaum are relationship educators and the authors of "Madly In Love Forever." Two free chapters of their book are available at http://www.madlyinloveforever.com/free-chapters/ "Madly In Love Forever" is available as a softcover book, Kindle Book, eBook, audio CD, or MP3 download. Diane and Lewis's book is packed with heartfelt stories, easy-to-use help and no-nonsense advice to help you create the romantic relationship you desire. You can put an end to the loneliness and frustration of "relationship suffering." Most chapters contain practical action steps that readers can start using immediately. Visit the Denbaums' website for more information or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MadlyInLoveForever