Open marriage is a form of non-monogamy in which both partners in a dyadic marriage agree to enter into an extramarital sexual relationship, regardless of whether or not they consider it infidelity, and an open relationship can be considered and established without the implicit monogamous marriage. Whether you are married or in a long-term relationship, you need basic rules before you can successfully engage in a future open marriage.
Deciding the ground rules of an open relationship is about making sure it is feasible for both partners and that they know what the other is up to. Communication is crucial, especially when siding with others on issues of open marriage or planning an extramarital encounter. Knowing how things are going in an existing marriage, even if both parties have started with the idea and are happy with it, is the first step to starting a new relationship with your partner, whether open or not.
According to a writing in Psychology Today, therapist Stephen J. Betchen says:
For an open marriage to be successful, couples must have "unlimited love and commitment to each other" and have excellent communication and problem-solving skills.
So if you are already having trouble communicating, an open marriage will only exacerbate your communication concerns. If you have specific questions about how to get started in your open marriage, please check out our chat room support groups or Open Marriage FAQ where you can find advice from those who are in all sorts of relationships.