If you consider an open marriage, there’s nothing wrong with it. But you do need to know the open marriage rules if you want it to last.
Relationships on their own are difficult. People have trouble opening up and communicating. So, an open relationship isn’t impossible, but it definitely takes a little more work. Open marriage rules create the healthy boundaries you need on the front end and make your relationship last.
Is an open marriage actually doable? Anything is doable if both people take the time to understand each other’s needs and ideas. Basically, what I’m trying to get at is that you’re going to have to make some boundaries and rules so that you two stay on track. [Read: 11 tips for your happily ever after]
Open marriage rules for lasting love
Now, if you fall in love with someone else, of course, that’s something you can’t control. It’s something out of your power. So, if that happens, you’re not an asshole. However, if you’re in an open marriage and you hide information or overstep the rules, then you’re an asshole.
But, wait, did you two even establish any open marriage rules? If not, it’s time you did, that way you can have an open marriage where both people know what’s going on. Rules are in place for a reason.
#1 Open marriages are defined by you. There is no real definition of open marriages. Of course, they’re known as a marriage where you see other people, but, you define what happens within that relationship. What I’m telling are basic rules. However, you decide what happens. [Read: 11 questions to ask to know if you’re ready for an open relationship]
#2 Take advantage of technology. If you both agreed to an open marriage, you need to get with the times. Technology is here and it’s not going anywhere. Use apps such as Tinder, OkCupid, and other dating apps/sites. It’s a great way to find a partner without standing awkwardly at the bar, winking at the cute girls/boys who pass by. [Read: The 9 best hookup apps for the hot and horny]
#3 Open marriages aren’t for everyone. Some people do very well in open marriage while other people can’t handle it. This really doesn’t mean that you’re weak. It just means it’s not for you and that’s it. So, don’t try to force yourself to like an open marriage.
#4 Express your feelings to your partner. When you have the conversation about open marriages, tell your partner how you feel about it. Maybe they suggested it first, so you may be nervous to oppose it. But, if you don’t like the idea then say it. Regardless, you’re married and your feelings matter.
#5 Be honest. If you really want this to succeed, you need to be 100% honest. You’re going to have to be so honest that it’ll make you sick. Now, you don’t have to tell them all the details, but you do need to tell them when something isn’t feeling good for you. Also, if you develop feelings for someone else, you need to tell them that as well. [Read: Everything you need to know about an open relationship]
#6 Be prepared for the relationship to evolve. You don’t know what your relationship is going to look like. Be prepared to allow the relationship to change into something. It could go back into a closed marriage or it could evolve into something else. Whatever happens, you need to be prepared.
#7 Are you doing this for the right reasons? Do not have an open marriage if you only do this to try to fix your current marriage. Think about why you want to do this. First and foremost, your love for your partner needs to be there. The rest is purely physical. Regardless of who you sleep with, your partner needs to be a priority.
#8 Make some rules. No one likes rules, but they’re there for a reason. You want your marriage to last. So, you’re going to need to make some open marriage rules. They don’t have to be huge, but they set the foundation for your open marriage. For example, will you sleep with people together or separately? How many times a week? What positions are off-limits? Does gender matter? These are questions you need to answer.
#9 Stay healthy. You need to make sure you practice safe sex with the other people you sleep with. Always wear a condom when you have sex with someone who’s not your spouse. Of course, you can have unprotected sex with your spouse, but when it comes to your other partners, be smart and stay safe. [Read: Surviving an STD scare in a relationship]
#10 Be open and honest with your other partners. This is very, very important. You need to be honest and open with your partner. Whatever you think about the open marriage, say it. Your partner needs to know how you feel and what you think. If you’re not honest or you’re shy, this isn’t going to end well.
#11 Keep mutual friends out of the bedroom. This is a big no-no. I know you may want to sleep with their good friend, but this isn’t going to end well. Trust me. Keep all mutual friendships out of the bedroom, regardless of how badly you want to sleep with them. No one is actually happy when they know their friend sleeps with their spouse, whether it’s an open or closed marriage.
#12 Don’t cheat. Listen, you and your partner agreed to an open marriage. Maybe you two sleep with a third person together or you agreed to let each other sleep with other people separately. You two decide this. But, if you and your partner make an agreement, stay to it. Don’t go behind their back and sleep with other people without telling them. That’s cheating. [Read: How to forgive yourself for cheating and move on]
#13 Spend quality time with each other. Just because you have an open marriage doesn’t mean you treat your marriage differently. You still need to go on date nights, watch movies together, and have sex. Your marriage shouldn’t change because you and your partner sleep with other people.
#14 Try couples counseling. This could actually be a great way to make sure you are both on the same page. If you and your partner aren’t sure how to proceed with the open relationship, seeing a counselor helps you communicate your feelings and expectations about the open marriage. You just want to make sure you avoid any future problems. [Read: 10 signs you need relationship counseling]
#15 This doesn’t have to be permanent. Some people are scared about open marriages because they feel that once they agree to it, they’re not sure what happens to their future. Though you may have an open marriage now, it doesn’t mean it has to be like this forever. Remember, you and your partner define your marriage.