When open marriages work, it is most likely because the unconventional unions are focused on good old-fashioned open communication. Telling the truth shows your partner respect, as does following agreed upon rules—for example, keeping your partner in the loop as to where you have been and who you have been with.
The goal of an open marriage is to never have to lie—to create an environment where you can be open about anything that makes you uncomfortable or afraid. Proponents say that this atmosphere supposedly then creates an opportunity for incredible communication, deeper intimacy and the opportunity to thrive as your fullest self.
Basically, the thought is that if you truly love your partner, you want them to live their fullest life—flings and all. Flings are simply superficial sensory delights. There's no difference between your partner enjoying a pizza with anchovies without you and your partner enjoying a blonde with blue eyes without you. In a good open marriage, you are simply creating a buffet of sexual experiences, so nobody feels like they are starving for new sensations. This honesty enables couples to avoid the emotional downward spiral of hidden affairs because the need for secrecy is removed.
And what about that green-eyed monster jealousy? Most open marriages make strong distinctions between sex with others and romance with others. Couples who subscribe to open-marriage philosophies typically agree to keep their spouses first at heart—no matter who else they mingle with.
What's bad about open marriage?