oliviakatherine: As others have said, you are incorrect.
An open relationship is a non-monogomous relationship. It can take many different forms, but the key difference between an open relatinoship and a relationship where one (or both) partners are cheating is consent.
Just for your interest, here are a few forms that non-monogomous, or open relationships can take. Negotiating the terms of the relationship is completely up to the people involved. I’ve made up the names for these different relationships, they are not official.
– Classic open relationship. In this relationship you usually have one primary partner but have other boyfriends/girlfriends on the side. In some configurations the primary couple negotiates that they can only have outside sex with no attachment. In others people have full blown relatinships. These type of relationships seem to be more common when one or both partners is bi and wants to be able to maintain sexual relationships with people of both genders.
– Swingers. couples who like to find other couples to hook up with. Typically these are hetero couples who want to switch partners for a night.
– Don’t ask Don’t tell. This is when partners have agreed that they can pursue sex and partnership outside of their relationship but they do not talk about the specifics of their interactions with their partner and they do not pursue this kind of activity as a unit.
– Socially monogomous. This is when couples have made an agreement that they will appear monogomous to the outside world but will have freedom to pursue other sexual relationships discreetely. Claire & Frank Underwood on House of Cards are a good example of this type of relationship.
– Monoga-mish. These couples are generally monogomous, but bring a 3rd (or 4th or 5th) sexual partner into their lives from time to time. The hallmark here is that they are usually involved in all seuxal activity involving outsiders together. An example of this is a couple who invites a 3rd to join them for a threesome.
– Triads, Quads, etc. These are groups of people who instead of having a relationship as a “couple” instead have a relationship between three parties as a “triad” or between four parties as a “quad.” Typically in this sort of arrnagment all parties have some level of sexual interaction. They may all live together as one household.
– Cuckhold. Cuckholding is a kink related to humiliation fetish. In this particular kink a man gets off by having his partner either have sex with another man in front of him, have sex with another man and tell him about it, or even have sex with another man and humiliate him by telling other people about it. I used gendered language here because as I understand it, cuckhold is a term that applies specifically to men.
– Poligamy. In this case one person has either several wives or several husbands. One of the key elements of Poligamy, as opposed to polyamoray, is that there is just one person with several partners. The partners then have a “sister” or “brother” relationship to one another. Traditionally, the group of husbands or wives have often been sisters or brothers. The typical case of this would be the Funamentalist LDS church memebers where there is one male head of household with several wives.
There are many differnet kinds of open relationship. And one of the things about open relationships is that it doesn’t have to fit into a box. It is ethical as long as all partners involved are willing adults.