Questioning my Place
I'm not exactly new to poly, but I thought this thread would be appropriate because of the place I find myself now. My girlfriend of 3 years and I are born out of poly. She had been married for 6 years before we met and although I had never seriously considered poly before then, we all decided to give it a try. 5 months ago, her husband filed for divorce, left us, and cut off all communication. We have all had to work through some serious healing after this sometimes beautiful, but oftentimes very tumultuous 3 years.
A month after the divorce, my girlfriend and I discussed poly and agreed that it was probably not good for us, particularly at that time. In a conversation this weekend, however, she shared that she wants us to live poly in the vision of our lives together, and that she had told me that she was not interested in poly before because she thought that I wasn't in a place to be open to it. (Instead, she waited 4 months until I was strong enough to handle the truth of her desires.) We want to talk about this more in depth and how this would play out in our lives.
So, here are my two questions:
1) Does anyone have any practical advice on how to discuss poly in a way that is affirming to everyone involved, particularly if you have one person who is less-than-enthusiastic and another who feels that this is the core of their being? Are there any good practical exercises out there to guide our discussion, because at the moment it is very emotional and difficult for us to be doing this on our own without some guidance.
2) What are some good practices in terms of creating mutual boundaries with poly? Do people generally prefer to set mutually known expectations in their relationships or is it preferred to let it flow and take everything situation by situation? My preference, I guess, would be to create some boundaries but in a way to set up ourselves to be honored, not controlled, but my partner seems to tend towards the latter.
Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!