I went to look for more info on your situation in the Intros section and just found this. Don't feel bad, I never posted an intro either.
But it'd be very helpful to know a little more. Poly situations are so complex sometimes that it can be hard to give advice without knowing the nuances. Give us the background... how you guys met, how the friendships developed, how poly came into the picture, what they're each like as people, and we'll work through it with you.
For now, all I can say is that rules are normal but they are likely a sign that things are moving too fast for someone... it sounds like probably the other woman... and you all may need to slow down and figure out where the desire for the rules is coming from. What are the fears and concerns and how can they be worked on?
As for how things are supposed to work, it's different for everyone. Respect, consideration, honesty, and the willingness to work on things if need be are the only requirements... just like in any relationship, really. However, it's important to understand that your lovers are being pretty unrealistic. How can a relationship that's been around a very short time be "equal" to one that's 5 years old? You may feel strongly about each other now, but it takes time to learn how you fit together and what you can build together. Rather than setting an artificial goal of equality... which might come some day and might not... it can be better to just accurately assess where things are at and let it all evolve naturally.
I don't say this to discourage you, just to help you think things out. It's likely that your lovers are as confused as you are right now. Like I said, give us some more details and we'll tell you if there are any patterns we recognize, and how you can go about working with them to build a situation that works well for everyone, whether it ends up looking just like you've all envisioned but maybe with some more hard work and thought to get there, or whether it ends up looking a little different but still good and satisfying for you and the others involved.