in agreement with you!
Things went similarly with my ex. Not too long after we broke up, his new GF and her son (just a couple years older than our twin sons) moved in with him. We, too
had a written agreement not to have BFs/GFs spend the night when the kids were with us and not to shack up before getting married. I hope you will find your agreement enforceable, because ours was not. It's still valuable to get stuff like that down on paper, just to clarify your best, mutual intentions from the beginning. And 90% of what my ex and I put in our agreement, we have
stuck to... for 13 years! But "moral" clauses that go way above and beyond standard state laws are hard to get a court to take seriously, if you actually go that far toward trying to enforce them.
Anyway, for a while everything at my ex's place was "Step-Mom" this and "brothers" that. His and my mutual friends assumed my discomfort with the arrangement showed I "hadn't moved on". It was really humiliating to know people thought that, because I wasn't
still hung up on him and I didn't care that he had someone new. Like you, I just didn't want my kids to get attached to pseudo-family-members whom I felt sure would "disappear", one day. Curiously, it was my ex's
mother who observed (in her never-to-be-diplomatic way
) that I
had moved on and it was he
who hadn't. I didn't need
to jump into a new relationship. I was OK with my life as it was, until just the right guy came along. (And he did, many years later. Now we're married!) Whereas, my ex's GF was nice and all, but no one who knew my ex well really saw him marrying her or staying with her, long-term. I think (and his mom thought) he needed reassurance that he could
make a relationship work and he liked the comfort of having a little boy around, to keep his mind off the fact that much of the time his own
little boys weren't there. Perhaps it was the same for your ex
Anyway, one summer while the twins and I were away visiting relatives, my ex's GF and her son did, indeed, disappear from the picture. Luckily, the twins were young then and took it in stride. Their Dad has gotten married - for real - and their stepmom is great. But every once in a while, they say something that makes it clear they think she is their Dad's second
wife, since me! I don't correct this, because it's my ex's mess to explain to them... and I don't know
whether it's better for them to think he has an extra divorce under his belt, or to think he was just shacking up. ???? But it does bother me that they were allowed to feel that her son was their step-brother and now he's completely out of their lives, as though he never should have mattered to them, outside the relationship between their parents. I wonder if/how that affects how they view their stepbrother in my
marriage, and the half-brothers they now have, on both sides of their family?