The alcohol has been taken out of the equation but their relationship is still exactly the same, albeit less chaotic. But it is still those two against the rest of us. We don't try to include him enough, he doesn't like get togethers, he doesn't want to come...blah blah blah.
Seriously, when do you stop acting like your grown child is no longer the alcoholic who needs sheltering and start holding him up to the expectations you have for other people?
I suppose that this is how the dynamic in our family will always be. Mom and the boys on one side and my sister with her and me in another. I would like things to change but when one side won't even show up for anything at all, well it sure is hard to form a bond or trust with them.
I think that I expect too much from people. I guess 20 years of having a son that you don't think will ever get sober is likely to have any mom treat them with kid gloves when they do actually stop drinking.