I'm amazed that things are pretty much the same here in Los Angeles, as they are in Scotland! Its nice to know that others go through the same stuff that I do. I was just thinking about all this, this morning. (obsessing? perhaps... lol)
RE: Your sponsee with a year sober -- In New York, that situation is known as "Receiving the Holy Trinity of AA". In other words, it happens when they finally get a job, a vehicle, and something to f*ck, all at the same time. (Usually happens between 4-8 months sober.) After that, they're clearly "cured", and as far as they're concerned you can just go shove it. (Or worse. This message board won't let me print the actual direct quote from one of my lovely protegees, from earlier this month... lol) This is a very common stumbling block to long term sobriety, it happens a LOT. I even warn newcomers about it, in advance -- but once they stop doing the maintenance work, and all the denial and excuses start to kick in, you may as well be talking to a dead chipmunk.
Your 2nd guy, he seems like he's obviously just looking for someone to go through the motions with, but not actually do anything. A lot of people are like that. I got "fired" a couple of weeks ago by a sponsee who wanted to do everything but work on the Steps. When I insisted that he actually show up and honor his Step appointments (after missing 6 or 7 in a row), he said I was "overstepping my boundaries" (I love that one.. lol), and fired me. Your man wants to look like he's doing the work to hold on to his girlfriend, but God help you, if you actually try and make him do anything.
As far as the sponsor thing -- we've all got our favorite crappy sponsor stories. I went through a few, before I finally got the one I've had for the last 15 years. The first one I had broke my nose because he didn't want to "fire" me, so went around telling people I started a fight with him (nobody believed it, turns out he had done the same thing to someone else as well, beforehand). The second one kept borrowing money from me, then split town without telling me first. He later went on to run for Manhattan, New York City Council (He lost, due to some past "transgressions" that the press dug up -- maybe 9th Step issues??).
Hopefully you all can patch up the differences with your friends & your wives. I find that if I keep my side of the street clean, people eventually come round and see things for what they really are.
The thing that really kills me -- that I can't figure out for the life of me, is this: When I spend almost a year in close contact with a sponsee, seeing him daily, spending all kinds of time with him, helping out with all kind of things I probably shouldn't be doing because they're outside the "scope" of AA (Court cases, personal & financial stuff, car drama, outside interests, etc...); then we usually develop some kind of bond. Call it trust, friendship, camaraderie, honour, respect, love, whatever. As soon as I get "fired", all that goes out the window. It seems like they totally forgot everything we've done together, and the bond we've created counts for NOTHING.
Of course, the trade-off is that after that, the ex-sponsee gets to sponsor himself, does not have anyone around that is going to call him on his shlt (and/or denial, behavior, etc.), and does not have to work Steps or do anything else he doesn't feel like doing.
Or if he wants to look good, he can simply choose a different sponsor who can't be bothered with any of the above - because he wants numerous sponsees without having to do any of the work, either! Its a "win-win" situation (so long as actually staying sober isn't important...).
So maybe I just answered my own question?
It just never fails to amaze me that sponsees are so willing to trash an extremely valuable long term relationship, just so they can avoid doing relatively simple AA work.
Its truly astonishing to see what can happen to someone's mindset once a little delayed maintenance has kicked in, enabling that "stinking thinking" to once again take over.
Whats even worse is that the sponsee can't see it coming, and whatever irrational, kooky behavior he's doing, seems perfectly rational to himself, no matter how kooky the justification & rationalizations seem to others.
This shlt never ceases to amaze me...