Is Your Recovery "Half-Baked"?

addiction betrayal Nov 14, 2023


Do you prefer brownies crispy or gooey?  How about egg casseroles... firm or half-baked?  While slightly under-cooked brownies can be scrumptious, under-cooked casseroles can be a serious health hazard!

What about your recovery?  Do you want a fully baked recovery or a half-baked recovery?

If your recovery was, in fact, only partially baked, how would you know?


The Question

In the 1999 movie, The Matrix, Morpheus asked Neo a similar question...

Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real?
What if you were unable to wake from that dream?
How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?


Neo had a limited understanding of reality, but since it was all he had ever known, he had no idea what he was missing.  Similarly, if all you've ever eaten is half-baked egg casserole, would you have any idea what you were missing?

The same principle holds true for men, women and couples in the recovery journey.  If all they've ever experienced is a "half-baked" healing, would they be able to tell?  Would they even have a clue how much they were missing?

Imagine for a moment that Morpheus is asking you a similar question...

Have you ever had an experience that you were so sure was "recovery"?
What if you were unable to see all that you were missing?
How would you know the difference between a half-baked recovery and a full one?


Healing from addiction and trauma is hard work.  Adding marriage repair to the mix makes things even more complicated.  The process is unknown at first and only known once you complete it. 

So how can you truly know if what you've experienced so far is a fully-baked recovery or not?

It's a conundrum!


Orders of Change

MRC seeks to simplify that conundrum by dividing the process of change into stages based on a concept called "Orders of Change."

  • First Order Change is defined as a changes to behavior alone, void of insight, self-awareness and heart-level transformation.  It's a superficial adjustment that is often short-term and limited to a particular issue.
  • Second Order Change is defined as changes to the way person thinks and what they believe... a deeper and more fundamental shift in a person's worldview.  These changes are typically longer-term and apply to a broader spectrum of issues across a person's life.
  • Third Order Change is defined as changes at the very core of a person's identify and purpose.  These changes are often described as spiritual or transcendental and involved connecting with something much greater than ones self.

For additional explanation, read this wiki article.


In the context of recovery, these three orders of change can be summarized this way:

  • First Order Change = Sobriety
  • Second Order Change = Recovery
  • Third Order Change = Identity


The Breakdown

A high percentage (60%+) of those in the recovery journey focus strictly on first order change.  While they may experience a degree of success in limiting their unwanted behavior (sobriety), they tend to live in a constant state of behavior management, always on the verge of a relapse.  This is often called "white-knuckling."

A smaller percentage (30%+) eventually pursue second order change and experience a much deeper sense of healing and lasting change.  Because this feels like a marked improvement, most couples settle for this incomplete form of recovery.  They sense things are better and assume they've arrived.  Sadly, they have no idea how much they are missing!

A rare few couples (5-10%) press on for something even deeper and more meaningful both individually and as a system.  Unwilling to settle for less,  they dig all the way to very core of their identify to heal the wounds of a lifetime that formed their self-narrative and worldview.  As a result, they experience third order change that transcends anything they've experienced in the recovery journey before.


If you're ready for that kind of change, then it's time to enroll in the Marriage Recovery Course.  Click below to get started. 

I'm Ready For Third Order Change







Stay connected with news and updates!

Receive emails about new posts, free webinars, trainings and live events.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.