We’re excited to announce that Cat Etherington will be joining our Naked Truth Project team as Head of Partner and Spouse Development!
Cat is one of only two women in the UK trained to work with partners of porn and sex addicts by the Association of Partners Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists and has worked with women from all over the world.
She is the wife of a minister-in-training and is passionate about providing resources and education for churches seeking to support women dealing with porn addiction on their marriages. Having experienced her own life-saving encounter with Jesus Christ when seeking recovery
from her own substance addiction, she understands the vital role of the church when ministering to those lost and broken by addiction and affected by the addictions of others.
How did you first get involved in Naked Truth?
I first became aware of the work of Naked Truth Project when I heard Ian Henderson speak at Spring Harvest a few years ago. I had already experienced the devastation of a relationship where porn and other sexual behaviours were an issue and was blown away and deeply moved to hear this issue being highlighted at a Christian conference. I felt so stirred by what I heard that as soon as I got home, I emailed Ian to ask how I could get involved. At that time NTP was just getting off the ground and were not in a position to expand the work that they were doing but invited me to continue to pray with and for them. I did that and was unable to shake the sense of God calling me to speak about this issue so reached out again a year later after discovering that porn was also an issue within my Christian marriage. This time, I met with Ian and Bethany and we discussed the issue from the perspective of the wife/partner of the addict, a topic I had become somewhat of an expert in as I had read every book ever written on the topic (or so it felt!). As a result of that meeting we created XXXposed Hearts, the only UK based Facebook support group for partners of porn addicts which has grown to around a hundred members in a year which, considering it is not really marketed anywhere is amazing! Our relationship has grown from there and led to the recognition that we have a role to play in supporting wives and partners of porn addicts and supporting the local church to do the same.
Why do you think it’s important that this role has been created?
It is incredibly important that this role has been created as, for a very long time, the wives and partners of addicts have been a largely unsupported community of deeply hurting people. Too often I have heard stories of women (there are, of course male partners of female addicts too, but we don’t get to speak to many of them as they tend to keep it to themselves – something we hope to address in future) who have struggled to find ANY support for themselves OR who have been offered inadequate or unhelpful support and guidance in their community, their church and even in the office of their therapist. Too often I hear stories of the wife being forgotten, left out or treated as an add on to the addicts recovery. This community of people affected by the choices of another must not be ignored any longer. My vision is that all people who discover that they are married or in a close relationship with a porn addict would have a place to turn for quality support and education. I also envision that the Church would have access to resources and support to equip them to walk through this experience with both the addict and the partner (even the whole family in some cases), to minister to them well, to bind up the broken hearted and to rebuild individuals in their walk with God.
Describe yourself in a sentence/3 words.
Honest – I’m a straight talking girl who tells it like it is!
Passionate – I do what I do because I care deeply for these women
Practical – in my house, my husband is the head in clouds and I am the feet on the ground, that works for us!
What are you most excited about?
The lives we will change through this ministry! We’ve seen this already with the small amount of work we have done with XXXposed Hearts and yet the HUGE difference it has made to the women in the group to simply know that they are not alone and that they are not insane!
What are you most nervous about?
The pioneering nature of the work. It’s always more comfortable to walk a path previously walked by many. In this case, the path is walked by few. The benefit of this is that there is a small but strong community of “partner-focused” advocates and practitioners but the drawback, and the thing that makes me nervous, is that there are few precedents and models available from which to learn and draw inspiration. Also, the number of times I have to say the word ‘porn’ in church!
Please pray for Cat as she starts this new role. You can get in touch with her on Cat@visibleministries.com