Trying to save marriage to depressed wife.

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LovingHubby
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Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 3/31/2009 3:44 AM (GMT -7)   

My wife and I have been married 9 years and have two children 6 and 8 and my 18 year old son has always lived with us.  My wife has suffered from depression, but I thought she/we have been dealing with it well. 

 

At the end of last year she had a major bout of depression and took 3 months off work, and went into an intensive 4 day a week all day program.  Towards the end of her leave and her program I stumbled across a draft email she had set up to an old male friend.  I approached her about it and she admitted to “cheating in her heart”.  I guess she was having an emotional affair.  Nothing physical happened, he lives 300 miles away and is married as well.  I am not sure how much this has to do with our current condition but it did open the door for her to say she doesn’t want to be married anymore. 

 

She has remained in counseling and I have gotten into some as well to help with some other minor problems.  I also talked to a pastor to get some advice on saving our marriage.  I really have turned things around.  I’ve been putting a lot more into our relationship and the children.  She has noticed and I really thought things were turning around.  We were having sex a lot more then we ever had.  We were touching and cuddling more.  I made it a point to tell her how much I loved her more often.  Just 2 weeks ago she said she loved me, not in word but in a breath.  That deep exhale with words mixed in that comes from the heart not the lungs.  Just last week she had to go out of town for 2 days, when she got back the kids and I met her at the door.  We kissed so passionately we would have made love right there if not for the kids, we did after they went to bed.

 

So I thought things were going well, until Sunday night.  I just asked if everything was ok, that she seemed a little distant.  She replied she didn’t want to be married, not just to me but to anybody.  She says she loves me and I am a good person, and dad, and husband, and that she doesn’t want to hurt me.

 

I want to save my marriage.  I love my wife more then anything and am willing to put whatever it takes into our relationship.  We don’t have any social life, no friends or family close by, so getting alone time is difficult or impossible.  Sorry this is so lengthy but I wanted to give as much info as I reasonably could.

 

Any thought, suggestions, comments?


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40571
   Posted 3/31/2009 8:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lovinghubby,

I am sorry that things took a turn. But this could be just temporary. It sounds like things were going rather well for a while. The feeling of being unlovable is normal for depression. And not being able to love goes right along with that. Did you say if she was going to any counseling? Hopefully this will help her. I am sure that she loves you. You can't turn your feelings off just like that unless you are depressed. So hopefully the light swithch will be turned right back on soon. Be patient. Give her some space and see what happens. I am sure that she will change her attitude just as quickly as she did before. ONly to the good. ONe day at a time my friend.

Welcome to healingwell.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


P-Fit
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 419
   Posted 3/31/2009 8:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Karen is right. Just keep loving her, continue your personal counseling and stay in prayer. Do you think she would agree to go to couples counseling with your Pastor? My spouse and I also attended one of those Weekend to Remember marriage retreats when I was going through a bad bout of depression/anxiety. It was a great help to us both. Maybe she would agree to do something like that.

Dee-39yrs old wife and mom of 3 boys
UC/PTSD/Panic Disorder/Depression/myofacial pain syndrome 2009-750mg colozal/.750mg clonazepam, 5mg Lexapro-1,000mg canasa/Fioricet/Prilosec OTC-2x daily, Triple Strength Fish Oils/Colonoscopies-4
 


LovingHubby
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 4/1/2009 3:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you both for your help.
She is in counseling, but is resisiting any marriage couseling or counseling together. She just feels she has to much on her plate right now to add any more. Although she is coming around to the idea. I was considering a marriage retreat. I get the feeling they are a little lighter than the intensive couseling you may get from a marriage counselor. I think she may consider that, I have been looking for some in my area.

I saw my therapist yesterday and he made me realise how confused I am. I just need to find the answers to why she is feeling this way. Is it me or is it depression? I am going to talk to her tonight (had to take last night off from talking). Maybe I will get some answers. I am hoping some women on this forum have some insight to how they treated their husbands while depressed, maybe I can find some answers here as well.

Raniah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1190
   Posted 4/1/2009 10:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi L.H.,

It's obvious how much you love your wife and want to continue your marriage. I know this must be incredibly tough on you. I don't know whether you are aware or not, but there are some other members going through troubles with depressed spouses.....and in fact, there is a thread in Depression called, "Hey Stkitt or anyone else with any advice", for example, started by Cowboy Up, whose wife is also depressed, and he is struggling with some of the same concerns. I will bump it up for you so you can read it. I hope very much that things will improve for you and your wife, and that she will be able to find some light during this dark time for her.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40571
   Posted 4/1/2009 10:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi there,

When I was more depressed my SO said that I was kind of mean. And I honestly didn't mean to be that way. So remember it is the depression talking and not the person that you love.

Best wishes,

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


P-Fit
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 419
   Posted 4/1/2009 2:55 PM (GMT -7)   
LovingHubby said...
Thank you both for your help.
She is in counseling, but is resisiting any marriage couseling or counseling together. She just feels she has to much on her plate right now to add any more. Although she is coming around to the idea. I was considering a marriage retreat. I get the feeling they are a little lighter than the intensive couseling you may get from a marriage counselor. I think she may consider that, I have been looking for some in my area.

I saw my therapist yesterday and he made me realise how confused I am. I just need to find the answers to why she is feeling this way. Is it me or is it depression? I am going to talk to her tonight (had to take last night off from talking). Maybe I will get some answers. I am hoping some women on this forum have some insight to how they treated their husbands while depressed, maybe I can find some answers here as well.
I can tell you that I was VERY cold and unfeeling to my hubby when my depression was at its worst. I just felt numb all over and I wasn't sure if I liked, better yet LOVED anyone. He was SO understanding with me during this time and while I was adjusting to my meds (that was tough). I really hope she agrees to a marriage retreat. That will be less intense than couples therapy. It is obvious that you love your wife and want things to work out. Hang in there and try not to internalize things, although I know its hard. I said some mean things to my hubby...just lashing out and being frustrated. You'll be in my prayers.
Dee-39yrs old wife and mom of 3 boys
UC/PTSD/Panic Disorder/Depression/myofacial pain syndrome 2009-750mg colozal/.750mg clonazepam, 5mg Lexapro-1,000mg canasa/Fioricet/Prilosec OTC-2x daily, Triple Strength Fish Oils/Colonoscopies-4
 


LovingHubby
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 4/3/2009 3:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all again. I did see some of the other post with husband in simular situations, they were helpful. It is comforting to know I am not in this alone.

Two nights ago I did ask here very direct questions. Simple ones to try to help me understand just what is going on. She could not provide good simple answers. I try not to read to much into things but she does seem very confused as to what she wants or she doesn't want to hurt me and tell me what she is thinking. My biggest concern is she has said these feelings started a long time ago in our first year of marriage. So I don't know if the depression is causing the problems or there are some deep underlying problems that have not been addressed. Last night I gave her a 5 page letter or stream of thoughts about my love for her, where we have been and where I want to go. She did shed a few tears, which is the first time she has cried about us in front of me. She followed with a thank you and then said she feels I need her more than I love her. Then we went to sleep.

I am having trouble finding a retreat. I keep checking the church bulletin just hoping one will be there, but not yet. I tried searching the internet and haven't found anything. I think something somewhat local would be much better then traveling. Due to money and her willingness to do it. Anyone know a better way to find a retreat?

P-Fit
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 419
   Posted 4/3/2009 7:56 AM (GMT -7)   
What area are you in? There are a few retreats around. I am heading off to a meeting but will post some links when I get back.

Dee-39yrs old wife and mom of 3 boys
UC/PTSD/Panic Disorder/Depression/myofacial pain syndrome 2009-750mg colozal/.750mg clonazepam, 5mg Lexapro-1,000mg canasa/Fioricet/Prilosec OTC-2x daily, Triple Strength Fish Oils/Colonoscopies-4
 


LovingHubby
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 4/3/2009 8:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Pittsburgh/Western PA

P-Fit
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 419
   Posted 4/3/2009 12:17 PM (GMT -7)   
LovingHubby said...
Pittsburgh/Western PA
Weekend to Remember-through Family Life (familylife.com)

Pittsburgh (Cranberry Township)

Hotel Info:
Pittsburgh Marriott North
100 Cranberry Woods Dr.
Cranberry Township PA 16066
Phone: 724-772-3700
$99.00/ night
Resort Fee: $0.00
Event Info:
Pittsburgh Marriott North
100 Cranberry Woods Dr.
Cranberry Township, PA 16066

Event Dates: 10/23/2009 - 10/25/2009
Registration: $99.00/ per person ( Register )
Early Bird Rate good through 8/24/2009
That's the only one I could find that is scheduled, but some of these pop up frequently. Hope this helps.

Dee-39yrs old wife and mom of 3 boys
UC/PTSD/Panic Disorder/Depression/myofacial pain syndrome 2009-750mg colozal/.750mg clonazepam, 5mg Lexapro-1,000mg canasa/Fioricet/Prilosec OTC-2x daily, Triple Strength Fish Oils/Colonoscopies-4
 


LovingHubby
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 4/3/2009 9:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Ask and you shall receive.

Argg, the soonest conference is in October, right after my b-day. I think I know what I am asking for this year, I hope we make it that far. No! We will make it until then, and that is what I will ask for my birthday.

The embarrassing part is; the company I work for, less then 6 months ago did all their signs, literally hundreds of them. As soon as I saw the orange and green I recognized it. I just never paid attention to what it was. Maybe that is part of the problem with my wife; I don't see what is right in front of my face. Hopefully I can change all of that.

Thank you Dee

Figlet
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/4/2009 10:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello,

I'm very sorry to hear of the trouble you're having with your marriage. It must be very disheartening to hear your wife say she no longer wants to be married. This could shake anyone to the core.

You've received a lot of advice already, which I won't reiterate, so I'd like to take a different tack here. Your wife certainly sounds confused and like she's considering taking a different path in life. Often, people feel they need time on their own to help them know whether the person they're apart from (in this case, you) is the right person for them. This can be hard, but if it is her decision, you really have no choice.

However, there are things you DO have choices about - your own behaviours, your relationship with your kids, and with family and friends. These are the things you can choose to focus on. You say that you and your wife no social life, no friends or family close by. This might be the time to change that. Perhaps you can make efforts to reach out to others, to make new friends, possibly people you've met through work, through your local church, through a support group, or through pursuing a new hobby.

There is no way to know if these actions will have any effect on your wife, or on her decision to stay. Either way, you're making yourself a more independent (and therefore attractive) partner (hopefully for your wife, but if not, then for someone else in the future). Essentially, what you're saying is, "I love you and I support you, but I won't stop living my life waiting for you to make up your mind."

Yes, your wife is depressed, and this may or may not have much to do with her decision, and you should certainly continue to support and love her through her depression. At the same time, you need to respect and take care of yourself as well as your family. Depressed people naturally turn inward, and to some extent that is to be expected. However, your wife is not the only person in this relationship, not the only one hurting, or with feelings. You certainly love her and want her to stay with you, but you won't be able to tolerate an unending amount of pain yourself with her wavering back-and-forth regarding the fate of your marriage. To do so for long is indulgent at best, and selfish at worst - and this is true regardless of whether someone is depressed or not. (And yes, I'm a woman myself, and I've been depressed and mistreated others, so I know of what I speak). If this persists, you may want to let your wife gently know you have limits. You owe both of you this. Otherwise, you risk becoming yourself depressed.

Just because someone is depressed doesn't mean that that's the reason behind all their decisions. You say that you want to find the answer to why your wife feels this way - whether it's you or her depression. Remember - it's likely that your wife doesn't know herself, and at any rate, it's more likely neither of these things so much as other things happening within her of which you, and likely she herself, are unaware. Even if she believes that her depression is what motivates her desire to leave, there is a very real possibility that your marriage was already in trouble, quite apart from your wife's depression, and your own comments reveal some good insight into this. Thus, to chalk all this up as a symptom of her depression may be a real mistake, and a missed opportunity to gain some important insight into yourself as well.

Although it's difficult to consider, it may be that you and your wife have simply grown apart and in different ways. Personal counseling (and couples counseling, if your wife agrees to go) is an excellent way to re-discover yourself and where you're at and how you've ended up here. If you decide to try and save your marriage, then all you have control over is your own behaviour. Remember this: when you change, the relationship changes. It's really that simple. And it may well be that your changing will itself bring about changes in your wife.

I can't reassure you as others have that your wife will change her mind; I know that is well-meaning, but I don't know that to be true. What I do know is that you sound like a compassionate and caring man, capable of great love. Try to focus as much on yourself as on your wife and her problems. We can never know what the future holds, but we can act in ways that sway things in our favour. At the end of the day, this marriage may not last, but I've no doubt that someone who values love and companionship as much as you say, will find a deep and enduring love with a partner equally committed and capable of commitment.

Please know that I am not suggesting you abandon your wife here, especially in her time of need. What I am suggesting is that you not forget to focus on yourself - it is all we really can control, and there is comfort in feeling we have control over something at times like this.

I sincerely hope that your wife finds her way through depression and discovers what it is she wants. For you, I wish peace and courage through these difficult times. They will pass, and when the dust settles, you will no doubt handle what remains - whatever that may be - with a newfound strength and wisdom.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40571
   Posted 4/5/2009 9:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Figlet,

I would like to take a minute and welcome you to the forum. You have come to a good place. You have also given some very good advice and I hope that you continue to post here.

Have a wonderful day. Enjoy life.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


lookingglass
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/5/2009 3:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I came here today looking for another forum but stumbled onto this one. I guess I am like the wife in this scenario.... I tried to have my SO leave but he insisted on staying. I was furious but he was persistent. I agreed to let him stay but only if we sought couple's therapy. Imagine my surprise when during the first visit the doctor focused in on my depression - after all it was all my SO's fault. I guess I never thought about the significance of depression and my attitude towards my relationship. I guess it is something that I am going to look into. Unfortunately I don't have health insurance so finding therapy is going to be an issue.

Thanks for helping me have an "aha" moment.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40571
   Posted 4/5/2009 6:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lookingglass,

It sounds like you have come to grips with something. We often don't realize how our actions hurt others when we are depressed. We are so wrapped up in our thoughts and depression. I am glad that you have come to find help. I am sure that you can get counseling. Check with your local human resources to find low or no cost mental health help.


Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18746
   Posted 4/6/2009 5:53 AM (GMT -7)   
to luving hubby, space and time.  keep posting, we care. all the best jamiee.

THE HAPPY TURTLE
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 18746
   Posted 4/6/2009 5:57 AM (GMT -7)   
hi to lookingglass, excellent aha moment, hope it all goes well 4 you both. this is a great community with caring and compassionate people, i hope u keep posting, cheers. jamiee

P-Fit
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 419
   Posted 4/8/2009 11:38 AM (GMT -7)   
 
LovingHubby said...
Ask and you shall receive.

Argg, the soonest conference is in October, right after my b-day. I think I know what I am asking for this year, I hope we make it that far. No! We will make it until then, and that is what I will ask for my birthday.

The embarrassing part is; the company I work for, less then 6 months ago did all their signs, literally hundreds of them. As soon as I saw the orange and green I recognized it. I just never paid attention to what it was. Maybe that is part of the problem with my wife; I don't see what is right in front of my face. Hopefully I can change all of that.

Thank you Dee
You are very welcome! There are DVDs coming out soon of the 5 hour Focus on the Family marraige seminar. That may be good for you in the short term. There's more information on the Focus website. :-)
Dee-39yrs old wife and mom of 3 boys
UC/PTSD/Panic Disorder/Depression/myofacial pain syndrome 2009-750mg colozal/.750mg clonazepam, 5mg Lexapro-1,000mg canasa/Fioricet/Prilosec OTC-2x daily, Triple Strength Fish Oils/Colonoscopies-4
 


Cowboy up
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 4/10/2009 4:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey buddy I havent been on line for a few weeks but I wanted to tell you I here you . I am going through a very similar situation and my heart goes out to you. My wife still hasnt seen a counselor though she knows she is depressed . She she called for the appointment but going through our insurance she is on a waiting list and with 4 more weeks of school it will after that . I have tryed to make things better even though it usually blows up in my face . I think the giving her the space is going to work the best. I have turned to the bible and really reflected upon things about myself. The first thing I will say is we have to stop taking it personally. The second thing I have done is instead of trying to talk about things with her marriage I write her a note. That way I dont say the wrong thing if the talk becomes emotional .The other ting I did was read corinthians 1 chapter 13 about the way perfect love is according to God. I realized that a lot of me trying to make our marriage better was self seeking . Yes I want my marriage to be better but first and foremost I want my wife to be better. I recently told a friend about a story I had heard about a missionary in the early 1900s. He went till live on this island of lepres. There was one old lepre who just glowed with the glory of God. Themissionary asked him what made you turn your life over to Jesus and the lepre said that when he was a young man another missinary group came and stayed on the Island. One of those missionarys came up to him each morning and told him that he Jesus loved him. The lepre said that he spit on the missionary and the missionary just wiped off the spit and smiled and walked away. The next day the missinary came up to the lepre and told him that jesus loved him,so the missionary spit on him again . This went on for everyday for 20 years .One morning the lepre said that he wanted to hear more about this Jesus fellow. I dont know what is going to happen with my marriage but it is 1 of three things . My wife will leave me, my wifes depression will get better and our marriage will be better then it ever was,or I will get spit on for the rest of my wife but I can live with any of the results because I know that I am loving my wife the way she deserves to be loved even if she is not capable of loving me back. I know that we are being put through the fire right now but you are in my prayers. I also know that marriages that fail due to a depressed spouse are very high but it usually the non depressed spouse that gives up.Love is not always the happy feeling you get when things are new or fun . It is standing in there when things are at their lowest point and not thinking well I can just go somewhere else and I will be happy. It is standing by someone when ther seems to be no hope. I mother holding her childs hand before he or she has surgery. A man holding on to his wifes hand that will never come out of a coma from a car accident. Its getting up every morning no matter how hard it is or how bad you feel to support your family all the other bs is just hollywood glitter. In the note I wrote to my wife I told her I loved and will continue to love her even if she cant love me back.In the meantime do not give up hope.

Raniah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1190
   Posted 4/10/2009 4:49 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Cowboy,

I'm glad you came to post here again.  I've been thinking about you and your wife, and praying for you in your situation.

Sorry to hear that your wife is still on a waiting list for a counselor.  I know it must be frustrating for both of you, especially since she is aware of her depression and eager to seek help.  You are right in trying not to take things personally, with respect to her reactions, and I know that must be difficult at times, when you love her so much and want so much to help her through this.

Your story of the missionary, and in particular, the descriptions of your definition of love and how you are applying that to your marriage, have really moved me.  God is guiding you through this.....there is not a shadow of doubt in my mind.

I wish you and your wife the very best, as you continue on your path together.  Thank you for coming and posting about your situation.  Your post has inspired me deeply.

 

missyellow
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 4/12/2009 2:00 PM (GMT -7)   
this really struck a chord with me. My boyfriend of 4 years has depression, and frequently pushes me away. On good days, and for most of our relationship he is very loving and we have a very close relationship. However, on his bad days he just shuts down, can't even look at me, doesn't want to be comforted. I used to take it very personally, feel like he didn't want me or that i done something wrong, i have now learnt that it is all part and parcel of his depression. We can be wonderfully happy together and then all of a sudden, out of the blue he will say he doesn't know if he wants to be with me anymore, doesn't know what he wants and says i would be better off without him. He thinks he isn't good enough for me and so he pushes me away, tries to end it. But so far, we have always got passed that, and have returned to being happy, at least for a while. I have learnt to not take it personally, if he is shutting me out just to be there for him, i just sit with him, no words needed, and wait for it to pass. I now just take it each day at a time.

I am not saying it is the same for your marriage, but i just wanted to respond because i know how hard it can be to be pushed away by the person who you love so deeply.

This is my first post, i am new on here, and am so relieved to find somewhere where i can talk to people who are going through the same thing as me and my boyfriend.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40571
   Posted 4/12/2009 4:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Missyellow,

Welcome to HealingWell. I am so glad that you posted. And I can say that I agree with one day at a time. That is really all that we can do. And I think it is the best way to take things. It makes life a whole lot easier.

Keep posting and remember that we are all here for you.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


keepinghope
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 4/16/2009 4:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Loving hubby

I.m in almost the exact situation my wife has been involved with someone 17 years younger she ended counciling because she said she was in love with this married man, sat with him while his wife was giving birth, filed for a divorce from me took me to court trying to force me out until the divorce went through, had major surgery I took vacation to look after her I do yhe laundry, cooking, cleaning. and I'm no good after 20 years of marriage, only to supply support and money, she tells everyone I'm leaving her the house and I havent been aloud to bring a tv into it for a year. Hang in there find out what your legal options are and the best for your kids

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40571
   Posted 4/16/2009 5:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Keepinghope,

I am so sorry to hear the situation that you are in. You must be devistated with this. You are definately tolerant, and you are very caring of your wife. What you are tolerating is amazing. She is lucky that you are such a nice guy.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

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