Dear Annie: I believe my husband has a very serious disease. I'm an inveterate Googler and started noticing symptoms about a year ago. I mentioned his prevailing symptom to a friend in the medical field, and the condition I suspected is exactly what she popped out with. Also, my brother is an MD and he has told me that my husband should see a neurologist ASAP.

The problem is that my husband won't see a doctor, and, even if he did, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't tell them what's really going on. He denies the symptoms that I've seen. I'm not the only one who has noticed. Without naming the disease, I've told him I'm worried and said that I know he'd feel bad if the shoe were on the other foot, but he won't make the appointment.

I am worried and feel like I can't talk openly with anyone about it. If he does have the disease, it's incurable and terminal and, from what I've read, there are no treatments that can slow its progression — yet. But I still feel like knowing would allow us to prepare. Is there anything I can do either to get my husband to the doctor or to find my own peace? My friend said she sees this all the time and there's nothing to do but wait until my husband has a serious fall or accident. It feels terrible to wait for that. — Worried Wife

Dear Worried Wife: I am so sorry that you are going through this. Seeing your loved one suffer is heartbreaking. Your initial instinct to want to have him take care of himself is the most natural one in the world. His instinct to run away and avoid knowing what is wrong is also a natural one that comes from fear. Now that you know that both of your instincts are natural and fair, it's time for next steps.

Sit him down and have a heart-to-heart with him, but don't tell him that you have been Googling around and playing doctor. Rather, tell him how much you love him and that you are afraid to lose him. Tell him that you will support him in whatever the doctor says but that you would really like him to see a doctor — if not for himself, then for you, the love of his life. If that fails, ask your brother, a medical doctor, if he can help persuade your husband to see a neurologist. Best of luck to you and your family.

Dear Annie: Four years ago, I kissed my wife goodnight, and we went to sleep as usual. The next morning, she told me that she wasn't feeling like herself and wanted to spend the day with her friends. Later that evening, she called to say that she would not be coming home until she was able to figure things out, including if she still wanted to be married and a mother to our 10-year-old daughter.

I tried my best to be supportive, hoping that some personal time would help. In the 12 years that we had been together, we both shared that each of us considered the other our soulmates. — Betrayed by Soulmate

Dear Betrayed by Soulmate: I am so sorry that your wife left you and your daughter. We will never know exactly why she did what she did, but what you can control is how you react to what she did. Now is the time to step into your personal power, if not for yourself, then for your daughter.

Counseling or support groups can be very helpful at this time, especially for your daughter. You have to be mother and father for her, and that is a big ask, but you can do it with help from others who have survived similar challenges.

Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.