Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Aaron," and I have been married five years. We hit a rough patch, and when I'd ask him what was wrong, he would always say he was "just tired."

One day I returned from work and found a note saying he had left me.

My husband has been gone more than a month now. We have a 3-year-old daughter. I have spoken to Aaron on the phone, and he tells me he's coming home, but he never shows. Our daughter is asking questions about her daddy that I don't know how to answer, so I just hug her and tell her he's not coming home right now.

I can't understand what has happened. Aaron says he still loves me. How can he put me through this? I could never leave my child for this amount of time. I hold out hope that he will come back, but deep down I know I should move on. I love him, though, and so does our daughter. How do I give up on that?

— BROKEN AND LOST IN KENTUCKY

DEAR BROKEN AND LOST: Unless your husband is in jail or witness protection, the chances are that he is with someone else. It would be better for you and your daughter if he would be honest and admit what's going on, but it appears he doesn't have the courage. Because you're not ready to give up, you should stand pat. Sooner or later you'll learn the score, and when you do, you'll have a better idea of how to handle the situation.

DEAR ABBY: My mother-in-law is a hoarder, and anything her son (my husband) and I do to bring it to her attention makes her angry.

When we had a meeting with her and her doctor about the situation, she denied that she had a problem. She straight-out lied to him and said she's "working on the issue." In reality she has done nothing.

It has reached the point that my mother-in-law is sleeping on a corner of her couch because the clutter has forced her out of her bedroom. Is there any organization out there that we can contact for support and guidance on how to address this?

— HOPING TO HELP, PUEBLO, COLO.

DEAR HOPING: When the tendency to hoard becomes as overwhelming as your mother-in-law's has, it may be a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder. The Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation is a reliable resource that may be able to help you help her. It has many local chapters that educate about this treatable neurological disorder, and they can refer you to qualified professionals.

The OC Foundation offers individuals with this disorder the support they need to manage their symptoms, and can help you persuade your MIL to seek the help she needs. Its address is P.O. Box 961029, Boston, MA 02196. Its phone number is (617) 973-5801 and its Web site is www.ocfoundation.org.

DEAR ABBY: My fiance and I are very much in love and plan on being married in October. We're both in our 50s. I have a secret that I haven't told him and I'm afraid to because I'm worried he won't love me anymore if I do. My secret is I wear dentures. He's always telling me what beautiful teeth I have and he wishes his were as pretty as mine. I feel that I should be honest about this before we get married. Should I tell?

— SPARKLING WHITE IN TEXAS

DEAR SPARKLING: Of course you should tell him — because he is going to find out eventually anyway. Here's how to approach it. The next time he compliments you, tell him if he wants teeth as beautiful as yours, it's doable; all he has to do is call your dentist.

Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.