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Great, except for one giant thing

Dear Annie: My husband and I have been together for five years. For the most part, we have a great relationship. The problem is, my husband is seven years older and had a few bad relationships before we got together. Because of this, he is always telling me I am a cheater and cannot be trusted.

Annie, I haven’t done a single thing in my past or present to make him feel this way. It is a constant fight between us. I have suggested that maybe we should get counseling so we can work on this, but he hasn’t been willing. Is there anything else I can do to make this annoying part of our relationship go away?

— Irritated Wife

Dear Irritated: A person who constantly accuses the spouse of cheating when there is no cause is either cheating himself or too insecure to function in a healthy marriage. It is no way to live. First ask him to see his doctor and find out whether there is a medical reason for his behavior. Then stop “suggesting” and insist that your husband go with you for counseling. If he refuses, go on your own to decide whether this is something you can tolerate or alleviate.

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Dear Annie: Why do stores think that having sales associates accost you in every aisle will make you enjoy shopping? A simple “Hello, how may I help you?” is all we need. Following us around and asking all sorts of questions is annoying. Knowing this will happen every time I enter the store makes me want to shop elsewhere. People like to be acknowledged. They do not like to be hounded. If I want to wander around and look, I don’t enjoy being bombarded by five salespeople asking me the same stuff over and over. A customer who wants help will ask for it. Otherwise, please leave us alone. Businesses should train their employees to treat people as valued customers, not idiots.

— Toledo

Dear Toledo: You make a valid argument, but we have to say, for every person who doesn’t want to be accosted, there are 10 who wish they could find a salesperson altogether. If the store employees work on commission, it would explain why they try so hard to make a sale to every customer. It usually suffices to say, “No, thank you. I’m just looking.” If not, feel free to register your complaint with the store manager and see whether it helps.

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Dear Annie: Not long ago, you printed a letter from “Too Clean, Too Fearful,” a woman with anxiety about highway travel. She did not want counseling. You suggested relaxation techniques but didn’t specifically mention Tai Chi or Qigong classes, which are available at many community centers, fitness clubs, YMCAs and senior centers.

I teach both Tai Chi and Qigong and have been practicing for more than 24 years. It was part of my personal “quit smoking” program in 1988. Tai Chi is “relaxation in motion.” It is a moving meditation that teaches one how to relax in action. It is the only exercise I know that does this. Qigong is a cousin of Tai Chi.

These exercises can be done in private or in a park, alone or with a friend. You can share the activity with your spouse to learn how to relax together. They can be learned while seated for those who have difficulty standing. They can be enjoyed for a lifetime and help develop the mind, along with better balance and coordination. Tai Chi and Qigong are dynamic, fun and relaxing, and yes, they relieve anxiety.

— Caroline

Dear Caroline: Thanks for the additional suggestions. We hope our interested readers will check out these activities.

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Dear Readers: Today is Flag Day and the 34th Annual Pause for the Pledge of Allegiance at 7 p.m. (Eastern time). For more information, log on to americanflagfoundation.org.

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Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

— Creators Syndicate Inc.

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