You can't make her change

Visitor's Question from a 16-20 year old Male
Okay, I know i'm posting in the arguments/fighting topic, but my problem actually comes from my lack of ability to argue back.
My girlfriend is ten years older than me, I've been in a relationship with her for about a year, and I love her so intensely. However, she is extremely emotional, and tends to overreact to a lot of things. Any time we get into an arguement, I can never get my point across out of the fear of hurting her, so I find myself holding my tongue constantly, and letting the feelings eat me up instead. I always tend to take the calmer approach in any argument we have due to the fact that she's threatened to break up with me when i've retaliated in the past. For example, the first time I ever retaliated in an argument with her, she was so stunned that i'd lost my temper that she practically ended the relationship for 5 minutes saying things like 'You're not the person I thought you were'. I usually end up saying sorry even when I know that i'm not the one in the wrong. I always tell her I love her, whether she's irritating me or not, and I never hold a grudge for the arguments we have. My girlfriend, however, will just ignore me for hours, or call me names, or threaten to break up with me. Even though I always take it upon myself to let her know that I love her, I also need her to know that I won't be stifled in this relationship, but how do I go about getting my point across without making her hate my guts? I know it might sound like quite a minor problem, but the issue goes beyond arguments. I haven't been able to ask her questions in the past out of the fear that she might take them the wrong way and overreact. I feel that i'd know my girlfriend a lot more by now if it wasn't for the fact that she gets ridiculously defensive every time I pose a serious question to her. It's really stressing me out, I don't think she realises that i'm not trying to bite her head off every time I try to get my point across. Please help. Advice
This relationship, unfortunately, does not sound healthy. I think with her being older, she may feel she has a right to run the show, which is simply never true. I think you know this.

These are serious issues and you are right not to take them lightly. Can you gently suggest couples therapy? If she is not interested in that, then it may well be that this is not a fixable problem. I think she has a lot of things to work out in her interactions with people, and it may well be that she needs to work on these things alone. You can't make another person change. :(

-- from Jill
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