DEAR HARRIETTE: My girlfriend keeps pestering me to go to therapy. She claims that a lot of problems in our relationship stem from my past. I think she is just trying to defer our issues and blame them on me. I genuinely don't think I need therapy and am a happy person. Like all people, I have my down days, but I always strive to do things that make me happy.
My family history is more chaotic than hers, so I want to clearly explain to her that how I grew up -- something I cannot go back in time to change -- influences our relationship only because of her. For example, she isn't comfortable staying overnight places because she wants to go home, and she says I'm OK with sleeping wherever because my parents are divorced and I shuttled back and forth between homes.
I don't think I need therapy because of my upbringing. How can I get her to see this? -- It's Not Me, It's You, Philadelphia
DEAR IT'S NOT ME, IT'S YOU: If you really care for your girlfriend and want to strengthen your bond, suggest that the two of you go to therapy together. You don't think you need it. She probably doesn't think she needs it. But for your relationship, it could be a great way to learn how to communicate better -- especially during challenging times. It can also be a safe space for you to address idiosyncrasies in each of your behaviors that may no longer be necessary for you to hold on to. I know this may seem opposite to your desire, but it may prove incredibly helpful.