So a little background on our relationship.
We've been dating for about a year and a half now. We're now getting to the conversation of marriage and I'm super excited to see what the future holds. However, getting her to open up is like pulling teeth with a toothpick. She's told me repeatedly she really wants to be able to open up but just has a hard time doing so. She won't even tell me why she has a hard time opening up, which I guess is opening up in and of itself. I've never done anything to break her trust (e.g. texting exes, being flirty with other women, etc.) nor has she had a previous relationship so I don't believe she's been hurt by someone in the past.
Our current living situation is a bit unusual. I'm living about 4 hours away for an internship while she lives with my family due to her family living halfway across the world. We see each other about every 2 weeks or so.
I call her just about 2-3 times a day just asking simple things like how was her day, how did she sleep, what was her favorite part of the day, etc. She sends me pictures of her crocheting projects, her watercolor paintings, and I take interest in what she loves to do. I also often ask how her family is doing, if she's talked to her mom and her sisters, and how her brother in the marines is holding up.
Well, last night I didn't sleep well so I forgot to call her this morning. So she calls me on my way to work. Meanwhile, she's asking me about my work, the project that I'm doing, asking me to describe it which I really didn't want to do because it would've taken too long to explain with her lack of understanding of the topic. I wanted to just enjoy my morning playlist and the sunrise on my commute. In my groggy self, I just have short responses. She asks me if I'm annoyed with her, and I respond honestly and tell her that I'm not really in the mood to talk and I can call her later. So I tell her I love her and we end the conversation.
Then immediately after, she sends me a text. Here is our conversation.
Her: "Babe, the reason I call you is because I really miss my family and having someone to comfort me. I just wanted you to know and understand..."
Me: "So call your family"
H: "I don't think you understand"
M: "What is there to understand? You miss your family so it would be natural to call your family"
H: "And I do. But sometimes what I want to hear from you as the person I'm closest to is that you care for me and that you're there for me"
M: "We talk every day"
H: "So you think that all I need in life is to talk to you on the phone and hear how each others day was or how the other person slept and that's good enough?"
M: "What do you expect me to do? Drive 4 hours every morning?
H: "That's not what I mean and you know it"
M: "So then why are you getting mad at me?"
H: "No. Of course not. I just sometimes need to hear in words that you care for me and are here for me when I'm hurting. That's all!"
M: "I tell you every day so what's wrong"
H: "I'm sorry I bothered you. Never mind"
M: "Wait, why am I the bad guy now?"
H: "You're not"
M: "You're obviously mad at me"
H: "I'm not mad, I'm just hurt and lonely. I'm sorry. It's my fault that I bottle up my feelings until the breaking point then expect you to know what's going on. That's not your fault. That's mine."
M: "Why didn't you say something sooner?"
H: "Because I don't know how to"
M: "What would you like me to do?"
H: "Nothing I guess. It's my fault. I'm sorry."
The conversation continues a bit. Being the beginning of the workday, I tell her I'll call her during lunch. During that phone call, she tells me for the fortieth time how she has trouble opening up. And again, for the fortieth time, I try to be as kind and as gentle as I can be so she can tell me whatever is going on. And yet, she can't.
What I've already tried
I've tried a billion things to help her to open up to me on her terms. I lavish her in gifts. I put off things at work to call her. I call her too and from work. I call her before bed. Whenever we're together, we watch the movies she wants to watch, I take her to go get a pedicure (fellas, I highly recommend a pedicure. They feel amazing) I try my hand at watercolor which I suck at, I cuddle with her the way she wants to cuddle and never make her feel uncomfortable. I make her her favorite tea. I cook dinner for her. I've tried expressing my love for her in all five love languages. I've opened up to her myself telling her about my dreams, desires, aspirations as well as my hurts, struggles, and previous relationships. If none of those above show my care and love for her, I don't know what will.
It's starting to be a burden on me because I'm trying to be available whenever she needs me but then when I want to do the things that I want to do, that's when she calls me and wants to have a 3 hour long Facetime call. And I'll be as straightforward and honest as I can and tell her that I'm tired and want to relax by blowing up stuff in battlefield. And even still, I'll opt for the 3-hour long facetime call over a Dota match with my guys.
To top it all off, my mother, whom I love very much, is quite religious and hates it when my girlfriend and I have any kind of physical affection (because we're not married) and has let us both know how she doesn't want any cuddling in her house. I've respected that rule to a certain extent when I'm visiting. However, being financially independent of my parents and having lived on my own for 3 years now, I have trouble being dictated by someone who used to excessively discipline me (another story). My girlfriend, on the other hand, cannot stand disappointing anyone (except me, apparently), especially both of our parents.
However, it's put a strain on our relationship because 1) my love language is physical affection and 2) whenever we do get a chance to cuddle, my girlfriend gets up and walks away whenever she hears footsteps. So in my mind, she's putting my mother's opinion of her above our relationship, which is extremely hurtful. I've even told her and opened up to her about this.
And now she's telling me that she's lonely which I figured but has never explicitly told me and only does tell me through text.
Is there anything that I'm doing wrong? What can I do to help her to open up?