Sadly, it did not go away and I told her that it might be better if we spend the night separately because I didn't want her to suffer and stay awake just because of my constant coughing.
It's subtle, but if you told her what you told us, then you've already implied that you've decided to spend the night separately.
Consider the difference between these two statements (I've changed the context for the sake of generalization):
- I think you can't keep working in our company.
- I'm not sure how to go about your future employment in our company.
Both communicate the same thing (uncertainty about future employment). However, the statements do have a different focus.
The first statement implies that ending the employment is the only viable option. The second statement points out that there are obstacles on the path; but does not suggest that you're considering ending the employment.
The same is true in your scenario. Compare the differences:
- It might be better if we spend the night separately because I don't want you to suffer and stay awake.
- I'm afraid that you'll suffer and stay awake if we spend the night together.
In both cases, you're communicating that you think your illness will prevent a nice night together, but the second option does not suggest that not spending the night together is the best option.
Essentially, the second option makes it her decision, as opposed to yours. She is able to decide whether she is willing to put up with your coughing or not. Maybe she's even able to come up with a solution that solves the problem for her.
if she would have just written, "I don't care, please still come over" I would have come. But she didn't, and simply blocked herself.
This ties into the earlier point. You're relying on her to go against what you just said.
She may be unwilling to do so, because she may be afraid that you would think that she's ignoring your wishes and forcing her decision (to spend the night together) on you.
Especially when you're sick, that's not how she wants to be perceived, especially in a new relationship.
I really want to come to good terms again, but I don't want to apologize for anything, because in my mind I did nothing wrong by just wanting to protect her from a sleepless night.
Your intention was good. Your phrasing was not. You shouldn't apologize for what you intended to say, you should apologize for what you inadvertently ended up implying.
Again, this is all about how you phrase it. Consider the differences:
- I don't want to apologize. I did nothing wrong by just wanting to protect you from a sleepless night.
- I'm sorry if I made you feel that I didn't want you here. I did, but I wanted to protect you from a sleepless night.
Again, you are conveying the same truth (wanting to protect her from a bad night), but the second version does not add the implication that you think you did nothing wrong.
Another thing to stress here is that the relationship is new.
If this story had happened with someone who knew you for 10+ years (even if you were just friends for the majority of that time), then they would likely not have reacted so strongly. The difference is that an established history between the two of you can offset any offending inference on her part.
Even if she inferred that you didn't want her to spend the night with you (in a way that offends her), if she knows you a long time she would likely see that you've historically always shown to be willing to spend time together, so your current statement must mean that either you're really sick, or you simply didn't mean it the way that you said it.
But when you're in a new relationship, there's no history to rely on. If she infers that you didn't want to spend the night together, she has no way of knowing whether this is a unique situation (because of being sick), or whether you're just a person who often wants to have a night by himself.
Although this is just an inference on my behalf, her strong reaction to your (somewhat mild) mention of not spending the night together suggests that she may have been burned by others in the past.
Past experiences can leave scars. Scars can make you sensitive to something happening again. Being sensitive to something means that you overreact.
To use more extreme examples to showcase the point:
- Someone who has suffered from domestic abuse with a previous partner will respond very defensive when you use a verbally aggressive tone; whereas someone who has not suffered from domestic abuse will not be as defensive (because they haven't been in a situation that required them to be preemptively defensive).
- Someone who has had to deal with a friend who loaned money from them (and never paid it back) will be less eager to loan you money because this exact thing has burned them in the past.
- (suggested by @stannius in the comments) You seem to be adamant about not apologizing since you intended no harm. Speaking from personal experience, that can be indicative of a scar too. For me, it's due to my parents who pushed the blame on me for failing them and regularly even attributed malice on top of that; which caused me to become very sensitive when someone even implies that I'm guilty of something I did not do. I can't speak to your case, but I suspect that there is a similar backstory as to why you're adamant about not apologizing.
I know these are very extreme examples, but the general principle is the same. If people are disproportionately sensitive to something, it's likely that they've been in similar problem situation before, and their instincts are telling them that the current situation will be another problem situation.
You're quite adamant about not seeing the need to apologize. I understand your points (I'm not that different from you), but I think that your strong opinion may be grating to her, at least when it touches on a scar that she has.
Be kind. Consider that she could have understood something different from what you meant. Apologize for potentially miscommunicating, rather than not apologizing because you intended well.