I did have something of a breakthrough moment when I explained to him he is acting the way he is because of his childhood abandonment issues. They were triggered the first time we split up - after I told him I loved him. We were apart for three months but reconciled, with him thanking me profusely for 'persisting' with him and admitting historic relationship problems.
His parents passed adult responsibilities onto him when he was 9 - his dad threatened suicide and walked out and he would come home from school to find his mother naked with other men. He had it tough and I see the shell he's built up to protect himself from this - i.e. if I run first, you can't hurt me. My heart aches for the pain he went through and for the pain he continues to be in.
I believe the trigger this time was us moving in together - another relationship milestone.
Now his stance is 'I never want an emotional relationship again. Ever. I'm fine on my own, I don't want it.' He says he doesn't want my support and while he's sorry to have hurt me, he's not going to change. He says all this while making vague suggestions he's going to look into counselling or rehab.
When I pointed out this all stems from a trigger in his childhood he clearly had a lightbulb moment, but hurriedly retorted: 'Well I still feel differently about you.'
I did a lot of crying last night and he told me he hardened himself to female emotion after watching his mother lose it when his dad walked out. He says all he wants is for me to stop hurting, that he's more concerned about me than him and that he's so sorry for what he's put me through.
He's thrown the shutters down and I am really suffering trying to muster the energy, strength and patience to coax them back up and lead him to help.