Are you the man, the girlfriend, or?
How old are the two of you?
Abused emotionally by who?
What sort of petty excuses?
Any further information would be helpful
I apologize I had not seen your response. The both of you are at the age where you should be able to talk things out and not break up. Of course at this point, he will be afraid of anything that looks like it might hurt him. You have to make him see that its not your fault what he's been through, that he has to learn to deal with you on your own terms and if there's a problem, then you should talk about it. I'm not sure what you said to him, but maybe some things that you might think are petter, he may not see them as petty, and he might take things a little more to heart than the average guy. It's not going to be something that you can work on alone...he has to want to work on the relationship too for it to work. He may want to think about therapy, to help him get past some of the issues of his ex wife, or even better if the two of you can attend couples therapy, it would give you a good handle on working on your issues together and in a helpful way.
I welcome your thoughts, let me know if you want to talk more.