I haven't posted here in a while because I wanted to take a step back and let my relationship grow. It has grown in some ways, but we have recognized what I consider a very challenging hurdle. My bf of 4 years shuts out everyone in his life to various degrees, he doesn't tell them things and doesn't trust them, because he literally cannot tolerate hearing an opinion about himself that he doesn't like. He has actually said "why should I have to listen to what other people think?" regarding myself and his family (the only people who actually attempt to be close to him). He admitted to emphasizing certain things and omitting other things in conversation with everyone he talks to (he didn't even admit it, he offered it up). This is a huge barrier to emotional intimacy between him and me, any anyone else in his life.
I am not often critical of him, but when I question something he does or express an opinion that he takes as criticism, he is rude and shuts the conversation down. I am just trying to communicate, but he doesn't think he has to "explain [himself] to anyone." I don't yell anymore, but he yells at me and works himself up until he literally has to run away. I watched him yelling last night and he was actually throwing a tantrum like a toddler would. We have plans to move in together and I wanted to know why he hasn't told his parents. We had dinner with them last night and I had to keep my mouth shut. He said he is waiting because he doesn't want to deal with it if anyone has a differing opinion. I said maybe they wouldn't be excited because he doesn't tell them much about us or his life. He said he'll tell them when it's "relevant." He has had boundary issues with his mom oversharing his business to people, but that doesn't excuse all of his behavior. They want to be involved in his life. He hangs onto the past and every negative thing he has perceived anyone saying to him. He ascribes negative motivations to people and thinks everything is thrown in his face; he doesn't give anyone the benefit of the doubt for caring about him. The most telling comment he made was that it's hard enough for him to feel good about himself, let alone hear people's opinions.
This is becoming untenable for me because we can't have a conversation about it where he doesn't blame me and run away yelling. (He brought up a time 4 years ago when I told his mother something that he hadn't and said "that didn't go so well, did it?" I didn't even know what he meant about it not going well. He said he just felt like she treated him differently after. I am expected to read his mind.) I feel like I have tried every way I know how to have a conversation with him. He doesn't apologize after he yells and leaves. He thinks he is entitled to do whatever he wants and have people's support, and have their trust while they know that he is often manipulating the truth. He doesn't consider that it might be hard for people to trust him. I need the honest opinion of you all as to whether this is something that can be worked through if he isn't in therapy (he isn't). These are major trust, intimacy, self-esteem, and communication issues that is is blaming everyone for but himself. He seems incapable or unwilling to address the feelings of others. I am wondering how he even thinks this way (is he struggling to maintain a narrative of himself?), but I really need to know what I should do. Our relationship is pretty good otherwise, but being treated disrespectfully and not being able to be honest with him is not going to work as we move through life. I don't even know how to express how I feel to him because he won't listen.
Thanks for any thoughts or stories you might share.