It sounds as though he might be experiencing anxiety and/or panic attacks. Anxiety and panic are highly treatable. I suggest that he begin counseling. You and he might also be good candidates for couples counseling. As long as he is willing to participate in treatment and sticks with it, for however long it is necessary, expect a positive outcome.
The fact that you’re asking for help on his behalf is a bit concerning because it would suggest that you might be trying to “fix” him. You can’t do the work for him. Your support is undoubtedly essential in assisting him through the process of change but he has to want to change and agree to participate in treatment. As long as he is willing and able to participate in treatment, there is hope for change.
Another suggestion you can make is his reading self-help books about communication skills, relationships and anxiety disorders. Books are a good resource for education but therapy is the most efficient way to correct these issues. Continue to be supportive, suggest counseling and hope that he is willing to participate in treatment. I wish you both the best of luck. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle