I think a lot of times people find a lot of reasons not to make a change out of a basic sense of fear. Change is hard. Even when your current situation sucks ass, at least it's a KNOWN commodity. To break out on your own requires you to face the unknown... and a lot of people can't, won't, aren't able to do that.
And that's not to say I think he's "making excuses"... I'm sure those things are real concerns that need to be taken into consideration.
I also do think that you need to take all of this with a grain of salt. Like was mentioned above, one-sided stories are always just that-- and if you're hearing all of this from him and you don't even know her or have no other corroboration (friends, other people that know him and her), you really have no way of knowing how much of this is true, how much might be a fabrication and how much might be his perception of things. And our personal perceptions may be A truth of the situation, but not necessarily THE truth.