My husband and I have been married for 42 years. We both came from homes with difficult marriages and the only thing we knew was what we DIDN'T want. Our mantra was that we'll figure it out.
He came home from work one day and saw me teary-eyed on the phone. His mother was calling each day to ask what I was making him for dinner! I didn't complain to him - I just accepted that that's the way she was. He took the phone from me and heard his mom berating me over the number of days since his last salad and very calmly announced that HE was on the phone and she was never to talk to me that way ever again.
We had two kids and I stayed home to raise them while he focused on his career to provide for us. When our daughter was in middle school, we had a conference at school to address her needs for acceleration and enrichment. The principal told us that HE was the education expert and that we didn't understand. My husband leaned across the desk and told him "YOU don't understand that I'M the expert on my daughter!" On the way out of the office, he told me to take the kids out of public school.
Our kids are grown now and are self-sufficient adults with spouses and kids of their own. My husband just retired, and like we have in other phases of our lives, we'll figure out this next chapter too. If you choose wisely, even as young as I did, you can find a real man. I know I've got one. I love listening to you, and I try each day to do the right thing.