I think it is a good question to ask yourself. I wonder if your husband suffers from narcissistic personality disorder:
Here are some of the symptoms
- Reacts to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation
- Takes advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals
- Has feelings of self-importance
- Exaggerates achievements and talents
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, intelligence, or ideal love
- Has unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment
- Requires constant attention and admiration
- Disregards XXXXX XXXXX of others, lacks empathy
- Has obsessive self-interest
- Pursues mainly selfish goals.
Although some features of narcissistic personality disorder may seem like having confidence or strong self-esteem, it's not the same. Narcissistic personality disorder crosses the border of healthy confidence and self-esteem into thinking so highly of yourself that you put yourself on a pedestal. In contrast, people who have healthy confidence and self-esteem don't value themselves more than they value others.
When you have narcissistic personality disorder, you may come across as conceited, boastful or pretentious. You often monopolize conversations. You may belittle or look down on people you perceive as inferior. You may have a sense of entitlement. And when you don't receive the special treatment to which you feel entitled, you may become very impatient or angry. You may insist on having "the best" of everything - the best car, athletic club, medical care or social circles, for instance.
But underneath all this behavior often lies a fragile self-esteem. You have trouble handling anything that may be perceived as criticism. You may have a sense of secret shame and humiliation. And in order to make yourself feel better, you may react with rage or contempt and efforts to belittle the other person to make yourself appear better.
I think partners of Narcissists have a hard time leaving them because the Narcissists know how to give attention and make people feel very special when they need something. People often feel conned. You are not wimpy but I think you may be a very compationate person because Narcissists are attracted to compationate people who tolarete more than others. I think seeing a therapist would help you. Your husband has been emotionally abusive and that affected your self esteem.