Wow, so your post brought back some bad memories for me. I didn't go through exactly the same thing as you did, but I definitely remember having that level of a painful awakening experience during my first year of marraige with H.
For us, it was money related. All during our relationship (dated for four years before marraige, including living together) H would chide me about my spending habits and my money. I always made sure my bills were paid and never had a credit card balance, but I wasn't the best at putting money into savings and had a spending habit. H made me feel like a child. And I was young and had no idea what I was doing, and he seemed so much more responsible than me and sure of his ability to manage finances. So when we got married, we combine all finances and I let him handle the money blindly. For as much as he talked the talk, I figured he had it all figured out and I was too stupid to help. Until one day I started getting late notices in the mail - bills were going unpaid. It was a shock to my system. I had never thought to keep tabs on what he was doing. I still don't really understand how it happened, but he claims he just "forgot" (how do you forget to pay three seperate bills for 3-4 months in a row, to the point that they threaten collections?) and he still to this day doesnt think it was that big of a deal. This is the guy that I essentially let bully me into thinking I was money-stupid. We took a big hit on our credit score for those unpaid bills, BTW. And since two of them were credit cards, our interest rates shot through the roof for non-payment. Maybe to the average person missing a few payments isn't such a big deal, but I have always been very straight-laced about that sort of thing and NEVER missed a payment for anything, ever, in my life prior to that.
Anyway - the point is that it really shook me to my core that he failed to protect us from money trouble. I really trusted him 100% and that was a big thing for me, having never gone that far with any other guy before to allow him total control over my money. For a long time I lost my trust in him in a lot of other areas too. I just kept thinking - if I thought he was taking care of our money, what else do I trust him with that I shouldn't? I felt unsafe and leery of everything for awhile after that.
I eventually got over it. I realized that I was comparing my husband to an IDEAL I had in my head of who he should be - who I imagined him to be - NOT who he really was. In real life he is a human being capable of mistakes. In my head I had made him out to be infallable. The truth is, he is good about making us keep a savings account and helping me to justify purchases before I just go swipe my debit card. He's helped me learn the value of a dollar and not be such a spend-thrift. But, he's not so good at organization and tracking budgets, and when things are due. He needed my help to track calendars and dates and to get our money flowing to a point where we can plan ahead for bill payments that are coming up and manage our money flow over the whole month/year, instead of week to week. And, he was too proud to ask for my help! So he was obviously overwhelmed with the responsibility but refused to tell me or ask me to help him. But at first all I could see was - how could he do this? how could he make such a critical mistake? WHO IS THIS GUY?
Likely, your husband is not the type to stand up in the face of opposition, especially an entire group of people who seem to be against him. He probably doesn't like to make waves. Despite that we all have the ideal that our husband should be our knight in shining armor, he might not even understand how much this affected you. He might not even know HOW to stand up to a group of people like you imagined him to do, maybe he can't even imagine what to say, or why he should have to? I know my H is almost immune to the type of drama you speak of. He truly does not think it matters what other people think about him, or what they might say about him. He might choose to miss a couple of meetings to let the drama blow over, then show up and start working just like nothing had ever happened - because that is just how he is, he would prefer to rugsweep than to confront. He is not wired to take things personally or to put that much stock in the bickerings of others. He would expect me to be the same way, and would be shocked to find out that I wasn't that way. I would have to hit my H over the head with a frying pan to make him see how hurt I was, and even then he would need to be told what I want him to do - please stand up for me, or say ____, if that's what I wanted.
My H is a very timid person in that regard, and yes, I do fight most of my own battles. (Honestly, I fight most of his battles too. Anytime there is an issue where I need to battle about it - recieving bad service, getting into a car accident, etc. I have to be the one to put the pants on and stand my ground against the enemy.) But I dont hold it against him because I know that's just who he is. There are things that will happen to me that he cannot understand. He can listen to me, he can provide sympathy (if I ask him to) but he cannot empathize. And sometimes you need empathy - and you can't find that in your H.
I struggle with that to this day, but I am slowly learning that it's OK to fight my own battles and to have certain things that I need to deal with outside of my marraige. Some things are too much for my H, and despite how much I want him to help me, I know he can't.