I'd like to agree with what Heidi said. The way your parents understand doctrine doesn't mean that it's the way the Church teaches it. My husband and I have always understood the "ideal standard of the Church" to be pretty much exactly like you described - a marriage where two people build each other up, respect each other, and communicate when something is wrong. The Family Proclamation makes it clear that husbands and wives are to help and treat each other as equal partners. Now, there may be circumstances where one spouse is going through a particularly difficult time emotionally, which may cause them to behave unkindly, and in that situation, I think it is good for the other spouse to have charity and behave in a Christlike way. However, being Christlike doesn't mean you can't also stand up for yourself; Christlike behavior is patient while encouraging the other person to improve. Christlike behavior never enables another person to continuously behave badly or sets up a situation where they are never encouraged to change when they are doing something wrong.
As an example, on my mission I had a companion who was going through a chronic illness. Over time, the effects of the constant pain wore on her and she became very negative and unpleasant towards me. I maybe would have been justified in standing up for myself and retaliating, but because I instead chose to react with love, longsuffering, and patience, we are still great friends after she got better and returned to her usual kind self. I chose to react this way because I knew that she was suffering a thousand times more than she was making me suffer, and reacting angrily wouldn't have helped. If she had just been being unkind because she realized she could get away with it, that would have been a totally different situation and I wouldn't have stood for it. Similarly, there are times in a marriage when I think it is better for a spouse to be patient in order to preserve the loving feelings in relationship, which could later return to that mutually respectful, loving, and supportive marriage that it hopefully started out as. However, a situation where one spouse domineers over the other should not be the status quo, and anyone in any relationship should always feel free to speak up and say, "What you are doing to me is not okay, and you need to change."
So long story short, I think your original idea of what a marriage should be is right, and I don't think there's something you're missing. I think some people take the true doctrine of being patient and loving during someone's bad times, and misapply it to mean that you should tolerate someone's ongoing bad behavior without asking them to change. I'm sorry you have to deal with this in your own family. I want to assure you that not all marriages in the Church are like this - my own parents, for example, have always set a great example for me of what a loving, respectful, equal relationship looks like. Don't lower your standards or feel like you'll have to put up with this from your own husband someday, because it is not what the Church wants.
In other words, the Lord's standard of marriage is a marriage that is based on mutual charity and Christlike behavior for each other. One spouse is not required to excuse another spouse for blatantly ignoring this standard.
I also found a quote from David O. McKay that says: "Let us instruct young people who come to us, first, young men throughout the Church, to know that a woman should be queen of her own body. The marriage covenant does not give the man the right to enslave her, or to abuse her, or to use her merely for the gratification of his passion. Your marriage ceremony does not give you that right" (in Conference Report, Apr. 1952, 86). The quote does seem to focus on more the physical side of marriage, but I think its spirit and intent can be very easily extended to any other aspect of marriage.
In closing, I'd like to share a couple of very paraphrased stories about how modern prophets treat their wives. The first is about Joseph Smith. It shows up in some cuts of the Prophet of the Restoration movie. Joseph was beating rugs outside and doing some household chores, when another man admonished him for doing "women's work," which he believed was unbecoming to a prophet's dignity. The man suggested that he could have his wife speak to Emma about being a better housewife. In response, Joseph admonished the man and told him that if a man didn't love and cherish his wife in this life, he could hardly expect for her to want to have him in the next life. Apparently, this man took the lesson to heart and started helping his wife around the house more. The second story is about President Monson, as related by Elder Walker in a CES fireside on my mission. Apparently, all the General Authorities were gathered together for a very important meeting in the Salt Lake Temple. The time to start the meeting arrived, but the prophet was not there. He eventually showed up very late and simply said, "I'm sorry for being late, brethren, but my wife needed me this morning." President Monson valued his duty to cherish and support his wife over every General Authority of the Church. Now, these stories don't exactly answer your question about relationships, but I think they do illustrate that the prophets of the Church do not understand Church doctrine to mean that they should expect everything to default to their convenience or comfort just because they are the husband. I agree with my fellow writers that such an attitude is an unfortunate relict of a general patriarchal culture, and is not the doctrine or expected standard of the Church.