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I wonder if the LW took it though... it's tough giving up the trophy. It doesn't matter if the trophy is full of shit because the outside is so shiny and has your name on it.
Everyone commenting so far is correct. She needs to be in some serious therapy and he needs to get the fuck out. I agree that it /could/ be looks, but that it doesn't matter one whit.
Run, motherfucker. You'll be glad you did.
Therapy for both! But individually so, after he splits.
But in real life it is, and people stay in abusive relationships ALL THE TIME for that one reason.
Sometimes it's good to point it out. Opens people's eyes.
Everyone calling this out as abuse is correct, but I think @10 has the armchair diagnosis and while people stay in abusive relationships for all sorts of reasons, I think @6 is probably closer to the mark than focusing on her looks. I've seen plenty of matched-looks couples with this dynamic and at least one truly hideous woman who abused the heck out of her average looking husband.
It matters to the LW.
"She is exactly what I've always wanted: smart, articulate, independent, and friggin' beautiful"
She's something he's never had before, he obviously hasn't dated much, and he wants to continue feeling so flattered, just without all the abuse. SORRY, not with this one.