In order to carry through any undertaking in family life, there
must necessarily be either complete division between the husband
and wife, or loving agreement. When the relations of a couple
are vacillating and neither one thing nor the other, no sort of
enterprise can be undertaken.
Many families remain for years in the same place, though both
husband and wife are sick of it, simply because there is neither
complete division nor agreement between them.
Both Vronsky and Anna felt life in Moscow insupportable in the
heat and dust, when the spring sunshine was followed by the glare
of summer, and all the trees in the boulevards had long since
been in full leaf, and the leaves were covered with dust. But
they did not go back to Vozdvizhenskoe, as they had arranged to
do long before; they went on staying in Moscow, though they both
loathed it, because of late there had been no agreement between
The irritability that kept them apart had no external cause, and
all efforts to come to an understanding intensified it, instead
of removing it. It was an inner irritation, grounded in her mind
on the conviction that his love had grown less; in his, on regret
that he had put himself for her sake in a difficult position,
which she, instead of lightening, made still more difficult.
Neither of them gave full utterance to their sense of grievance,
but they considered each other in the wrong, and tried on every
pretext to prove this to one another.
In her eyes the whole of him, with all his habits, ideas,
desires, with all his spiritual and physical temperament, was one
thing--love for women, and that love, she felt, ought to be
entirely concentrated on her alone. That love was less;
consequently, as she reasoned, he must have transferred part of
his love to other women or to another woman--and she was jealous.
She was jealous not of any particular woman but of the decrease
of his love. Not having got an object for her jealousy, she was
on the lookout for it. At the slightest hint she transferred her
jealousy from one object to another. At one time she was jealous
of those low women with whom he might so easily renew his old
bachelor ties; then she was jealous of the society women he might
meet; then she was jealous of the imaginary girl whom he might
want to marry, for whose sake he would break with her. And this
last form of jealousy tortured her most of all, especially as he
had unwarily told her, in a moment of frankness, that his mother
knew him so little that she had had the audacity to try and
persuade him to marry the young Princess Sorokina.