In this chapter we're back to the drama of Anna and her husband.
Little known fact about Karenin: he can't watch a woman or child crying and remain calm.
When Anna bursts into tears after confessing her relations with Vronsky, Karenin seeks to suppress all his emotions and tried not to move or look at her. This makes him look like death, according to Anna.
At home, he helps her out of the carriage and tells her he will inform her of his decision about what to do tomorrow.
Oddly enough, Karenin experiences a feeling of liberation by having his worst fears confirmed.
Karenin begins thinking about what the best way out of the situation is – the way that would most benefit him.
He thinks about other female infidelities in high society.
He rejects the idea of dueling with Vronsky.
Because of the scandals they would cause, he discards the idea of divorce or separation. He also dislikes the idea of Anna and Vronsky being happy. He is suddenly seized with a desire to make them suffer.
Karenin decides that the only solution is for his marriage to continue, under the condition that Anna stop seeing Vronsky. He's pleased that this decision coincides with what religion would tell him to do.
He sees no point in changing his relations with his wife, although he will never respect her in the same way. Also, he believes she should be unhappy.