The pain of his continued residence in Highbury, however, must certainly be lessened by his marriage. Many vain solicitudes would be prevented—many awkwardnesses smoothed by it. A Mrs. Elton would be an excuse for any change of intercourse; former intimacy might sink without remark. It would be almost beginning their life of civility again. (22.8)
Marriage almost remakes Mr. Elton completely. What seems awkward to Emma about their social exchanges changes after he comes back with a wife. Maybe Mr. Woodhouse is right about marriage changing things, after all!