Anna Karenina Part 6, Chapters 16-25
Dolly goes to visit Anna and grows distraught at Anna's personal situation. She recognizes that Vronsky has many important elements in his life that Anna doesn't share with him. She feels bad for Anna and says she would have done the same thing had she been in her position:
"'And they attack Anna. What for? Am I any better? I have, anyway, a husband I love-not as I would like to love him, still I do love him, while Anna never loved hers. How is she to blame? She wants to live. God has put that in our hearts. Very likely I should have done the same.'" Part 6, Chapter 16, pg. 635
To Dolly, it seems that Anna is more of a guest in Vronsky's home than his lover. All Anna really has, Dolly realizes, is the ability to be beautiful at all times.
" 'The one thing, darling, is that I am so glad to have you!' said Anna, kissing her again. 'You haven't told me yet how and what you think about me, and I keep wanting to know. But I'm glad you will see me as I am. Above all, I wouldn't want people to think that I want to prove anything. I don't want to prove anything; I merely want to live.'"
Vronsky asks Dolly to convince Anna to get a divorce from Karenin so he and she can have children together which will be legally his. Anna, however, doesn't want to have more children . She fears that being pregnant would take away from her sexual attractiveness, which she sees as all she has. By choosing to not have children, Anna is further separated from Vronsky.
Once Dolly leaves, Anna is utterly bored. Vronsky becomes active politically and spends less time with her.
"And he set off for the elections without appealing to her for a candid explanation. It was the first time since the beginning of their intimacy that he had parted from her without a full explanation. From one point of view this troubled him, but on the other hand he felt that it was better so. 'At first there will be, as this time, something undefined kept back, and then she will get used to it. In any case, I can give up anything for her, but not my independence,' he thought." Part 6, Chapter 25, pg. 673