George Eliot sympathises with him. Readers ache for him. I too feel his pain and wish him all the best, but mixed with my sympathy is another feeling- very vague, very slight, but it is there, a voice that says "That's what you get for belittling women, Tertius", a feeling that he deserves it and has only himself to blame. That's not to say that Rosamond is a strong-minded, determined, independent heroine who gets credit for teaching a sexist a lesson. Nobody can say that. Rosamond is an awful person, who prioritises her own interests above anyone else's and thinks others have the duty of conforming to her wishes and making life easy for her, who has no sense of purpose and no principle and only cares about maintaining her extravagant lifestyle, who lacks the capability of self-reflection and always finds herself irreproachable whilst everyone else disagreeable. All the scenes describing their arguments over money and solutions, as well as all the passages detailing her thoughts and self-justification, are masterfully done. This is an awful woman, and one must feel sorry for Lydgate for being stuck with such a wife. And yet the other feeling still hangs there, that Lydgate imagines women being weak, feeble, inferior, docile, submissive... and now he's mastered, he's under a woman's thumb. One can't help falling in love, but it's his fault to marry Rosamond. It's his fault to have wrong ideas about women. It's his fault to yield and let her dominate him.
Where is my sympathy?