"Strange to say what delight we married people," Pepys wrote, "have to see these poor fools decoyed into our condition."
His reverence for women hadn’t forestalled him from treating them vilely. He’d always approached the opposite sex with trepidation, if not outright terror, but once he’d made inroads he was often over-aggressive, particularly when stoked by alcohol. Even so, he was typically astounded and somewhat suspicious whenever a woman consented to have sex with him, and no matter how satisfying the experience turned out to be, he invariably came away from it with a lower opinion of his partner than he’d had before. That attitude, he realized, had foredoomed his marriage. -- Chapter 22, The Misforgotten.