Anna Karenina opens with the title character comforting a family in Moscow, in which the husband is having an affair with the children’s former governess… and he initially sees no particular problem with his actions. Anna’s later actions would lead one to wonder where she gets off giving marital advice, however. But no matter, as she finds a way to bring the household’s "civil war" to a reconciled ending. Ironically enough, in helping the Oblonsky family, Anna falls in love with a military man who was originally courting one of the Oblonsky women. Rather like a stalker, he follows Anna back to her home city of St. Petersburg – which might draw some issues from Anna’s husband.
As Anna begins to mix with a reasonably free thinking set of people, her mutual attraction to the military man (Alexei Vronsky) only grows stronger. She tries to get him to go back to the woman he was courting, but he admits to loving her instead. Naturally, Anna’s husband senses that something is up, but she essentially tells him to stuff it. As time goes on, however, it’s impossible to hide a strong feeling of this nature. In time, at a horse race, Anna’s secret love becomes known to her husband, basically because he confronts her and she spills the beans like it’s no big deal.
While the drama of Anna’s broken marriage drags on, her relationship with Vronsky gets bizarre after she reveals her pregnancy. Whom the father is, is anybody’s guess – though the smart money is on the dark horse. In time, Anna and Vronsky run off together and live a life of meaningless joy in Italy – but they eventually come back to Russia, and find (to the surprise of exactly no one) that Vronsky’s social status is unmarred by stealing another man’s wife, while Anna’s life is tarnished by how she betrayed her husband. In the end, she begins to wonder whether Vronsky actually loves her or not. Relying more and more heavily on drugs, it comes as no surprise when she throws herself under a train.