Petrisky comes into the cottage that he and Vronsky share and says that Serpukhovskoy has arrived; there is a raucous party for Serpukhovskoy at the commander’s house. Serpukhovskoy argues to Vronsky that women are the main obstacle in a man’s career and drive for ambition. Vronsky replies that Serpukhovskoy has never been in love. Vronsky then receives Betsy’s note and says that he must leave.
Once Vronsky has rationalized that Anna’s love for him is an extremely powerful tool that fits within the organization of his ambitions, he is able to remain aloof. Just as Anna commands charisma at the party by cherishing her secret with Vronsky, so Vronsky is not affected by Serpukhovskoy’s success because he has his secret with Anna.