Karenin has acquiesced to all of Anna’s wishes, and he finds himself abandoned and disgraced in Petersburg. Although he tries to suppress his misery, he becomes utterly despondent when a clerk asks him where to send a bill for Anna’s clothes. Karenin doesn’t have any close friends with whom he can commiserate: he is utterly alone in his grief, since he has lots of business acquaintances and no real friends. His attachment to Anna was his one deep personal relationship.
Karenin wasn’t only clinging to his relationship with Anna out of pride and his reputation: his marriage with Anna was an anchor in his life, and without this central force, his whole world has crumbled. Even though he convinced himself about the importance of society and his role in the political world, the entire center of his life was his relationship with Anna.