As we come to the end of the Patterson saga, we come to the point in any look at a catastrophe on that grand a scale to see what lessons we may glean in the hopes that something good might come of the ruined, wasted lives we've seen. There are a lot of things we can take away from this mess, if only to make sure that we don't fall into the same trap. The first is not to bottle up what's really bothering you. Y'see, that's Elly's real problem. She's so afraid of losing whatever she thinks she has with John, she doesn't dare to express what's really on her mind. Not that John would actually leave or anything. That would deprive him of people to patronize. That's the second part of the one-two punch that keeps Elly from expressing an honest opinion: ChooChoo Johnny trivializes everything she says. That's the nasty part of living with a passive-aggressive bully like JSTF; you end up thinking that he's right when he says that you're over-reacting. At least the children get sent to his parent's farm when they start to have an opinion he doesn't approve of. They aren't threatened with the 'disgrace' of divorce, with the dread prospect of being whispered about on the streets, of having her parents look at hewr like she's filth. We know the threats are baseless because no one important CARES about any of that. Elly doesn't, so she bottles up her fear and rage at being trapped in a loveless sham of a marriage. Since feelings will out, she displaces her aggressive impulses by eating like a barnyard animal and flipping out at trivia.