Nikolay Tyutchev Nikolay was also having an affair with a woman who was younger than Saltykova. Saltykova learned that not only was the affair serious but that the pair had secretly married in a church. Livid, she flew into a rage and tried to kill Nikolay and he and his wife ran to the safety of a relative's home, away from Moscow where she could not reach them.
Rage. Saltykova took the betrayal of her lover very hard but turned her rage and pain into a sadistic need to torture others. She focused on her female serfs and as they were considered to be property during that time, she mostly got away with it. She was terrifying, beating women and girls as young as 10 years old and torturing pregnant women as well.
Growing Worse. The degradation she felt at the betrayal of her lover did not manifest itself as sadness, but a consistently simmering rage. She would operate on a hair trigger, throwing objects at her female serfs for the most minute of things. If a task was done improperly she would throw things without warning, but that did not last for long. Soon she began whipping and beating her female serfs.