A more confrontational aspect of their relationship is revealed through their disagreements about Catherine. It soon becomes clear that she is a major source of tension, in their relationship. Eddie’s over protectiveness appears to both worry and frustrate Beatrice and she is forced to challenge him about it: ‘you gonna keep her in the house all her life?’ She is clearly angered by his attitude, but chooses to leave the room saying: ‘You’re the one who is mad,’ rather than risk the inevitable breaking down of the family.
When the cousins arrive and Eddie is opposed to the relationship between Rodolfo and Catherine, with a ‘campaign solidified in him,’ Beatrice becomes increasingly disturbed by Eddie’s obsession with Catherine: ‘I want you to cut it out now you hear me? I don’t like it.’ In the 1940s, Beatrice does not occupy the same kind of moral high ground held by Mr. Alfiere and Eddie disregards her concerns with fatal consequences. Eddie treats her stance as betrayal of trust and their marriage, as he later says ‘A wife is supposed to believe the husband.’ This highlights the theme of betrayal in the play.
Another factor contributing to the downfall of their marriage is the lack of a physical, sexual part in their relationship. Beatrice challenges Eddie over this asking if ‘when am I gonna be a wife again?’ but it is met by denial and his inability to face up to the problem: ‘ I got nothin’ to say about it.’ This leaves Beatrice powerless to heal the rifts in their relationship.
As Eddie’s obsession intensifies so does the hostility between him and Beatrice. There is little conversation between them until they argue about Catherine and Rodolpho again. She repeatedly opposes him and prompts Catherine to do so, but it is Eddie who is powerless this time as she undermines him, as he must hold back ‘a voice full of anger,’ in company.
Beatrice and Eddie are finally left alone, when the cousins move out and Catherine helps them. Beatrice is left subdued wishing she was ‘in the ground,’ but Eddie, sensing her continued disapproval sets to ‘beet her down’ further. All affection gone he is aggressive and no longer calls her ‘B’ a change, which symbolizes his attitude towards her. He says ‘I want my respect’ and becomes manipulative, to prevent her going to the wedding; ‘You’re going to be on my side or their side.’ Although he now appears hostile towards her, Beatrice still shows her loyalty towards Eddie and her family, as she joins herself to him and his faults saying ‘we all belong in the sewer’ for what Eddie has done. Out of love for him she admits that no one else will do that: ‘you want something else Eddie,’ recognizing his incestual desires for what they are. Even as he lies there dying she remains stoically by his side, as a final act of love ‘covering him with her body.’