I remember stories of how vicious swans can be if they think you have crossed them. Or, even if they think that you might crossed them. Or, if they don't like you near them. Or, if the clouds leave a shadow when they prefer the sunshine.
As much as I have loved Ross since 1975, I had forgotten how utterly thoughtless and cruel he could be to Demelza. With this new version, I have come to see him as a man with little to no rational behavior and only passion as his driver. Why WG did not give the man an iota of logic or self discipline is now very painful to watch being played out on the small screen that I own.
As far as women go, we look at his character through late 20th and 21st century feminism. I can't and won't justify his behavior to his wife. I certainly would not put up with that from my husband but then I have options and much greater choices than a woman in Demelza situation in 1790s. Men's and society's attitudes have changed so much it is hard to empathize or understand the character's point of view in that respect. So I have to be content with the knowledge that overall in the course of a long term marriage his behavior is more loving than cruel. Men in that time were not in touch with "feelings" or "feminine side".
To him it seemed impossible after what had happened that he should force his presence on her upstairs; to her it seemed that one contact with Elizabeth had rendered his wife disgusting to him.