I've been into the Austen stories lately. I think I've read most of the cornerstone Jane Austen books at some point in my life. In August I kept us entertained by reading PRIDE AND PREJUDICE aloud while my sister and I drove from Washington to Utah. I also just saw the six-part BBC version of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Years ago I told a friend that I liked the Keira Knightley version but now I'm leaning toward the handsome figures of Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, who play Elizabeth and Darcy in the BBC version.
Just this evening I re-visited the Ang Lee version of SENSE AND SENSIBILITY.
Here's the thing: It's easy to call John Willoughby a wimp for abandoning his own heart and Marianne, having never been tempted (at least to your knowledge) by a lucrative inheritance/marriage worth £50,000. Still, clearly Jane Austen agrees with this assessment of Willoughby. It's worth mentioning that Austen, herself, never did marry.
Oh for those lucky enough to meet the Edwards and Colonel Brandons of the world. Or to be able to orchestrate or stumble into a situation like Edward's and Elinor's, where you can keep your word, your honor, and end up with the girl too, AND even some money (though likely not $4,000,000).
So, if you were in Willoughby's position, would you abandon your Marianne for the luxury and security of four million bucks? Remember, when answering this question, in the Austen equation you can't dump the wife and keep the money or buy yourself another Marianne. And it doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman; these characters are fictional and can be seen as other things aside from sex and sexuality.