The daughter of one of Humbert’s many doctors, Valeria is the woman whom Humbert decides to marry after a short-lived affair with a young French prostitute. Although she is in her twenties and appears rather boring to Humbert, he hopes that pursuing a life of domesticity with her will help to alleviate the attraction he feels toward little girls. Valeria, however, ends up reminding Humbert of the nymphets he tries to avoid due to her girlish attitude and cute appearance, and this realization essentially dooms their relationship from the start. Whatever charm that Humbert saw in Valeria before their marriage quickly dissolves as she cannot adequately fill the sexual and emotional void he feels without a true nymphet in his life. She becomes ugly and rather useless in his eyes, a shift which emphasizes the unwavering nature of his obsession with young girls. Humbert eventually becomes infatuated with a little girl who lives in the apartment across the hall during his marriage to Valeria, and though he occasionally has sex with his wife in order to quench his desire for the nymphet, being in her presence is never enough to help him overcome his perverseness. 

While Humbert explains that his four-year relationship with Valeria is rather calm and uneventful, learning of her infidelity infuriates him and reveals his willingness to act aggressively toward her. Valeria admits that she cannot follow Humbert to America because she is in love with another man, and although he stops himself from physically abusing her in this moment, he begins shouting at her and demanding information. Valeria’s decision to stay in Europe with Maximovich foreshadows Lolita’s eventual escape from Humbert, although he responds much differently to these two betrayals. Humbert focuses a majority of his anger on Valeria, imagining various ways in which he might harm her in order to ensure she suffers for her choices, while he aims to take his anger out on Quilty rather than Lolita. The contrast between these two scenarios reveals just how deeply Humbert cares for Lolita. By including Valeria in the novel, Nabokov establishes the idea that Humbert is capable of acting aggressive towards women who cross him.