Well, i think that one clue in answering this question is the response Rip Van Winkle has when he finds out his wife has died he feels the news "a drop of comfort." Clearly their relationship wasn't a positive one. You could say that ther relationship fits into the "battle of the sexes" in the typesd of things in which they argued about. Dame Van Winkle doesn't think Rip works hard enough, doesn't help around the house, and shows no interest in his children or wife. These are all common arguments and complaints. Rip, on the other hand, thinks his wife is being a "shrew." It seems to me that other woman would find Dame Van Winkle resonable, where other men might relate more to Rip.