Myrtle lives in the valley of ashes with her working-class husband, George Wilson, a man who owns a struggling garage and gas station. She despises her husband for being so "common," and she is conducting an affair with Tom Buchanan, a frequent customer at Wilson's garage, in an effort, it seems, to climb the social ladder.
Daisy, on the other hand, lives in one of the "white palaces" of fashionable and sophisticated East Egg with Tom, her husband. They both come from "old money" and have inherited their wealth from their families rather than having to work for it. She, in many ways, despises her husband, as Myrtle does hers, though for different reasons.
Tom is a terrible racist who is paranoid about losing his power and privilege as a white man to other races, which he imagines are about to "rise up" and overwhelm white people. He is also physically abusive to women—perhaps even to Daisy as well—and cheats on Daisy frequently with a string of other women that stretches back to their honeymoon. Daisy finds him infuriating at times and ridiculous, too.
Both women, then, are unhappy in their marriages and have affairs in order to escape the misery of their daily lives. Neither one, despite their vast differences in wealth and privilege, is happy. However, when Myrtle, a poor man's wife, seeks to change her life by loving another man, she is killed. When Daisy, a rich man's wife, seeks to improve her life by loving another man, she walks away scot-free, while Gatsby is murdered as a result of other people's actions.