Woman in loveless marriage with ‘patronising’ husband denied divorce

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A woman has been forced to stay in an unhappy marriage after being denied a divorce. Source: Getty

When the sparks have faded and the butterflies disappear it is often both parties in a relationship who agree it’s time to part ways and file for a divorce.

But for one woman, who is utterly fed up with her husband and their marriage, there is no freedom from the relationship that she says has caused her significant unhappiness, or at least not for another two years, the Daily Mail reports.

Tini Owens was refused a divorce in court and will have to remain locked in her relationship until it can be proven the marriage has broken down, which her husband Hugh claims it hasn’t.

Describing Hugh as moody and argumentative, Tini, 68, gave the court 27 examples of her 80-year-old husband’s behaviour, including his booming voice in public and unwillingness to eat out, which she claimed proved she cannot reasonably be expected to live with him any longer. 

The court heard that Tini was left feeing isolated, unloved and alone after 40 years of marriage, but the five Supreme Court justices residing over the case agreed with Hugh’s statement that his wife was simply more sensitive than most wives.

Even though the couple have not lived together since 2015, when Tini originally petitioned for a divorce, their relationship status didn’t fit with the current divorce law in England and Wales.

In England and Wales the five grounds for “irretrievable breakdown” of marriage are adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, or living apart for two years, where both parties consent, or five if one does not. Because Hugh is refusing to agree to a divorce, and has denied his wife’s allegations, Tini will now have to wait two more years until she qualifies for divorce.

The court’s decision angered a number of legal experts who claim the law is out of date and in desperate need of changing.

“How many more nails have to be driven into the coffin of this antidiluvian divorce law, now 50 years out of date, before the government and politicians grasp the nettle and get on with the process of reforming an area of the law which involves hundreds of thousands of families each year,” Marriage Foundation Chairman Sir Paul Coleridge told The Times.

As for Tini, it seems she will have to put up with Hugh for a little longer before a divorce is finally allowed to be granted in 2020.

Would do you think of this case? Should the law be changed? Have you ever been locked into a loveless marriage?

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