Tini Owens, from Broadway, Worcestershire, has lost her Supreme Court appeal to be allowed to divorce her husband Hugh after 40 years of marriage.
The Supreme Court unanimously dismissed the appeal which effectively means that, without her husband’s agreement, she cannot divorce until 2020.
Lord Wilson said the case was dismissed "with reluctance" but that it was a matter for Parliament to change the law.
The couple married in 1978 and have two grown up children.
Mrs Owens said that the marriage had broken down irretrievably and that Mr Owens had behaved in such a way that she could not reasonably be expected to live with him. The judge agreed that the marriage had broken down, but held that Mrs Owens' reasons were "flimsy and exaggerated". Mrs Owens appealed to the Court of Appeal and having lost there, to the Supreme Court which has also dismissed her appeal.
Supreme Court President Lady Hale said that the case was "very troubling" but it was not for judges to "change the law".
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