PEOPLE stay in loveless marriages for many reasons: anxiety about the impact of splitting up on their children; financial dependency on a spouse; fear of loneliness. Tini Owens is stuck in hers because a judge refused to give her a divorce. She said that her husband’s treatment of her, including scolding her in front of their housekeeper and ignoring her over a meal, amounted to unreasonable behaviour, grounds for divorce. The judge, however, disagreed, saying they were “minor altercations…to be expected in a marriage”. Since her husband has refused to consent to the break-up, she must wait five years. Ms Owens has asked the Court of Appeal to overturn the ruling. Her position would be simpler if England and Wales did not insist on blame being part of divorce.
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