An unhappy marriage shouldn’t be grounds for an instant divorce

Jul 28, 2018 by

by Melanie McDonagh, Spectator:

It is wrong to dwell on the misfortunes of others, but was there anything in the news more riveting than the Supreme Court hearing which ended with Hugh and Tini Owens, 80 and 68 respectively, being told they were going to stay married after her bid to end her 40 year marriage was thrown out. Naturally, Lady Hale, president of the court said that she was only reluctantly persuaded that the case should be dismissed; the ruling has been met with near-universal calls in the commentariat for the introduction of no-fault divorce.

There were details that would probably strike a chord with lots of married people, chiefly the fact that the things that drove Mrs Owens nearly insane were mostly the small stuff. So, a row about recycling cardboard that Mr Owens prefaced with the remark, “can I say something without you flying off the handle?” was up there among the casus belli. It was right in “Calm down, dear” territory. There is nothing better calculated to drive you insane than someone asking you not to get worked up. One of the worst arguments between the couple was when she suggested going to the pub for something to eat instead of making it at home, and he said he’d rather not; presumably, she was the one doing the cooking. As for the row about him reprimanding her for talking to the waiter when they were out to dinner – thereby humiliating her in front of their friend – it could have ended in violence, not divorce. By comparison, Mrs Owens’ affair six years earlier – when she was a sprightly 62 – seems to have been pretty small beer.

But the law says that you cannot divorce your spouse against his will unless you have been separated for five years

Read here (£)

Read also: Yes I feel sorry for those in unhappy marriages. But getting a divorce should not be as easy as ending a gym membership by Jan Moir, Mailonline

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