A cheating wife locked in a “desperately unhappy” marriage was denied a divorce by a judge who said she was too sensitive.
Tini Owens, 66, failed to persuade a family court judge to allow her to divorce husband Hugh Owens, 78.
Now Mrs Owens has asked Court of Appeal judges to overturn that decision.
Three appeal judges – led by Sir James Munby, the most senior family court judge in England and Wales – analysed the case at a hearing in London on Valentine’s Day and are expected to publish a ruling soon.
A barrister representing Mrs Owens told the appeal court the “vast majority” of divorces were undefended in 21st century England.
Philip Marshall QC added: “It is extraordinarily unusual in modern times for a court to dismiss a petition for divorce.”
Appeal judges were told the couple had married in 1978 and lived in Broadway, Worcester.
Mr Marshall said Mrs Owens’s case was that her husband had behaved unreasonably and the marriage had irretrievably broken down.
Judges were told that at one stage Mrs Owens had an affair which lasted less than a year.
Mr Owens, a retired businessman, was against a divorce and said they still had a “few years” to enjoy, Mr Marshall told appeal judges.
Judge Robin Tolson published the ruling last year in which he refused to grant Mrs Owens’s divorce petition.
He had described Mr Owens as “old school” and had said Mrs Owens was “more sensitive than most wives”.
Judge Tolson concluded her allegations were “of the kind to be expected in marriage” and refused to grant a divorce petition.
But Mr Marshall said Judge Tolson had failed to make “proper findings of fact” and argued his ruling should be overturned.
Mrs Owens had made 27 allegations about the way Mr Owens treated her.
She said he was “insensitive” in his “manner and tone” and said she was “constantly mistrusted” and felt unloved.
“The simple fact is that I have been desperately unhappy in our marriage for many years,” she said in a witness statement.
“There is no prospect of reconciliation.”
Mr Marshall said Mrs Owens had been asked to help the housekeeper pick up pieces of cardboard which had blown over a lawn, been “snapped at” in an airport queue and been subjected to “stinging remarks” in a restaurant.
Mr Owens had talked of being a tease and said he had a loud voice, judges heard.
“I am somebody who teases my wife,” he had said during the litigation.
“I do it all the time. I know she doesn’t always appreciate it.”
Nigel Dyer QC, for Mr Owens, said appeal judges should not overturn Judge Tolson’s ruling.
Sir James said the judges would examine legislation laid down by Parliament and told lawyers: “It is not a ground for divorce if you find yourself in a wretchedly unhappy marriage – people may say it should be.”