Tini Owens wants to divorce her husband of 40 years, Hugh Owens, citing unreasonable behaviour and claiming their marriage has broken down.
But the Supreme Court refused to grant a divorce to the 68-year-old, saying they are not able to “change the law”.
Her lawyer, Simon Beccle, said they had hoped the judges would be “forward-thinking” and make a decision “fit with the current social mores”.
He added: “Mrs Owens is devastated by this decision, which means that she cannot move forward with her life and obtain her independence from Mr Owens.”
He said the decision by the court would be “hard to understand” to many people.
Mr Owens, 80, will not agree to a divorce and denies his wife’s allegations about his behaviour.
He claims if their marriage has broken down it is because she has had an affair or is “bored”.
Two years ago, a Family Court judge rejected Mrs Owens’ allegations and refused her the divorce.
Her complaints were described as “flimsy and exaggerated”.
The couple married in 1978 and have lived in Broadway, Worcestershire, ever since. Mrs Owens moved out and petitioned for a divorce in 2015.
One of the five justices, Lord Wilson, said they had ruled against her “with reluctance” and indicated she could get a divorce in 2020 when they have been separated for five years.
At a hearing in the Court of Appeal last year, judges said Mrs Owens failed to show the marriage had “irretrievably” broken down.
One of the appeal judges said it would be down to parliament to bring in “no fault” divorces on demand.