The Italian Almanac

dura lex sed lex

Italian News - March 25

Seven years of withholding sex went too far in the eyes of an Italian court, which on Thursday ordered a Sicilian man to pay alimony to his wife for refusing conjugal relations. The man, whose name was given only as Francesco, decided to punish his wife Piera after she opposed him in a family argument - a punishment that lasted seven years.

The highest Italian appeals court called the man's actions - or rather, inactions - an "offence to her dignity", and said it constituted grounds for separation. The court also ordered him to pay alimony to his ex-wife and their children, born when their marriage saw happier times.

"The refusal to have sexual and affectionate relations over seven years with his wife constitutes a very serious offence to her dignity and has caused frustration with serious consequences for her psychological equilibrium," the court judgment stated.