Vox Day warns his readers not to place too much stock in a woman’s stated opinion on divorce when considering her suitability for marriage:
Don’t pay much attention to her asserted opinion of divorce, unless she is convinced it was a good thing. Most women will talk about divorce being A Bad Thing, but that has very little significance with regards to the likelihood of her following her parents’ example.
This is in my opinion good advice, and I offered some thoughts on how to better break through this question in the comments section to Vox’s post. I included this basic advice in a post of my own over four years ago, but I think it is worth calling out again:
One test I would offer is to ask a prospective wife what she would teach your future children about divorce. Would she teach them that “Sometimes marriages just don’t work out”, etc? Or would she teach them that divorce is unacceptable (with depending on your faith perhaps some very selective and well defined exceptions)?
As I’ve written about before, when our daughter was around 4 years old we were at a Thanksgiving dinner and one of the kids there told our daughter his parents were divorced because “sometimes mommies and daddies stop loving each other”. We didn’t know what was up, but our daughter was terrified for several days and kept looking for reassurance that my wife and I still loved each other. Once we found out what had happened we explained that the boy was mistaken, and his mommy was a brat who broke their family because she was unhappy. Once our daughter understood that her home wasn’t at risk for the fate that befell the poor boy she slept fine at nights.
Tell a prospective wife about this story you read on the internet and see how she responds. Specifically, look to see who she instinctively protects when she hears the story. Does she instinctively want to protect the innocent girl, or the guilty woman?
Nothing is foolproof, but this should help cut through the stock BS. It also sets the frame for you to teach your young children from the beginning about the seriousness of marriage. This will not only make it harder for your wife to pull a Jenny Erickson, it will also give your children a strong foundation for lifelong sexual morality.