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Polygraph Question

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 Thingsthatmakeyougohmm (original poster new member #79337) posted at 3:07 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

Should I seek a man or a woman to administer the polygraph exam to my wife? Does it matter at all or affect the comfort level of my wife, thus improving accuracy?

posts: 11   ·   registered: Aug. 28th, 2021   ·   location: New Hampshire
id 8709510
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emergent8 ( member #58189) posted at 3:16 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

Assuming both are properly qualified to administer the polygraph, I cannot see why it would make a difference either way.

Me: BS, Him: WS. Mid-late 30s.
Together 15 years, married 6 (11 m at D-Day).
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
5 years (and two toddlers) into R. Happy.

posts: 743   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8709511
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 Thingsthatmakeyougohmm (original poster new member #79337) posted at 3:28 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

Thanks. Yes, my question assumes both are equally qualified.

posts: 11   ·   registered: Aug. 28th, 2021   ·   location: New Hampshire
id 8709513
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Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 3:32 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

I don’t think it matters. More important are their credentials, background, demeanor and reputation. The polygraph examiner I used was recommended by a betrayal trauma therapist in my city.

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

posts: 4527   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 5:02 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

Would you mind sharing what questions you have in mind and what the consequences are if she fails?
What if she passes? What will that change?

Male or female isn’t really the big issue. You want someone that can show that they are used in the legal area and/or law enforcement. You want someone whose presence is a cross between intimidating and respectful. Imagine a former drill-sergeant or something comparable.

I think polys are so misunderstood here on SI. They don’t tell us if the person being questioned is telling the truth. They tell us if the person is being honest. Big difference.
For example, if your wife truly believed that your vehicle is a Ford and was asked "does TTMGH drive a Mazda" she would pass with a no despite your vehicle really being a Mazda. It measures what she believes as truth. This is why the operator will avoid questions that have unclear borders or limitations.

This is why I recommend a poly is used as a milestone rather late in the initial steps of reconciliation rather than as a tool to discover infidelity. It’s used when the point has been established that to move on you need honesty, and she insists she’s being honest. When you have a sense of having the whole story, you do a poly to confirm.
In fact, IMHO if WS fails the poly at that point the logical next step is to start the process of divorce. After all – despite a 2-3 month period where emphasis is placed on being honest and truthful the WS failed, indicating R isn’t attainable. At the same time if they pass then it’s up to us BS to graduate to some next level in R.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 10172   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8709546
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Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 5:19 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

In fact, IMHO if WS fails the poly at that point the logical next step is to start the process of divorce. After all – despite a 2-3 month period where emphasis is placed on being honest and truthful the WS failed, indicating R isn’t attainable.

Precisely the horns of the dilemma I've found myself on the past two years after my WW's failed poly.

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

posts: 4527   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 7:54 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

Thumos - if her pretense for failing is that she was anxious, what is her reason for not retaking the poly? Is her position that she’ll just be anxious again snd simply fail again?

posts: 209   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8709600
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Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 9:11 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

Thumos - if her pretense for failing is that she was anxious, what is her reason for not retaking the poly? Is her position that she’ll just be anxious again snd simply fail again?

That and she's back to the "polygraphs are a ridiculous demand" position she had the first three years after D-Day. Some may or may not remember the day after she failed the poly (Xmas Eve, natch) she offered to retake the polygraph and then rescinded this offer later the same day.

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

posts: 4527   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8709622
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 Thingsthatmakeyougohmm (original poster new member #79337) posted at 10:00 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

“Would you mind sharing what questions you have in mind and what the consequences are if she fails?

What if she passes? What will that change”


Bigger,

Questions would be if she’s ever cheated and does she remember where she went that Sunday morning in question.

If she passes, I’ll continue to work on our marriage….it’s been very good as of late.

If she fails, I’d have to know the extent of the betrayal, hard to say right now. I will say this: As a Christian, infidelity IS NOT grounds for divorce…but I’m not perfect and it would be hard for me to stay with a cheater.

“This is why I recommend a poly is used as a milestone rather late in the initial steps of reconciliation rather than as a tool to discover infidelity.”

Ugh! I know you have a background in Law Enforcement, so it bums me out to hear you say that. The poly is what I need to lose my gut feeling and to move forward.

[This message edited by Thingsthatmakeyougohmm at 10:01 PM, Thursday, January 13th]

posts: 11   ·   registered: Aug. 28th, 2021   ·   location: New Hampshire
id 8709633
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 Thingsthatmakeyougohmm (original poster new member #79337) posted at 10:04 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

Thumos, your wife’s experience with her polygraph was one of the reasons I asked my question. I don’t want my wife to claim she was over-anxious for any reason.

posts: 11   ·   registered: Aug. 28th, 2021   ·   location: New Hampshire
id 8709637
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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 10:10 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

As a Christian, infidelity IS NOT grounds for divorce…but I’m not perfect and it would be hard for me to stay with a cheater.

I think it's actually one of the few things that is grounds for divorce.

DDay: 06/07/2017
MH - RA on DDay.
Divorced a serial cheater (prostitutes and lord only knows who and what else).

posts: 4783   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2017
id 8709638
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 Thingsthatmakeyougohmm (original poster new member #79337) posted at 10:15 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

DevastatedDee—PM me, if you want and I’ll explain.

[This message edited by Thingsthatmakeyougohmm at 10:46 PM, Thursday, January 13th]

posts: 11   ·   registered: Aug. 28th, 2021   ·   location: New Hampshire
id 8709641
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Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 10:32 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

As a Christian, infidelity IS NOT grounds for divorce…but I’m not perfect and it would be hard for me to stay with a cheater.

Actually it is grounds. It's one of the the only reason for a legitimate divorce under orthodoxy (little "o" orthodoxy). As Calvin put it, "our Lord Jesus Christ leaves a man in free liberty to marry again, when his mate has violated the faith of marriage" and "for he did not lay down a law about divorces, so as to give them the seal of his approbation, but as the wickedness of men could not be restrained in any other way, he applied what was the most admissible remedy, that the husband should, at least, attest the chastity of his wife."

What people like Calvin are also saying here is that Jesus' own words here have often been misapplied. When Jesus referred to "hardness of heart" and cases of adultery, he wasn't talking a betrayed husband being an unreasonable asshole and having a "hard heart." He was talking about the context of a fallen world in which hardened hearts of waywards sin via adultery -- and sadly, make divorce necessary for many betrayed and traumatized spouses who find themselves unable to restore a covenant with their wayward sposues. This is why Jesus also said "but it was not this way in the beginning" because in the beginning there was not the enmity and discord between the two genders we tragically find today.

In fact, Calvin also goes out of his way to note how unfair it would be to forbid a faithful partner from divorcing and remarrying again -- since they did nothing wrong. And Calvin was writing 500 years ago, because people were the same then as they are today.

My own take as a devout Christian is that Jesus holds betrayed spouses in his arms, knowing how badly broken and traumatized we are by the betrayal. And he weeps with us. He is not coldly looking on, consigning us to remain shackled to the source of that pain. Really, does that line up with the Jesus you know?

Thumos, your wife’s experience with her polygraph was one of the reasons I asked my question. I don’t want my wife to claim she was over-anxious for any reason.

I didn't mean to threadjack on my own personal sitch, but really wanted to put it out there as a cautionary tale for you. I agree with Bigger - polys can't really suss out the details and ins and outs of intricate lies. But a poly CAN for sure tell you a lot about a person's character, if they are trying to be honest and so on. I had hoped the polygraph and some other things would provide a way forward with my wife, but because of the way she handled it, it did the opposite and added to the layers of hurt, trickle truth and so on.

[This message edited by Thumos at 11:12 PM, Thursday, January 13th]

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

posts: 4527   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8709650
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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 10:39 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

Most ordinary people are anxious when subject to a polygraph. Skilled examiners use control questions to suss this out. For most people, false negatives or false positives are rare. There are people who can control their anxiety, as well as people (certain sociopaths, for example) who don't feel anxiety over dishonesty. As to this latter group, paradoxically, these are also people who may be inclined to commit infidelity.

Also, there are some people whose anxiety over the one question they know to be the crux of a polygraph is so high that the poly cannot gauge truthfulness/untruthfulness. Again, though, most skilled examiners control for this and will note that they cannot make a determination. As I understand it, the anxiety-related bodily changes in these people is significantly higher than the normal physical manifestations of a person who is being untruthful.

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 3808   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8709654
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Repossessed ( member #79544) posted at 11:59 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

You want someone that can show that they are used in the legal area and/or law enforcement. You want someone whose presence is a cross between intimidating and respectful.


I'll weigh in here as I now have some personal experience with this.

We went to very highly rated examiner who was exactly what Bigger describes. He was stern with me, too, regarding the questions. Here are the questions settled on:

On the date in question, did you meet with John in person?

Are there any instances of communication between you and John that Repo is unaware of?

On the night of (date) at yadayada bar was there any communication of a sexual nature between you and Steve?

The last question was a throw-away for me. I was just trying to get at the issue of her honesty. What I agonized over was her high school flame Steve.

Among the slew of preliminary questions to establish her baseline were these two:

Have you ever indulged in illegal substances? (affirmative, in college)

Have you ever sold illegal substances? (affirmative, in college)

Given the breadth of baseline testing, and ironically, failing the last question, a boulder lifted off of me when she passed the 1st two with 'no.' She failed the third question and produced an academy award performance displaying bewilderment and agonized shock.

Also, interestingly, the examiner, a man very brief and to the point in everything he said, told me as he escorted me back out to the lobby shortly before he tested her "the examination will pick up if there was even any sexual innuendo during their time together." This regarding the third question.

During the results explanation, he looked at her and said "you answered the first two questions with noticeable confidence." Interestingly, he left the results of the third question dangling and without comment except to show us the graphics.

Lastly, as it turns out, the results of the last question have now become relevant. And in summary, I can sleep now because my level of confidence regarding what I need to know is pretty damn high.

Here to keep myself mindful that I don't always see what actually is. I certainly didn't when I married her.

posts: 117   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021   ·   location: Chicagoland
id 8709671
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gmc94 ( Guide #62810) posted at 12:22 AM on Friday, January 14th, 2022

FWIW, there is an episode of helping couples heal that's an interview of a polygraph examiner. One thing I found interesting was the examiner and one of the hosts had differing views on when the exam should be done - before vs after the timeline. I mention it bc I think even among "experts" there are differing opinions and we need to do what we can to educate ourselves and make choices that feel right to us in our particular circumstances.

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3618   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8709676
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RealityBlows ( member #41108) posted at 12:44 AM on Friday, January 14th, 2022

I would select one that looks like Ernst Stavro Blofeld. You might score righteous parking lot confession

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id 8709682
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 Thingsthatmakeyougohmm (original poster new member #79337) posted at 1:46 PM on Friday, January 14th, 2022

And in summary, I can sleep now because my level of confidence regarding what I need to know is pretty damn high.

Thanks for sharing your experience. The sentence above is exactly what I am looking for.

posts: 11   ·   registered: Aug. 28th, 2021   ·   location: New Hampshire
id 8709785
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