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lie detector worth it?

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raich posted 11/13/2013 11:27 AM

WW lied straight to my face swearing on our kids lives. I can't for a minute not think there is more hidden. Friends of mine offered to set us up with a psych. Professor that runs a polygraph lab at the uni.

Anyone with experiences with polygraphs? I just need to know the truth for any healing to start and the fact of her constant lies made it impossible to believe her.

soconfusednow posted 11/13/2013 14:59 PM

Depends on how good they are at lying and how calm they stay. I don't trust polygraphs.

I know someone who passed one when he shouldn't have. Then had the nerve to brag about it.

embee posted 11/13/2013 15:08 PM

Seconding soconfusednow. You can read a good summary here from the American Psychological Association:

The polygraph definitely measures SOMETHING, but whether it's measuring truth vs. lies is really not clear at all, unfortunately.

Sorry you are going through this. From reading a lot here, it's very common for WSes to lie like a rug in uncharacteristic ways. Whenever possible, phone and internet records and reliable second parties you can use to verify stories are probably the best fallbacks.

tushnurse posted 11/13/2013 15:14 PM

Probably not. But it can get you a parking lot confession. I think setting it up, and going to the site, then telling spouse gets more results than the actual test. I am doubtful that you get all your answers however. I think those answers lead to more questions.

I think the thing that gets them to quit lying is to yank them out of their fog so fast it will make their head spin. Having a spouse served with S or D papers is a great one. Having them come home to find all their stuff in trashbags in the driveway. That sort of thing making them realize they are about to loose everything is more effective in getting the truth, and moving forward than a poly. Just my opinion, the funny thing was when my H said he would take one or do anything to help me heal, that's when I no longer saw the need for one.

lostworld posted 11/13/2013 17:29 PM

We did a lie detector following the revelation that I was in a false R, and for me, it was worth it. It definitely is not a silver bullet and certainly has many short-comings, but it was necessary for me to feel somewhat safer continuing in the M. There are certainly people who can "pass" the test while actively lying, and there are also false positives and false negatives, but I felt those were somewhat low risk in our situation.

I should add that while the test brought immediate relief, it didn't cure everything. It also brought about a "parking lot confession" which was not earth-shattering but significant. It was also a rather humiliating experience for both my H and myself, despite the fact that I had not committed adultery. I was disgusted and embarrassed that our M was so screwed up that some stranger was required to hear and measure the degree of crap that my H had subjected both of us to. Additionally, I had to accept that the polygraph was measuring the past and current moments, but not the future; I had to decide how to think about the future based on a successful polygraph and the past.

It's also important to make sure you get a qualified examiner, and you should expect the test to consist of about 5 or so questions; questions that must only be "yes/no" answers, and which don't involve emotions or plans (such as, Did you love your AP? Did you plan to marry her/him? Better questions are Did you tell your AP that you loved them? Did you propose marriage? etc.) Emotional states are too subjective and can change, and many people have varying definitions of what constitutes a "plan." Anyway, yes, we took one and found it helpful even if it had clear limitations.

[This message edited by lostworld at 5:30 PM, November 13th (Wednesday)]

cupcakegirl posted 11/13/2013 19:07 PM

Our situation is dealing w/SA, but polygraph helped us.

We found a MC (and CSAT) who regularly uses polygraphs to deal w/SA and multiple As. First thing the MC did was to screen my SAH for personality disorders (mainly NPD) because those people can trick the test. My SAH was not PD so we were accepted into the MC. (MC also told me it would be no use to R w/NPD-and he will not deal w/them.)

It did help me so much. My SAH read a timeline, answered my questions w/MC present and then took a polygraph to prove everything told was truth.

I think it helped to have a MC present and guiding me through the questions, process of disclosure and SAH's polygraph. I do not feel the need to snoop because my SAH just takes a test once a year now. I feel like I have all the parts to the puzzle and we can work on addressing the other issues in the M.

I think under the controlled atmosphere of MC-guided polygraph and disclosure, a BS could benefit.

Good luck and peace to you! ccg

Card posted 11/13/2013 19:33 PM

You cannot go wrong with a polygraph.

I had mine done with a specialist from the FBI.

As he said, you cannot beat a polygraph when administered by a professional.

raich posted 11/13/2013 23:45 PM

Im gonna go through with it. I just so desperatly need to find something i can trust as truth. Problem is he is available only on my oldest sons birthday before christmas.
So i gotta wait for january 5th. She claims she cant remember. Well that memory needs to get working working fast.
Should i tell her before hand or just drive there, get out of the car and then tell her. Giving a bigger shock and scare might get a better confession? Fail and your gone.

still-living posted 11/14/2013 01:25 AM

Early in my recovery I weighed heavily on forcing my wife take a lie detector test, but I was too embarrassed to initiate and too afraid to see the results, including incorrect results, so I didn't.

And she resisted, and there was a reason. I received TT 9 months later. It was good that she came clean on her own, but it was also painful on me and it delayed our recovery (or maybe it didn't, who really knows).

Through time, I still reached the same point I needed to, regardless,

1) I accepted that I may never know all the truth with or without a lie detector test.
2) I currently have enough information to make the right decisions.
3) I am confident she will not cheat again based on the work we both have done and how we have learned.
4) If I'm wrong with 3) above, I am confident I will see the red flags. They are so obvious now. I have learned so much.
5) If I'm wrong with 3 or 4) above, I will only need to make new choices. I will be ok.

[This message edited by still-living at 1:27 AM, November 14th (Thursday)]

lostworld posted 11/14/2013 10:43 AM

I would definitely discuss the test with her in advance of the appointment, as well as jointly determine the date of the exam. My reasoning behind this is: 1) It's respectful. You're not giving her a choice of whether or not to take the polygraph if she wants to reconcile with you, but you are treating her, unlike she treated you when she engaged in her A, with courtesy and the respect an adult partner should be able to expect in a relationship. I understand that she completely failed to treat you in a similar fashion, but why should you emulate any of her past behaviors? 2) Quite often the very fact that a polygraph is scheduled leads to "confessions" or information that you might not otherwise get. Our WS's don't know what we're going to ask in the exam, so they often spill all kinds of secrets, including those that we would have never thought to actually ask about during the test. 3) Too much anxiety going into the test, such as that created by an exam that is sprung on someone, can make getting valid results more difficult. The emotional/physical responses can be enhanced or made so chaotic by the suddenness of the test that interpreting the results can be really fuzzy. 4) Your WS's response to your demand for a poly will also give you vital information, whether she consents or not. The old adage applies: people with nothing to hide, hide nothing. Innocent people may be intimidated and dread the poly, but they also often view it as a way to promote trust and healing, and to "prove" their honesty. Active liars will likely refuse the test, using a million different reasons as to why they won't or shouldn't take it.

These are just my thoughts, so take what works and leave the rest.

raich posted 11/14/2013 11:43 AM

Thank you for the advice lostworld. Your points make perfect sense so i will tell her about it and as always be the adult she failed to be.

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