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MC and fidelity polygraphs

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deeplysaddened posted 2/24/2014 01:49 AM

It took me 3 tries to find a good marriage counselor/therapist. The 1st MC was nice , but I felt she was inexperienced. The 2nd MC was awful (did not believe there was any infidelity and went straight to dispensing tips on how to affair proof a marriage). She felt that my gut feeling was a figment of my imagination and the the pubic crabs that I contracted was really some sort of a rash.

I tried to tell the 2nd MC that I am not a suspicious spouse at all. In the 1st 20 years since I have known my WW, I have not even once questioned her fidelity.

Third time was a charm. The 3rd counselor was really experienced about infidelity, sex addiction, etc. I went to her for IC and had several sessions. Initially, she had asked me about couples counseling. I told her that would likely be a waste of time (since my WW felt I would be dragging her to the sessions).

MC #3 told me that I was in a tough place - limbo land (because I had no concrete proof of my WW infidelity, yet my gut and other signs were screaming otherwise). After a couple sessions, she thought it may be a good idea to "drag" my WW to couples counseling. She referred me to another very experienced therapist (because she felt it would not be fair to my WW if she was the MC for us both). She told me I could continue the IC if necessary.

Long story short - WW and I went to this therapist and he recommended that both of us take a fidelity polygraph. WW agreed to it. Initially, WW would not agree to fidelity polygraph (back in August 2013 when I confronted her). WW told me that even if she passed the polygraph, that I would still "pester" her until no end.

WW asked me how would I feel if she asked me to undergo a polygraph. I told her that I would do everything possible to prove to her that I was faithful. I got nothing to hide.

MC#4 told us that we have to come to an agreement about the polygraph. If WW passes test (shows no signs of deception), then I must agree to...something like put away the accusations, apologize, etc... I have yet to figure out what to agree upon.

But, even if WW passes (and has been faithful), something went wrong in the marriage. Lack of communication, power struggle, lack of trust,etc.

I'd like to know what others experience have been with fidelity polygraphs. How accurate are they? Are polygraphs a pseudo-science? How can the polygrapher reliably distinguish anxiety from deception?

Has anyone had a spouse taken and failed the polygraph and still claim innocence? What about false positive tests?

SI Staff posted 2/24/2014 11:07 AM

Bumping so that others with knowledge of polys, can read and give advice.

seenow posted 2/24/2014 11:41 AM

I had my WH take a poly. When I said I wanted him to take one he said he didn't and offered up a very old incident. The next day I said I still wanted him to take one and a little more leaked out. Still made the appointment.

I learned a bit about polygraphs. We spent about two hours crafting questions and narrowing down what I wanted to know. It's more complicated than it seems. The "poly person" I used worked mostly with law enforcement and in the legal field so he was pretty good. You have to define and mutually agree on what cheating is as it is different for everyone. (Kissing? Oral? Fondling? Clothes on or off?..gets pretty personal and focused only on actions, not intentions or feelings). The test itself is not more than 15 minutes.

The test provides a value of deception at the end. Your tester can tell you where your WW falls on that scale.

I did not have a carrot for my WH if he passed. This was purely for me and my gut, however he was already caught in one affair so I was looking back for more. Low and behold they were there and he did actually confess to everything before the test.

So now I know. It sure beats wondering and searching and feeling like a fool. It starts a place of honesty that I can accept. It starts a place of healing that seems true.

instantkarma posted 3/13/2014 20:05 PM

For what it's worth...I have been thinking about polygraphs myself, since I have come to face a burning mountain of circumstantial evidence. I think you had a response to that, deeplysaddened.

I used to co-manage a group of retail stores, where the polygraph policy was implemented for newhires, or older, questionable employees. It functioned really well as a deterrent of sorts sometimes. Some new employee candidates never showed up after learning of the polygraph. And some older, questionable employees 'fessed up before even getting the test themselves (employee theft and company policy violations, etc).

HOWEVER, there were a few cases (small percentage) where the polygraph was obviously beaten. A case comes to mind where a new hire had passed with flying colors, was offered the job, and continued with the company for months. The twist came that he was using fake id, showing fake immigrant status, name, social security number, etc etc.

From what I knew of the standard questions these job candidates got, the test was first calibrated using generic questions: "are you a 34 year old male? are you wearing a blue shirt? is your name so and so?"

So from there, the apparatus is adjusted to reflect truthfulness I suppose. Then, the meat of the matter comes up: "do you use drugs, have you been fired from a job before, have you stolen from an employer before" and so on.

Anyhow, this one employee completely beat the system. We subsequently learned his identity was fake, and got fired.

So I think these tests are good for an overwhelmingly large percentage of people, but there are some that can pass it even though they lie through their teeth. I guess a matter of keeping your cool and self-control.

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