What do you think of polygraph testing?


What are your opinions of polygraph testing a spouse who has had internet affairs and met one person online? I have mixed feelings about this. I wouldn’t be one to be for this normally, however, considering my spouse lied more than once and when confronted did not come 100% clean until I talked to the other person, it leaves me very suspicious that he hasn’t told all. ANd honestly, why should he tell all when I have stayed with him?? And, I feel that I deserve to know the truth. I may not like it and it may not change anything, but, isn’t there a reason to get liars to stop their ways and be forced to come clean?


2 things:

1.) You’re assuming polygraph testing is completely accurate. It is not by a long shot. Polygraph testing works by measuring indicators of stress. If you put your spouse in a position where you are grilling him for answers regarding previous affairs, he’s already likely to be highly stressed, and the readings will not be accurate. Furthermore, false positives will have an even worse effect on your marriage, as you will not trust him even if he is telling the truth.

2.) Why do you want every last detail? Is he sorry? Is that not enough for you to try to move on and repair your relationship?


A polygraph test will not change your husband if he is being dishonest. Ditch the computer or change the password to one he doesn’t know to give your self some time to rebuild trust.


I would highly recommend attending Retrouvaille with your husband. And also a good Christian marriage counselor would be in order. The problem really isn’t your husband lying, it’s the behavior that he’s lying about. I know your angry (I’ve been there) but if your planning on sticking with your husband, the sooner you work on the healing of your marriage the better off you’ll be.


Who said I thought it would be 100% accurate Doc? Ofcourse, I understand that there are false positives etc. etc. If you read what I wrote you would see that I already have doubts about it. Its not easy being on my side of the fence when you have been repetitively lied to. Yes, I do feel he is sorry which is why I haven’t really gone that route. And, honestly, I’m so hurt, devastated and crushed at this point that I am pretty much NUMB to whatever additional pain would come. But, I feel that I am owed the truth bottom line and the truth does set you free. One problem I have is that my spouse gives “generalities” about everything and that in itself leads me to doubt what he says. I guess I can’t expect anyone to understand unless they have wore the shoes.


Ther poly graph is only as good as the person admistering it. At best with all things taken into account - 75 to 80 % accuracy is the best you can expect.


It has been my experience that:

  1. The polygraph works for only the simplest yes or no questions which must be carefully phrased.
  2. The results are only indications of areas for further investigations and are not accepted as conclusive in themselves.


In my job I had to be polygraphed every five years to maintain my security clearance. I always passed them, but I put the polygraph machine in the same class as alchemy, astrology, and chiropractic.



getting a cheating spouse to cooperate with polygraph testing would probably about as successful as getting a teenage addict to cooperate with giving a urine sample for drug testing, and would be just as worthless in changing behavior and its underlying causes.


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