The Use and Abuse of the Polygraph EMS Online Registration Opens Soon! Our Our expertly-developed, 13-week online course for couples will soon be open! If you are looking for a safe place to begin healing, make sure you secure your spot—it sells out quickly. Subscribe to Registration Notifications! Several times a month, I get asked about the use of a polygraph to aid in reestablishing trust in the relationship. So, today, I'll share some thoughts about the use and the misuse of taking a polygraph test. In no way am I claiming to be an expert in this matter. It is always best to do your own research. If you choose to go the route of a polygraph test, try to find a polygrapher who has experience in working with infidelity and sexual addiction. The first point I want to make is that a polygraph test should never be used as a punitive device or for punishment of the person who was unfaithful. For that reason, I will not refer to it as a lie-detector test. In my opinion, that term itself is punitive and anxiety-provoking. You'll hear me say over and over again that polygraphs should be used when the unfaithful spouse offers the polygraph test as a gift. It is a tool to help reestablish safety and trust in the relationship. What is a polygraph? A polygraph examination consists of three parts: a pretest interview, the examination, and the data analysis. In its simplest form, the pretest interview is a conversation between the polygrapher and the client. It is intended to give the client information and orient them to the procedures, the purpose of the test, the equipment used, and the questions that will be asked. The second part is the examination itself which includes the relevant questions that are targeted to the client's involvement in their behavioral issues that are being questioned. All questions should be simple, direct, and use no legal jargon or psychobabble. Each question must address a single behavioral issue. You can't lump things together. The third part is where the polygrapher will analyze the client's response to the relevant questions compared to his response to the control questions. Sections: NewsletterFounder's LaptopFree ResourcesHot Off the PressRL_Category: Recovery FundamentalsRL_Media Type: VideoAA Codes: HurtUnfaithfulFemaleMaleSuspicious Sally / Jealous JimSuspectYes want to know Add New Comment: Comments Polygraph helped my WH and the marriage Submitted by Polly (not verified) on Wed, 11/10/2021 - 09:24 My wayward husband lied to me for a year. His individual counsellor and mine were adamant that polygraphs don't help rebuild trust. Unfortunately, we didn't go to infidelity specialists for counseling. Had we done so, it might not have come to him having to take a poly. If you're reading this my advice is to go to a counsellor that specializes in infidelity. I cannot state how deeply I wish we'd have done Affair Recovery from the start. Second piece of advice - don't be afraid to use a polygraph. I wanted to early on but like I said it discouraged by both my counsellor and his, even though he admitted lying while he was in his second session! It was swept under the rug as his counsellor focused on my husband's childhood. Having been through hell and back this entire year maybe my experience will help someone else out there avoid the trap. Don't be afraid of using a polygraph (of course I fully endorse what the article says about it not being punitive, etc.). My husband finally took a poly (once he got out of his individual counselling and I requested it) and the amazing thing is that it helped him as much as it helped our marriage. He had to face his demons not just from the affair but from years of emotional dysfunction. TI am not defending his lying at all - he knew better and the effect has been gut wrenching - but to hear and truly understand what it is like to have so many lies running around in your head is eye opening. I don't know how he managed to keep it together, and the truth is that he wasn't. He was starting to act out again because he had this burden of lies weighing him down. What a terrible way to live. It hurts everyone. The saddest part? The stuff he revealed to me was not earth shattering. Had I known it all from the start I could have understood things better and healing would have happened sooner. If your WS is dribbling the truth, just do it. Ask them to take the poly. They'll probably reveal it all before they even get in the polygrapher's office. And whatever you do make absolutely sure that your therapists / counsellors specialize in infidelity. reply Right on Time! Submitted by SunnyG on Wed, 11/10/2021 - 11:45 This article came the day after I'm setting up an appointment for my UH to sit a polygraph (he doesn't know he's going to sit it yet). I hate that I even have to do this. I do believe my trust was truly shattered- on top of him lying to me for the past 12 years of multiple affairs (involving some fellow "church sisters", persons at his work, his sister's friends) while holding leadership in church, as if that wasn't devastating enough- it was really after he continued to be deceitful and lie after the first disclosure (where I confronted him) and it took him 3 more months to do the 2nd disclosure. It was then my trust was completely obliterated (and I don't think it will ever return). It's hard for me to love this man I see before me- I feel like he killed my husband and now I have this piece of human crap. He's trying I guess and we're in recovery but I honestly don't know what to expect for the future. I feel little to nothing for him now....and maybe this polygraph can help in some way. If it weren't for us having small kids, I wouldn't even try to see if the marriage could be saved. This would be the first time he's doing a polygraph (first disclosure was over a year).Everyday feels like a struggle. I don't know if it's crazy, but sometimes I look at small things like this as little signs/blessings; these are the things that help to keep me going. So thank you AR for sending this article out at this time! reply polygraph Submitted by Rocking Waters (not verified) on Wed, 11/10/2021 - 14:14 My husband volunteered to take the polygraph test which I though was progress but the morning of the test he said he had more disclosure to share before he went in. This was after a full AR online course and much counselling. He revealed an affair with a friend and collogue and with my cousin. He passed the test but the new info was another devastating blow so the results did not make me feel that I could build trust back through this process. Still struggling to feel safe. reply I was excited to see this Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 11/10/2021 - 16:06 I was excited to see this title but disappointing in the contents. I am not sure what I expected but I wasn’t thinking this would be about polygraphs. I guess I was hoping for practical tips for catching him in lies. Although I guess it wouldn’t matter, he still wouldn’t admit it unless I had the proof in my hands. I wonder what he would say if a polygraph detected deception. He has lied to me so much in the past two years I don’t what is real anymore. I discovered his affair by complete accident and was totally blind sided. We are still in therapy and he had an online affair in the middle of that. I discovered that one by snooping on his phone. He has lied not only to me but to therapists. Twenty eight years of marriage and here I am trying to learn to trust him but how can I do that when I am unsure if he is being truthful or not? reply Types of polygraph questions Submitted by SunnyG on Sun, 11/14/2021 - 08:45 Hi AR. Thanks for this article; but my polygrapher asked me for a list of questions to ask UH. I don't have any experience or history with polygraphs and I was wondering if AR would be able to maybe have a suggestion list of generically constructed questions that could be asked to an unfaithful spouse in a polygraph that could be used or tailored to forming my own. reply Add new comment Your name Subject Comment * Plain text CAPTCHAThis question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.