The Polygraph

Well, yesterday was the day, another polygraph for MC. When we went home last summer, MC had arranged to have his 4th polygraph test with the same examiner we had used for the first three. Only when we got to town, our examiner called us the day before the scheduled test to say he had a family emergency (a parent had died) and he had to leave town unexpectedly. Because of this, we were unable to see him before leaving town. So, we made a plan to either find one locally or wait to see this same examiner the next time we went to visit “home.”

As you all know, the “click-bait” incident scared me to death. Not because of the details to be told, they were so minor, but because the details were not immediately and fully told. The weight of that fear has been on my shoulders. So, MC made an appointment with a local polygraph examiner to see if he could take some of that weight off, to assure me that he was not withholding information from or lying to me. Like the previous polygraph examiner, this one had years of experience in law enforcement conducting polygraph exams as part of his work and this one was local to where we are living at this moment.

So, MC’s first polygraph was his baseline. That first polygraph was based on a timeline that he had originally given to me verbally and, then before the first exam, had given to me and our counselor in writing. Based on the timeline, the examiner devised questions to get at the idea of whether or not MC was knowingly withholding or lying about any information regarding his sexual history during the course of our marriage. It is like the proverbial jar filled with golf balls (the big things), then pebbles, then sand, then water (the fine details). The baseline polygraph was all about golf balls.

Now, we all know that the polygraph only tests what is asked and can only test what he remembers. In fact the following two polygraphs were largely about golf balls and, perhaps, a few pebbles as well. This time, however, besides those big golf balls of whether or not there had been anything new since the last polygraph test, there were some finer details I wanted confirmed, some seeds of doubt I wanted addressed. So, when the examiner called me the day-before yesterday to go over questions, I decided to see if we could include some of these.

MC took the day off to do the test and spent the remaining day home with me.

We arrived to the exam and he went in, while I waited in the waiting room. The examiner asked a big golf ball question first.  Something to get at the idea of whether or not MC had been truthful to me about all of his sexual experiences.

Then, next, still golf ball heading toward pebble, MC and the examiner discussed the click-bait incident, taking that incident into account, the examiner then asked something about since MC’s last polygraph has he been truthful to me?

Then, one that had always gnawed at me, something to the effect of “did you ever tell anyone you wanted your marriage to end?” He had always said that he cannot promise me it never happened, but he has absolutely no memory of saying such a thing, is ALMOST certain he did not ever say that and he certainly never wanted our marriage to end. So, this really only tested if he was being truthful that he had no memory of ever saying anything of that nature. And, that to me was the point of that question. I don’t want any lies.

And finally, some sand. During our pre d-day life, there had been a work event that AP3 attended. This happened while the kids and I were out-of-town. MC was supposed to call me after that event and did not. He sent a message that he would call me in the morning instead, but did not. So, I have focused in on this event since d-day, insisting after the event he must have  been with her. He always insisted that the event went late, she left before he did as he had to stay as one of the hosts, and then he just went straight home and crashed. He was selfish and was avoiding talking to me, but not because he was with her. I had strong doubts. Whether he was with her or not really did not matter to me. But, if he was withholding or lying about anything, that would matter to me.  So, there was a question worded carefully and specifically which asked if he was with her during the time frame in question?

HE PASSED, on all questions he passed. He continues to search for memories and provide the water to fill in all the remaining gaps in the jar of golf balls, pebbles and sand.

What I like about the polygraph is that instead of him expecting that I alone take the risk of believing he is being honest, he is willing to take some risk to prove that he is not lying. We do it less and less as time goes on, but it is there and he is willing. Above all, it means a lot to me that he is willing to put my need for reassurance above any discomfort or risk that a polygraph may bring his way.

One step along the path forward.

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15 thoughts on “The Polygraph

    1. There is anecdotal evidence that suggests such measures mess with the control questions as well, resulting in inconclusive results at best, with some still failing. StIll, if you could point me to a peer reviewed double blind study, I would be interested in reading it. Specifically for MC…I’ve seen MC on Valium, both for his vasectomy and a colonoscopy. There is no way that he could have driven over an hour each way with Valium in his system and me not noticing.

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      1. It depends on how his body handles it…if he’s a regular drinker or takes anything that is a “natural” sedation of sorts. Valium would knock me on my ass but I know people who work, drive, operate machinery and all kinds of stuff while they are on Valium. There are several ways to beat a lie detector….

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        1. As I said, it is obvious when he has taken something. Such issues are why trained law enforcement examiners are important. Also such measures more often cause inconclusive results. He passed. I feel reassured, but continued actions are also important. I would feel much less reassured if he refused to take one giving such excuses, failed or had inconclusive results.

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          1. Law enforcement examiners are indeed important but even they can be fooled. If you’re comfortable that he was telling the truth then I would tell you to trust your gut. If we paid a little more attention to our guts….we would be better off. LOL

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            1. If you’ve read the blog, you know about the smoking incident. While it set us back in some ways, it also showed me that he takes the poly very seriously. So, yes, I believe the poly is a form of reassurance. And, certainly, a refusal to take one would be a HUGE red flag to me.

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              1. I absolutely agree about refusing to take one being a red flag. You know him and like I said…trust your gut. There seems to be an undercurrent of protection and defense from you toward him. I understand that. Just make sure you protect your heart. 🙂

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                1. I understand. It is simply one measure of many that are a part of the tool chest. I am protected in as many ways as possible, given the reconciliation journey.

                  If I want to live, love and laugh, if I ever want to break free from the protective walls I’ve erected to protect my heart, I will have to break them down, to escape the prison for myself that such walls have created. The safety measures and actions that MC has offered and instituted allow for that possibility with him, when I am ready. Without such measures, that possibility would not exist.

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                  1. If there’s a possibility…that is the greatest gift you can give yourself. I shut all the doors because I simply could not forgive. I will spend the rest of my life alone but it was MY choosing. I would have never been happy with an unfaithful man.
                    Wanting to “live, love and laugh” is worth breaking down walls…if it’s possible. I think it is for you. 🙂

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                    1. Oh Laurel, I understand your point-of-view completely. Still, I hope one day you find the possibility of at least lowering the walls just a little. And, of course, I don’t mean with or for the ex.

                      Thank you dear Laurel! TL xx

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                    2. Somehow it feels wrong to hit “like” to your last comment, but I do want to acknowledge that I understand the level of pain that has brought you to that decision and hope that within that choice you find fulfillment for you! TL xx

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