MaryBell60
Im sure many  feel polygraphs are a waste of time.  I don't think they are not perfect but they add information to consider.

I asked my WH to take a lie detector test  when I couldn't get straight answers to legitimate questions after several years of various betrayals.  He finally agreed, picked out the examiner, and I gave him the questions in advance.  The questions (in a nutshell were):  Any sexual contact with any other person other than your wife and XXX (affair partner) since your marriage to wife.   Any personal contact with any person you met from social media, porn sites, message boards, etc.?   Have you ever had any sexual contact with a male?  (FYI - These are not the questions verbatim).

My husband failed all three questions with three different scoring mechanisms.   The report also indicated he was counseled by the examiner for  trying to "beat the test" with movement, breathing techniques, coughing, etc.   He also shopped on Amazon and other websites two weeks before the test for materials on "Ways to beat   a lie detector test."

He says he was never a good test taker and knew he would fail.  He has not even read the report from 6 months ago that the examiner sent to each of us..  I do not trust him enough to have sex with him again though we are trying to reconcile.  I want complete truth (not every gory detail).  He wants sex. ( I have taken STD tests, etc.  All is good).  He is seeking counseling, and says there is nothing more to tell.  The facts are not aligned.    

He is improving in some ways, but How do we resolve this standoff?
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ThrivenotSurvive
In my opinion, you don't.  You want a lie detector test because in your gut you don't trust him.  His reaction (to try to learn how to beat it) and his obvious failing of the test combine to say that your gut is saying that with good reason.  I don't see a future with someone who isn't going out of their way to SHOW you that you can trust them now.  FYI - those tests, while by no means infallible do have controls for the NATURAL  fear that even truth tellers will have when being put on the spot in such an unnatural situation.  So saying that you "studied" how to beat it because you are a "bad test taker" is either the dumbest excuse I've ever heard (which should make you reconsider a future with him) or the most blatantly dishonest one I can imagine.  Neither would make me want to stick it out. 

Rather than focusing on his truthfulness (or lack thereof) maybe it might be a good time to consider your reasons for wanting to reconcile.  it is a long, hard process even when the WS is being 100% honest and committed.  It can be worth it it  in some cases.  There are some marriages that come out the other side strong and healthy.

But it can also lead to a long period of pain and continued mistreatment with a WS who is still unwilling to own up to what they've done and commit to the self-reflection and change necessary to become a person of integrity.  Make sure you know what you are fighting for BEFORE you put your all into it.  If your marriage hasn't been happy or fulfilling for a very long time, or your husband seems to want to sweep it all under a rug and wants you to just "get over it" - I'd suggest reconsidering reconciliation efforts.  

If on the other hand, when you look back on your time together, you can honestly say that he's made you happy FAR more than he had made you sad, that he's supported you at critical moments when you needed him, has made you feel loved and cared for during long periods of your relationship - than it may be worth the hard work of reconciliation.  

You will never be able to turn his mind inside out.  To KNOW with absolute certainty that you know everything you want/need to know.  So you need to figure out what, if any, actions he can take that will show a true desire on HIS part to rebuild your trust.  And if taking this poly was one of those - he failed.  Not just because he failed the TEST - but because he tried to beat it.  That is, in my eyes, still 100% dishonest behavior.  Nothing that would make me feel good about the future.  

So sorry you are having to deal with this.
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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Experiencethedevine29

I don’t see this even being all about this lying twat anymore.. it seems he’s repeatedly shown his disrespect for you in this marital charade he’s inflicted on you. 

The crux of the matter is how much more of this hideous behaviour toward you, Mary, are you going to accept? How much more of yourself are you willing to sacrifice to hang on to this jackass? For what? To live a life of purgatory? Constantly waiting for the other shoe to fall? 

What’s wrong with this picture is that you would even want to be in the same building as this excuse of a man in full knowledge of what and who he is as you’ve discovered, through your efforts to persuade him to be truthful about his dalliances.

Is he actively in counselling? Because ‘seeking’ counselling says nothing until he’s doing it.  Even then, it’s going to be a waste of money because I doubt very much he’ll tell the truth anyway.  Nothing more to tell?? ...I fear what you know in your heart...that’s f*ck*ng horse manure...

You’re sleeping with the enemy..time to make your escape plan perhaps... I wish you strength and a much brighter future..

ETD 🌻

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MaryBell60
Thank you, Thrive & Experience, for your thoughts.  Yes, I have always been the stronger emotional one in 38 year relationship, and I have often been the one to suck it up or  chalk it up to "forgive and forget" at least until the next issue arises.  No doubt I am co-dependent, but  I have learned that this has nothing to do with me.  I am enough in every way.   I have strong faith.

Why do I stay?  I have asked myself that question a million times.  He owns his own business, our kids are grown, married and doing well, and I pretty much do whatever I want.  He is a tale of two people: the Good Guy is charming, fun, generous  and easy going.  The Bad Guy hides his anxiety, his bad behaviors and selfishness.    He doesn't tell me what to do or put limits on me.     I control the finances and have secured a nice future for our children and grandchildren.  I feel like he would squander that if I was not in the picture.   He can be a big spender to impress people.  Me? Nope, I'm good.  I give to church and charities and save a lot more than most.    We have friends individually and with couples and we value those friendships.  I would hate to be uncoupled from them.    I fear being alone and I fear in another relationship I could be worse off.

I actually feel sorry for him.  He has ADD, anxiety and frequent depression.  He is drawn to porn and the next exciting thing.   I look at this as an illness.  If it were cancer, I would stick it out.  He often says, "I just want someone to take care of me."   Childhood & Adolescent  trauma likely drives a lot of this.  I've known his family forever and it is important that they look and act perfect ~ on the outside ~  and rug sweep what is on the inside.    It is frankly quite sad, but no counselor, friend, pastor, doctor, or me as his wife, has ever been able to crack his shell of authenticity and honesty.  I really do think he loves me in the best way he knows how,  but hates himself. 

I sound like a blubbering cat.  It's ok to pounce!





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Crushed
You do not sound like a blubbering cat.  You sound like someone that is as confused as the rest of us.  I am in the same boat. 37 years now..  you want to go but want to stay.  It's been 3 years now and I need to make decision.
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Experiencethedevine29

MaryBell60 wrote:
Thank you, Thrive & Experience, for your thoughts.  Yes, I have always been the stronger emotional one in 38 year relationship, and I have often been the one to suck it up or  chalk it up to "forgive and forget" at least until the next issue arises.  No doubt I am co-dependent, but  I have learned that this has nothing to do with me.  I am enough in every way.   I have strong faith.

Why do I stay?  I have asked myself that question a million times.  He owns his own business, our kids are grown, married and doing well, and I pretty much do whatever I want.  He is a tale of two people: the Good Guy is charming, fun, generous  and easy going.  The Bad Guy hides his anxiety, his bad behaviors and selfishness.    He doesn't tell me what to do or put limits on me.     I control the finances and have secured a nice future for our children and grandchildren.  I feel like he would squander that if I was not in the picture.   He can be a big spender to impress people.  Me? Nope, I'm good.  I give to church and charities and save a lot more than most.    We have friends individually and with couples and we value those friendships.  I would hate to be uncoupled from them.    I fear being alone and I fear in another relationship I could be worse off.

I actually feel sorry for him.  He has ADD, anxiety and frequent depression.  He is drawn to porn and the next exciting thing.   I look at this as an illness.  If it were cancer, I would stick it out.  He often says, "I just want someone to take care of me."   Childhood & Adolescent  trauma likely drives a lot of this.  I've known his family forever and it is important that they look and act perfect ~ on the outside ~  and rug sweep what is on the inside.    It is frankly quite sad, but no counselor, friend, pastor, doctor, or me as his wife, has ever been able to crack his shell of authenticity and honesty.  I really do think he loves me in the best way he knows how,  but hates himself. 

I sound like a blubbering cat.  It's ok to pounce!


‘I understand your staying ‘logic’, but is a comfortable lifestyle and babysitting this man through his poor boundaries and behaviour in a relationship that causes you so much anxiety and periodic distress REALLY what you’re worthy of?


EDT🌻




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Keepabuzz

I would disagree, this is not a disease like cancer. It’s a complete and utter lack of personal integrity and morals. Cheating on your spouse is not a disease. ADD, anxiety, depression etc. absolutely none of that is an excuse to betray and abuse your spouse. My wife was sexually abused as a child, and she brought that up after d-day. I was hearing none of that.  There is NO excuse. It is conscience decisions, period. Not mistakes, not whoops.  

He is clearly still lying, complete fail of the test, the researching how to beat it, etc.  Bad test takers don’t fail lie detector tests.  Your gut is telling you right, the test backs that up, his history of betrayal and abuse of you backs that up. Literally everything backs that up, except his “words”. How much value do his words have?  ZERO!  

I understand your reasons for staying. Staying is one thing, reconciling is another. The two can be completely separate. You say he wants sex, well, too bad.  I bet you have some wants too, right? I bet you want to feel safe. I bet you want to feel heard. I bet you want to know he gets it. I bet you want to feel empathy from him. I bet you want 100% honesty and transparency. I could go on, and on. YOUR needs are PRIMARY, not his. He threw that right away. 

Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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MaryBell60
Keepabuzz,

I like your assessment:  Staying is one thing.  Reconciling is another.    I really have to let that marinate!    We definitely are not reconciled, but we are together. 
I am the overfunctioner.  He is the underfunctioner.  He always has been  ~ blaming ADD for "my brain doesn't work like yours."    His business is successful and inherited.  He is an underfunctioner there, too.   He sets himself up around people who are responsible and upstanding and then he rides their coat- tails until he goes to his underworld.  He has never been really accountable to anyone. 

Even with all of this, when he is in despair or emotional, knowing he has failed me and our children, he says, "I just want some one to take care of me."

Are there ways to re-balance?  This is where I am most co-dependent: doing for him when he should be doing for himself and for us!
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ThrivenotSurvive

Oh... my eyes nearly rolled out of my head with the ADD mess.  I am ADHD - and with EFFORT I learned to use that like a superpower.  It may be harder for me to focus, but when I do I can accomplish more than 10 people around me.  I am the over-functioner in my life.  So whatever nonsense he is using about that is straight BS.  

I also like Keep's concept of staying vs. reconciliation.  While that isn't a situation that would work for me, I completely understand why people choose it.  

FYI - while my husband wasn't exactly like yours, he had unconsciously used me as his emotional conduit to the world for a long time.  In doing so, he avoided any level of self-reflection, of learning emotional intelligence, of how to self-soothe, to sort through his emotions, etc.  That was all my job.  To help him figure out what he was feeling, how it should be "fixed" and that even included being the go-between (the interpreter) of all his relationships - with our daughter, his mom and siblings, etc.  

So when we had to live apart for almost two years for financial reasons - he fell apart.  When we decided to reconcile I told him I was resigning that role.  It was time for him to learn the basic emotional skills it takes to be successful in this life.  And I held to it.  If he wanted to talk about his feelings and explore them together - great!  But no more of me seeing that he was upset and playing 20 questions to try an uncover what was really under "nothing's wrong".  No more running in to explain what he "really meant" when he said something stupid or insensitive to a loved one.  No more explaining other people's feelings to him.  Again, if HE initiated the discussion, I'd be happy to join it and share insights.  But HE had to take initiative.  He had to learn that the state of his feelings/emotions and the state of his relationships was on HIM.  He needed to do therapy, and think about the hows and whys of the mistakes he'd made and bring those learnings to ME, not the other way around.  

This was insanely hard at first, because he frankly sucked at it.  He put his foot in his mouth plenty of times.  Things got worse before they got better.  But he DID care, and he DID want to do better, so he stuck with it.  And without me jumping in to "fix" it, he learned.  It was the biggest gift I ever gave myself or him.  We are BOTH better for it.  

So consider just STOPPING.  Stop fixing things for him.  Stop fixing HIM for him.  Make him be responsible for him. If he has the capacity to grow, he will if you can bear to watch his ill-conceived efforts in the beginning without stepping in.  It will be painful to watch and hard to control yourself after years of jumping in - I assure you.  But also well worth it.

BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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MaryBell60
Thank you Thrive,   You are so right.  I just need to stop!  That is sooooo hard for me, because if nothing else, I'm competent, productive and responsible!

Do you let him flounder even if it impacts others ~ like our adult children ( i.e. airline tickets screwed up) ~ or if it impacts our checkbook?  For example,  when I get his ADD meds, I compare using Good RX or running it through our insurance.  If I do it, it's $ 45 per month vs. if he does it, it's $ 212 per month just for one drug.   Because its a controlled substance and our Prescription plan is wacky, it is tricky to get the drugs straight ~ and to boot, our longtime local pharmacy closed and WH just changed doctors so he wouldn't have to travel 2 hours each way for appointments.    So, it is complicated ~ but I stay on it til I get it right!  If he does it, he waits til he is out of meds,  goes to the pharmacy at the last minute and pays top dollar.  Often he will go without the meds for a few days and experience withdrawal symptoms which affects all of us!  So, over functioning co-dependent me, does it myself to save $ 180 per month + no out of drugs days.  (The dreams and nightmares are the worst and the flailing that goes with it!)    This is a very real example, and I'm not sure where you draw the line.

It is nice to hear that I am not nuts and should not trust him with my intimate self!    My gut is usually correct, and all fingers point in guilty direction!   He just says he has been "clean" for one year (which I mostly believe) and sex would bring us closer!  (Him, yes.  Me, no!)
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ThrivenotSurvive
Yes, I did let him flounder even when it affected others.  Especially with our daughter, they are both too alike and too different - and their relationship was difficult BEFORE DD - after it was downright ugly.  

But if anything was to be rebuilt it had to be between HIM and HER.  Separate from me.  I did consult with him a number of times (when HE asked for my help) and I talked to my daughter when SHE approached me.  But in each case, I would help them look at it from the other's point of view and then encourage them to approach the each other and talk it out.  Or take a different approach.  I did not volunteer to go smooth it over with the other party.  i did not bring it up until one of THEM approached me.  

For me, it made sense that I would offer help when asked.  But like when a child asks for help on their homework - you don't do it FOR THEM.  You walk them through what to do, and then leave them to it.  

With the medication, i'd tell him that you think it would be good for him and your marriage for him to start handling it.  Ask if he'd like you to walk him through what you do to make sure it works properly.  If he says no, sit back and clamp that mouth shut.  EVEN as you watch the nightmare unfold.  No help, no "I told you so's", no reminders.  If he starts having withdrawals, kindly tell him that until he can get back on his meds it's rather difficult to be around him and go stay at a hotel until he has himself righted.  Seriously.  Do everything with love and kindness - but firmly and with some distance.  This will take practice.  If its costs you more for the next 6 months - it is an investment in your sanity and his growth.

Act as if you BELIEVE he will get it right - even when he fails.  When he begs you to take it back over, tell him that you don't think that is good for you or for him.  That you think, in looking back, that in your desire to be kind and helpful you did him and you both a disservice.  And robbed him of an opportunity to be a man who can take care of himself.  That is something we should ALL be capable of doing.  Then tell him you have all the faith in the world he will figure it out. Remind him of something he does do successfully - even if it is just getting himself to the pub on time to watch football with buddies - and off you go to take care of YOUR life.  

Two things are going to happen.  He (and even some of your kids) may try to get you to step back in.  People (even so-called adults) get into patterns that are comfortable, even ones that are dis-empowering to them, and reject change.  Don't budge.  Don't be mean, DO NOT CONDESCEND when he sucks at it.  Just distance yourself from it.  Think of him like a child learning to get their homework in on time.  Sometimes you have to know that they are going to fail, get in trouble and pay the consequences.  Maybe even more than once.  But, if you can keep yourself from running down to the school and turning it in for him, or reminding him every morning to put it in his backpack... eventually he'll learn to do it for himself.  We've all known those helicopter parents who do everything for their kids and when they get to college they don't know how to get to class on time, or do their own laundry, or LIVE on their own.  They end up nearly drowning before they figure it out because they are handicapped.  He's this kid.  It's time for him to grow up.  Emotionally AND in terms of life skills.  

If after a year he's made no progress, you are going to need to consider that he's too handicapped to function - and what you want to do about that.  But the likelihood is that he's never been put on the spot and HAD to.  Which both allows him to skate... but also probably feeds his internal feelings of not being "good enough".  Because right now even HE believes he's not competent to take care of himself.  That is a position of powerlessness that is NOT healthy on any level.  For him - or those around him.  
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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hurting
Thrive has it spot on there. I too rolled my eyes- both at the repeated ‘I just want someone to take care of me’ and the ADHD thing. 

FFS. He’s an adult. He needs to learn to start LIVING like an adult... which yes, includes ‘looking after himself’ and learning that there are bloody consequences for acting like a child and doing as he likes. You are his wife. Not babysitter. Not parent. A marriage is meant to be a partnership. Your role is not to ‘look after him’. Sure you might sometimes In certain situations. Of course you should support your spouse. But after what he has done? HE needs to step up and support YOU. Not the other way around!!

As for polygraphs... well. I never put much belief in their accuracy tbh. But it’s more his approach to it that is concerning. As the others said... trust your gut. If it’s telling you he isn’t safe for you, he probably isn’t. I’m not saying he’s definitely lying one way or another. What I AM saying is that as he is? He is NOT a safe partner for you.

He wants sex? Lol. He is the last person who is fit to make demands like that of you. How about you wanted to not be betrayed, exposed to STDs, have your life blown up or lose everything you believed in? He lost the right to expect ANYTHING from you when he decided to be a worthless cheating bastard. Whether you decide to engage with him again is entirely up to you. He can ‘want’ whatever he wants. That doesn’t mean he gets it. It’s like he (as my WS did) failed a few key childhood lessons. You don’t always get what you want, and there are consequences to every action taken.
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