Would You Take a Polygraph Test With Your Significant Other?

Kristi Keller


Photo by Ashkan Forouzani on Unsplash

Recently I saw a Twitterite pose the following question:

“Would you take part in a polygraph test if it was your spouse asking the questions?”

Thousands of people responded and an overwhelming number of them said NO. It made me wonder why. Exactly what were those creeps hiding from their partners and what types of questions are they so afraid of?

I remember back in the courting days with my now ex-husband. He’d asked me if I had ever been involved in a threesome. I knew I had done it once but I still silently deliberated over whether or not to admit it.

Would he think I was a weirdo or would he find the idea sexy and hot? Should I lie or tell the truth? I couldn’t possibly know how the information would be received so early in our relationship.

While a threesome isn’t life altering, let’s run through a few polygraph questions that could be relationship-altering.

Have you cheated on your partner?

I can only assume the most fear-mongering question a spouse could ask would be about infidelity. Why else would someone decline a polygraph test administered by their partner?

Based on the number of respondents who said they would not take the test, it leads me to believe there are a shit ton of cheaters out there. We already know a huge number of unfaithful partners are flying under the radar and I’m sure they would like to keep it that way.

But let’s just forget about the cheaters for a minute and focus on the partner who might ask about cheating.

What point must you be at in your relationship if you feel it’s necessary to ask about unfaithfulness?

For me personally, I wouldn’t even consider asking a partner if he’s cheated unless there were already signs, in which case I would have exited stage left long ago. Why wait for a polygraph to rip that bandaid off?

Asking your spouse if they’ve stepped out on you can only be based on existing mistrust. It’s not just a random, curious question. There’s already a basis behind it.

If two people in a serious relationship feel a need to ask about infidelity it obviously shows the relationship isn’t solid, therefore you probably shouldn’t be in it in the first place.

Are you ashamed of how many sexual partners you’ve had?

I’ve read many articles about couples who disparage each other based on how many sexual partners they’ve had before they met.

This irritates me to no end. It’s nobody’s business how many people you’ve slept with as long as you’re clean and healthy when entering into a new relationship.

We all have a past and the older we get the longer our pasts become. Unless we’re Mother Theresa or the Pope, it’s likely our list is longer than our partners would like it to be.

There’s no safe answer to “How many people have you slept with?”

If your number is too high you open yourself up to shame, and if your number is too low they’ll probably think you’re lying because how likely is it that you’ve only slept with one or two people in your entire life?

The question also opens the door to double standards. A man who has slept with 25 women would probably discredit a woman who’s slept with 25 men. That’s just the way it is, thanks to an imaginary set of rules based on gender expectations.

No man has ever asked me how many men I’ve slept with but if he did my response would be, “I don’t know.” Because I don’t.

What I do know is that whoever would ask that question or judge my answer isn’t someone I want to engage with. I’m all about moving toward a positive future, not living in the past.

Do you have a criminal record?

In my opinion, this question is far more vital than anything related to sex because it can affect another party adversely.

A partner should have the right to know about a criminal past and make an informed choice on whether they can roll with you in the future. Depending on what the criminal offense was, it could affect basic privileges such as travel, which is a normal activity for couples.

Bringing up a criminal history, even if it’s in your very distant past, could be awkward and relationship-altering, hence the reason why someone may hide it altogether.

I’ve got a good friend who racked up a record many years ago, in his early twenties and it affects him to this day with potential new relationships because he chooses to be honest about it and take his chances.

I asked for his viewpoint on bringing it up and he said it’s difficult to know exactly when. It’s certainly not first (or second or even third) date material but it needs to be addressed before getting too invested because it can and has been a deal-breaker for him.

Aside from those questions, I can’t come up with many other situations that would prompt a partner to decline a polygraph test.

The bigger issue would be why they declined in the first place. That’s already a tell-tale sign that he or she has something to hide and the relationship may not be what you think it is.

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I'm an old school travel writer who's been flung into another writing world through life experience. I have a compassionate eye, a different opinion, and strong words for this world we live in. I also know a thing or two.


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