Ask Amy: Lie detector test would test his marriage

January 12, 2014 

ASK AMYDear Amy: I've been married to my wife for nearly 30 years; we've had our share of the usual problems.

I believe she had an affair with a friend of ours about 15 years ago. I've asked her about it a couple of times and she has denied it, but I have this feeling that she isn't being truthful.

I can't seem to let it go, and I continually think about it. There is a company near here that does a polygraph test to prove infidelity. Do you think I should ask her to take the test to prove her innocence and help me to overcome my doubts?

I don't know how else to stop thinking about it. Throughout our marriage I have always been faithful, and to think of her having an affair with a "friend" and lying to me about it really bothers me. Thanks for whatever advice you may offer.

— Conflicted

Dear Conflicted:

You say this polygraph test is given to prove infidelity, and yet you also say that you want your wife to submit to it to prove her innocence. I get the distinct feeling that you would feel more relief if the test proved your wife's guilt because then it would confirm this nagging feeling you have harbored for half of your married life.

Before pressuring your wife to strap on the electrodes, you really must talk about it (preferably with a marriage counselor). Among questions you should try to answer in advance are: If this test shows her innocence, will you fully accept this result, or will you think the test is flawed? If your wife is shown innocent, how will the humiliation of having to prove it impact her feelings toward you and about your marriage? If the test result indicates guilt, what happens next?

Dear Amy: "Broken-hearted Father" wrote about his grad-school daughter who was depressed after a breakup. I don't always agree with you, but I did this time.

Years ago I was also a grad student, depressed over the breakup of my first serious relationship. My father and mother were very compassionate and patient with me, and I slowly recovered (with their help and support). — Happy now

Dear Happy: I thought this particular daughter was lucky to have such a compassionate and loving dad in her corner.


You can contact Amy Dickinson via email at, follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.

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