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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5808
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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my husband has been fired from every job he has ever had because of incompetence and/or fa

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my husband has been fired from every job he has ever had because of incompetence and/or failure to adhere to co. policy. he describes his work history as owner, consultant, manager etc. and people believe he has had a very lucrative successful business career where in fact he has been a total failure. he is very intelligent and i think he really believes his lies as there is partial truth in them. yes, he had the job but couldn't hold it, this part he forgets or is in denial. we live off of a small inheritance from his father which he has badly mismanaged. i have to walk away when he starts boasting about his accomplishments. he is now 80 and it is still going on. is he psycho or what?

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

What does your husband say when you tell him that his irresponsibility bothers you?

Does he hold these type of beliefs in other areas of his life as well, like lying to relatives, to you or others?

Thank you,


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
there is NO accept button on this page

Thank you for trying to accept. I appreciate it. But we can talk about the issue until you feel you have gotten the answer you need.


I will go ahead and respond and if you have further questions, please let me know.

It sounds like your husband's issues could be as the result of a personality disorder. When someone boasts about themselves, it indicates one of two things- they are either narcissistic (which is a personality disorder) or they have a very low self esteem and the boasting helps them feel better.

The fact that your husband isn't able to hold down a job could be because his issues begin to show up after he is hired. During the interview, he comes across good on paper and maybe in person. He gets the job, either the employer checks him out and finds out that the resume was misleading, or your husband is unable to do the job he was hired for.

Although you want to rule out an issue with low self esteem, the fact that your husband boasts to you and lies to potential employers to make himself out to have better skills than he does points to a possible personality issue.

To find out what is going on with your husband, first start with a physical exam. If he has not been behaving this way for long, it could be he has a physical issue that is causing his problem. It is always a good idea to rule out any possible physical issue before you consider emotional problems because a physical issue can sometimes cause emotional symptoms. That way, you are not treating him for emotional problems and he really has a physical issue.

Also, let your husband's doctor know up front what you are seeing with your husband's behavior so he knows what he is looking for.

If your husband's doctor clears him, you may want to ask the doctor to refer your husband for a psychological exam with a therapist. Sometimes people who would not otherwise be willing to get help will listen to their doctor. A Master's Level or PhD level therapist are the best choices.

A psychological evaluation will tell you what is causing your husband's behavior. Therapy can help, as well as working on the issue at home. You may also benefit from therapy to help you deal with the stress caused by your husband's situation. The support can make a big difference in how you interact with your husband and keeping yourself calm when dealing with him.

Here are some resources to help you:

I hope this has helped you,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
i want to rule out physical issues because as i stated he is 80 and we have been married 42 years. he swept me off my feet but i gradually began to see he was a phony. he was like this in his very early years. he goes to an ivy league class reunions and he flunked out after the first reunion. the personality disorder you made reference to makes more sense, can you elaborate?

If your husband was like this early on, then a personality disorder makes a lot of sense.

When a person has a personality disorder, it is often caused by abuse or neglect during their childhood. The child tries to get their needs met by their parent and cannot. To compensate, the child tries to change their own behavior to get their needs met. Because of this, the child grows up thinking that they can get their needs met in the outside world by acting the same way. For example, if a child cannot get their parent to pay attention to them, they may act out in some way like pretending to be hurt. The parent may respond and so the child believes that they need to gain the sympathy of the people they are with in order to get attention. This becomes a pattern and the child knows of no other way to interact with others.

Your husband sounds like he uses lies and manipulation in order to feel more important. This indicates that he learned early on that this type of behavior is appropriate to get what you want.

The links I posted will help you look at the different personality disorders to see which one your husband may fit. And having him see a therapist will help confirm what is going on. The therapist can help you and your husband work to resolve this through individual therapy and you can use self help as well to help your husband address his issues.


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