A Mary Kay Husband Speaks Out

Perhaps my story will help other ladies out there. This is a true story in which I am still living but trying to put closure to a situation that has been absolutely terrible because of my hopefully soon ex-wife’s addiction to Mary Kay.

After our first child was born, my wife decided that doing nails was not good enough so she wanted to start a business. She had me listen to an Amway presentation and I told her immediately that if the focus is on recruiting and not selling products to make money- this is a pyramid scheme and no way would I get involved in this. Then came Mary Kay Cosmetics.

I didn’t listen to this sales pitch by her Director but my soon ex-wife stated you make money by selling the product and recruiting was just a small part of the business. She signed up as a consultant and off she went. She was receiving all of these accolades. I remember when she would come home from her Director’s meeting and say Oh Look! I did so great this week that I won this Mary Kay pencil! I thought, What!? You are excited over a pencil? Pencils don’t pay bills. Show me the money.

Then it was the race to become a director. I’d see unopened boxes of product in the house and knew something was immediately wrong and knew she is buying her way to this position. If a woman has low self esteem- that is the prime target for a Mary Kay recruiter. My soon to be ex fell for their trap. The sun rose and set on her. They made such a big deal out of her at awards ceremonies. She was the example to live by.

But it was all lies.

Now the home phone is ringing off the hook because the credit card companies are calling looking for their money. I remember saying, who keeps calling? Her reply was oh, telemarketers and I’d say “we are on the do not call list, they shouldn’t be calling here.” I never used to answer the phone because it was never for me. Now I started answering and now I knew there were debt problems. I now saw more credit card statements in the mail. I would take them and open them up to see what was going on. My best estimate was over $35,000.

But to her and her friends, she was a successful Mary Kay consultant. She was and currently is living the life of lies. I would hear her deceive people. She even stole thousands of dollars from the children’s bank accounts in order to try and pay these bills off. When confronted on this, I was the jerk. I was not a supportive husband.

Well to make a very long story short, I did offer to get her out of debt and here was the deal. You get out of Mary Kay and I help pay the debt off. You don’t quit Mary Kay and you do it on your own. Guess what she picked? Yep- Mary Kay. She picked Mary Kay because now she has to save face. She recruited all of her friends to be consultants and now how would that look if she recruited them and then quit herself? She had everyone believing how successful she was and how much money she made. All lies.

So what happened next. I stuck around because I had small children but once they became a bit older, I had to get out. Thank goodness I have been very smart with my job and my finances. I am in the process of a divorce and am willing to pay child support because my kids deserve it. I can’t believe the very successful Mary Kay consultant (not a director anymore but the phone message still says she is and her business cards also)wants me to pay her maintenance. Why? She has this wonderful business where she is just making money hand over fist.

I remember when a family friend lost her job due to the failing economy. She was a professional woman who had a good job but my future ex said “I’m going to have to call XXXX. I need to give the the Mary Kay opportunity. What a joke I said. I said she wants a job making a salary, with health insurance benefits, and a pension plan or 401k plan. She is in her own world and there is no hope for her.

SO yes all, you are getting a very abridged version of my life with a Mary Kay business that failed miserably from the word go. Do not put your family through this hell. I’ve lived this and would not wish it upon my worst enemy. The major debt was accrued over 10 years ago and believe me, it is still there. I have closets full of Mary Kay product. Some have expiration dates on them and are expired for years. Mary Kay is an addiction for many. I have attached some photos. I hope you can view them.


  1. Honeybeige

    Key words: low self esteem. I remember being at a “retreat” with a “successful” NSD who advised us to remove anything that got in our way. Her list included husbands.

  2. onelessSD

    Ugh.. this story makes me sick. Mary Kay is a predator company… and their NSD’s teach and encourage their peeps to seek out needy people, because they are easily swayed. What’s crazy is I never thought of myself as a needy person before. But I remember my 1st event… it was a brunch. Nice country club, well dressed people, awards being given and recognized (I’m a high “I” personality… I liked the party atmosphere)… money being talked about in large numbers, and I was introduced around. That was nice. But it’s also a ‘grooming’ tactic… just like a predator would do… make it seem fun, profitable, easy, glamorous, etc. But the reality soon becomes clear… you’ve been duped big time – it’s not as it seems, it’s much harder, it consumes your time, money, life. You are trained from the very beginning that you need to block all negativity from your life… and if that includes certain people.. then by all means, you need to do it. They create an isolation mentality… only those in MK really understand you, so only talk to them. MK is a cult and it is a predator. The longer I’m out, the more clearly I see.

    My heart aches for this family.. because the children will ultimately suffer the most. I hope this husband files for more than joint custody, but to be the primary care-giver… he needs to get his children out from under her influences… as they will never have a normal childhood if he doesn’t.

  3. cindylu

    I never thought of the grooming and predator tactics before. MK herself had the hot buttons for every female personality type. The helpers (Religious/caring women), those who love status and praise, those who want an extra income & to be there for their children. Those somewhat held back in their jobs or careers. These wolves in pink sheep’s clothing know every angle to prey on women. The addiction to the MK mythology, fake women helping women, fake awards and fake praise. The fake sales and fake SD & NSD I stories. The fake MK story about the marriages, Harvard using the MK for training purposes in a good way, the helping sisterhood, the working part time hours for full time pay, that NSD’s are millionaire’s (most aren’t). The constant lies by the entire company. I remember hearing that MK was not mlm or pyramid but knowing deep down it was. My husband too was very worried about the costs and my sleazy narcissistic SD. When I was hospitalized no one in MK cared. Sending back product was the best thing I ever did. Coming out of the pink fog without pink truth years ago, was hard. MK does become a brainwashing addiction. I did find a book about cults and MK fit the profile so I knew why I kept hearing MK was a cult. I wonder how many break downs & PTSD MK has caused?

    1. Still Breaking The Basic

      Some years ago a consultant in my unit was hospitalized. The director showed up at the hospital but it was to do the “satin hands” show and recruit the nurses and orderlies. The consultant’s roommate complained to the hospital. Madame Director wanted the consultant to move herself to a private room but her HUSBAND’s insurance wouldn’t cover it. Madame accused hubby of being non-supportive.

  4. raisinberry

    The other tactic that you don’t even notice right away, is the stratification culture. If you didn’t have low self esteem before Mary Kay, you might well develop some! It isn’t normal or healthy to want to create status separations like what is done in mary kay. Directors don’t “room” with consultants. Head Table seating for achievers. Uniform designations. Special dining room to eat separately away from the peons if your Unit is Cadillac. They pretend it is recognition. Nothing could be further from the truth! It is purposeful manipulation that is used as drivers for influencing behavior, that usually is connected to ordering more. The Director gets to plead with her “team” that it would be so special if they qualified for X. When she doesn’t make it, she is left out of the dance, the party, the brunch, the banner or the ribbon…

    Ya never want to feel like that again, right? Did you ever notice that during any one quarter there might be 5 to 10 different promo’s running at the same time? The overkill is intentional. You get trapped in a cycle of achievement and loss, over and over and if one doesn’t work the other one will. Nobody ever stops and asks is all this necessary??

    The irony of calling yourself a company that enriches women’s lives, all the while you are orchestrating the opposite, is indeed a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    1. Lazy Gardens

      The other tactic that you don’t even notice right away, is the stratification culture.

      Deliberately implemented by Mary Kay Ash, as she describes in one of her books. (I think it was in “On People Management”)

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