Married to a Mary Kay Liar

Written by David

My wife was a generous, beautiful, hardworking registered nurse when she joined Mary Kay about three years ago. We lived frugally but happily with two small children as I worked as a medical resident. Her sister called one day to ask a favor: “would you listen to a five minute call and tell me what you think? You’d be helping me SOOOO much.”  She would win a special prize necklace of ‘real pearls’ if she could just convince X number of ladies to listen to this call.

Well the “opportunity” sounded interesting to her (with all the false promises of ‘unlimited income’, ‘you can help your husband retire and support the family on your own’ and ‘MK is the company with the most women making over $100k in America” etc). She asked me about it while the director waited on the phone. I said, “shouldn’t we look into it first?”. She waited a day and signed the contract and purchased the starter kit the next day while I was at work, justifying it with the worn out MK excuses: “It’s only $100” and “I don’t even have to sell it, I could just use it all for personal use”  (another MK line they use all the time: “It’s better to ask forgiveness than permission”).

Things just got worse from there. Immediately after signing the contract, the director calls and gives her very hard sell to place a wholesale order for inventory. “You can’t sell anything if you don’t have it. You’ll be shooting yourself in the foot. Don’t you want to be successful?”.  Again, I say I’m not really comfortable with that, and again she caves to the sales director’s pressure and puts it on her new MK Visa. “It’s only $600, the lowest amount, and I’ll have it paid off in no time.”

The poor decision making and deceit just got worse and worse the deeper she got into the pink fog – she spent thousands on DVDs, events, travel, clothes, shoes, and of course, INVENTORY. She loved chasing the little prizes for recruiting X people or ordering X wholesale. Costume jewelry showed up in the mail regularly, in pink envelopes.

Things got really crazy when she decided to go for the ‘free car’ and DIQ. Never before she joined MK had she expressed interest in driving a new car but suddenly it seemed like a goal that she would sacrifice her morals over. She signed up friends and family with her own cash, recruited everybody and their mother (literally), and when her “production” didn’t make the cut, she just used the credit card to make orders under others’ names as well as her own.

She ‘earned’ directorship and the MK car by the skin of her teeth, with actual sales substantially augmented by her own credit card wholesale orders. She ended up quitting her job as an RN to focus on her ‘business.’ Of course, with her ‘team’ consisting of mostly fake recruits, she would consistently miss production and ‘just make it up’ by placing more wholesale orders to boost her inventory (God forbid she lose her ‘free car’ or directorship).

She lied to me repeatedly about the Mary Kay debt, which now (as far as I know) stands at about $20,000. (She has lied about it multiple times, only increasing the stated

She spends countless hours on training calls, recruiting calls, making postcards, mass texting all her female contacts, warm chatting everyone she sees, meetings, seminars, trips, and other uncompensated activities, but claims she works 5 hours a weeks and tells her I story like MK replaced her nursing income. In reality, she went from $60,000 per year as an RN to $9,000 last year after expenses, her first full year as a director. Almost all of that MK income went to servicing her debt. She did contribute maybe $2,000 over the whole year to the family’s living expenses.

Worse than the financial issues is the Pink Fog. It warps everything she thinks and says. Every friend, family member, new acquaintance, or passerby on the street is a potential customer or recruit. She projects an image of an independent woman, a small business owner, making tons by barely working and getting to stay at home with the kids. In reality she has $20k rotting on the shelf, is trapped in debt slavery, is constantly trying to recruit to make up for dropouts on her team (well over 50% of people who join never do anything or drop out shortly).

When I politely raised questions about her expenses, income, or debt, which she couldn’t answer because she wasn’t tracking any of them, I was immediately labeled ‘negative’ ‘controlling’ and accused of having a ‘poverty mindset’ and ‘not knowing anything about business’.

It has been a huge source of conflict in out marriage.

So glad to have this forum so that our stories can be told.

12 Comments

  1. Char

    Excellent article to show the reason PinkTruth exists, and why the educated and experienced people post what they do. This husband confirms it, again.

    We aren’t here to rob consultants of good fortune. Heck, MLM is available to everyone, and no need for us to be jealous. Fact is, it’s a con game.

    It is most unfortunate that the random drive-by thinks we know not what we write. MLMers should remember the saying, “consider the source”. The only people telling you that MK is a “good” opportunity are those who want to make money off of you. It’s not about you, it’s about them. They make money off you by convincing you it’s “good”. Liars.

    There is plenty of material out there from credible sources exposing this fraud. Don’t be a vulnerable, brainwashed robot by deeming facts as negative. Ask yourself who told you that? Btw, positive is the opposite of negative. Therefore, researching facts and asking questions is not negative – it is gaining knowledge.

    1. Char

      “Educated and experienced people” regarding MLM that is.

      I find it an interesting phenomenon though at how many well-educated people fall for MLM. To me this says just how well the scam is disguised. I also think the perps tailor the spiel to suit their prey.

      Take for example all the MLM crypto scams. They get their more intelligent targets analyzing cyptocurrency, blockchains, white papers, mining, market cap, etc.. They get them focused on the technology, and not the act of MLMing. Relevant translation: Do we talk about how Henkels knives are made, or the act of stabbing and the harm it causes?

      Then there are those who simply fall for, “Hey, ya wanna get rich and drive fancy cars? It’s okay if you can’t spell. Do ya have a big family?” LOL

      1. SW

        Back when I was learning about how MLMs work and reading articles about Amway, I noticed a “so crazy it might just work” mentality among the recruits. I think it is the same in other MLMs. I think it’s a price society pays for having romanced the ideal of a rebel or visionary standing out of a crowd, daring to do what no one did, so much.

        1. MLM Radar

          There’s nothing crazy about MLM / pyramid scheme math. It’s very straightforward. Nearly everyone loses. The more you spend building the pyramid, the more you lose. Period.

          The crazy part is that people believe anyway, despite the math.

  2. BestDecision

    It’s funny that the more highly educated someone is, the more ridicule we got in MK. I was a Director, and I resigned several years ago. I’ve not regretted it one bit. So, hang in there. I bet she’ll wake up soon.

    If you want to make her think about it, ask her how many of the $70 facial masks she sold last week. Show her a tax return for before MK and then last year’s. She’s obviously intelligent to be an Rn, so just let it steep in there.

  3. Cindylu

    So sad how this scam takes women and uses lies and deceit to manipulate them. MK it seems had no respect for husbands or children. The priority is money, money and profit for the heirs and NSD’s. Christian slogans in MK are bogus. They are replaced with find a way or make a way.

  4. MLM Radar

    I was immediately accused of having a ‘poverty mindset’

    I was accused of having a poverty mindset, by a family member who was destroying himself in an MLM. He also accused my father of being a wage slave and having a poverty mindset. I was furious.

    If money is important, how much you earn isn’t as important as how much you keep. In an MLM you are coerced with lures of rolling in riches, but you have to spend, spend, spend to portray yourself as wealthy in the hopes that wishful “positive” thinking will bridge the gap. It never does.

    Who really has a poverty mindset? Is it the so-called wage slave who quietly lives within his means, budgets carefully, and invests so that he can retire with enough money to live comfortably, like my father did?

    I say that the person with the real poverty mindset is the “you have to spend money to make money” dreamer who believes that the path to success lies through big credit card bills and bankruptcy court.

  5. Lazier than Durt

    I hope you can get your wife to keep a spreadsheet. Even if she starts to do so, just to prove you wrong. Numbers don’t lie. Best of luck. I’m so sorry you are going through this.

  6. raisinberry

    I have heard his exact scenario too many times to count. It happened that way to me as well. You just LOSE yourself by the constant indoctrination and rationalizing. And one key thing…not tracking. Not tracking sales, real expenses, real debt.

    Lazier than Durt is correct…One month of tracking with all figures in the mix, along with a current inventory list of what is already on the shelf, can be a freezing bucket of water to the face.

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