A Husband on His Wife’s Failure in Mary Kay

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 her 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.


  1. MLM Radar

    How horrible. I do hope you’ve pulled your credit report to find out if she opened MK credit cards in your name.

    Make sure you pull credit reports for your kids too. It’s not at all unusual for credit abusers to destroy their kids’ credit also by opening and defaulting on cards in their names. Too often the kids don’t discover this until they get turned down for car loans or college loans.

  2. Char

    Have you ever met a good drug dealer or robber? How about a ‘less bad‘ killer because they only successfully killed one person? Maybe a really sweet card cheater, an incredibly skilled liar, or a nice child abuser?

    For any lurker who plans to make the argument that there are always bad apples, would you say the same about the drug dealer, robber, or killer amongst their associated group?

    If you are a MK consultant, you are an MLMer committing the act of MLMing (multi-level marketing), as MK is an MLM company. Period. Sure, the are different degrees of bad behavior e.g., a serial killer vs. someone who ‘only’ murders one person, but the act remains the same.

    For anyone confused, no I’m not comparing MLMing to murdering. Obviously, the type of harm is incomparable. I am pointing out that a bad act is a bad act. There is no such thing as a “good” MLMer committing the act of MLMing; there are only different degrees of the offense.

    MLMing is an inherently flawed method. It is scam or be scammed. To clarify the definition: it’s endless-chain recruiting the opportunity to sell the opportunity, while encouraging the opportunists to purchase products under the illusion that it’s a business opportunity. That is the crime. Knowing this now, it’s easy to see that anyone who actually makes money in MLM is being a successful scammer. You should not be impressed – by a successful MLMer.

    What makes MLMing particularly egregious is that it turns the scamee into the scammer – often while still being the scamee. Very successful MLMers are excluded from this group. Yes, very confusing. MLM is after all a con game aka a confidence trick. Just look at this husband’s story. The wife was scammed, by upline and MKC, of thousands; but she also scammed others.

    Yes, I’m a hater. I hate MLM along with robbers, drug dealers, child abusers, and killers that commit the associated acts that define them. You should too. Why? Just look at this husband’s story if you think MLM is harmless.

  3. morningstar

    Actually I see his anger is justified. However where was HE when she was racking up the bills. They must have $$$$, because she got credit opened. He participated – knowingly- and now he has the rules. I don’t care for the dynamics here. It actually set up his anger. She has low self esteem, etc etc. I know divorce anger is no other and I am not justifying her crazy need for attention. MY question did he give her attention, or throw the kids at her.
    I am glad I don’t have an angry man like him blaming etc. anywhere 5 miles from me.
    Leave! give the kids attention, you will be paying her after the divorce, she will be buying MK.

    1. PeachNotPink

      @morningstar It is not easy to just “leave”; especially when kids are involved. The OP stated that we got a very “abridged” version of the story, so I’m sure there is a lot of detail that we don’t know. Victim shaming him is not right.

      I feel sorry for them both: The Kaybot for getting herself trapped into the rat race of MK. The OP for struggling for years to try and make the best out of having a spouse in a cult. It’s a sad situation all around.

  4. Linda

    In my opinion I think the husband should make one last attempt and try to get the kaybot to watch some anti mlm videos. That will probably not work but atleast he could try. A kaybot is just one of so many versions of hunbot for Beachbody, Arbonne etc and they are all so similar, uses almost exactly the same psycological tactics just with different products. There are even a few male so called ”brobots” out there.

  5. Caniac8402

    This has happened to so many people I know. I read this and instantly thought, I wonder if she knows my old sales director?? She told me several times, “your husband only needs to see you making money”, “Don’t tell him about any debt because then he will steal your dream” etc etc. So, the ex-wife may be being told these things and because she is saving face (which I also get too) she didn’t tell him. Not saying it is right, just saying I see the other side. I was rescued from this black (or pink hole as it were) and vowed never to go back in it. I returned what products I could, liquidated what I could then literally had to trash the rest. All the women’s shelters had to much of this type products on hand to take anymore.

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