Husbands Should Stand Up to Mary Kay

divorceThe Mary Kaybots will say you’re unsupportive. They’ll tell your wife that you’re just “trying to hold her back,” or that you “don’t want her to have something just for herself.” You’ll be called negative. They’ll say you just don’t “get it.”

The real truth is that you understand all too well what a losing proposition Mary Kay Cosmetics is. The failure rate in this so-called business is astronomically higher than any legitimate business. Why? Because it’s more of a pyramid scheme (in which only a very small few win, dependent, of course, on all the rest to pass their money up the chain). It’s not a real business in which results are reasonably correlated to your efforts.

So Mary Kay representatives must demonize those who use logic and reason to debunk this flopportunity. The Mary Kay director wants your wife to “invest” thousands of dollars in inventory, and you suggest she start with a very small order until she sees what she’s selling. “Unsupportive! You need inventory to be successful! He must want you to fail!”

The husband recognizes that the family’s money is going down the black hole called Mary Kay for repetitive “training” events which are nothing more than recruiting events. Between supplies, gas, postage, and a myriad of other expenses, the husband sees that after months, this “business” isn’t even close to showing a profit. What happened to that “50% profit” they all bragged about? The ability to start earning money right away? The husband sees Mary Kay for what it is and questions the bottom line. “He doesn’t get it! It takes time for a business to make money! You have to work the numbers! He must not want you to succeed!” 

Mr. Right finds out that his wife is placing an order for a bunch of new products, even though he sees that large initial inventory order still sitting in the same place… collecting dust. Of course, the story is that she needs the newest stuff, that it will fly right off the shelf, that this product is totally different and will jump-start her business. (Or maybe even worse, she may tell him that she’s “finishing star” which is a big deal in MK and something she can’t miss out on!) The husband wisely suggests that she use a few catalogs to gauge interest in the products before ordering them and adding to the credit card bill and dust collectors. “You don’t need his permission to run your business the way you see fit! By the time you get around to ordering, the good stuff will be sold out! He doesn’t understand what women want!”

And so this story plays itself out  in households around the country. Husbands seem to be in a no-win. If they see the signs (and most do, very quickly) and they don’t do anything, they’re headed down the road of financial ruin. If they do say something, they’re demonized by the Kaybots because that’s the only effective way to get women to NOT listen to the logic and reason presented by the husbands.

But husbands, you need to stand firm. Stop the Mary Kay train as fast as you can, before it ruins your marriage. Here is one reader’s story:

I admit to being a little bitter when composing this but I have good reason to be. I recently filed for and completed my divorce with a 10 year Mary kay director. During our marriage I made many sacrifices believing in the Mary Kay myth that she so well propagated. I turned down jobs and promotions to raise our child to give her the 60-70 hrs per week she needed to work. I destroyed my credit so she could drive a free pink cadillac that ended up costing us $600+ per month. I at one point even joined her unit and bought inventory so she could make recruiting quotas during her DIQ. That was just the tip of the MK iceberg.

The real colors were shown however during the divorce. This self proclaimed Independent woman with a “career” that she said allowed her to work at home, make good money, and be available to raise a child is now a proven  myth and warning to all who read this.

This Independent woman cannot function alone and has moved her mom into the house I gave her. (31 + yrs old and living with mommy) real independent (I wonder if this pitch is used to recruit). She often stated to her new recruits “a man is not a plan”. Though I only worked part time she still depends on me for monthly support. according to her, she cannot afford clothes for a toddler, her father pays her healthcare, both water and electric have been turned off several times at the house, and there is no cable TV anymore.

Yet despite all this on review of her credit card bills (which she actually expects me to pay) She is charging Limousine rides, Hotels at career conference (held only about 15 miles from the house), $700 Mary Kay dinners, prizes for lazy consultants, $350 a month for a meeting hall, and it goes on and on. So much for “once I become a director I will start making money”.

True gross incomes in MK can look nice when they show you their check in a meeting. What they are not telling you is how expensive it is to run that kind of “business”. By the time you add it all up I was making more working 25hrs a week retail than my wife was as a 10 year director working 60 hours a week and destroying a family while doing so.

This story is repeated all across the world everyday I’m sure, However even in her own unit her top two people have separated from or divorced their husbands recently as well. In the last year I have grown dramatically and forgive her for everything and wish her well.

Though Mary Kay wasn’t our only problem it made the little ones bigger than they ever would have been. I just hope this letter finds the right people and they get out of this scam before it is too late for them as well. Maybe had I been more pro active I may have been able to save my family.

Husbands, stand up to Mary Kay. Help guide your wife’s decisions regarding Mary Kay, because her decisions are clouded by the pink fog, emotional manipulation by her upline, and nonsensical logic as to why she should order more. the best way you can support her is by standing up for your family and your finances.


  1. When I met my now wife nearly 30 years ago, I was already an anti-mlm warrior. She had never been exposed to MLM before we met, so by the time she started getting approached occasionally by fellow church-goers, she was able to see right through those ridiculous MLM pitches.

    My wife is a strong, accomplished woman. I can only imagine how hard it would have been for me to try to unravel the MLM psychosis if she had fallen for the pitch. My heart hurts for guys who lose their wives to this BS.

    My message to my fellow husbands: talk about MLM with your wife before she experiences that first pitch. That goes for the kids as well.

    Even with MLM, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

    • That’s pretty amazing that your wife hadn’t already encountered MLM. I remember being invited to my friend’s mom’s Mary Kay party back in high school (30+ years ago). Of course, being a broke kid, I bought the cheapest thing I could, although the lady pushed skin care pretty hard. I remember her saying that Mary Kay had a “matronly figure” but perfect skin. 🙄 I think a personal finance course should be a requirement for high school graduation.

      • “I think a personal finance course should be a requirement for high school graduation.” I second that. And civics. I’d even go for a class called “Life skills”.

        Note: My wife is from a small college town…daughter of two very busy physicians. No time for MLM parties in that household. She managed to steer clear of MLM during college and grad school somehow.

        By the time she started getting directly approached (when we were the target MLM demographic–late 20s), she had already watched me dissect one MLM after another, including in special cases where I would accept invitations to MLM meetings on one condition: I give them 30 minutes, then they must give me a full 30 minutes in return.

        I should have taken video of their faces when I opened my laptop and showed them a working spreadsheet business model of their own MLM, using their own numbers, compensation plan, and the corporate sales trends for the last 5 years. Then I would enter their financial goals, and reveal the giant losses required in their down-line for them to achieve those goals. Not to mention how many people they’d have to approach every single day to have a hope of reaching their goals in a year (or two).

        I never had the heart to be this blunt, but looking back, I would have asked, “Just how many people are you willing to swindle to reach your financial goals? Family? Friends? Strangers?”

        Of all those presentations, only one ever reached out to me afterward, much later, and admitted I was right. But in the moment, these folks called me a “dream stealer”, “un-American” or something worse. Ironic, because I was trying to spare them a nightmare! I felt so bad for every single one of them. To this day I wish I could find the magic thing that will shake them free of the MLM grip. Alas, all I can do is love them through it and hope they snap out of it before too much damage is done.

        It is my concern for those affected by MLM that draws me to this site. Although I’ve never been in Mary Kay, I feel that most of the contributors here share my deep concern for the victims of MLM, and my disdain for the perps at the top who know exactly how this sick business model works.

        Note2: For those curious, most folks didn’t accept my “30 for 30″offer. I am no longer in the target MLM demographic (I used to get hit up regularly), but I will do this again, given the chance.

  2. I would be fascinated to know the divorce rate among MLMers vs. the population at large. I know it’s probably nearly impossible to get that statistic, but I bet it’s significantly higher in the MLM group.

    I was in a training once with a well-known national who was going through her second divorce. She said that nationals have a higher divorce rate than other women because they have the financial resources to live independently and escape toxic home lives. I had my doubts, even deep as I was in the pink fog then.

  3. It’s like being with a lying gambler, not your fault.

    My friends Director did this to her fiance for years. Sold Mary Kay while she got her fiance to pay for her masters degree. Finished school only to tell him about all the credit cards she aquired on Mary Kay while in school. Mutual friends told me she had close to 50 grand in debt on products. He stayed and paid it off along with her masters degree she refused to use. She never contributed a cent to thier relationship from what I heard.

    After they ended , I guesss she chose Mary Kay over him, she moved in with her mother and then went after him for whatever she could get her hands on, got half of his money to keep her pink dream alive. She’s now a Director in Winnipeg. She’s getting women to follow her in debt and ruining marriages.

    It’s such a destructive path. For what? Fake scammers is all they are. They will do anything to keep up apparences. Wish she would stop ruining good women out there for her own selfish addiction. Her new man has no idea what he’s in for. Mlm’s should be illegal. They only leave debt and destruction.


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