Disagreement with Hubby over MLM Business

Updated on January 24, 2011
E.M. asks from Boulder, CO
12 answers

So my husband got involved in a MLM business this past summer--I did not support the choice at the time as money is tight for us. He tells me I do not think long term enough. It will end up paying off etc. etc. I was totally against it but he went ahead and joined anyway. He has to buy between $100 and $200 worth of this certain health supplement a month to stay in the gig. Apparently, it is a very long-lived upstanding company where people really have made a lot of money. Well, it has been 6 mos. and he has not signed one person up. He isn't even very actively trying to do it---just making a few phone calls here and there and sending out some emails. He keeps insisting he has some leads but they keep putting him off. I didn't support the idea to begin with, I am having a very hard time supporting it now and of course, he is mad that I am being so negative and am not being "supportive." How much of being a good spouse is shutting up when you don't agree and how much is standing up for what YOU think instead of blindly supporting a bad decision? I feel bad and yet angry at the same time. I am just wondering what others would do in my position.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

I have tried so hard to be supportive. Before Christmas, he freaked out and put us on this super tight budget where we only spend cash so when the cash runs out, every week, I have to wait until the next Friday before I get any more money. We are currently a family of four, we have no savings and are trying to pay down debt. We don't have credit card debt--we had just paid all of that off (from our foolish 20s) and were about to get ahead when all of a sudden our sewer cost us thousands of dollars, our car died and we had a pet emergency. Since we had no savings to draw from, it had to go on a line of credit from the bank. We have no fun money in our budget, I don't work--I stay at home with 2 small kids-- and we can't afford any classes like ballet or gymnastics for them. My budget is like $200 week which includes gas and groceries and every other thing in between. We live in a VERY expensive area of the country so we have a small house with a big mortgage. I just don't feel like we are good candidates to be throwing this money away every month. He has already past the two dates he said he was going to "give it" and keeps going back on his word.

Featured Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

All of these deals are scams. If he can do the math, he'd know there is no way to ever make back what he spends. Maybe that's what you should do...a printout of expenses in relation to income. If that doesn't work, nothing will. He's just going to have to learn the hard way unfortunately.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Detroit on

I would sit down and have a talk with him, and remind him that you were not crazy about this idea in the first place, but he made the choice to go ahead with it anyway. It's disappointing that he decided to plow ahead without taking your feelings into consideration. Then ask him what he thinks is a reasonable amount of time and money to give to this trying to make it work. See if he can agree to a deadline - one that both you and he can live with (i.e., if nothing changes in 3 more months or 6 more months or whatever, he's done). Remind him that as much as you want to be supportive, you are also trying to look at the big picture and all you see is money going down the drain, and it's hard to be supportive of something that you did not want to see happen in the first place.

My DH can be like this sometimes too - he once decided to pay the money to take a course in becoming a massage therapist. At the time I agreed to it, but once he completed the course, he never did anything more with it. Never got licensed (in some places it is required), never applied for a job anywhere, nothing. That was almost 6 years ago. He also once spent $500 to buy into a similar set-up (MLM), selling these nutitional supplement products on-line and trying to recruit others, but that never went anywhere either. He's always been one to try to make a lot of money with minimal effort but at least he talked to me about it first. Fortunately he has not come up with any more "schemes" lately, and when he has, I put my foot down and say, NO. When he asks why not, I remind him of what has been spent already, with nothing to show for it, and I am not willing to take on any more "gambles". I don't bring it up anymore in arguments, because that serves no purpose, I just chalk it up as a learning experience for both of us (i.e. he should not have done it and I should not have agreed to it). I love my DH dearly, but he can be so stubborn and hard-headed sometimes that he just doesn't want to listen to me when I say something is not a good idea - then he has to find out for himself the hard way. I am learning that some people are just like that and maybe eventually your husband will need to figure it out on his own too. At this point, the only thing I would be willing to invest money into is for my DH to get a college degree.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Oh what a bummer.
Maybe try to convince him that you are being reasonable and trying to think logically.
Even if he only has to pay the company $100 per month to keep his membership or whatever it's called, that equals $1200 in one year. So far, all that is happening is that money is going out. So far, the only people making money is the company. They can't lose whether your husband sells anything or not.
Ask him to give YOU the sales schpiel. How many sales per month does he have to make in order to recoup the monthly investment? How many sales has he made?
Can you maybe agree that another 6 months is all that you as a family can afford to invest in a business "venture" that may not pay anything in return?
Obviously if he is investing closer to $200 per month, that ups things to $2400 over a year. It's not that you're trying to be unsupportive, but you might be better off putting that money in the bank every month and have something to show at the end of the year as opposed to the alternative.

I live in a very economically depressed area. So many people have taken hits or lost their jobs. These MLM people are really good at making it sound simple to earn money, but it doesn't matter how reputable the actual product is, if people don't have money to buy things like that, there will be no sales. I know families that have had to sell one of their cars because they can't afford the insurance and registration. They are scrambling to save money, they aren't buying vitamin supplements and if they are, they're getting them on sale at Winco or Walgreen's.
That's not being negative. That's being realistic.
And, you certainly can't make any sales if you aren't really killing yourself trying to get the product out there.

Like I said, maybe you can crunch the numbers a bit and agree on a date. If money isn't coming in enough to at least break even by such and such a date, you both agree it's time to be done with it.
I don't mean any offense, but it's just not a time of people having much expendable income. He's hoping money can come from nowhere. It can't.

I wish you the best.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Victoria on

This is one of those things that I say should be paid for with his spending cash and not family money and certainly not bill money or savings. So, basically to not have financial fights, we take our money and pay bills, put money in savings/investments and the rest we split so that each of us has money to spend on ourselves or anyway we wish. If he doesn't have enough to do it,then it doesn't get done. MLM's are just sleezy in my opinion, but if he wants it as a hobby, then whatever floats your boat. My husband spends that much in a month on his hobby. If you can't afford it though, it has to go. otherwise there is gonna be resentment etc...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

There are a lot of great businesses out there, but unless you actually work them consistently every week, you won't make money. Since you think he isn't actively working, of course he isn't making money. Are the products something people need and use? Have you tried them yourself? Have you seen a business presentation? I have a home business that is not MLM but similar in some ways, and I have been doing it for 7 years this month. I have a nice consistent paycheck every month, nothing to live on, but almost a mortgage payment each month. I work about 20 hours a week and certainly see how if I worked more, I could increase my income.

Perhaps you need to learn more about what he is doing and really try the supplements to see if they will make a difference for you. Give them 3-4 months, if you don't see a difference in how the company promotes it, talk with your husband, do it nicely, no ultimatums but an honest talk about the money. Talk about what he is making versus what he spends and what benefits he gets. Get informed on the business so you know what you are talking about. People in MLM can make money, it has to be the right business and preferably one that has been around for more than 5 years as most new businesses fail in the first 5 years.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chattanooga on

Ugh. My grandma tried to get me into one of these. It was the same type thing... health supplements and all. I told her that I would only join if SHE paid all the expenses for me, and when I started making money I would pay her back from that. After 1 year, I was only 'making' $200 a month (which went to her)... but paying out at least $250. So I quit, and cut her losses. lol. She stuck with it for a year and a half after that, and she was ACTIVELY trying to sign people up... she got over 30 people in her line, and she was barely breaking even. She had "mentors" who claim they were making enough money to completely support them... we would go to monthly meetings where people would tell their success stories. Woo hoo for them... we weren't making anything. It seemed like anyone who wasn't "rank" in the program weren't able to get ahead in it.

Oh, BTW... the 'business' was started by very well-known and upstanding people... Kiosaki (probably spelled wrong, but he co-wrote the books 'why we want you to be rich' and 'rich dad, poor dad')... Maybe it will pay off, but in these programs you have to get out and PROMOTE! There is no way it will ever pay off unless he is actively out there getting people.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

If both people are not on board with the MLM business it does not work very well. I mean all traveling to conferences, hotel expenses and the lot plu as you see buying the product to keep xyz happy. Sometimes the products rae very good other times not so good. Enough on that.

In order for this to work for him he HAS to do this daily as if it were a job I mean a real job and that means cold canvassing the leads that he gets. He can't just say he has a lead and play with it like a toy it has to be real and he has to set a time frame daily to do this. Right now it is really tough because of the economy and people are penny pinching to the pennies squeak.

I did several and had some success but I also had a rather non supportive spouse. Also it depends on where you live the US as a big city has more people to contact than a small rural area. My problem was rural areas that had been burned by many other MLMs that had come through before me.

If you can talk with hubby with black and white figures and propose a way to do things together that will make it comfortable for him to continue good. If there is no way that it will work he is going to have to come up with funds of his own outside of the family's needs to make it work.

I wish you the best with whatever happens. Just don't brag to him I told you so be kind and considerate. We all have done some things that we should not have done or had the funds to do.

The other S.



answers from San Diego on

Until you act supportive he's going to try and prove u wrong. U have already voiced ur opinion loud and clear. The sooner u let it go so will he. Men are competitive, the more u tell him it's a bad idea the more he's going to want to win. Let it go. Put ur energy into loving him. You will be suprised by how quick his attitude will change. Or u can always say I will join the team but let's have an end date in mind. If in 6 months u don't do ABC, we r done. But let him pick the date. That way it's his words not urs that he has to eat! Good luck.


answers from Houston on

Nope. Getout of it. My dad, an amazing salesmen, signed up for companies like this for years. Friends and family can only buy so much to support you. It may pay off for a very few... but those are the people who work their butts off for it and have large networks. He isn't investing his time... just his money. You win this argument.



answers from Salt Lake City on

OK, so there is an in-home business and then there is a MLM. Two very different things - an in-home business takes many forms (ok, MLM is one kind, but not great), but there is a set work schedule and budget and income. If you don't stick to the work sched, especially, it won't work (I learned this from my own experience).

MLM on the other hand requires investment up front and then often continually putting money into it, too. My general advice when you see an MLM is RUN AWAY. Sure, some people make money at it. The people who signed him up are making money off him every month, as well as their uplines. But to make good money, you have to get more people to sign up and buy the stuff for themselves, and get them to sign people up too. I just hate the whole setup - you're not selling a product, you're selling a "business" - and that's just not right....
Anyway, if he isn't willing to put in the time to make a business of any kind work, he's just throwing his money away. And, in my honest opinion, this MLM isn't worth it. I've heard of it, and looked into a lot of them, always very skeptical, and always decided I didn't like them, and really only a very small percentage of people make a lot of money, and a lot of people barely break even.

So, now that you're where you are now, I would suggest sitting down with him, and putting your foot down. Tell him he's had his chance, it isn't working, and you refuse to keep throwing away your money on a product you don't need. Tell him it's time for a wake up call - if he was an employee with this work ethic, he'd have been fired long ago. Until he's willing to actually work, he has no call being self-employed. And again that you hate the business and don't want to spend any more money on it.



answers from Salt Lake City on

I think you need to push him to make it work. I am a believer in net work marketing companies. They are basically fire proof. He can only fire himself by not working it. I realize money is tight, but hang in there and let him know you believe in him. Also make sure that he has the book "Think and Grow Rich" by Nepolean Hill, and other good books to help him with his destination. I know they will help him. If you are nagging him all the time, nothing will help.



answers from Los Angeles on

One thing that you have not considered is the tax benefits you receive from having a home based business. This can add up to thousands of dollars that you will not pay in taxes because of the write offs associated with your business.

I know how you feel because I was in the same situation you are in a couple of years ago when my husband became part of this industry. At first I was not on board and let him work his business. Luckily he had the training to do things right in the beginning. Since then, I have actually joined him in our business and I love it!

Another issue it that he is just going to "try it". That never works in this industry. It also sounds like he is getting no support from his upline or the company in regards to training and how to actually work the business. I would be happy to speak to you or your husband as to what options you have to make this work for you.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions