Dealing with an Unsupportive or Negative Spouse in Network Marketing

Today, I want to take a few moments and talk to you about dealing with an unsupportive or negative spouse in network marketing.  This is something that MOST people in our industry have to deal with, so it’s an important topic to discuss.

Let me begin by telling you that there is NOTHING more powerful than having two partners working together towards a common goal.  When a husband and wife team (or domestic partnership team) work together to build their network marketing business they can achieve phenomenal success in record time.

That being said, from my personal experience I’ve found that in about 70 in 100 cases, one spouse is excited about the business and other spouse is negative.  In about 30 out of 100 cases, one spouse is excited and the other one is neutral.  And in about 1 in 100 cases, both partners are excited about the business opportunity. Those are by no means the industry standard.  That’s just my experience.

Another common observation I’ve noticed is that when the woman is excited about the business, the couple ALWAYS does the business.  However, when the woman is negative about the business, the husband usually backs out or retreats.  Once again, I’m not sure why this happens, but it seems to be the norm (from my experience).

If I had to choose, I would ALWAYS rather have the woman excited about the business, rather than the man.  Once again, when the woman wants to do it, the man will normally do it as well. Not so the other way around.

As a recruiter or sponsor, you should always share the presentation or products to BOTH partners at the same time.  Otherwise, you are doing yourself (and them) a huge injustice.  Keep in mind that the person you shared it with won’t be able to explain it to their partner as well as you did, so it just makes more sense to show both of them at the same time.

Now that we have that out of the way, let me give you a few tips for dealing with an unsupportive or negative spouse in your network marketing business.

First off, I don’t believe that any spouse has the right to control their partner or tell them what to do.  I know it happens a lot, and some people might even like it, but I don’t think your spouse should be able to dictate your career choices.  Marriage is a partnership, not a dictatorship. How you perceive that is up to you.

If your spouse is negative, you have a few options.  You can quit the business (or not join).  You can keep it secret.  You can build it anyway.  Or, you could just become a customer.  Those are the only four options I can think of.

The best thing to do is have a heart to heart conversation with your spouse about WHY you want to build the business in the first place.  Talk about your hopes and dreams.  Talk about what is important to you.  Talk about your past mistakes.  In many cases, this can lower the negativity.

Another tip is to do the business on a probationary period.  Ask your spouse to give you a one year probationary period with the business, so you can give it your best shot and see what you can accomplish.  At the end of the year, if your business hasn’t grown to a reasonable level, then you will quit, revert to being a customer, or just continue on a limited part-time basis. I think this is a sound option for most people.

If your spouse is ultra negative because you are doing the business, and you value your relationship more than you value your own dreams, then you could tuck your tail between your legs and quit, just to keep the harmony in your home.  I would never do this myself, but this might be a good option for some people. You know your relationship better than I do, so do what is best for your family.

Another option is to build it anyway.  I once heard a successful distributor say there is no such thing as a negative spouse when you are making $20k per month.  I agree.  If your spouse is negative, just tell them that if they want to help you spend the money you earn, they have to be supportive or at least neutral.

Another smart thing to do is to get your spouse around some other spouses in the business, especially spouses of successful distributors in the company.  Bring your spouse to an event to meet the spouses and to see the “big picture.”  Maybe they could connect with them, talk about their fears, and get a better sense of understanding about the business and why you are doing what you are doing.

My final tip, and best tip, is simply to be serious about your business.  Show your spouse by your actions that you are going to put in the work and get the business built.  Many spouses are negative because their partner has tried five or more MLMs in the past with no success.  If that’s the case, they have a right to be negative or skeptical.  The only way to overcome that is to what needs to be done to get your business built fast!  Let your actions speak louder than your words.

Final Thoughts

There you have it folks.  These are some of my best tips on how to deal with an unsupportive spouse in your network marketing business.  I hope you will take the information in this post and share it with your team members who are going through the same issues.

What are your thoughts?  What are your best tips for dealing with an unsupportive or negative spouse in your network marketing business.  Leave a comment below to let me know what you think.  I look forward to hearing from you.



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chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Phone: (352) 503-4816 EST (my office)

6 thoughts on “Dealing with an Unsupportive or Negative Spouse in Network Marketing”

  1. Diamond Grant

    This is a tricky topic here and I think the decision that should be made is very situational. Communication is essential in any situation though so that each spouse has their feelings shared and understood. It is then based on that open communication where both parties understand where the other is coming from that a decision can be made. As you said, some people can deal with certain options and others cannot. Ultimately, a decision has to be made based upon what is best for you.

  2. MLM Gateway - Helping network marketers build their business
  3. This is really a difficult circumstance, and I am in full agreement with you that when a person gives a presentation, they should do everything in their power to have both people present for it.

    I was always taught that in a relationship, it isn’t 50/50, it is 100/100. Supporting our spouse is important even if we do not agree with their choice. The probationary period is a great idea, but it needs to be long enough that there is a chance of success. If the spouse only wants a 1 or 2 month probation, I believe it isn’t even worth it, because that will not do the opportunity justice.

    Great post Chuck.

    1. Every relationship is different. I don’t want to tell people what to do. Only they know what is best for them. I just don’t think a spouse has the right to tell their partner what occupation they can have, unless it is illegal or immoral.

      1. Greg Boudonck

        I agree, but if a spouse is adamantly against a person being in a network marketing business, it seems it all just comes down to one of two choices: either divorce or leave the MLM. I believe that communication is a huge factor in situations such as this. Before joining, the couple should come to a complete understanding; and I think that the spouse should always be supportive of their mate’s decision, as long as it isn’t illegal or immoral as you say.

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