How to Deal with a Negative Spouse in Network Marketing

Today, I want to take a few moments and talk to you about dealing with a 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.

The Power of 2

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. Two people working together, toward the same goal, can easily outperform what one specific person can do. Two people working together is VERY powerful, but it’s also very, very rare.

My Observations

First and foremost, you should understand that opposites attract. There is a good chance you and your spouse are opposites. You might be the risk taker whereas they like to play it safe. You might be the outgoing people person while they might be the introvert. You might be entrepreneurial whereas they have the employee mindset. Get the picture?

Based upon my own personal experience I’ve found that in about 70 out of 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 out of 100 cases, both partners are equally excited about the business opportunity. I don’t have industry stats to validate these numbers. Instead, these stats are based on my own personal observations.

Another common observation I’ve noticed is that when the woman is excited about the business, the couple almost ALWAYS does the business. However, when the woman is negative about the business, the husband usually backs out or retreats, even if he is really interested. This is probably because women typically control the household finances and because most men do not want an unhappy wife.

If I had to choose, I would ALWAYS rather have the woman excited about the business, rather than the man. Once again, 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.

How to Deal with an Negative Spouse in Network Marketing 

Now that we have that out of the way, let me teach you how to deal with a negative spouse in network marketing.

No One Should Control You

First off, it’s your life to live. No one, including your spouse, has the right to tell you what you can or can’t do for a career unless what you are doing is immoral, illegal or unethical. Your spouse didn’t choose your current profession for you, nor do they have the right to tell you that you can or can’t start your own business. If your spouse is trying to control what you do for a career, the two of you should consider having a talk with a licensed professional marriage therapist. Marriage is a partnership not a dictatorship.

Quit the Business

Your next option is to quit the business. If you do this, remember you are setting a huge precedent. You are showing your spouse they control your decisions. Whatever they tell you to do, you have to do it.

Keep it a Secret

Your next option is to start building a business, but keep it a secret. I’m not a huge fan of “marital” secrets myself, but this might work for some people. You can start building your business in your free time, but not bring it up in a conversation with your spouse.

Just be a Customer

Your next option is to simply be a customer. Instead of building a business, you just use the products and focus on your job or career.

Have the TALK

The most important thing to do is to have a talk with your spouse. Let them know WHY you want to build a business. Ask them for their support or to at least be neutral. If you take the time to sit down with them and explain why you want to build a business, they are more likely to be supportive. Keep in mind if you have done MLM in the past, but never followed through, put in the work, or built a big business, your spouse has a reason to be negative and skeptical.

Work on  Probationary Period

Your next option 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.

Build it Big, Regardless of What They Think

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 $10k to $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.

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 several 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 get your business built quickly! Let your actions speak louder than your words.

Introduce Your Spouse to the Team

Furthermore, get your spouse around some other spouses in the business, especially around 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.

Share Your Progress

My next tip is to keep your spouse updated and share your progress with them each month. Share your profit and loss statement with them. Show them how many people joined your team in the previous month. Show them your bonus check. Assuming you are putting in the work and growing your business, your income should go up each month.

Love Them

The last thing I can share with you is to always love your spouse. Be positive and encouraging. Treat them well, even if they are unsupportive or negative. Chances are they will come around, IF you stick with it, put in the work and do what you said you were going to do.

Final Thoughts

There you have it folks. These are some of my best tips on how to deal with a negative spouse in network marketing. 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 about how to deal with a negative spouse in network marketing? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.

chuck holmes


Chuck Holmes
Network Marketing Professional (since 2002)
Author, Blogger, & Entrepreneur

P.S. Level up your life today! FREE resources to help you improve your health, finances, business, and relationships. I'll even give you FREE leads and a free business plan template. Learn more.

6 thoughts on “How to Deal with a Negative Spouse in Network Marketing”

  1. 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. 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. 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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