Dave seemed like the perfect husband. He was actually a real life Joe from 'You'.

A woman on Reddit has shared the chilling moment she discovered her husband had stalked her before they first began dating. And it sounds eerily similar to the plotline of Netflix’s You.

The 32-year-old woman, who goes by the Reddit name ‘HorrifiedFlattered‘ explained that she met her husband Dave* five years ago, and the couple have now been married for two and a half years. The pair share a 20-month-old daughter and she is currently pregnant with their second.

She was introduced to Dave through her colleague Mark. At first, she says she was not “particularly attracted to” Dave and rejected his advances. He was persistent though, and eventually, she agreed to go on a date. She contemplated cancelling on him, but says she was having bad luck getting a date at the time and decided she may as well.

On the date, she recalls being “surprised to learn that Dave and I actually had some things in common”.

“Although he definitely liked me a lot more than I liked him in the beginning, our relationship slowly began to grow, and eventually I fell in love with him,” she explains on Reddit.

Five years later, and she says her marriage with Dave is “really good” and that he is “a great husband”.

She’s a stay-at-home mum, while Dave – who works in IT – is the financial provider for the family.

manipulative husband
The woman's personal story is being compared to Netflix's You. Image: Netflix.

The issue began though when Dave's little brother, Tom, announced he was engaged to his girlfriend, and thanked Dave for all the advice he had given over the years.

"While cuddling, I mentioned to him about what a good example he was to Tom, and this is where it all began," she explains.


Dave decided to explain how he got her to "fall in love" with him, none of which she was aware of.

According to Dave, he had found her on a dating app prior to them meeting and sent her a message, which she ignored. But despite her rejection, Dave said he "just knew" they would form the "perfect couple".

"So apparently after this, he started creating a bunch of fake profiles," she explains. "He stole pictures of very attractive men from social media profiles... Using these profiles, he started, basically, catfishing me."

Using lots of different profiles, he contacted her and initiated conversations with her, whereby he was able to gain personal information from her, such as where she worked.

"He had my name, and started hardcore stalking me online! He had created numerous social media profiles, some of which I accepted as friends/followers, so then he was able to stalk my life!"

The online stalking translated to offline, real-life stalking. Essentially, he began attending the same hang-out places as her and befriended her co-worker, Mark, who then became the mutual connection for herself and Dave.

But despite now knowing the woman, he continued to use the fake profiles and would even set up dates between her and the fake profiles (and then ghost her at the last minute). She says this was him purposefully tearing down her confidence, so that she would have lower self-esteem, lower her expectations, and then go on a date with him (Dave) instead.

But there was one guy who she did meet up with, and who she felt a real connection with. A man named Alex*.

"Alex and I went on our first date, which was absolutely great," she explains, adding she invited him back to her home after, which he declined before never speaking to her again.

"It was one of the most devastating moments of my life. I never would have guessed something like that happening, not after the night we just shared, and I was honestly in shock."

So, why is this relevant?

Well, Dave told his now-wife that he actually paid a man $1000 to date her and then ditch her, again to lower her self-esteem. That man was Alex.

"I asked him why he would do something like that, and Dave's response was that I was a dumb girl who was chasing guys out of her league, and that I needed a reality check to see that the best guy for her was right in front of her face," she explains.

"Up until now, I think I had been smiling and generally in disbelief about the whole thing. Which I think only encouraged him to keep going. But the story about Alex just horrified me."

Side note... People have compared this woman's story to Netflix's You. Watch the trailer for the psychological thriller here. Post continues below video. 

Video by Netflix

Now, the woman says she is confused and horrified, to say the least. She's struggling to reconcile the man she thought she knew and loved, with the story he has now confessed.

"I had a great, loving husband, a beautiful family, and a life that most would kill for. Technically nothing has changed, except what I now know."

People were horrified, commenting their disbelief with the situation and pointing out the abusive and manipulative behaviour her husband has displayed.

"This post is either fake, which is the most likely alternative... Or you need to run the hell away from him," one person wrote.

"There are so many red flags here, so much so that I hope this isn’t real," another commented.

"In the event that it is, I want to ask you to consider one thing. If he would go through such lengths to get you to date him, what would he do if you ever tried to leave? The level of control and manipulation is very concerning. Please talk to someone you trust to let them know of the situation and speak with a therapist for support."

Many compared the man's behaviour to the storyline of Netflix's You.

You follows the story of a mysterious bookstore manager with a murky past, Joe (played by Penn Badgley), who becomes besotted with aspiring writer Beck (Elizabeth Lail) for her quick wit and sophisticated taste in literature. His obsession has devastating consequences.

* Names were changed by the Reddit user to protect privacy. 

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.

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