real life

'I'd been married for 20 years when I found out my husband was stalking me before we met.'

"What I thought was a perfect family was a lie orchestrated by my husband."

Stalking comes in many forms. But for one woman, the perpetrator wasn't an ex-partner or even a stranger, it was her husband. 

In a story reminiscent of the hit TV series, You, the 45-year-old woman discovered by accident, that her husband of 20 years, the father of her three daughters, had stalked her for two years before they 'met', and kept the souvenirs for more than two decades.

And that's just the beginning. The woman shared her story in an explosive Reddit post, seeking advice from fellow users, after discovering her husband's box of trophies.

Watch: Kendall Jenner recounts scary stalker incident. Post continues below.

Video via Universal.

"We moved into a new home closer to my middle daughter's college. As I was unpacking some of the stuff, I came across my husband's box," she wrote. 

"I was just checking if things were missing or not. I opened his box and found some stuff."

What she found were photos of herself back when she was 20 years old. Pictures of her in college, pictures of her going to the gym, her hangout spot with her friends. She found lists of the places she used to visit. He even had pictures of her inside her own apartment, before the pair had met. 


"But here is the thing, I met my husband on my 22nd birthday. So why does he have numerous pictures of me in different places from 20 to 22?"

The woman went down a rabbit hole, discovering an extensive collection of stalking trophies, including a diary that detailed his motives and methods. 

There were lists of her classes, her friends - even the names of everyone she had previously dated. 

But it was what she found in his diary that was most disturbing. 

"Most of his entries were about me. I didn't even know who he was back then, he didn't exist for me. I won't bore you with details but basically I found out that he staged the day we met for the first time."

Taking a job as a bartender at the bar the woman often went to with her friends, her soon-to-be-husband spiked her drink. The woman passed out, opening the door for her future husband to 'save' her. 

"It worked because I was very much impressed by him. I mean any guy would take advantage of a drunk girl but he didn't," she wrote.

He took her home safely, delivering her to her roommate. When she woke, she realised she'd forgotten her purse at the bar. Except this was a ploy too. He'd stolen her purse, forcing a second interaction, which ultimately led them to start dating.

"Now I know why he always bought things that I liked. I thought that we were soulmates but in reality he was just a creep who stalked me for two years."


It can be difficult to reconcile predatory behaviour with a loving persona. And for this woman, her marriage had appeared to be underpinned by love. She never felt controlled. She only ever felt loved. After sitting on the information for a couple of days, she couldn't keep quiet anymore. 

"After Christmas dinner, I sat down with my husband and told him everything. I even showed him what I had found."

She asked for the truth, and he didn't deny it. He couldn't. It all started after he spotted her working out at the gym. 

"At that moment I felt sick to my stomach. I was overwhelmed with fear and anger."

Unfortunately, like many victim-survivors of stalking and other forms of coercive control, the woman is grappling with two conflicting images of her husband - the loving partner versus the predatory stalker. 

The couple has since separated. 

If this has raised 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. 

Mamamia is a charity partner of RizeUp Australia, a Queensland-based organisation that helps women and families move on after the devastation of domestic violence. If you would like to support their mission to deliver life-changing and practical support to these families when they need it most, you can donate here.

Feature Image: Netflix.