Female Stalkers, Part 1: What is Stalking and Can Men Be Stalked by Women?

Do you know what stalking is? Do you know that many of your girlfriend’s, wife’s or ex’s “nuisance,” clingy, possessive, angry, threatening, internet search, social network, text/telephone/email and/or destructive behaviors qualify as stalking and harassment? Do you know that many women often use Family Court and negative advocate attorneys to stalk and harass their ex-husbands? Do you know that stalking and harassment are abuse? Do you know that stalking and harassment are a form of domestic violence? Do you know that stalking and harassment (and cyberstalking and cyber-harassment) are crimes?

For many people, the term “stalker” conjures up the image of an obsessed, delusional man, lurking in the shadows and peeking through some poor woman’s windows, but this is only half the story. Women stalk and harass their male intimate partners and former-intimate partners, too.

If you’ve been involved with a high-conflict and/or abusive personality-disordered woman, it’s highly likely that you’ve been the target of stalking and harassment. Most male stalking victims don’t refer to female stalking behavior as stalking. They use words like crazy, obsessed, psycho, delusional, bitter ex-wife, vengeful ex-girlfriend, “can’t let go,” “can’t move on” and a number of other equally appropriate descriptors.

Who engages in stalking behaviors more? Men or women?

Female perpetrators engage in stalking and harassment behaviors with as much frequency as male offenders do. Why don’t we hear about it? Because most woman-centric (i.e., feminist) domestic violence groups and mainstream media outlets are woefully silent when it comes to male victims of abusive women. Worse yet, female stalking behaviors are portrayed as “funny” or “cute,” for example, Confessions of a Facebook Stalker (That’s Me) and Confessions of a Facebook Stalker.

When a woman is actually acknowledged as a perpetrator, she’s portrayed as having been wronged by some man and in need of our help and understanding. When a man engages in the same behaviors, he’s portrayed as a menace to society who should be locked up. Most DV groups exemplify what can only be described as a one-way road paved with double standards when it comes to matters of abuse and the condemnation and criminality of said behaviors.

Recent studies find that men and women seem to engage in stalking behaviors equally. Older studies indicated that women comprised the majority of victims. However, these skewed figures are believed to be due to the way the questionnaires and surveys were worded in the older studies. It’s also attributed to the fact that men are less likely to report a crime when a woman is the perpetrator because they’re afraid of being ridiculed, not believed and/or because they don’t believe they’re in physical danger.

Mullen et al (2001) find:

[Men] who find themselves the victim of a female stalker often confront indifference and skepticism from law enforcement and other helping agencies. Not infrequently, male victims allege that their complaints have been trivialized or dismissed, some victims being told that they should be “flattered” by all the attention.

Victimization studies indicate that women are seldom prosecuted for stalking offenses, with criminal justice intervention most likely to proceed in those cases involving a male suspect accused of stalking a woman (Hall, 1998). The available evidence suggests that stalking by women has yet to be afforded the same degree of seriousness attached to harassment perpetrated by men. This is despite any empirical evidence that women are any less intrusive or persistent in their stalking or pose any less of a threat (physical or otherwise) to their victims.

Langhinrichsen-Rohling et al (2000) used the Unwanted Pursuit Behaviors Inventory (UPBI) to determine the prevalence of “former-intimate stalking-type” behaviors in an undergraduate population. This study finds no sex differences in overall UPBI scores of individuals who are the “dumpees.” Females and males indicate that they engage in stalking acts to the same degree in their inventory responses.

Additionally, there are no sex differences in the number of unwanted pursuit behaviors (UPBs) experienced by those who initiated the break-up. “Males and females who had instigated the break-up were equally likely to be the victims of UPBs by their former-intimates, which included theft, physical harm and being followed.”

Interestingly, males are found to be the victims of cyberstalking by a former-intimate more than their female counterparts (Alexy et al, 2005). Mullen et al (2001) also find that female stalkers are more likely to favor electronic stalking acts than physical acts, show the same propensity for threats, physical violence and property damage as male offenders, are more motivated to establish a love relationship with their victims and are likely to target men and women equally with their stalking behaviors [*This is consistent with research on female bullies who are equal opportunity bullies; their male counterparts tend to bully other men.]

What is stalking?

Stalking is a combination of harassment behaviors, both cyber/digital and offline, that are unwanted by the target and induce fear, frustration and/or cause physical and psychological distress. Wigman (2009) conducted a research review on male victims of former-intimate stalking (i.e., men who are stalked by crazy ex-wives, ex-girlfriends, ex-friends with benefits, one-nightstands and, in some cases, women with whom they’d never been intimate). She finds:

Although no definition of stalking is universally accepted, most have in common the stipulations that the behaviors or acts must be repeated and unwanted. For example, the U.S. Department of Justice (2002) stated that stalking is “the willful or intentional commission of a series of acts that would cause a reasonable person to fear death or serious bodily injury” (p. 1). This definition includes a fear component, although other definitions do not, and under these circumstances, cases are often considered as “harassment” rather than “stalking.”

For example, Langhinrichsen-Rohling, Palarea, Cohen, and Rohling (2000) identified unwanted pursuit behaviors (comprising harassment acts and more severe stalking acts), which they defined as “activities that constitute ongoing and unwanted pursuit of a romantic relationship between individuals who are not currently involved in a consensual romantic relationship with each other” (p. 73). Stalking or harassment acts can range from relatively minor behaviors such as leaving unwanted messages or gifts for the victim, to more serious actions such as following, threatening or assaulting the victim.

The 2001 British Crime Survey (BCS) defines stalking as involving feelings of “fear, alarm or distress” because of “two or more events of harassment” (Walby & Allen, 2004, p. 4) and incorporates all types of stalking behaviors. Purcell, Pathe and Mullen (2002) find that stalking by a former-intimate appears to be the most severe, with targets suffering “more varied stalking acts in general for longer durations, as well as more threats, physical harm and damage to their property, than acquaintance stalkers, stalking by family, friends, or colleagues, or stalking by strangers” (Wigman, 2009).

In two related studies, Sheridan, Gillett and Davies (2002) and Sheridan, Davies and Boon (2001b), define stalking as “a series of actions directed at one individual by another which . . . amount to unwanted persistent personal harassment” (2002, p. 303). Purcell, Pathe and Mullen (2001) define stalking as “unwanted, repeated (at least 10 intrusions) and persistent (lasting 4 weeks or more) efforts to converse with or encroach on the victim, which caused the victim to feel fear.”

Who is likely to stalk?

The usual suspects, of course.

Personality-disordered individuals who are more likely to engage in stalking behaviors include narcissistic, borderline, histrionic, antisocial, schizoid and dependent personalities (Meloy & Gothard, 1995; Akhtar, 1987). There is also a high correlation with individuals who have substance abuse histories, mood disorders, sexual dysfunction and schizophrenia (Meloy & Gothard, 1995). Having a significant loss within a 7-year period (e.g., a divorce, break-up, estrangement, loss of job, death of a child or parent) is also common amongst stalkers.

According to Mullen et al (2001), “both the females and males engaged in stalking because they felt rebuffed, wanted to take revenge, or thought that stalking would help them get a date. But significantly more female stalkers wanted to establish an intimate, loving relationship with the person they pursued.” Both male and female subjects “had delusional disorders, personality disorders, morbid infatuations, and so forth. (Male and female stalkers also tended to use similar methods of harassment, except that female stalkers favored the phone, and male stalkers physical pursuit.)”

Why is it important that men accurately identify these types of behaviors?

Stalking and other forms of harassment are criminal behaviors, whether the perpetrator is a male or female. Stalking typically occurs after a break up, although, it can also occur at the onset and throughout the course of the relationship. For example, does your wife hack into your email?

Many men view stalking behavior in women as normal female insecurity, jealousy and/or possessiveness. These are not normal behaviors; they’re abnormal and abusive behaviors. They’re indicative of an individual who has a lack of boundaries, a shaky grasp on reality and sociopathic tendencies (i.e., no empathy for how her victims are feeling and the belief that only her needs, feelings and desires matter).

If you’re beginning to date someone and she displays stalking/harassment behaviors, it should be a huge red flag (i.e., you need to stop seeing her). If your wife or girlfriend are guilty of these behaviors, you need to understand that this is abuse and it’s wrong. If your ex-wife is stalking/harassing you and/or your new girlfriend/wife/family, you need to take legal measures to protect yourself and your loved ones. The reason so many women get away with these behaviors is because not enough people take them seriously. Our society will begin to take this issue seriously if we start prosecuting women who engage in these behaviors—just like we do with male offenders.

Perhaps some men aren’t physically afraid of their female stalkers, but that doesn’t make their behavior any less criminal. Being stalked and/or the target of a harassment campaign can be incredibly stressful, irritating and frustrating. Law abiding citizens—including male law abiding citizens—have a right to the peaceful enjoyment of their lives free from harassment by their former intimates or other love/revenge-obsessed former/current intimates.

The Shrink4Men Stalking Series

Please check back in a couple of days for the second part of this series, which will provide a comprehensive list of stalking behaviors and a discussion of stalking types and categories.

Shrink4Men Counseling, Coaching and Consulting Services:

Dr Tara J. Palmatier provides confidential, fee-for-service, counseling/consultation/coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Shrink4Men Services page for professional inquiries.

References:

Hall, D. M. (1998). The victims of stalking. The Psychology of Stalking: Clinical and Forensic Perspective. Edited by Meloy, J. R. San Diego, Academic Press: 188-196.
Harmon, R. B., Rosner, R., & Owens, H. (1995). Obsessional harassment and erotomania in a criminal court population. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 40, 188-196.
Kienlen, K. K., Birmingham, D.L. Solberg, K. B., O’Ragan, J. T., & Meloy, J. R. (1997). A comparative study of psychotic and non-psychotic stalking. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry & the Law, 25 (3), 317-334.
Langhinrichsen-Rohling, J., Palarea, R.E., Cohen, J., & Rohling, M. L. (2000). Breaking up is hard to do: Unwanted pursuit behaviors following the dissolution of a romantic relationship. Violence and Victims, 15, 73-90.
Meloy, J. R., & Gothard, S. (1995). Demographic and clinical comparison of obsessional followers and offenders with mental disorders. American Journal of Psychiatry, 152 (2), 258-263.
Mullen, P. E., Pathe, M., Purcell, R., & Stuart, G. W. (1999). A study of stalkers. American Journal of Psychiatry, 156, 1244-1249.
Mullen, P. E., Pathe, M., Purcell, R. (2001). A study of women who stalk. American Journal of Psychiatry, 158, 2056-2060.
Walby, S., & Allen, J. (2004). Domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking: Findings from the British Crime Survey Home Office Research Study 276. Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate.
Wigman, S. A. (2009). Male victims of former-intimate stalking: a selected review. International Journal of Men’s Health, June 22, 2009.
Zona, M. A., Sharma, K. K., & Lane, J. C. (1993). A comparative study of erotomanic and obsessional subjects in a forensic sample. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 38 (4), 894-903.



Comments

  1. Ron On Drums says

    In my life I have had to deal with this twice. Once was from a crazy fan of my band. The other was a “psycho” Ex GF. The fan was somebody I met at a show we did. She was actually polite & engaging. I spoke to her for all of maybe 15min, autographed her CD,thanked her for coming to the show & gave her a hug & a peck on the cheek. The end, or so I thought. Somehow from this 15min engagement she got the idea that we were “Soulmates”.

    Totally delusional I know but she got my phone number from the phone book. My name was on the inside cover of the CD. She started calling me daily & if my wife answered the phone would claim she dialed a wrong number & hang up. It got MUCH worse. She got my address somehow & started leaving “love notes”. From there it escalated to threats against my wife. This was after she called my wife & made the claim that she & I had “hooked up”. But being the delusional person she was, she claimed this event happened on a night that my wife & I were on a dinner date. Thank goodnes because my wife was starting to question whether or not she & I actually had an affair. She also was stupid enough to sign notes & the threat, but this was before stalking laws were on the books. Around 1995 I think.

    We called the police & they just laughed. They got a real big kick out of it. The way we finally got it to end was we found out this crazy person was MARRIED!!!! My wife & I called her husband but he didn’t believe us. This just made her mad & the threatening calls resumed. We recorded them & played it back for her husband on the next call. He was quite apologetic, extremely polite & we never heard from her again. Who I really felt for was this poor husband. He had to live with her. I have often wondered whatever happened to that couple. I didn’t dare call to ask because I was afraid to get her started again. But the Police did NOTHING AT ALL. Their attitude was she is a woman, your a man so handle it. very sad. I’ll write another comment about the psycho Ex GF

    • JPJ says

      In the rock band I was in,I saw this happen to our lead singer.A married women that would not leave him alone.Was at every gig,took rolls of pictures of him.She would try to use me to get up close to him.
      The authorities never got involved as we all knew what was going on.Our poor singer would sometimes look so frustrated. It was definatly a borderline case of harrasement.

      note to Dr Tara.

      What an amazing article to put up.We all need to read up on this.

      • Ron On Drums says

        Yea I LOVE playing music but the price is a rare crazy person..lol. But in 30+ years it has only happened badly this once. I mean I have had fans get attracted but with most as soon as you tell them you are happy in your marriage they back off.

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

      “But the Police did NOTHING AT ALL. Their attitude was she is a woman, your a man so handle it. very sad. ” And therein lies the problem, er, one of the problems.

      • ReclaimedLife says

        Dr. T,

        Absolutely therein lies the problem. I was in a position where the police not only DID NOTHING, but also happened to enable her stalking behavior…

        I was divorcing in 2003, I was stayed the night on the couch of a female friend, the next day I awake to a Sheriff’s deputy at her door asking for me. I confirmed to him that I was who he was looking for but asked why. The conversation went something like this…

        Deputy: “Is (ReclaimedLife) here?

        Me: “Yes, I am he, why? What is the problem?”

        Deputy: “I heard there was going to be trouble here?”

        Me: “Trouble? Of what kind, and who told you that?”

        Deputy: “She did. (Points to the street where my STBX was sitting in her car.)

        Me: “OMG, I cannot believe that you allowed her to manipulate you into coming out here! If she is the one that predicted trouble then SHE is the one you need to be talking too!”

        Even with this the Deputy begged me to talk with her and calm her down. Worst part is that I ended up getting “hoovered” back in, and continued the miserable existence for the next 7 years of everything you regularly describe here on your site. BUT NOT ANYMORE! After an 18 year marriage I have been NC for just right at a year now and absolutely THANK GOD that I found you and your sight and can now understand what NPD/BPD is!

  2. uburoi says

    I am well aware of this behavior as my ex bp1/BP actually hacked into my email account without my consent or knowledge! We were broken up for six months, then she hoovers me back briefly and I find out about the email stuff and that she friended a friend of mine on Facebook just so she could keep up with my posts(that’s before I was privy to the privacy settings). It is unnerving and creepy to say the least.

  3. Micksbabe says

    I think many times the reason(s) men don’t report stalking or press charges, is because they think it would be perceived as them needing protection from a woman. Yet these predatorial women are banking on that fact.

  4. Ron On Drums says

    Now for the PSYCHO Ex GF..lol I dated this girl for less than a year. Pardon but this is a LONG comment, but one that could help people. This woman was pretty good at hiding her behavior for quite a while. She most assuredly fell into the HCP category & quite possibly the BPD category. Over time the behavior came out & continued to escalate. Ad to that, the INSANE jealousy, I had enough & broke up with her. Her one quality seemed to be that the sex was WOW, AMAZING!!!!! I have a theory about that that I would love to hear Dr Tera’s opinion on. I think she was just so intense about EVERYTHING that it carried over into the bedroom. May or may not be true.

    Anyway the day after the breakup the phone calls started. At first more the begging for me to “take her back” type. After 40-50 no’s then the harrasing calls started. If I didn’t unplug the phone they would continue through the ENTIRE night. I blocked her number, so she would go buy prepaid cell phones. I changed my number to unlisted & somehow she would get the new number.

    It didn’t take long to escalate into threats against my life. My tires were slashed, My windshield was smashed three times causing my insurance company to drop my coverage. I reported it to the police but they needed evidence that SHE was the one doing it. She started calling my friends, my workplace, my family etc. My band did a show & she showed up. The bouncers had to remove her. This became a HUGE nightmare.

    Finally one night she shows up at my door, drunk (with her 2 kids in the car) banging on my door at 2am threatening to “burn my house down, kill me & cut my balls off”. The police showed up but since her dad was a county (Parish in LA) sheriff they let him pick her up & drive everybody home. NO CHARGES were filed. They told me “well, shes a woman, you can protect yourself & if we take her to jail we have to take the kids into custody, so we don’t want to do that”.

    Less than a week latter she did THE EXACT SAME THING! Once again the police refused to arrest her despite the fact that by then LA had anti-stalking laws on the books. 911 Had her on tape screaming threats against my life & property through the door. All the police were willing to do was to make her “promise” to leave me alone. I asked for a restraining order to back that up & they refused. Why? They didn’t want to give “this poor lady” (their exact words) a record of any kind. They further stated that I must have done something pretty bad for her to react like this.

    But wait it gets even better. The next day I talked to a lawyer & filed an order of protection against her. Well this REALLY set her off. The following Sunday morning the police were at MY door with a warrant for MY arrest for, get this,domestic assault charges. She filed a claim with the Co Sheriff (the one her dad worked for) that I had assaulted her the previous night. This crazy woman even went as far as to scar her own face. I have no idea how except that she either had somebody hit her or did it herself. I was arrested, led away in handcuffs, had to post bail & hire an lawyer to defend myself.

    Fortunatly for me, the night she claimed I did this my band was doing a show in front of thousands of screaming fans & witnesses. She wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer. BUT I still had to post $500 bail, pay a lawyer $1,500 to defend these charges, pay a P I another $1500 to get witness statements that my band was at a show. I was suspended from without pay from work pending the outcome of this. My boss didn’t believe the charges but I was a bonded employee so they couldn’t take the chance.

    I was cleared & demanded that this crazy woman be arrested for filing a false charge. The cops refused AGAIN!!! It took me & my lawyer going to the D A’s office demanding she be charged. I was lucky in that I got a female D A who HATED stalkers. Her husband had to deal with an ex wife like such so she knew how crazy & dangerous they can get. She filed the charges, had her arrested. When the court date came the judge (who was a friend of her family) threw out the case. No explination, just tossed it. This is after all the most corrupt state in the nation (Louisiana).

    These last incidents did stop the staking however & I have had no contact with her since. But lets review. What did she learn from this? She learned that she can file false charges against somebody who dumped her. The poor sap has to pay thousands in bail & lawyer fees, P I cost etc & she has ABSOLUTELY NO consiquences. So my advice to anybody in a similar situation would be contact police the DAY it starts. Even if they wont do anything then MAKE THEM file a report so you have a record of the behavior.

    This was a nightmare that took over 6 months to play out. It nearly cost me my job & more importantly my life or maybe hers. If she had made it through the door I may have had to defend myself with a weapon. One of the few advantages to living in this state is we have what they call a “shoot the burgler” law. If an inturder breaks into your home you have the right to use deadly force. A VERY SMALL part of me wishes I could have. The world would be a better place without people like her.

    But then again I was a cop many years ago & have seen first hand the trauma such an action can cause. Pardon my anger but the thing that really bothers me is that the Police wouldn’t do anything to this woman. Furthermore I ran into a friend of hers a while back. I found out she married, he left her because of her behavior & she did the SAME THING to this poor guy. She has yet to be arrested. So while I don’t advocate extreme action, do everything in your power to stop it before it gets to that.
    Best of luck :-)

    • JPJ says

      note to Dr Tara.

      For the first time ever in the news,I heard that a man has claimed his wife abused him and he then killed her.The radio story said it was a very violent death.
      Never have I heard that a man claimed his wife abused him so bad………also the media actually said it was not the man abusing the women.
      It makes me shake to even write this as visions of Farrah Fawcett in “The burning bed” run through my mind.
      Maybe,just maybe people are starting to wake up here.

    • TheGirlInside says

      ROD: Thanks for all you have said. I had a so-called ‘friend’ in h.s. who was as delusional, I swear! She broke into my locker and stole a number of my personal belongings, including my purse; that I found in her car under her front seat about 8 months later! She nonchalantly remarked, “Oh…how’d that get there?” Gee, I wonder!!

      She was a piece of work. My other friends and I used to joke that a guy had better not ‘look at her cross-eyed,’ or she’d hear wedding bells. She would meet someone, flirt (very openly sexually, as young as age 14), then start writing her first name with his last name in a notebook the next day. She even went so far as to write fake love notes to herself, trying to cover up her own handwriting to convince us that these guys were head over heels for her, as well.

      She’d stalk them by driving past their houses (this was before cell phones, in the midwest), and calling and hanging up. She even brought me along a few times, and all I could think was, “Why the hell did you want me here?” (later I realized, for an alibi…that’s about all the good I was to her)…perhaps we’ll delve into her requesting that I perjure myself to save her skin and to keep her boyfriend from finding out that she was also screwing his brother, another time….She was, quite literally, a ‘hell’ of a gal.

      She came on very strong sexually (again, men, please try to be careful with easy women! They are pretty emotionally messed up!!!)

      When she had a crush on a guy, she acted hostile towards him, saying she hated him and that he was ugly, etc.etc. (then go and write herself a love note from him_LOL). I remember thinking she sure had a strange way of flirting…why would any guy be attracted to someone who was being an a-hole to them? i didn’t get it.

      I believe she was a true sociopath, as she openly flaunted the fact that she seduced my first boyfriend, laughing hideously about it (I was too naive at the time to realize it until years later…boy, I was the perfect patsy!). She got her kicks off of hurting and using people, but then feigned victimhood. For example, after the boyfriend from above broke up with her, she actually said (this was after she told me that she was doing his brother while dating him) that he was the only boyfriend she’d had that she hadn’t cheated on…Wha…?!? Can someone please get that girl a dictionary!

      It amazes me, how people like her (AXH, current supv, motherfigure) can be cold, cruel, heartless, lie, cheat, steal, scream, swear, curse you out like the devil incarnate…but then go to bed, and like “50 First Dates” forget it ever happened, and have the oves to be all cheerful and nice the next morning! And then wonder (get pissed) because we’re not very receptive to their 180 degree sudden transformation!!! I think that is called ‘crazy-making.’

      I can laugh about it now, I escaped eventually…but come our class reunion, she started up again, and I had to get straight with her, and tell her off very bluntly and to the point; she still tried to wage a campaign against my character, claiming that I had done all the things to her that she had actually done to me. It’s baffling how truly delusional they are. And just a few weeks ago, she hacked into a formerly mutual friend’s (stayed friends with me) FB account and chewed her out for supposedly spreading rumors.

      I told this gal to f-off some 15 years ago now.

      Be careful Ron: it’s never really ‘over’ with these types…she may very well resurface again sometime if she gets bored of her current victim / gets out of jail.

      • Ron On Drums says

        Thanks TheGirlInside,
        Yea some of these types are NUTS!!! I have had the msifortune of dealing with two. One was delusional like your friend, although I never laid a hand on her, I guess she thought my signing her CD was a marriage license…lol The psycho ex GF was MUCH more scary. I think she is totally out of my life & I haven’t had contact for over 10years. From what I understand she married a couple of years after so she just found her next victim. Perhaps we can start a I was victimized by Sh—y support group :-)

        I do on occasion worry as I am now sole caregiver to a very ill wife (Liver Disease). I don’t THINK there will ever be a problem but your right. You never know with these types. I hope your former friend doesn’t resurface. If she does keep records to show the police. They are finally staring to get a little more serious on stalkers. Best of luck

        Ron :-)

      • david says

        “Be careful Ron: it’s never really ‘over’ with these types…she may very well resurface again sometime if she gets bored of her current victim / gets out of jail.”

        I recently went to a seminar on BPD and one of the speakers (who works with PD people almost exclusively) said the following, “They come back sooner or later…they ALWAYS come back”. This made me shudder but it also put things back in check for me. Less than two weeks late….BAM…there she was.

    • Mellaril says

      These women seem to have a disproportionate number of “friends” in high places that keep them out of trouble.

      Back in the late 80s or early 90s, one of my co-workers came into work on Monday morning looking like crap. His marriage now sounds like a fairly typical story here. Love bombing, a sudden change in his wife’s temperment, rumors of cheating, the restraining order and false accustions. Being recently married myself after escaping a possible Cluster B, I paid very close attention to my friends’ marriages.

      We asked what happened and he said he’d spent a sleepless weekend in a motel. He told us when he returned home from work on Friday, he was met at his house by 4 deputies and his wife’s father, who was a senior officer in the department. Several suitcases of his were packed and waiting on the porch. He got served a restraining order and was told to vacate the property. As he was leaving, his father-in-law walked him to his car and said so nobody else could hear, “The only reason you’re not in jail is I know my daughter.” As he moved through the divorce process, he made the comment more than once that it was his father-in-law that kept his wife in check.

      I guess while she escaped the consequences, at least his STBX father-in-law helped him avoid some things.

  5. aja says

    My husband’s ex-wife exhbited stalking behavior, but it took us a couple years to label it as that because, as you state, we picture stalkers as men who follow women to work, peek in windows, etc.
    My husband’s ex had a hard time letting go of control when we married. In addition to using punishing tactics such as parental alienation syndrome — working hard to turn his kids against him — she began calling him/us incessantly and e-mailing us at least twice a week. Finally, we stopped responding and put in place some pretty strong boundaries. This seemed to “make” her crazier. She would call and leave threatening messages for us, demanding documents and information that she already had. She sent e-mails to us that would be labeled, “Flashback,” which would include links to music that was apparently played when their daughter was born. She would also regularly send us, of all things, Bible quotes.
    During all of this, I was thinking, “Who has so little shame that they keep doing these behaviors over and over with no reaction whatsoever?”
    I can’t imagine what she would have done had she lived near us. Luckily, she is 7 -8 hours away, so she was limited to the phone, computer and snail mail, which was bad enough.
    Her behavior was so odd and she seemed to feel so entitled behaving that way, that I began to wonder if she wouldn’t go to another level, feeling like God was behind her. Eventually, she sent me (I became the target) a hateful, vile letter.
    This behavior went on for months until finally I threatened legal action and exposure at her job (a church, of all places). It was then that I first used the term “stalking.” It hit me that this was exactly what she was doing.
    I can’t imagine the detective work she was doing online during that time.

    • infojunkie says

      gosh your story is hauntingly familiar. My husband’s ex stalked him for years before their separation, and during the separation it only got worse. He admitted to me once that on his first trip to a counselor (in another county – a choice fueled by fear) he actually pulled over at a gas station and crawled under his car (wearing a suit) because he was convinced she had placed a tracking device there. She has hacked into almost every electronic account possible, and typically would leave evidence as to her success just so he would know she did it. One company even stated openly that her hacking revealed a security glitch in their software that they did not know existed – she’s that good! She physically stalked me with children in the car and pulled up beside me only to turn on the interior light of the car just to make sure I knew it was her. Later that same night she started sending my husband (then living alone) text messages asking if he was stalking her outside her home (DARVO anyone?) She has come into our home when we were out of town and taken photographs and then rolled her eyes when confronted on her blatant violation of boundaries and personal space. I shudder to think of how many other ways she violates our space and security without our knowledge. Oh, and the unwanted scripture spams.. we’ve got plenty of those too. Ironically, her vanity license plate is a scripture reference – so nice to be stalked by someone screaming scripture out of the back-end of the car.

      • Ron On Drums says

        So sorry to hear that yourself, aja & your families have been subjected to this. These types seem to have a sense of entitlemnet to do these acts. Most probably justify it in their minds because they have kids with their victim. Even my ex GF from some years ago said “You promised to be a father to MY kids” HUH??? Never said such. They really do live in a world of their own. I think Alice got lost there once & had a book written about it:-)

  6. Bob Murphy says

    Can women be stalkers? Hell, yes. Especially if you like ballsy women. I was just about cured by one that lived with me for almost 3 years. She pegs the meter on the suspect behaviours mentioned by the good doctor.
    This one left in a huff after she succumbed to her addictions after almost a year on the wagon. Once a junkie…
    One of the reasons she left was that I got up her nose about her taking up smoking pointing out that she took two breaths for every breath I take though she is 5 years younger and carries no extra weight. Two weeks after she left she was diagnosed with emphysema. Eight years later she is still smoking.
    She started climbing over my locked gate and walking half a mile in the dark, usually showing up at 0230 drunk, stoned and self righteously p*ssed off. Talk about abusive. The second time I thought I should at least sit up, the next thing she had hit me in the head so hard I rolled twice after hitting the floor. She showed up a total of 8 times, 4 of them drunk and stoned.
    I gave up and started leaving my gate unlocked because it is too much trouble to get out of the car 4x per round trip per town.
    She drove in on her next nocturnal visit and worked herself into a rage and then went out and jumped into her van and got it into 3rd gear before she rammed mine and caused $1200 worth of body damage.
    I got a court restraining order after that for a year. She showed up a couple of weeks later and started breaking things so I decked her (without any serious damage, the point being to stop her not injure her). I called the police and finally got tired of dropping her so twisted her arm up behind her back and held her until the police came. When they were coming up my road, I said,”It doesn’t have to be like this,” and she started struggling and then told the police that she thought I had broken her arm. But she had form so the police took her away and breath tested and then blood tested her and she lost her licence for six months because of the amount of alcohol in her blood. She’s still crazed 8 years later and still in the same one horse town about 3 miles from here.
    I am very hard of hearing and I couldn’t even hear her coming but the hair would stand up on the back of my head because I would sense something evil in the room (no locks on the doors out here). Now I have a watch dog.
    Can women stalk men? I’m no pushover but when someone who lives in a low level state of drug psychosis shows up in my room at 0230 repeatedly and just happens to be an excellent axewoman, ex commercial fisherman, ex-factory dismantler, ex-hooker and clinically a diagnosed nymphomaniac (old terminology, but I didn’t mind until I understood fully what made her that way). Did I know that when she came to live with me? Of course not, but it eventually came out. Oh, and she was menopausal and had restless legs syndrome…
    Nope, no tattoos. I checked. Frequently.
    Can women stalk men? Hell, yes!

    Bob Murphy

  7. david says

    I’ve been waiting on this….for the last year and a half, I have been stalked by an ex-friend/romantic interest. Here’s the kicker…I never slept with her or touched her.
    Some people don’t consider stalking to be the “random” strange coincidence every month and a half. People tend to forget that these women can have a dozen or so victims going at once. Of course, painting themselves as the one being stalked. And they know how to stay just “at arms length” to stay out of serious trouble.
    I believe she is responsible for damaging my car a week after turning down her advances. I have witnessed her driving through and around my neighborhood. Showing up at events I will be attending and just park and sit in her car. She was behind several “threatening” phone calls from her “recruitment by proxy” thugs who either think or are getting something in return. When that didn’t work, she had them follow me and on one occasion, looked as if I were going to have one of them pull a gun on me. Using clients home phones and children with disabilities to harass me. Using old mutual friends (who are clueless to her “double life”) to place me in locations or gather information about me. Slandered me to friends and colleagues. Set up fake FB accounts to harass my friends. Filed false charges against me with the police (who I feel now know she was lying and knows she is unstable). She even went so far (although I can’t prove it) to leave my walking path covered with flowers and scratched her initials into the pavement (I’m not kidding).
    I have had to change my phone number and if you have ever been stalked, you know the crazy way your mind works and the changes you have to make in your life.
    It’s been almost 2 months, again, since anything has happened but I know it’s bound to happen again. Valentine’s Day is around the corner.
    The funny thing, she is the “shining” example of a “good person”. Takes care of disabled kids, extremely attractive and drives an expensive foreign car.
    It boggles the mind how these types can carry on like they do without any repercussions.

    • dietrich says

      2 months and your anticipating more…ugh! I hate to think of all the unnecessary stress and anxiety you must be dealing with.

      But yeah, V-day is around the corner.

      Cluster B’s around the globe will be collectively screeching for blood.

  8. TheGirlInside says

    I see a pattern:

    1. Feigned religious fervor, usually used to stand in judgment of others / justify very un-Biblical (opposite of marital vows) behavior and abuse.

    2. Knowing how to make themselves look good – a) physically (make-up, hair, physique) and knowing how to use that to capture a man and b) socially – ‘religious leader’ professional, drive nice vehicle, have nice home, etc. like Hyacinth in BBC’s Keeping Up Appearances.

    3. Powerful friends (police, lawyers, judges)…this makes me wonder if this is conected to their ‘victim’ mentality…i.e. they target men / others who have a naturally protective nature…then use that against their’protectors’ by stirring up shit with people (like when they portray all your friends and family as evil), so you / we “heros” can ‘save’ lil Cluster B swee pea…thus we feel like heroes, they feel saved, and we both play into the drama.
    I think they may do this to find a ‘common enemy’ – thus bringing you closer.

    Just a theory

  9. dietrich says

    I had gone about a month of NC with my exgf (BPD) when she suddenly showed up on my door step one evening, banging on the door nonstop. I wouldn’t answer it, snuck out the back door, and drove to a parking lot up the street from my home. I waited there for 30 minutes, and I never saw her vehicle leave my residence. I returned and did not see her vehicle. I re-entered through the rear of the house and walk into the front room. I see something move out of the corner of my eye, and there she is walking down the stairs from my bedroom, smirk on face.

    I was so pissed that she broke into my place, that she had injected herself back into my life. I told her to leave several times and she wouldn’t. She wanted to argue, bring up the past, yell/scream/threaten. Threatened that if I called the police she would make up lies about me and get me arrested, so I didn’t. I was friggin’ held hostage in my own home. After about four hours of this (and being afraid of leaving my home with her in it), my good neighbor was tired of listening to her yelling and called the cops.

    They pulled up right when she was tossing ‘her’ possessions out my front door, breaking them on the sidewalk. Needless to say, she was arrested for disorderly conduct and destruction of property. They couldn’t prove burglary.

    She went to jail for a few days and was sentenced to a year of probation. I am lucky to live in a state that has strict domestic violence laws (and isn’t male-biased either). I got to personally meet with the judge and explain what I thought would be a good consequence. I told him she needed a mental health eval and some mood stabilizers.

    He stated that it sounded like I was being “stalked”, and proceeded to have “NO CONTACT” written in as part of her probation contract! :)

    • JPJ says

      Once,several years ago, I had to do an out of town gig with my band.She must not of believed me.Although I could not prove it,on her phone bill were many long distance charges to the city I was at.I think she called all the venues to find out if I was telling a lie.The fact was,we did a gig at a college pub. This could be a form of stalking or insecurity.What can I say?

  10. never again says

    Thankfully, this isn’t something I’ve had to deal with although, the day I left her, by the time I made it to work she’d already gone onto my FB page and changed my status from “married” to “single”. That was all the impetus I needed and I promptly changed every password on my computer.

    We’ve been no contact since she made a false police report last July, but with VDay around the corner, and Mar. 1 being one year since I left her, I’ve been getting increasingly stressed for the past week. Plus, any day now she’ll be served with the papers to finalize our divorce. Guess it doesn’t help that tonight I’m going on a date for the first time in a long time.

    I can’t believe the effect that relationship had on me. I used to be completely unflappable. Now, though not as bad as it was when I first left her, the anxiety makes me jittery as a squirrel on coffee beans.

  11. B Experienced says

    This past week I watched Dr.Phil because a couple was on who were in a long running battle after their divorce. The woman appeared to be a Cluster B. Her ex husband had her arrested because she hit him. Dr. Phil confronted the man and berated him for having her arrested because she caused him no damage! I about fell off my chair. His ex wife stalked and harassed him as well as brainwashed their kids against him. He poo pooed her behavior and then got on the ex husband for for engaging in HER behavior. The part that gets to me is that he was going on his way, but she won’t have that because he divorced her. Dr.Phil even got mad because he was recording her,and he said it wasn’t fair to her! The ex husband said that if he didn’t record her he would have been in jail if he didn’t have that proof. Dr.Phil tried to convince the guy that he was competent to deal with the situation. I know Dr. Phil wasn’t.

    I was stalked and harassed two times by female Cluster B’s who wanted my friendship. When they fixate on a person whom “they decide” will fill their bottomless pit of needs, they don’t stop. They put the P in predator. The scary part was that both were homicidal at times. Given their attachment problems and fragility, I never knew when their desperation would turn into suicidal feelings and then instantly flip flop into homicidal ones. The second time it happened, I was more angry than scared.

    The minute you think you are being stalked start writing everything down,and have No Contact with the person. Record phone calls, keep unwanted communications on the computer saved. If the person enters your property, call the police. If you are able to, talk to your neighbors about your stalker and ask them to let you know if the person was around. Witnesses are very beneficial as are allies.

  12. TheGirlInside says

    A song of recovery that brought this site to mind…if Dr. T is okay with it…

    Happy Valentine’s Day

    (It’s not just for ‘lovers’ ~ I wish my children a Happy VDay, and my friends, etc.)…and sometimes, it can be just a day to show yourself love.

  13. cobbler says

    Great article Dr T…realisation that I’m not alone!

    All through our relationship, my Ex would be incredibly ‘needy’, constantly texting and calling ALL day, up to 40-50 texts if she perceived that there was some ficticuous ‘issue’ that needed resolving in her head. There was never a thought for my needs and the fact that I was trying to work, play sport, speak to friends or just have my own life.

    At one point, I asked her to give me a couple of days ‘space’ and not contact me because the abuse had got on top of me and I needed to clear my head…big mistake. I was bombarded with texts and calls and then she let herself into my house at 2am and walked into my bedroom, because she ‘wanted to talk’!! On two more occasions she came around and let herself in when I was supposed to be taking space…

    So when I finally had enough and ended it, it was no surprise to get over a 1000 calls/texts in the first 4 weeks. The calls and texts continued at a pace for 6 months. During this time she let it slip that she’d looked through all of my drawers and personal belongings, checked my phone and computer and even read my Will…all while we were still together and ‘happy’…She has since checked my Trip Advisor reviews, to see where I’m going…bloody hell!

    Scares me to hear that they always re-appear…forever on edge.

  14. Joe says

    Is it possible for a man who has been stalked incessantly to be worn down and just give in? What does it say about him? What will the future of a relationship be for a guy who gives in?

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

      Yes, I think it’s possible to capitulate to a stalker and what it means is that you are entering into what will highly likely be an abusive relationship.

      Have you reported your stalker to the police? Looked into a protective order?

      • Joe says

        Police and protective orders are all nice things to talk about but difficult to really do. But then at some point you find that if you just give in she becomes your best pal and loves (at least pretends to) all the things that you do and showers you with gifts. Life seems great until you get out of line. And then you fall in to a dependency and think that no one else could shower you with such love and affection, while suppressing the memories of the weird early behavior and the stalking. Eventually you get married, but then wake up to what has happened when you realize, for example, that she never loved the same things that you did. It was all just a scam to control you. But then you feel shame and guilt and responsibility that keeps you from divorcing, yet you think that life is too short to waste any more time. And in fact, you are scared shitless to ever bring up the D word to her. And you think about the shame you would feel around co-workers and your parents if you ever divorced. You are the perfect person and son who would never break a marital commitment or make a life-choice mistake. And people who don’t know anything about the craziness think she is so nice and sweet. Yet you feel miserable inside to continue on in a sham relationship. What does one do?

  15. FedUpFemale says

    You know, I did this search because I have two separate stalking situations from two separate men. One is complicated because he enlists his entire family to do this for him and so it is always unexpected and nearly never the same person twice. I have a no contact order from him.
    The second is my youngest child’s father and he is very sneaky – stealthy even. I haven’t tried to get an address for serving child support papers on him in several years, but he showed up at the grocery store a few days ago with his brother.
    I clicked on this link in my search because I was curious.
    At first I was angry because it sounded like my ex’s with their “flipping the script”.
    Then I remembered the ex’s ex and started thinking about this.
    I also think of a lesbian who became obsessed with my daughter and had her girlfriend and brother play headgames with my daughter because she wasn’t interested in her. My daughter finally told all 3 of them she isn’t talking to any of them anymore because she never knows what they are doing next.
    And I thought of some really viscious females who tried to punish me for dating guys that I was dating even though they have publicly told them to f-off.

    I have changed my thinking on this.
    Crazy people are crazy people.
    Maybe we should have a dating service to hook them up with each other.
    Let them torture each other and leave all of us alone.

  16. tgull9@gmail.com says

    Thanks for posting this. I feel like I’m being stalked, but everything else on line was only about men stalking women.

    I have a friend who was diagnosed with BPD about a year ago. We’re part of a social group at uni. Since everyone else went home for the summer, she’s been overwhelming me.

    At first, she’d come to mine, like old days. Then she was asking to come over every other day. I tried ignoring her phone calls, but she’d turn up anyway. I tried telling her I was busy, sick or out, but she’d still come.

    I don’t answer the door now unless I’m expecting someone, because it’s always her. I know her boyfriend hates how much time she spends on me, so he’s been very rude to me. He’s even turned up at my home looking for her.

    I’m afraid of trying to break it off. At best, I’ll lose all of our mutual friends. At worst, she may try to get me into trouble. I’m worried she may go to the police and tell them we used to smoke pot together. Even worse, we spent a lot of time one-on-one. She’s a small girl, with big tear-filled eyes; if she I’d hurt her, I can’t imagine it would go well for me. Who wouldn’t believe innocent-looking her over me?

    She’s clearly not well, and I don’t know what she’ll do. Yesterday, after being told I was too tired for company, she came by anyway; I didn’t answer the door. Then when I logged on facebook later 9:30 that night, she asked if she could come over since I was awake.

  17. FedUpFemale says

    But I have also had dealings with my second ex-husband’s ex.
    She called on our wedding day demanding to speak to him.
    She called his relatives during our honeymoon.
    She would have her son’s tell her how our relationship was going.
    She would demand to know why he hadn’t kept his promise to get their “little family” back together.
    She had her oldest son move in with us to cause problems, and boy did he ever.
    She kept trying to get him back.
    And here is the clincher: he is abusive. Violently. I didn’t realize this until learning the hard way, that he would reverse stories to make it look like he was her victim. I found court documents 6 months into our marriage showing that he had beat her skull in the same place so many times with a club that the skull was exposed and her skull was fractured. I re-read it and re-read it and re-read it. Then I decided to get me and my kids out of there!
    This took six months, because he kept doing things to sabotage my efforts to leave. His ship’s command even helped him!
    After I left, this dingbat started helping him stalk me!
    I am realizing while I sit here reading these accounts, that this is a personality disorder which has nothing to do with gender. And maybe a dietary deficiency causes it, I don’t know.
    I am still single after about 14 years because I have had enough of this crap.
    They always seem so nice and noble and romantic and lovable – until a commitment is made. Then things go badly.
    I am so afraid of being fooled into another trap that I would rather be alone.
    No more crazies, please God.

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