"It would be a terrible idea …" he replied, and in that ellipsis was everything he hadn't said. We soon were instant messaging constantly, and when we weren't, we e-mailed back and forth, often fifty times a day. We sought reasons to bump into each other at the same events. We finally met for lunch. A week later, he came over to my house and kissed me. He came over to my house again. And again.

I knew married men never leave their wives.

It was, in short, every single cliché you've ever read. That's how an affair starts — you don't walk away. You do stupid things because you are dizzy, smitten, head over heels. Maybe, I told him, "this is just a brief twitterpated spasm swept in on a spring wind."

"I fear it isn't," he wrote. It wasn't. I knew married men never leave their wives. I also knew I had never been this in love with anyone. How could it be wrong if we loved each other like we did? How could it be wrong if I wanted to marry him, to have the children we both wanted with each other? But I felt guilty. I unfollowed his wife and blocked her from following me. I still hadn't met her, but it seemed wrong to know anything about her life at all.

We tried to stay away from each other. We ended things again and again, only to fall back into each other's arms again and again. We fought. We made up. He said he might leave. He didn't. I unfollowed him. I refollowed him. I tweeted, "I'm done," more than once. I never was.

I tweet about everything — city-council meetings, what I had for dinner, football games. I tweet so much I have two accounts, and I manage a third for work. Yet I couldn't tweet about the one thing most important in my life: my love for him. We started sending each other e-mails with the subject line, "What I'm not posting on Twitter," followed by some gooey declaration of affection. We tried to share our affection on Twitter too — we had code words and phrases; "< >", for example, meant "I love you so much more than there are words for, so I'm not using any." Since we barely saw each other in person, Twitter was our way of knowing where the other might be, or how the other was feeling. It became the subtext of everything that happened.

As the months wore on, I grew increasingly isolated by my secret. It's not sexy being a mistress; it's awfully sad. Twitter and e-mail and instant messages weren't enough; in some ways, they just isolated me more. I started telling a few of my friends about him, one by one, hoping they wouldn't judge me too harshly for sleeping with a married man. When he asked his wife for a divorce, I told my sister, sure and joyous in my future. When he changed his mind about the divorce, I broke down and told my coworker — the same one who had unwittingly introduced us so many months ago.

One night I was drunk and blurted out that I was having an affair to a girl I barely knew, a new friend I was trying to make.

"Is it him?" she asked.

"How did you know?" I said.

"I follow you both on Twitter," she replied. "I could tell something was going on."

This was the beginning of the end. I told him and he flipped out — not just because I had told someone who knew him, but because someone had recognized our interactions online for what they were. Our fights grew more frequent and more intense.

His last @ reply to me on Twitter, jokingly, was #UNFOLLOW, in response to my claim that Taylor Swift was better live than the Pixies. When we ended things for good three days later, after two days of him not e-mailing and not responding to any of my replies on Twitter, after his new therapist told him to cut things off, after nine months of being in love with each other, I knew it was the best thing for both of us. 

I couldn't stop crying, but finally, I knew what I had to do. I unfollowed him. He unfollowed me the next day. It was over. For once, I couldn't think of a damn thing to tweet.

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Commentarium (81 Comments)

Feb 06 12 - 2:10am
ARM

Been there and done that. He isn't married, but has a girlfriend. I feel guilty for her, I know she loves him very much. But so do I and he loves me back. The thing is, we have never ever had sex, nor have we even kissed, everything has been done through very intense DM's. Ok, one time we said our I love yous face to face. I know it has to stop but I haven't been able to click unfollow.

Feb 06 12 - 5:04pm
. . .

Hate to break it to you, but that guy doesn't love you? Why wouldn't he leave his girlfriend if he did? He's not even married, he wouldn't even have to fill out any paperwork! Maybe it'll help you click unfollow if you allow yourself to realize that he's just a sleaze who gets a kick out of having a fake girlfriend in addition to his real one.

Feb 06 12 - 8:31am
Ophelia

I met my current boyfriend on Twitter while I was living with a now ex-boyfriend. The current boyfriend and I totally clicked from the moment we started messaging one another. I felt very,very gulity that I was talking to him and bonding with him while I was living with somebody else. I stopped talking to him because of that for over a year. He knew that I was coming into some money about a year later that would finally enable me to leave the ex so he wrote me a letter telling me he still loved me. I moved away from the ex and am now going to go meet the current boyfriend in person for the first time in less than a week. He lives in Europe so this has always been a long distance type of relationship. I am an example of a person who does actually leave somebody for a love they have met on Twitter.

Feb 06 12 - 11:46am
. . .

This sounds like an awesome plan.

Feb 06 12 - 3:41pm
NN

Everything you need to know: "He knew that I was coming into some money about a year later ...so he wrote me a letter telling me he still loved me."

Feb 06 12 - 4:20pm
Ophelia

He has a really good job so no he isn't after my money.

Feb 07 12 - 1:08am
nope

And how do you know that?

Sorry but this sounds sketchy as hell.

Feb 06 12 - 12:23pm
Theorizer

Had the author been born ten years earlier she would have been into cosmos and obscure shoes. Zooey is the new Sarah Jessica Parker.

Feb 06 12 - 12:47pm
The Wife

I hate both of you. I hate your indiscriminate free time. I hate your naïveté. I hate terms like "hashtag and DM." I hate your deceit. Your selfishness. Your cookies. Your music. Your connection. Your assumptions. You're both deplorable.

Mostly, I hate that I read this story 24 hours after discovering my own husband and "manic pixie dreamgirl" coworker ("god! what is your problem! can't a just have a female friend! you are SO PARANOID!") haven't just been swapping indie albums, but bodily fluids. So, salt, meet wound.

Feb 06 12 - 2:00pm
stokely

That's horrible. All I can say is: karma. Fuck them--their life together will be short and probably suck. Good luck to you.

Feb 06 12 - 5:07pm
Ryan

Fuck your (hopefully soon-to-be-ex) husband and the manipulative bitch he works with. People let themselves fall into these traps, and it's fucking ridiculous.

Things will get better for you, that's about all I can promise. And this is entirely projection and conjecture on my part, but based on your comment I think it'll be sooner rather than later. You seem like you have a good head on your shoulders. Good luck

Feb 06 12 - 7:05pm
a stranger

What idiots. You go and get it girlfriend, whatever that means for you.

Feb 07 12 - 11:53am
The Wife

I didn't expect replies. Thanks internet strangers.

Feb 07 12 - 1:59pm
tre

@The Wife, although it is painful now, congratulations for being done with this sanctimonious, I'm-so-urban-cool wannabee, jackass. YOur life will now open open to incredible possibilities. Peace.

Feb 07 12 - 10:32pm
HC

Been there, done that. People suck sometimes. All I can say is hang in there, and good luck. My life is so different now than I ever would have thought--the world opens up in odd but wonderful ways sometimes. I bet yours will too.

Feb 09 12 - 6:06pm
SBC

You deserve better. Always remember that.

Feb 10 12 - 11:34am
KW

Been in the exact same position and I cannot believe how amazing my life is now versus then. My life only got better and so will yours. As my grandmother used to say "Don't take shit from any man, he's not worth it." Wise woman....

Feb 10 12 - 12:26pm
yup

I'm with "The Wife" on this one too. This whole story is the worst cliche I can imagine. And I got news for you--sarcastic guys who are into 70's power pop are quite common. I know because I am one, and I have plenty of friends just like me. #growup

Feb 06 12 - 1:24pm
NN

It is hard to feel sympathy over your pain when you spent 9 months destroying a family!

Feb 06 12 - 1:54pm
Anna

I understand. All of it. More readers than will admit it probably do, too. Particularly this: "I unfollowed his wife and blocked her from following me. I still hadn't met her, but it seemed wrong to know anything about her life at all."

And married men never leave their wives.

Feb 06 12 - 5:08pm
Ryan

I understand, but I still don't sympathize. There's a difference.

Feb 06 12 - 5:11pm
Ryan

And out of curiosity, if you end up seeing this, do you know someone with my name?

Feb 06 12 - 2:40pm
andrea

The Pixies are rather disappointing live.

Feb 06 12 - 3:00pm
Joe Sant

Touche'

Feb 06 12 - 3:39pm
Shah

...says someone who clearly only saw them post-reunion.

Feb 06 12 - 5:25pm
andrea

this is true. I was 15 when they were originally around and definitely not allowed to drive two hours to the nearest City to see them! I did see Frank Black on his own, though, in Philly like back in '96. And that _was_ a good show.

Feb 10 12 - 4:09pm
Tim

I saw them in 1990. They looked bored and sounded sluggish that night. The lighting was kinda cool though...

Feb 06 12 - 6:39pm
RD

Such a cliche -- I'm a smartass, and by golly, I found out he was one too. Help!!!!

Feb 07 12 - 12:33pm
B

Amen brother! When will people learn that "smartass" is code for "I think I'm superior to everyone, but no one wants to listen to me tell them why".

Feb 09 12 - 6:35am
kayb

The entire piece is such a cliche. Just because you're writing about something new (twitter) doesn't mean you're not re-HASHing (see what I did there) every tired expression ever written about infidelity in the history of words and english.

Feb 06 12 - 7:15pm
Morals...karma...?

The author has cancer and this isn't her first affair. So maybe she's hurting, but I can't say I feel any sadness for her, just for the lives she intentionally messes with. Gee, I wonder why you can't get a good guy of your own. Hmm, maybe because your character terrifies them.

Feb 09 12 - 1:52pm
sophie

"The author has cancer and this isn't her first affair." WHAT?

Feb 12 12 - 12:03pm
yup

Yeah, that's the truth. The cancer part.

Feb 15 12 - 5:58am
?

da fuq

Feb 06 12 - 7:47pm
Ally

Judge not lest ye be judged. I think it's pretty brave what you wrote and I wish you peace & happiness.

Feb 06 12 - 7:59pm
Lucie

Likewise.

Feb 07 12 - 2:22pm
AM

There's nothing brave about destroying people's lives for your own selfish ends.

Feb 06 12 - 7:54pm
Alice W

Don't worry - your courtship sounded so banal and trite, it shouldn't be hard to find another to match it.

Feb 06 12 - 9:48pm
tre

Alice W, love your comment!

Feb 07 12 - 12:02am
Des

Ha!

Feb 07 12 - 1:40pm
SW

Niiice.

Feb 10 12 - 7:21pm
indeed

Alice W, FTW!

Feb 06 12 - 9:16pm
UAP

A happy spouse does not have an affair. A one night stand maybe, but not an affair. No one is blameless in this situation. Not the cheater, not "the other" and definately not the spouse who, in most cases, has been holding back sex or affection or who stopped making the spouse (cheater) a priority. In every case I've seen, there was no innocent party.

Feb 06 12 - 9:53pm
fjklsa

if the spouse is withholding something or if something is going unfulfilled, YOU TALK ABOUT IT. you don't cheat.

Feb 07 12 - 1:26am
JO

@fjklsa Exactly. It's so easy to whine about how unfulfilled he was, but there's a reason all his wife did was sleep. I'm betting she was pretty unhappy, too.

Feb 07 12 - 6:01pm
The wife

Nope. Sorry. The spouse is never to blame. If you are angry or disappointed or aggrieved by said spouse then you get therapy or talk it out or fix things or you leave but you don't cheat. Leave then bang boots but cheating puts the blame squarely on the cheater and the object of their desire. Blaming the spouse is just an excuse for bad behavior. Same thing just happened to me. Is there something in the water?

Feb 08 12 - 9:16pm
thinkywritey

UAP, that is just plain untrue.

Feb 07 12 - 1:42pm
SW

You got exactly what you deserved.

Feb 07 12 - 11:17pm
Knoxville Girl

a brief twitterpated spasm swept in on a spring wind--

Oy, that makes me want to poke my eyes out. No wonder he dumped you.

Feb 08 12 - 9:33pm
thinkywritey

I LOVE the brutality of this comment thread. You guys, help me choose which comment to post:

"What, were you going to get twitter-married and have twitter-babies with the man you madly loved but never saw?"
or
"Children shouldn't be allowed to have their own twitter accounts."
or
"Hard to imagine that two people so impressed with each others' iTunes playlists could go so wrong."

Feb 10 12 - 12:29pm
SW

Love the first one.

Feb 09 12 - 4:22am
MadMelvina

OMG so good, I had to break out the popcorn. SO GOOD

Feb 09 12 - 2:43pm
aa1

This IS extremely cliche. And it seems the author so eagerly indulged in the all-too-common internet/Hollywood fantasy that there is some perfectly complementary being out there in the world, and when you find them, you will both finally achieve that ideal state known as "happy." He did not leave his wife because, while he briefly also indulged, he knew the author was only a distraction, a "simple prop to occupy his time," and ultimately insignificant to him. I can't judge too harshly, because every human alive is capable of this behavior. At our core we are selfish, hedonistic, and prone to destroy the people/things we claim to love most.

Feb 09 12 - 3:01pm
John Bean

Seems like maybe this isn't the first time CWG has written this particular tale for public consumption.
Same story. Similar small southern city. Just swap out the married guy. This is from 2006.
http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2006/jul/13/Gervin-Its-not-like-that-...

Feb 09 12 - 5:08pm
LP

Uh, did you read that? It's about NOT having an affair.

Feb 15 12 - 6:02am
Alan Coffee

LP, cool handle man, you're like Low Pressure, low pressure propane, or liquified natural gas, is that you LNG? So flammable.

Feb 09 12 - 3:09pm
mk

i think everyone should go through the wonderful, terrible insanity that is an affair once in their lives. it's a kick in the ass we all need. But for simplicity's sake, try to get it out of your system before either party is married. A lot less messy.

Feb 09 12 - 4:08pm
Your sponsor

Jesus, a drunk and a whore. And you can't figure out why people don't like you. Well, there is the breath problem. But that can be fixed.

Feb 09 12 - 4:56pm
KnoxNative

One day, if she is lucky, Ms. Gervin will find someone who actually wants to marry her.

If this man happens to have a woman in his life-- such as a mother, sister or aunt --who looks out for him, she will find this story online.

If the woman is naive, she will tell him to run away.

If the woman is wise, she will tell him to have fun with Ms. Gervin. Then, walk away and never think about Gervin again. She is not a person with whom you grow old or form a lasting commitment.

Feb 15 12 - 6:14am
fishstix

Wowsers. A whole lotta slammin' goin' on here. Everyone's acting like this essay was a true story. Srsly.

Feb 09 12 - 5:17pm
C.M.

I just wanna say.... Apple product placement?

Feb 11 12 - 4:54pm
please

Nice try, C.M. Clearly the story's illustration required a computer. Yes, Apple's hardware is far better looking than that of their competitor's (thought the PC knockoffs of MacBooks aren't too bad). Did you expect them to put a sticker on the logo like some TV shows do? Have you noticed that in most coffee houses, the computers most used to avoid others with is a Mac? 9 out of 10 in my experience. From now on, you'll be seeing more and more Macs, people are finally starting to wake from the Windoze nightmare.

Feb 09 12 - 6:32pm
former friend

CWG, this is pathetic. You can't get a date because your aren't nice. To anyone. And the breath thing, that is real. See a doctor. You really should lay off the liquor. Mean drunks aren't fun.

Feb 10 12 - 10:27am
Wife's friend

Only a slut would brag about this.

Feb 10 12 - 10:55am
justAgirl

Anytime I read a post that has to do with infidelity, everyone is always so eager to jump on the judgmental bandwagon. "cheating is wrong, period", "you're a slut", "blah, blah, blah"...I just wanted to point out that everyone's situation is different, and you cannot address individual topics with such generalizations. Yes, she put her thoughts out there for public consumption, and public comments, but people are so quick to just say "You're wrong!!!!", judge someone, and quickly move on. You can't say that spouses are never in the wrong. You can't say that anyone that falls in love with someone else when they are married is horrible. Life is messy and marriage is not easy. Just "talking" to your spouse when you are having problems is not necessarily so easy. I am in a marriage in which I am not happy, and he is "content." I have feelings for someone else, but I have not cheated on my husband. When I try to talk to him, he is adamant that he is not going to "let me go," yet he is not going to make the changes that I have asked of him, such as getting a real job, helping around the house, growing some balls, etc. I have been trying to "talk it out," and he is just being stubborn and not having it. So, for now, I'm stuck. Just wanted to point out that everyone has a different situation from everyone else. Which should be obvious, really...

Feb 10 12 - 4:33pm
Jesse

No, it makes them a slut. You are a slut enabler.

Feb 10 12 - 7:54pm
thinkywritey

Not his job to "let you go." Take responsibility for yourself (something that cheaters don't do).

Feb 10 12 - 11:06am
Your sponsor

Guilty conscious Carrie?

Feb 10 12 - 11:10am
Your sponsor

Whoops, guilty conscience. You still have no friends.

Feb 10 12 - 2:55pm
TLH

Judging by this article (the tone and content, and the fact that it exists), the author seems like a pretentious nitwit. If she believes that TWITTER, of all things, can generate the kind of amour fou that might theoretically come close to excusing trashing someone else's marriage and then feeling sorry for yourself - and not, say, the idiot's wife - then she probably lacks the emotional capacity to even experience love.
And in case it wasn't obvious, I'm pretty much on the wife's side here. Sure, I can think of circumstances where one partner behaves so badly that an affair is an understandable response. Cheating is never a good thing to do, but there are plenty of worse things that I can think of. I don't think sleeping in on weekends qualifies, though.

Feb 10 12 - 8:26pm
Jason

So your concern is that Twitter is not a medium that can generate emotions?

How is it any less effective for getting to know someone than on-line dating and getting to know someone via e-mails and profiles? Aren't the chances at least better of finding someone with similar interests and philosophies than at the local bar?

And that is ignoring your implication that another method besides Twitter COULD generate the kind of amour (etc etc)...

Feb 10 12 - 4:57pm
Your sponsor

OMG. Just saw Gervin's Twitter. The picture is priceless. It is either a shocked expression or she is getting ready to go down on some poor guy.

Feb 10 12 - 7:59pm
MRM

Maybe she's surprised that she's not being viewed as the jilted heroine she seems to fancy herself, but rather as the manipulative tramp that she is. Or yeah, maybe she's got the trap set, just waiting for the next sucker to come along. Hope for his sake that he reads this pathetic little gem of a diary entry first.

Feb 11 12 - 5:02pm
MP

Nobody trusts you Carrie. You turned on us. Not cool.

Feb 15 12 - 6:16am
?

da fuq!

Feb 10 12 - 7:28pm
indeed

This comment thread is so much more entertaining than the actual article. @The Wife: go forth and DTMFA.

Feb 11 12 - 6:58pm
KNS Newsie

I can't imagine anyone in town ever inviting cwg into their homes again for any reason. If the silver isn't glued down, will she steal it? If the baby cries, does that means he's unhappy enough that she should try to kidnap him? If another guest thoughtlessly leaves the keys in her car out on the street, will she drive it away? People who look for excuses to justify breaking, ruining, damaging or thieving what doesn't belong to them are not the kind of party guests who continue to get invitations. Good thing this woman enjoys hanging out with much younger hipsters in local bands because actual adults of her age or older are never going to go anywhere near her again if they can help it.

Feb 12 12 - 12:41pm
Cougar Town

If you have a hip 20 something male friend in the Couch who hangs out with this walking VD factory, get that boy a pack of sturdy condoms. She likes em young and dumb.

Feb 14 12 - 3:55pm
KVilleGal

The author went out of her way to tweet about this article, opening a wound on the wife that has had more than her share of incredibly horrific heartbreaks in the past couple of years. All of KVille was abuzz. I'm starting to think Cari puts herself into these situations for the attention.

Mar 01 12 - 9:47pm
justice

I tried to stay away from the this article for the pain that it caused, but I was told the comments were priceless. It may be based on a real situation, but the facts have been horribly distorted. If you read previous articles from this writer you can see how desperate and pathetic her search for a man has been. I truly feel sorry for her. She has become the joke of town. I think she thought this was gonna garner attention in a positive light, instead the entire city is trashing her. Everyone wants her gone. She has no respect for the city or the community. This was a blip on our journey, one that finally delivered the help that was needed. So in one regard I'm thankful. History is too much to just hang up. True relationships survive and true love really can conquer all~ even pathetic lying desperate garbage.

Apr 02 12 - 1:23am
Andrée

I see romance, no love ... sorry girl, maybe next time you'll see things clearer from the beggining, blesses