In her Words
My Internet man
My adulterous Web affair led to happily ever after
By: Heidi Carpenter
When I met the man who is now my husband, I wasn’t looking for him. He was just another guy on the Web, my Internet man. At the time, I was engaged to another man, and the Internet man was getting married in four short months to another woman.
We met on a message board. Our instant messages started out casual and sporadic. We asked each other the questions that bored browsers ask each other. “Who’s your favorite actor?” (The answer for both of us: Robert de Niro.) “Do you have any pets?” (Three cats for him; five cats and a horse for me.) Over time, our conversations become longer and more frequent. I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning, long after my fiance had gone to bed, to chat with this mysteriously alluring man.
“It’s a good thing you’re 900 miles away,” I once said to him. He agreed. Before I realized what was happening, I was lost deep within a cyber-crush. He crept into my thoughts when I was away from the computer. Trips to Blockbuster with my fiance brought my Internet man into mind. A warm flush and a smile would come over my face and heart as I browsed Robert de Niro movies I had yet to see.
We flirted hard, and our conversations become longer. I started to use the dusty webcam perched atop my fiance’s computer. My Internet man bought one, and after our respective partners had gone to bed, we would switch on the webcams. After three months of near-daily long conversations with this man, I realized I was falling for him, and falling hard. Upon this realization, my heart lifted and then fell. It was like the first great drop on an enormous roller coaster.
What do you do when you are in my situation? The answer may seem obvious, but it’s not always that easy. Before you decide, let me tell you something else. I had been with my fiance for almost six years, and for the last three and a half years, I was miserable. We fought every week, and many fights ended with me throwing the remote and cursing. Before my Internet man came into the picture, the idea of spending my life with my fiance was crushing me inside. When he asked for my hand in marriage, I said yes because I thought engagement would magically make all our problems go away. I was wrong, very wrong. My Internet man was in a similar situation. With each passing day, his fear and worry about marrying the woman he was engaged to grew by leaps and bounds. Unfortunately, she was oblivious to his misery.
One night, my Internet man wasn’t online. I waited hours for him, hoping he would sign on. I signed off a couple of times, only to sign back on again after a moment, afraid I had just missed him. Finally, I went to bed. The next night, he was there.
“Where were you?” I asked. He told me he had been very drunk the night before. He had been drinking with his fiance. By the end of the night, he was wasted. As he made a bowl of cereal to cap off the night, he finally had the courage to speak his mind. Then suddenly he dropped the cereal bowl. Milk and cereal splashed everywhere.
“I’m not happy! I’m not happy with you,” he told his fiance as milk dripped down the kitchen walls. She didn’t acknowledge his outburst. As soon as he told me this, I knew we had to meet, my Internet man and I. We planned it carefully. There was a tropical-fish convention in Cincinnati in two and a half months. It was almost exactly halfway between our homes, and the message board we had met on was for tropical fish. It was almost too perfect.
To be Continued…