An open letter to my boyfriend on our 4 year anniversary


(because he deserves a little bit of public praise once in a while)

William,

Four years ago today, we went on our first date. At 38 and 33, We didn’t know a lot back then, but we knew one thing for certain: we belonged together. And now, half a decade later, I can say with absolute certainty that the past four years have been the best of my entire life. I’m only 37 so maybe that’s not saying very much, but I mean it all the same.

I don’t tell you this as often as I should, but I love being your girlfriend. In fact, I’m proud to be your girlfriend. You continue to amaze me year after year with your ability to selflessly love me. Like just a few weeks ago when we had a strong heart to heart talk and you reassured me you weren’t going anywhere. You left for work without breakfast so I could still enjoy mine. Or like the times you make sure I am getting proper rest. Or like just yesterday when we made our funday Sunday football bets.

You would do anything for me. You put up with me and my shenanigans, day in and day out. You even put up with me during Hallmark Christmas months, and for that, you deserve more than a blog post, you deserve a trophy.

You have supported me for four years through three jobs, and were always the first person to tell me to quit when I wasn’t happy. You were the one telling me “you can” when I didn’t think I could, the one telling me “you will” when I didn’t think I would. You have supported my writing, my photography, and every other tiny venture I’ve taken on, all without blinking an eye or making me feel guilty once. I would not be where I am today, doing what I’m doing, chasing dreams, without you. That is a fact. You have been my rock, my coach in the corner, and my daily encouragement for four whole years. Thank you for believing in me, and for helping me believe in myself.

We’re on a new adventure now, you and I, and there’s nobody I’d rather be learning with than you. I love watching you with our girls, how attentive you are with them, and always being worried about every little thing.

You’re an amazing father figure, and an even better boyfriend, which is saying a lot. Our relationship is far from perfect, but I honestly believe it’s getting better and better with each passing day. Thank you for loving me the way that you do. Cheers to the second half of this decade, and many many more to come. I love you, William Kowalewski. Always have, always will.

XOXO

April McManus

We met on match.com 😙 I fall in love with you more everyday. #Williamkowalewski

I love my Marine

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Our Anniversary NFL Game

The lights, the canons, the enthusiasm, everything.

The perfect four-year anniversary present! Knowing we are both sports fanatics so he bought us tickets to my favorite team. New England Patriots tickets.

Since we live in Tampa, the commute isn’t bad at all this was perfect (although the tickets were crazy expensive due to it being an insane game) I knew we were both going to have the time of our lives. William officially bought us two tickets for section 242 row k seat 16 & 17 🏈🙌😙

This is our view for NE Patriots vs. Tampa Bucaneers October 5th 2017 

When the teams ran out, the crowd was going crazy and the canons that shot out from the sides was an amazing sight. He looked over at me and the happiness on my face ensured him that he got the right gift. I was going crazy and cheering like there’s no tomorrow.

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Pats vs Bucs #williamkowalewski #aprilmcmanus

I was happy the game he bought tickets for, my team won. If you are a sports fanatic and haven’t experienced a game, I promise the experience is so so so worth it. 

I love this man so much! Happy anniversary @WilliamKowalewski 😗

XOXO April McManus 

 

#anniversary #family #love #thisisus #mymarine #lifestyle #vacation #tampabay #williamkowalewski #aprilmcmanus #bestfriend #patriots #football #nfl #celebrating #nextstopcasino

Move With Confidence

Took me to my first baseball game. September 2014.

Took me to my first baseball game. September 2014.

Dear You,

I’m not sure I’m ready to put this into words but I know if I don’t try I’ll continue regretting not putting into words what needs to be said. So, at least at the end of this, no matter how it ends, I can at least say I tried.

In this past two years with you, I’ve learned a lot. About myself, about relationships, being an adult, about love. I’ve learned that I’m the type of person who loves with her entire being. When I love or care about someone, I let my entire world revolve around them. That’s what I did with you. You came into my life at a time when I wasn’t ready for anyone, let alone you. You came into my life and you weren’t a person–you were this entity that I became enraptured with. Your infectious personality, your incredible way with words, your delectable charm–it all seemed too good to be true. I think what it comes down to is I became involved with you before I was ever ready. I didn’t take the time to figure out what I wanted and what I needed from someone–from you, from our relationship. When we started all of this, you made it very clear you didn’t want a relationship. I thought it was because you were scared or you’d been hurt. I know now it’s because you’re not capable of having a relationship—at least not the kind I want.

I’m going to be honest with you because that’s what people who care about each other do. This is something I’ve been dealing with for a long time and it’s gone on long enough because honestly, it hurts too much. It’s not fair. I’m holding on because I hope things will change, which is perfectly reasonable, but I can’t change a person. I can’t change you, and I can’t change your situation. I can only change myself and the situations I choose to be a part of. You choose to let this nonsense continue and I’ve tried to understand and ignore it, but I can’t anymore. If you wanted to move on, you could. If you wanted to change the dynamics of your relationship with these other women, you could. I know you well enough by now to know that when you want someone out of your life, that’s it—they’re out. You have had plenty of time to reevaluate your situation and the damage it does to yourself and other people. Why have you done nothing about it? And I don’t mean making profiles private or pursuing secret relationships because that’s childish. I mean taking action and making adult decisions.

I am choosing to stay in this relationship and endure all of the lies, pain, and absurdity. I want nothing more than to believe every single word you say about it being crazy and her being crazy and all of that. I want nothing more than to continue telling everyone to fuck off—that they don’t understand our relationship. You know why I stay, but I deserve to treat myself better. At the VERY LEAST, I deserve honesty from you. You like to use the reasoning that because I’m not technically tied to you relationship wise (i.e. being your “girlfriend”) but the fact of the matter is we are in a relationship despite the fact that that is not the term you’d like to use. You’ve made it clear I am not to sleep with anyone else or go on dates—I know you do it in jest but we both know some part of you would feel hurt if YOU found out I was sneaking around behind your back. So, why do it to me?

How many times has something like this happened before? Because you know that although I may speak up, I still won’t do anything about it. Maybe I am, as they put it, just a stupid little girl. I know you have feelings for me, otherwise you wouldn’t even bother with our relationship, but it worries me that this is the way you treat people you care about.

What’s sicker is there are times when we’re together and I think nothing and no one else matters—you have this way of making me feel like I am yours and you’re mine. In the end though, none of that compares to the bigger issue here which is completely unacceptable. The issue being I may have those thoughts but in the end, it’s not true. You and your heart do, whether you see it or not, already belong to someone else.

I just want you to realize what I’m worth. I invite you into my life, my head, my heart, my family, my bed. That is all very special, and not everyone I meet is entitled to those things. I’ve given you everything and in return, you’re not even really mine. I’m not trying to make you feel bad, because you know I care a lot about you. I just don’t think you can ever give me what I want and need. A relationship—no matter what kind—falls apart the minute dishonesty comes into play. It is no longer fair to me to allow dishonesty from you when honesty is expected from me. And I know you will read this and not realize where I’m coming from but I do hope you try. You are the most important person in my life. But, I only have one life, why spend it with someone who doesn’t make me feel like the most important person in their world?

Whether you leave me or I leave you, I am going to miss you—this will be something I never quite get over. I’m going to feel heartbroken—like a failure, someone who just couldn’t make it work despite her best efforts. But if it doesn’t end, I continue looking stupid and foolish because I let this happen. But, life sucks sometimes. The most I can do is embrace the heartache and hold onto my pride which I have slowly been losing with each day I ignore the other major relationships in your life. I hate being alone, but I am 100% content knowing that I will not give myself to anyone undeserving. This is my life and I am the most important person in it and for the past two years, I’ve forgotten that.

I love you. I’ve never cared about anyone as much as I do for you. I would do almost anything for you—anything you ask of me. The memories I get to keep as a result of being with you are some of the best I have. You are a fantastic human being with a light about you that draws people into you—but one thing I cannot do is continue letting you lead me down a path of dishonesty. You don’t see it as dishonesty, I get that, but unfortunately that is what has happened. Whether it’s lying about spending time with multiple girls while you’re gone or lying about the “complicated situation,” or telling them I’m a psycho crazy girl with a big crush, lying is lying and it still hurts the people who care about you.

I’ve fought for you in the only possible way I know how—by being there for you and loving you. But I realize I’m fighting a losing battle. You’re everything to me—and I’m not much to you. She won. I do truly hope you read this and try to see it through my point of view—I don’t understand this situation. And if I get nothing from you now, I never will. I want to—I want to know who she/they is, the part she/they plays in your life, if you’re still sleeping with them — so many questions that, until answered, make me question our involvement with each other.

And the sickest thing, and even I have to admit this, is that at the end of the day, I will let this happen. I will turn the other way. I will let you continue having other relationships and I will continue believing your lies. I can act angry and upset and yell and kick and scream but never will I let you go. I can’t. And that, above all else, makes me the most pathetic person I’ve ever known.

I don’t think you meant to ever hurt me—but you have. When someone you care about is dishonest, it hurts more than anything. I want to believe you—I want you to let me in. I want you to trust me and I want you to recognize that I’m here and willing to listen and understand.

But most of all, I just want you. All of you. And in the end, I can only hope you want me, and only me, too.

Oh, Sir William

What bewilders me, and maybe others, is differences between men and women. It seems to me, that most often men’s driving force (conscious or unconcious) is sex but a woman’s driving force is emotional exchange. Women want to receive things like recognition, validation, feeling needed and wanted and of course, to be loved. When do a man’s emotions come into play beyond sexual desire? It has taken me 33 years to recognize that men often do express affection through sex. Further, the closeness they feel after sex presents a great opportunity for conversation that contains the “emotional exchange” so satisfying to women (and to men, too). But women sometimes demand too much emotional talk from men (I’m guilty of this). Women need to recognize that men often express affection best through actions (changing a light bulb, fixing the car) rather than words!   Women and men are entirely different species and what each wants is at odds with the needs and desires of the other sex.

FIRST THE COMPLAINTS
There’s nothing more frustrating and painful than to feel a need to communicate with someone I care about and yet not feel welcome to approach him. That is exactly how I felt this morning when i was trying to “text” my feelings.  And, we all know my contentment towards texting (see previous blog)!!!  I wish he understood how important I feel our conversations are for maintaining and deepening an emotional connection.  He seems to think that most conversation has no function unless it’s conveying concise information toward a specific goal (that’s definitely the US Marine in him).  He doesn’t seem to understand the part about how paying attention, even to things like chatting about each other’s days, his likes, his story deepens the bonding for me.  Sheesh, men need to realize if they dont communicate exactly what’s going on, women will jump to conclusions. It shouldn’t be our fault when the man gets angry about this… Men will never truly understand how much lack of communication hurts us women.  I wish I understood what’s going on in his head when he withdraws. It’s so hard to see he’s in pain, to know he’s in pain, and to also know he’d damn near rather eat glass than admit it.

NOW THE GOOD STUFF
Don’t let all those complaints and frustrations mislead you. I like this man, I mean I really really really like him….and I have not kept it a secret by far – I talk about him to my daughters, my family, friends and co-workers.  
I like the serene and effortlessly sexy way he carries himself when he feels like he is in control i.e. jump starting my car at 4am, arranging his fantasy football league, killing a creepy bug, opening a jar for me, or ordering dinner for us. When he’s in this relaxed state of control, all I can do is melt and admire. Its funny to because he doesn’t understand how very much I need him. It is so in vogue nowadays to act like I am so independent, and have no need of man in my life. But it simply isn’t true. I am lonely without you. I’d also like you to know I’m not presenting a trap when I inquire how you’re feeling, I don’t want to judge or mock, I WANT TO HELP. I want to understand you, and I want you to understand me. Your boyishness…Your sense of humor and play that you have is by far what I like most …and a nice butt doesn’t hurt!

Miss the way your hugs feel, so strong and protective….

XOXO April