Butterfly on flower photo by yuichi kageyama Unsplash

The ‘Beautiful Butterfly’ becomes an ‘Ugly Moth’

Communication · 2 min read

My wife is stunningly beautiful. She’s smart and she also stands up to me.”

He is great at building relationships with people and can get on the same wavelength with others really quickly.” 

I love the way she treats everyone with dignity and respect and the way she handles problems in her life.” 

This is typically how newlyweds speak about each other.

The spouse is a beautiful butterfly’ with gossamer wings that glisten in brilliant colours when the sunlight shines on them. Newlyweds seem to move totally in synch with one another, navigating elegantly through whatever life throws at them.

At the beginning of their relationship, most people can easily list 10 positive things about the other. But over the years the list gradually reduces. The positives aren’t quite as noticeable anymore, and personality traits are looked at through a more critical lens. My theory is that on average a person can name one less positive trait about their partner with each passing year.

Soon the beautiful butterfly’ is seen as an annoying ugly moth’ with colourless wings! 

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are two things you could do to help prevent this from happening:


Talking positively about your partner to others reinforces your own opinion as well. It’s worth remembering that the same is true when things are reversed; negative speech solidifies a negative image of your partner in your mind.


Remind yourself regularly of the things you value in your spouse. It’s a good idea to take time to write down their positive traits from time to time and even read them aloud. This is a great exercise to do on your anniversary, a birthday or on Valentine’s day, a gift of affirmation! 

Moving to the next level in your relationship:

Write down ten (or more) positive character traits and things you value about your partner. Then share them with your partner as an encouragement, perhaps by writing a card, on individual post-it notes around the home, texting them, or whatever you think your partner might appreciate. 


Toucan Together can help you improve many aspects of your relationship: discover deeper ways to communicate; find positive approaches for resolving arguments; learn to speak each other’s Love Languages®️; build friendship, intimacy and a great sex-life. Get started by taking the​‘Pulse’ of your relationship with our short research-based quiz and see the health of your relationship across seven key indicators. GET STARTED NOW | LOG IN

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