“This book is meant to be a reminder of some basic truths about the potentials of long-term commitment. And it is meant to affirm the importance of that commitment. Plain and simple.”
That’s Margaret Rutherford’s promise about her first book, “Marriage Is Not for Chickens.” Released April 27, it was created initially as a blog post, the Fayetteville psychologist explains.
“When it appeared on The Huffington Post, to my amazement, the post went wildly viral with over 200,000 ‘likes’ and 53,000 shares,” Rutherford says. “Many people commented or wrote to me, ‘How can I get a copy of this?’ I’ve spent the last two years working with two wonderful photographers, Christine Mathias and Deborah Strauss — one of my hometown friends from Pine Bluff — creating images that would deepen the understanding and poignancy of my words. It’s short, sometimes sweet, and hopefully thought-provoking.”
Rutherford will read from her book at a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. July 20 at Nightbird Books in Fayetteville. Here she answers three questions for TFW:
Q. Was there an incident or life event that inspired the book?
A. I write blog posts weekly for my website. The week I wrote the post, now three years ago, my husband was about to have a serious operation and it was right before our 24th wedding anniversary. My eyes still get misty thinking about what we were facing, and what my marriage with him had meant to me. My words, however, are not simply about our own marriage, but what I’ve learned from being a psychologist for over 25 years.
Q. How did you know you wanted to be a counselor? And when?
A. In 1984, I was a professional vocalist in my 20s, but began volunteering in Dallas at their domestic violence shelter, answering the crisis line. I ended becoming the volunteer coordinator and loved the work. It was then I realized that, although I adored singing, I wanted to be involved with helping others. I went back to school, earned a music therapy degree, but was drawn to psychology. I received my Ph.D. in 1992. It was a busy eight years, and changed my life forever.
Q. Talk about some of the other mediums where your writing is published?
A. My writing has been featured on The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Psychology Today, The Gottman Blog, Prevention, The Mighty, The Good Men Project, Midlife Boulevard, and others. And I’ve started a podcast, “SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford,” which is a fun way to try and reach out to a whole other audience. My mission is to encourage conversation and openness about mental health issues.
— Becca Martin-Brown
‘Marriage Is Not for Chickens’:
A Reading With Margaret Rutherford
WHEN — 5:30 p.m. July 20
WHERE — Nightbird Books in Fayetteville
COST — Free; books will be available
INFO — drmargaretrutherford.com