iOS app Android app

Dr. Margaret Rutherford
GET UPDATES FROM Dr. Margaret Rutherford
Dr. Margaret Rutherford is a clinical psychologist who has been practicing for over 20 years in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She began blogging in 2012, coining the term "NestAche" for the empty nest created by her only son leaving for college. She launched a new website this year,, where she posts about individual mental health issues, family and midlife. She is the Mental Health Columnist for Midlife Boulevard and has been featured on BlogHer, Boomeon, BetterAfter50, ElderSense, BeliefNet and Arkansas Women Bloggers. She can also be found on Twitter @doctor_margaret! You can email questions or comments to her

Entries by Dr. Margaret Rutherford

5 Essentials Of Healing After An Affair

(12) Comments | Posted March 7, 2015 | 10:38 PM


I got a call from a TV reporter after the infamous "blue dress" incident during Clinton's presidency.

He wanted to do an interview about the likelihood that the Clintons would break up.

I started smiling.

"If most couples didn't make it through affairs,...

Read Post

7 Ways To Fall Back In Love With Your Long-Time Partner

(16) Comments | Posted February 17, 2015 | 6:56 AM


Being "in love."

How do you maintain it? How do you keep from experiencing what I have heard so many people say. "I love her, but I'm not in love with her". Is it luck? Hard work? A choice?


I have watched...

Read Post

Ordering Breakfast And How It Can Explain What Men And Women Need

(49) Comments | Posted January 31, 2015 | 2:09 PM

Valentine's Day is approaching so I thought it appropriate to tell the story I often do in therapy to help describe a basic difference between the genders. It's actually not simply a difference. More like a lack of understanding.

It's a story about me and my husband ordering breakfast at...

Read Post

5 Commitments To Yourself If You Love (Or Have Loved) A Narcissist

(8) Comments | Posted January 13, 2015 | 7:02 PM

Let's talk about narcissism.

A recent article in the Huffington Post went viral when the author, Lindsey Ellison, described how to engage with a "narcissist" after divorce. Basically to disengage. Detach. Stick to basic information if you have to have contact.

Hundreds of comments suggest that many people...

Read Post

Christmas Plates And 11 Other Holiday Treats That Won't Happen At My House

(28) Comments | Posted December 17, 2014 | 4:59 AM

I am always amazed when I am invited for a party or homemade meal during the holidays.

Out come beautiful Christmas plates.

We have a set, inherited from my in-laws when they moved out of their New Jersey home 12 years ago.

I either forget. Or convince myself I don't...

Read Post

4 Difficulties Of Being Alone In A Partnered World

(52) Comments | Posted December 12, 2014 | 5:15 AM

We had breakfast at a local diner Saturday morning. Deer with huge antlers mounted on the walls. A life-size John Wayne cutout greets you at the door. Chicken fried steak and chocolate gravy the specialities.

You definitely know you are in the South.

Read Post

3 Tips For Coping With Grief During The Holidays

(4) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 5:26 AM

It's hard to describe.

It's bad enough that someone dies. Especially if they are young.

When it occurs during the holiday season, all the jingling bells and fa-la-la-la-las are a crude backdrop for pain. The stark emptiness of loss throbs through your veins. You can barely breathe.

Those who have...

Read Post

How Your Body Image Affects Your Daughter's Self-Esteem

(3) Comments | Posted November 17, 2014 | 5:09 AM

Sometimes a post just hits a nerve.

Anne Parris' recent offering on Midlife Boulevard was that for me. It was about another Dove commercial. Highlighting the unintentional messages about body image that mothers give daughters. It's pretty shocking. Please. If you haven't seen the...

Read Post

Are You Depressed and No One Knows It But You?

(2) Comments | Posted October 28, 2014 | 5:33 PM


She is the young career woman who years ago woke up in a hotel room. Not remembering how she had gotten there. Alone. Half-naked.

Realizing she had been raped.

She never told anyone.

"It's never really bothered me," she tells me now. Smiling.

Read Post

Glückliche Ehe: 12 Dinge, die eine Partnerschaft wirklich ausmachen

(1) Comments | Posted October 1, 2014 | 1:14 PM

24 Jahre Ehe.

Das ist es, was der 15. September für mich bedeutet.

Wir hatten vorher gefeiert, deshalb erinnerte ich mich erst auf dem Weg zur Arbeit daran. Ich rief ihn an und sagte ihm, dass ich ihn liebe. Ich bekam Blumen aus dem Supermarkt, als ich abends heimkam. Wunderbar...

Read Post

12 cose che il matrimonio è e 12 cose che il matrimonio NON è

(4) Comments | Posted October 1, 2014 | 6:17 AM

24 anni di matrimonio. Ecco cosa ha significato per me questo ultimo 15 settembre. Avevamo festeggiato in anticipo, perciò non me ne sono ricordata che a fine giornata, tornando a casa dal lavoro. Gli ho detto 'Ti amo'. Gli ho comprato dei fiori al negozio sotto casa. Una composizione bellissima....

Read Post

12 Things Marriage Is and 12 Things It Isn't

(164) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 8:11 AM

24 years of marriage.

That's what September 15th meant for me.

We had celebrated earlier so I didn't remember until I was driving to work. I called him. Told him I loved him. I got grocery store flowers when I got home. Beautifully arranged by the way.

What ever did...

Read Post

Why I Didn't Leave. Until I Did.

(2) Comments | Posted September 16, 2014 | 5:36 PM

The discussion of why women don't leave.

I have been listening.

There has been excellent conversation noting the complexity and reality of the danger an abused woman faces. The impact of the emotional abuse and isolation she has likely suffered for months...

Read Post

Empty Nesting Season: Letting Go a Little at a Time

(4) Comments | Posted August 31, 2014 | 8:36 PM


They say things come in threes.

My son left for college again two weeks ago.

He was home two days between his summer job and college. No need for us to drive him this year. He was taking his Jeep. "There will be...

Read Post

Stop the Stigma: 'Bipolar' Is Not a New Word for Just Darn Unpleasant

(6) Comments | Posted August 25, 2014 | 11:21 AM

You hear it everywhere. "Oh, she's so bipolar."

It's the diagnosis of the decade. At least in the general public.

It didn't start with Catherine Zeta-Jones treatment and its publicity, but it has certainly picked up speed since then. Tiger Woods was treated for sexual addiction....

Read Post

When You Empty Your Nest and Your Child Gets Lost

(0) Comments | Posted August 24, 2014 | 7:00 PM


Lots of empty nest posts on the Internet glow with reports of how well their kids are doing. "I may be hurting but my kid is doing great!"

What about those who don't?

The kids who struggle. Who get caught up in abusive...

Read Post

The 2 Simple Words That Will Improve Your Marriage

(12) Comments | Posted August 14, 2014 | 7:56 AM

My husband has a lot more patience than I do.

So he does a lot of the things around the house that require that particular virtue.

Like filling up the little pump thing to the left of the kitchen faucet that holds dishwashing liquid. Getting the dry dog food off...

Read Post

The Lasting Story Of Suicide

(12) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 10:17 AM

When someone kills themselves, it arouses all kinds of responses.

Disbelief. Despair. Anger. Confusion. Fear. Overwhelming empathy for those who loved that person. Deep sadness for the one who faced such a choice.

If famous, like Robin Williams -- who died Monday in an apparent suicide -- we realize that...

Read Post

3 Vital Reasons to Say 'I'm Sorry'

(3) Comments | Posted August 10, 2014 | 8:02 PM


"Love means you never have to say you're sorry."

That was the theme of the hit movie Love Story with Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neal back in 1970. Those words were emblazoned on a poster of the two of them, which my 16-year-old...

Read Post

Advice On Aging From A Nun. And A Psychologist.

(8) Comments | Posted July 29, 2014 | 7:40 AM

When I was pregnant, I got tired of talking about having a baby.

When I finally had my little darling, I became weary of talking only about nap time and Sponge Bob.

Now I find I am getting a little frustrated with this whole "getting older" thing.

Don't get me...

Read Post