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Unlearn Vanilla Marriage: A Different Approach to A Failing Institution Paperback – April 14, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (April 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1462007198
  • ISBN-13: 978-1462007196
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,383,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard Woods - Born and raised in Queens, NY, I grew up in a middle class household. Since I can remember my mouth has gotten me into trouble.I went to Catholic school, so whenever I voiced an opinion that didn't coincide with their dogmatic posture on life, death, eternity or morality, it would inevitably earn me detention and notes home to my parents. But I had questions...ideas... and thoughts... and when most people my age were being taught to conform, I was challenging conventional wisdom. It would have been much easier for me if I had just learned to keep my trap shut. As I grew older, I found that experience and education accord credibility.

Today as a writer,blogger,speaker and talk-show host, my goal is to deliver a unique perspective exposing the lies of traditional wisdom and encourage honest introspection. Because of my real-life blue collar experience, I lived on both sides of the relationship, religious and political fences. I have developed the "UnLearn" brand name in order to contradict some of the socio/political inequities I see occurring every day through News Media, Religious Institutions, and the Self Help Business.

Years ago, I attempted to adhere to "traditional" thought regarding matrimony, I found myself in a similar marital arrangement that many of my friends were in, which is to say, we were all miserable. Mercifully my first wife and I ended it in time to be able to move on with our lives. Not one to repeat my mistakes, I rethought my approach to relationships, and vowed that if I ever did marry again, things would be different.

Presently, My wife Jane and I are in an amazing marriage. Through my latest book "Unlearn Vanilla Marriage", I want to share some insights on the journey of realization that brought us to this great life. This is not a "typical" relationship book. It makes rational determinations based on authenticity, many of which the average reader will either find uncomfortable, or be offended at. But I go where the facts lead me, and if that offends, so be it. Sometimes, the truth can hurt. This book is specifically about how people conduct themselves in committed relationships, it touches on other social issues simply because marriage is a social institution.

Be sure that there are more "UnLearn" books to follow that will address a variety of topics.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. P. on April 29, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Overall, this book has an excellent concept, organization of themes and entertaining, engaging writing style. Unlike a lot of other self-help books of this genre, this book outlines some of the realities of a long-term, loving relationship -- realities we often suppress in the interest of fitting in to conventional notions of marriage and monogamy. Mr. Woods offers up concepts and solutions that help people create a loving partnership that endures for the *right* reasons, not the external pressures and standards that one tries to live up to and may or may not be successful at despite how much they adore their spouse. There's a refreshing honesty and frankness in this book that you won't find by those who, to paraphrase the author, earn a living from the misery of others. It may not appear to be for everyone; it presents scary notions and blows out many current conventions of marriage (along with many other societal niceties). However, if you're in love, in it for the long haul, but looking for a new way to negotiate the rules of marriage to make the long haul exciting, rewarding, loving and enduring, this book certainly offers a way to do so.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brenda Kleinsasser on May 13, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the second book for author...Richard Woods. This book is truly for everyone, not just couples that are struggling. Perhaps if something isn't working out, maybe a new approach is in order.

Speaking as a single here... and never have had the pleasure of going down that road, I certainly have gained a lot from this, nothing less than brilliant book.

I love the way he presents the whole package. You may or may not agree with the different choices that are brought out. Take out what is good for you.

I love the fact that in a marriage it's possible to be interdependent.

Another...important fact, you must be comfortable with yourself first, then you can truly move on to that special interdependent relationship.

You will find yourself laughing and just saying to yourself, that this author just presents it so well and eloquently.

I just really enjoy anything this author writes...but this my friends, is his best work yet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carmen T. Verenna on July 29, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
To me this book was really about three things:
1) monogamy isn't really necessary so you should seriously free yourself from that by swinging.
2) self help industries lie to you because these organzations don't really promote swinging, and
3) the author is married to a beautiful woman that loves to swing.

The author repeatedly mentioned those three items over and over again. I'm not rejecting what he is saying...in fact I somewhat agree with his argument...but the book isn't a good read and it left me uncomfortable in many instances by repeating those issues.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Darrel W. Ray on April 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
I was given this book and, as with most book gifts, I viewed it with suspicion and skepticism. However the topic is close to my own writing so I decided to read a few pages. The result, I put it down only once, to go to sleep, and finished it within 24 hrs. of starting. I am a psychologist, Richard Wood is not, but I would put the psychology in this book up against anything I have seen on the topic by a psychologist. Sure the book deals with swinging, but if that is what you think it is about, you really need to improve your reading comprehension skills. This book is about trust. The trust that is undermined by our traditional ideas of marriage - the Vanilla Matrix - a Wood calls it. Woods analysis is amazingly on target with my personal and clinical experience. The shame the guilt that is part and parcel with vanilla marriage is incredibly destructive and the so-called self help experts, only exacerbate the problem.

If you read this book with an open mind, you will come away with a mind better prepared to make important choices, not only with respect to sex, but in choice of a mate, child rearing and so much more. Thanks for a great book. It turned out to be a gift worth opening.

Dr. Darrel W. Ray, author of Sex and God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality and The God Virus.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Untamed Pen on March 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
More people should think like Rich Woods. He is not afraid to tell it like it is, and sometimes "it" is very ugly. He knows what he is talking about, and is very convincing. The social bonds that existed in the past just don't work for the modern age. Woods knows how to navigate it, and he shares his views in a very irreverent and refreshingly inappropriate manner.
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