The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband

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Simon and Schuster, Jan 3, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 240 pages
3 Reviews
The warm and hilarious bestselling memoir by a man diagnosed with Asperger syndrome who sets out to save his marriage.

At some point in nearly every marriage, a wife finds herself asking, What the @#!% is wrong with my husband?! In David Finch’s case, this turns out to be an apt question. Five years after he married Kristen, the love of his life, they learn that he has Asperger syndrome. The diagnosis explains David’s ever-growing list of quirks and compulsions, but it doesn’t make him any easier to live with.

Determined to change, David sets out to understand Asperger syndrome and learn to be a better husband with an endearing yet hilarious zeal. His methods for improving his marriage involve excessive note-taking, performance reviews, and most of all, the Journal of Best Practices: a collection of hundreds of maxims and hard-won epiphanies, including “Don’t change the radio station when she’s singing along” and “Apologies do not count when you shout them.” Over the course of two years, David transforms himself from the world’s most trying husband to the husband who tries the hardest. He becomes the husband he’d always meant to be.

Filled with humor and surprising wisdom, The Journal of Best Practices is a candid story of ruthless self-improvement, a unique window into living with an autism spectrum condition, and proof that a true heart can conquer all.

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I'm going to review this book from the perspective of somebody in an AS/NT marriage who fully understands why this is not just a case of a husband that is "being a bit of a bloke" and a woman who is wishing he was "a bit more sensitive/attentive/spontaneous/romantic/helpful". This book is about the challenges any NT/AS couple will face and one couple's strategy to manage those challenges. If your are in an NT/AS relationship this book will make you laugh and it will make you cry as you see the parallels between their journey and your own. It is an honest and inspiring account of the daily struggle an NT/AS couple face, I would recommend it to anybody in this situation and I applaud David Finch for his honest account of his and Kristen's journey. 

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IntroductionDo all that you can to be worthy ofher love
Chapter 1Be herfriendfirst and always
Chapter 2Use your words
Chapter 3Get inside her girl world and look around
Chapter 4Just listen
Better tofold and put away than to take only what you needfrom the dryer
Chapter 6Go with theflow
Chapter 7When necessary redefine perfection
Chapter 8Be loyal to your true stakeholders
Chapter 9Take notes
Chapter 10Give Kristen time to shower without crowding her
Chapter 11Be present in moments with the kids
Chapter 12Parties are supposed to be fun
The Final Best PracticeDont make everything a Best Practice

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About the author (2012)

David Finch grew up on a farm in northern Illinois and attended the University of Miami, where he studied Music Engineering Technology. In 2008 he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. His essay, “Somewhere Inside, a Path to Empathy” appeared in The New York Times and became the basis for this book. David lives in northern Illinois with his wife Kristen and two children and is still a total nerd.

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