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 - 224 pages
7 Reviews
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, his lifelong propensity to quack and otherwise melt down in social exchanges, and his clinical-strength inflexibility. 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— no easy task for a guy whose inability to express himself rivals his two-year-old daughter’s, who thinks his responsibility for laundry extends no further than throwing things in (or at) the hamper, and whose autism-spectrum condition makes seeing his wife’s point of view a near impossibility.

Nevertheless, David devotes himself to improving his marriage with an endearing yet hilarious zeal that involves excessive note-taking, performance reviews, and most of all, the Journal of Best Practices: a collection of hundreds of maxims and hard-won epiphanies that result from self-reflection both comic and painful. They include “Don’t change the radio station when she’s singing along,” “Apologies do not count when you shout them,” and “Be her friend, first and always.” Guided by the Journal of Best Practices, David transforms himself over the course of two years from the world’s most trying husband to the husband who tries the hardest, 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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - justindtapp - LibraryThing

I was attracted to this book because my son is on the autism spectrum. I find it helpful to read books written by adults with high-functioning autism because they often clearly describe what their ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Laine-Cunningham - LibraryThing

I really enjoyed this work. The author provides a very clear look at what it's like to be in a relationship with an Aspie...and he manages to be quite funny along the way! Read full review

Selected pages


IntroductionDo all that you can to be worthy ofher love
Chapter 1Be herfriend first and always
Chapter 2Use your words
Chapter 3Get inside her girl world and look around
Chapter 4Just listen
Better to fold 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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