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How a diagnosis of Asperger's transformed a marriage: The Journal of Best Practices by David Finch

How a diagnosis of Asperger's transformed a marriage: The Journal of Best Practices by David Finch

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4.33

(6)
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Published by Simon and Schuster
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.
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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Publish date: Jan 3, 2012
Added to Scribd: Oct 04, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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08/21/2013

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 Te warm and hilarious bestselling memoirby a man diagnosed with Asperger syndrome who sets out to save his marriage
 A
t some point in nearly every marriage, a wie fnds hersel ask-ing, What the @#!% is wrong with my husband?! In DavidFinch’s case, this turns out to be an apt question. Five yearsater he married Kristen, the love o his lie, they learn that he has As-perger syndrome. Te diagnosis explains David’s ever-growing list o quirks and compulsions, but it doesn’t make him any easier to live with.Determined to change, David sets out to understand Asperger syndromeand learn to be a better husband with an endearing yet hilarious zeal.His methods or improving his marriage involve excessive note-taking,perormance reviews, and most o all, the Journal o Best Practices: acollection o hundreds o maxims and hard-won epiphanies, including“Don’t change the radio station when she’s singing along” and “Apolo-gies do not count when you shout them.” Over the course o two years,David transorms himsel rom the world’s most trying husband to thehusband who tries the hardest. He becomes the husband he’d alwaysmeant to be.Filled with humor and surprising wisdom, Te Journal o Best Practicesis a candid story o ruthless sel-improvement, a unique window intoliving with an autism spectrum condition, and proo that a true heartcan conquer all.
 
“The only thing to know is how to use your neuroses.
 —Arthur Adamov

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satyridae reviewed this
Rated 3/5
This was very interesting and edifying. The book was fairly repetitive but it was okay that way, as one feels like one gets a fair picture of the author. I think the author's wife is way more forbearing and sweet than I would be in similar straits.
livelylady reviewed this
Rated 4/5
The author was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome five years into his marriage. At that time, he and his wife, Kristen, had two children. While feeling some relief that his idiosyncracies were due to a specific condition, he still battled making his life and the life of those he loved bearable. The Journal of Best Practices is based on the notes he made for himself of "Best Practices" to overcome his personality quirks. Very interesting and at times it is laugh out loud funny. I found it very informative as well. Would recommend to those interested in Asperger's.
jenners26 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
The subtitle of the book provides the perfect summary: “A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man’s Quest to Be a Better Husband.” David Finch has written a blisteringly honest account of what it feels like to have Asperger Syndrome and how this condition affects your life, especially a marriage and relationship with children. Finch has a good (albeit often sophomoric) sense of humor, and that makes the book quite readable. However, I wish he could have co-written it with his wife, Kristen, as I would have LOVED to have gotten her view of matters. (She sounds like a saint, to be honest.) In the beginning, Finch says something along the lines of “having Aspergers kind of makes you like a really typical insensitive guy … only more so,” and that did seem true. Many of his accounts seemed like jackass stuff that guys do and women complain about (complete cluelessness about feelings, insensitivity, inappropriate jokes, etc.), but Finch is good at conveying that, while “normal” guys might be operating at a volume of 3, guys with Aspergers operate with the volume turned up to 10. If you’re interested in what it feels like to have Aspergers or have someone in your life with the condition, I imagine this would be a must read book. I found it quite interesting, and I think Finch was brave to share his story and provide the world with an insight of what it feels like to live with this type of mind.
knitwit2_1 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
A great story of David Finch's struggle to be the husband and father that Asperger syndrome was preventing him from being. Very candid telling of the obstacles he had to overcome, obstacles that were internal and for many would have been overwhelming to address let alone confront. This was a touching story about how much he clearly loves his wife, she is lucky to have a husband so devoted to her. Mr. Finch is very funny and has a great "voice", when reading this I felt like I knew this couple and found myself rooting for them from the very start.
mochap_1 reviewed this
Memoir by a man who, five years into his very rocky marriage, is diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and sets out to teach himself how to be a better husband and father. Very touching, brutally honest, and fascinating. Great book.
kelslynn reviewed this
Rated 4/5
This is a memoir of sorts by a man who was diagnosed first by his wife and then by a professional as having Asperger's Syndrome, which falls in the autism spectrum. David Finch is a brilliant and funny man but he has many eccentricities and compulsions , which he realizes are undermining his marriage and family life. He works diligently - and obsessively - writing all of his best practices for overcoming his shortcomings into a notebook.I wanted to understand more about Aspergers, and I think Finch does a great job of letting you get into his head, seeing life from his perspective. He struggles to understand empathy toward and involvement with other people. And he does so with just the right touch of self-deprecating humor.
jmchshannon reviewed this
Having met David Finch in Detroit last October during the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association annual trade show, I discovered first-hand what a genuinely funny person he is. I knew that reading his memoir, The Journal of Best Practices, would be an enjoyable experience. I was prepared for the humor; I was not prepared for the heartfelt honesty and almost heartbreaking determination he shows throughout his journey to overcome his Asperger's in order to save his marriage. While David explains how difficult simple, everyday situations are for him due to his Asperger's, the lessons he learns over the eighteen-month experiment are truly lessons for every male.Any memoir is only as good as the forthrightness of the author. David's honesty is as refreshing as it is touching to behold. There is no holding back for Mr. Finch. He is surprisingly candid in telling his story; for better or for worse, David tells it like it really was. He does not hide the fact that he was a distant father or selfish husband. A story such as his needs this openness to showcase his struggles and help the reader understand just how remarkable his successes are. Because of his honesty, the reader walks away from his story feeling as if s/he really knows David and feels humbled at being allowed such an intimate look into his life.Every woman should be so lucky to have a husband like David. Ultimately, his love for Kristin is the driving force behind his need for self-improvement. The fact that he was able to make it so long without a diagnosis of any sort shows that he was able to function in society. He did not have to attempt to this experiment, and yet he jumped into it with as much enthusiasm and excitement as any five-year-old on Christmas morning. Given the divorce rates these days, most people in Kristin and David's situation would have called it quits. The fact that they did not is testament to their love, and it is beautiful to behold.Marriage is never easy. Marriage to someone with Asperger Syndrome makes it even more difficult, especially if neither party knows that he has Asperger's at the beginning of the marriage. What is remarkable is the effort and work both Kristin and David put forth to save their marriage. The Journal of Best Practices is a great example of the dedication and perseverance it requires for a healthy and happy marriage. Better yet, David Finch has made it easy for every husband out there to learn what women truly want!Acknowledgements: Thank you to the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association and David Finch for my review copy!
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