Deanna Coyle: “Do the Research” And Other Words of Wisdom

We treat emotional recovery differently from physical recovery—or anything else in our lives, for that matter. You wouldn’t just walk onto a car lot and buy a car without a test drive or look under the hood. And you wouldn’t drive past a house for sale and sign on the dotted line without walking through the front door.

In fact, no one would. On average, car buyers take over 14 hours to conduct online research before deciding on a purchase. And homebuyers spend 30-60 days shopping before beginning the sometimes lengthy process of putting in an offer.

So why do we think we can automatically navigate divorce without help?

This week I sat down with Deanna Coyle, founder of Vesta: ReDefining Divorce, an organization that provides informative and social events, retreats, and referrals for trusted professionals to educate and empower people who are navigating life during and after divorce. Her work confronts loneliness and isolation head-on.

Research to Avoid Regret

Coyle recommends researching and even attending events through Vesta. This isn’t just about support after the fact. It’s about understanding the crossroads in front of you. Hearing from experts about what the future may look like can help you make an informed decision. It can also help remove the stigma you may unwittingly have internalized.

Avoid Isolation 

Another important point Coyle makes is to surround yourself with people. Isolation is a real concern as you go through divorce. Couples often have shared social networks. Friends may feel compelled to choose between friends. And the work of raising children or supporting a family alone may all contribute to a tendency toward isolation. But this can be dangerous not just to your state of mind but to your physical health. Finding a network of friends who understand can help combat the very common experience of loneliness and isolation that can threaten your health.

Make Room for Joy

Coyle also emphasizes the importance of happiness. Happiness is actually important for your health and wellbeing. But beyond our own self-interest and our own recovery from pain, being happy is better for the world.

According to the UC Berkeley Science Center The Greater Good, pursuing happiness can have a positive effect on society.

Positive emotions:

  1. Broaden our thinking, making us more flexible, able to see the big picture and be more creative.
  2. Build over time transforming us by developing skills like strength, wisdom and resilience.
  3. Help our bodies and minds get stronger enabling us to cope with stress and negative feelings.

These qualities make us not just better individuals, but better neighbors, learners, teachers and companions. We may have to work on developing them, but, like muscles, with attention and practice they will grow stronger.

And that’s good news not just for us, or for our friends and family, but for everyone.

If you’re considering divorce but would like to try an approach that might mean a brighter future, call my team to schedule a confidential consultation.