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Divorce after 50 - Silver Divorce

Love Lawyer, Corri Fetman, Weighs in on the Real Reason, Golden Bachelor, Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist, Called It Quits

By Corri Fetman | April 15, 2024

According to US Weekly and Good Morning America, Gerry Turner and wife Theresa Nist announced their split on Good Morning America. Gerry and Theresa revealed on Friday, April 12, that they are getting a divorce three months after their TV wedding.

According to the couple, they are divorcing because of their “living situation:” The couple recounted: “Theresa and I have had a number of heart-to-heart conversations and we’ve looked closely at our situation — our living situation — and we’ve kind of come to the conclusion mutually that it’s time for us to dissolve our marriage,” Gerry said, adding that it’s “best for the happiness of each of us to live apart” and be near their families.

Earlier this month, TMZ reported that the Golden Bachelor stars, who tied the knot on-camera in January, have not yet moved in together. Instead, Gerry remains in Indiana, while Theresa continues to reside in her home state of New Jersey.

As a divorce attorney, I am constantly being called upon to determine the basis of problems and struggles encountered in marriages. Despite the Good Morning America rehearsed jargon, I believe the problem lies deeper than what is being publicly conveyed. I would go as far as saying that the relationship was doomed from the inception.


Reality TV Competitions Are Sensationalized Fiction:

Step into the realm of reality television, where the boundary between truth and scripted drama blurs, and love often becomes just another narrative tool. Audiences are drawn not only to the glitz and glamour but also to the prospect of witnessing everyday individuals seeking genuine connections. However, the harsh truth reveals that many of these relationships crumble once the cameras stop rolling.

The relentless scrutiny of the spotlight inevitably alters behavior. Contestants may reshape their personas to fit desired perceptions, often diverging from their true selves. As the façade fades and reality sets in, partners are left disillusioned, longing to escape the confines of their televised romance. More often than not, the first three months of a relationship is fake. Each partner is putting their best foot forward but it is not who they really are in a typical relationship. In other words, when faced with normal lives, they are most likely a completely different person.

Furthermore, time becomes a precious commodity on reality TV. While genuine connections demand patience and nurturing, contestants, such as Gerry and Theresa are thrust into rapid-fire decision-making scenarios. With shows lasting mere weeks and participants subject to audience elimination, the luxury of time to foster authentic connections is scarce. Each person is portraying a disingenuous façade in order to win the competition at any cost. Building a meaningful relationship requires the investment of months, if not years which is a stark contrast to the condensed drama of a 10-12-episode season.

The show fosters a strategic mindset as opposed to a romantic one. This is because the couple deemed the “Perfect Match” is foisted in the spotlight only to be given gifts, diamonds, and a televised glamorous wedding and honey moon in Italy. The competition breeds a short-lived mindset that is destined to fail.

After the diamonds, lavish gifts and television appearances, the couple is forced to live in the real world and have difficult conversations. Ultimately, they realize that the person they “fell madly in love with” on the show is dramatically different than the person they married.

The First 3-4 Months of Every Relationship is Illusory:

After the honeymoon phase of 3 months, shallow relationships will most likely fail. This is especially true when dealing with mature older couples who are set in their ways and unwilling to compromise. Experiencing the honeymoon phase in a relationship is undeniably exhilarating. This is especially true when coming off the heels of glamour and excitement after winning and reality show. However, this euphoria can sometimes lead couples to rush into things, overlook warning signs, or skip crucial conversations during their initial three months together. Furthermore, Gerry and Theresa probably spent the majority of their initial months speaking about the way they met, how they were attracted to each other and all the nuances of the Golden Bachelor Show-not focusing on topics that are paramount in a marriage.

Moreover, the flood of feel-good chemicals in Gerry and Theresa’s brains can be intoxicating, making it crucial to navigate this honeymoon phase with clarity.

Some of the pitfalls Gerry and Theresa made during the honeymoon phase undoubtedly caused their failed relationship or marriage:

  1.  Authenticity over Facades: While it’s natural to want to showcase the best version of yourself early in a relationship, there was no way for either Theresa or Gerry to present their real self on television or even as late as 3 months after the date of the marriage. After the show, they were preparing for a televised wedding. The Golden Bachelor wedding was an extension of the show. Moreover, they were required to travel and promote the show endlessly after the wedding. Such notoriety and fame prevents partners from relaxing and truly knowing each other outside the show. Pretending can lead to building a relationship on deceit.
  2. Red Flags: It is virtually impossible to determine red flags when the basis of the relationship stemmed from communication on a televised show. The red flags were most likely present but ignored by both parties looking to win a competition. Perhaps, it may be possible because of the manner in which Gerry and Theresa met, that one of them wanted to use the Golden Bachelor for additional fame, fortune and monetary opportunities.
  3. Distinguishing Between Attraction and Connection: Gerry changed his mind at the last minute from choosing Leslie to Theresa only after sleeping with both women. Therefore, the intensity of sexual attraction can sometimes overshadow the depth of a romantic connection. While passion is thrilling, when trying to win a television competition, it is impossible to reflect on whether the bond transcends physical chemistry. True connection withstands familiarity and goes beyond mere physical attraction.
  4. Major Life Decisions: While discussing major life decisions is encouraged, making impulsive choices in the initial phase of the relationship is ill-advised. Waiting before moving in together, getting married, or making other life-altering decisions allows for better judgment and clarity. These type of decisions should only be made after a couple can truly count on each other and develop true intimacy. Gerry and Theresa development of “instant intimacy” on a television competition is not the same as true intimacy. True intimacy can only be developed over time and upon dealing with real life exigencies. Gerry and Theresa were both committed to their own families which made their initial decision ultimately geographically undesirable. Furthermore, they never lived together. Their long distance relationship further exacerbated their inability to forge an authentic and intimate relationship.

Successful navigation requires a commitment way beyond the first three months of a relationship with mindfulness, communication, and a commitment to genuineness. Unfortunately, Gerry and Theresa never had an authentic relationship.

Long Distance Relationships Are Challenging:

No matter what age, long distance relationships are extremely difficult. Human connection thrives on physical presence such as the shared warmth of a hug, the comfort of touch, and the intimacy of shared spaces. In long-term relationships, the lack of these elements can gradually lead to emotional detachment. Not being able to be physically present for life’s everyday moments can lead to feelings of isolation and frustration. This is especially true with a couple such as Gerry and Theresa who bonded over the excitement, glitz and glamour of a televised competition. Experiencing the ups and downs of life alone after the show is challenging and can lead to emotional drift and, ultimately, relationship failure. After all, Theresa and her family live in New Jersey and Gerry lives surrounded by his family in Indiana.

The most crucial challenge in a long distance relationship is communication. Communication and emotional connection in these relationships are heavily dependent on digital platforms such as texts, calls, photos, FaceTime and social media. Effective communication is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship, and this is even more critical in long-distance relationships. Busy schedules, and technological limitations can all conspire to create communication barriers. Misinterpretation of messages, lack of nonverbal cues, and inability to have spontaneous conversations can strain even the most intimate relationships. Over time, misunderstandings can accumulate, eroding the foundation of trust and intimacy. This can identified as one of the crucial factors in undermining most long-distance relationships. Since Gerry and Theresa barely knew each other and were forced into a quickie marriage, they did not have enough time to learn each other’s communication styles.

Long-distance relationships also tend to blur the lines.  If Gerry and Theresa did not have a final and concrete plan for how to resolve their reunions and marital home, it undoubtedly lead to feelings of hopelessness and insecurity about the future. The inability to plan long-term can cast doubt on the viability of the relationship. Without a shared vision for the future, partners may find it difficult to invest emotionally and psychologically, which ultimately leads to relationship breakdown and divorce.


All in all, the odds were against Gerry and Theresa. It should be no surprise that the couple called it quits after a mere 3 months of marriage.


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