Varghese Summersett

Millions of people were pulling for the marriage of Golden Bachelor Gerry Turner and his wife Theresa Nist, only to see it end in divorce after just three months of seemingly wedded bliss.

So what happened? Obviously, they are the only ones who know what went on behind closed doors, but as experienced divorce attorneys, we can make a few educated guesses. In this article, we offer three potential reasons why their public love story ended in a swift divorce. But first, here’s the backstory if you’re one of the few people on the planet who missed it.

Golden Bachelor Backstory: Gerry & Theresa’s Courtship

Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist were the first couple to get engaged and married on the reality TV show “The Golden Bachelor.” They were both in their 70s when they met on the show and got married on live television in January 2024.

However, their marriage was short-lived, as they announced their divorce just three months later in April 2024. The reasons they cited for their split were that they could not agree on where to live, as Gerry was based in Indiana while Theresa lived in New Jersey. They also cited their commitment to their respective families as a factor in their decision to divorce.  And most recently, rumors swirled that the marriage might have ended after a disagreement about cornfields. Yes, cornfields. Specifically, during a two-hour drive from the airport to Gerry’s lake house in Indiana, Teresa suggested that vast cornfields could be developed into condos, office buildings, and apartments – a vision that Gerry disagreed with.

While the news of their quick divorce was surprising and disappointing to many viewers who had hoped their relationship would last, the union was more akin to a brief engagement rather than a full marriage. They did not have time to fully merge their lives and finances, so the end of their relationship is better characterized as a breakup rather than a divorce. In fact, the divorce attorneys at Varghese Summersett venture to say that the marriage was over before it got started. Here’s three reasons why:

Golden Bachelor Divorce

1. Finding Lasting Love Through a Reality Show is Unrealistic

The glamor and drama of reality TV often create an idealized version of relationships that fails to reflect the complexities of real-life partnerships. Contestants on shows like “The Golden Bachelor” are thrust into intense environments where emotions run high, time is limited, and the pressure to make a connection is immense. In such artificial settings, it’s easy to mistake infatuation for genuine compatibility and overlook fundamental differences that could spell trouble outside the confines of the show.

While these programs promise fairy-tale endings and everlasting love, the truth is that the circumstances under which relationships form are far from ordinary. Contestants are often chosen for their entertainment value rather than their long-term compatibility, and the fast-paced nature of reality TV leaves little room for genuine connection to develop organically. As a result, couples may find themselves swept up in the excitement of the moment, only to realize later that their relationship is built on shaky foundations.

Moreover, the scrutiny and public scrutiny that accompany reality TV romances can place additional strain on fledgling relationships. Contestants must navigate not only their feelings for each other but also the expectations of viewers, producers, and the media. This intense spotlight can exacerbate existing tensions and create a distorted version of reality that makes it difficult for couples to build a strong, lasting bond.

In the case of Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist, their whirlwind romance on “The Golden Bachelor” may have seemed like a fairy tale to viewers, but the challenges they faced outside the confines of the show proved insurmountable. From geographical differences to disagreements about their future, the realities of their relationship quickly overshadowed the illusion of romance portrayed on television. Their story serves as a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of seeking lasting love in an inherently unrealistic setting.

Honeymoon Phase

2. They Never Got Out of the Honeymoon Phase

One common pitfall of swift reality show romances is the failure to transition from the initial euphoria of infatuation to the more grounded realities of a long-term partnership. In the case of Gerry and Theresa, the adrenaline-fueled rush of their televised engagement and marriage likely kept them in a perpetual state of excitement, blinding them to the challenges that lay ahead.

During the whirlwind of “The Golden Bachelor,” Gerry and Theresa were swept up in a whirlwind of romance and attention, basking in the glow of their newfound celebrity status. However, once the cameras stopped rolling and the spotlight dimmed, they were left to confront the day-to-day realities of their relationship without the buffer of reality TV magic.

Without the time and space to truly get to know each other outside the constraints of the show, Gerry and Theresa may have struggled to build a solid foundation for their marriage. The absence of mundane moments and everyday challenges that typically characterize a relationship may have left them unprepared for the inevitable conflicts and compromises that arise in any partnership.

As a result, their marriage may have remained in the honeymoon phase, characterized by passion and excitement but lacking the depth and resilience needed to weather life’s storms. Without a strong emotional connection and shared understanding, their relationship may have been destined to crumble under the weight of unmet expectations and unaddressed conflicts.

In hindsight, Gerry and Theresa’s inability to move beyond the honeymoon phase serves as a sobering reminder of the importance of building a relationship on more than just fleeting emotions and grand gestures. True love requires time, effort, and a willingness to navigate the highs and lows of life together, even when the cameras are no longer rolling.

Long Distance Relationships are Laborious

3. Long Distances Relationships are Laborious

Long-distance relationships are downright hard, often presenting challenges that test the strength and resilience of even the most committed couples. The physical separation, coupled with the emotional strain of being apart, can create significant hurdles to maintaining a healthy and thriving partnership.

Communication becomes paramount in long-distance relationships, as partners must find creative ways to stay connected despite the miles between them. However, the lack of face-to-face interaction can lead to feelings of loneliness, frustration, and insecurity, especially when important conversations are relegated to phone calls or video chats.

In long-distance relationships, boundaries can become ambiguous, especially when there’s a lack of clear plans for reunions and establishing a shared home. For Gerry and Theresa, the absence of a definitive plan likely fostered feelings of uncertainty and insecurity about their future together.

The inability to map out long-term arrangements can cast doubts on the sustainability of the relationship. Without a mutual understanding of where they’re headed, partners may struggle to commit emotionally and mentally, ultimately paving the way for relationship deterioration and eventual divorce.


The challenges of reality TV relationships serve as a cautionary tale about the complexities of love and the importance of nurturing genuine connections in real-life settings. While these shows may offer a glamorous facade, the realities behind the scenes are far from perfect.

In order to build lasting and meaningful relationships, couples must be willing to put in the time, effort, and communication needed to navigate life’s highs and lows. And for those caught up in the excitement of a whirlwind romance, it’s important to remember that love is not just about the grand gestures and dramatic moments captured on camera, but also about the everyday moments and struggles that make a relationship truly strong.

In the end, true love cannot be manufactured or scripted – it must be nurtured and grown from a place of genuine connection and understanding. Love may begin with a fairytale, but it takes hard work and commitment to turn that fairytale into a lasting happily ever after.

Contemplating Divorce? Contact Us.

Deciding to divorce, whether you have been married three months or 30 years is never an easy decision. That’s why it’s important to have the support and guidance of experienced professionals who can help you navigate this difficult process with care and compassion.

At Varghese Summersett, we understand the complexities of divorce and are dedicated to providing personalized solutions tailored to your unique situation. We offer a range of services including mediation, collaborative divorce, and traditional litigation, allowing us to find the best approach for you. Call 817-203-2220 to schedule a consultation with an experienced North Texas divorce lawyer.

marriage is difficult

Varghese Summersett is a premier criminal defense firm based in Fort Worth, Texas. Our attorneys focus exclusively on criminal law and represent clients charged with crimes at both the state and federal level. We handle everything from DWI to capital murder to white collar crime. Collectively, our attorneys bring together more than 100 years of criminal law experience and have tried more than 550 cases before Texas juries. All of our senior attorneys served as former state or federal prosecutors and four are Board Certified in Criminal law, the highest designation an attorney can reach. We are the firm people turn to when the stakes are high and they are facing the biggest problem in their lives. - Contact Varghese at  
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