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[2024] Headline: “Golden Bachelor’s ‘Divorce’ Revealed for What It Truly Is, Experts Weigh In”

Let’s Call the Golden Bachelor’s “Divorce” What It Really Is

At 8:32 this morning, I was still feeling foggy from the hectic rush of making lunches, unstacking the dishwasher, and getting my child off to school on weeks when my daughter stays with me. Just then, my phone chimed with a text: “Can you believe it? The Golden Couple has already split. I never expected them to last forever, but I thought they’d at least hold on longer. Forgot it’s just reality TV.”

The text was from my friend and mentor Ann, who had become engrossed in the Golden Bachelor, thanks to Slate’s recommendation (she even penned a compelling piece about being 67 and single when the show wrapped up last November). It took me a moment to catch on: Who was she referring to? Ah, Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist, the elderly lovebirds who had captured hearts during Gerry’s stint as the septuagenarian Bachelor. Now, officially split. Talk about fading into obscurity. As Scott Nover noted in Slate last Friday regarding the conclusion of their brief three-month marriage, “the American public’s attention to Gerry and Theresa’s fleeting love story had waned.”

Screenshot,Let’s Call the Golden Bachelor’s “Divorce” What It Really Is,Let’s Call the Golden Bachelor’s “Divorce” What It Really Is

Well, it seems I have a bit more mental space available because I spent the majority of the day trying to understand why these headlines about the Golden Couple’s divorce were affecting me so deeply. I’ll admit, I closely followed every aspect of the entire season, and I even made peace with their match by the end. However, their televised wedding left me feeling both uninterested and unsettled. As they gave interviews discussing their future together, I couldn’t help but wonder: Were they truly planning to leave behind their grandchildren in Indiana and New Jersey to settle in Charleston, South Carolina, as they had proclaimed?

Golden Bachelor’s ‘Divorce

Now we have the answer, which is a resounding no. According to their scripted announcement on Good Morning America last Friday, they are officially separated. However, I hesitate to label it as a divorce. At most, it’s a “divorce,” much like their relationship was a “marriage.” A true divorce involves dividing assets, discussions about family arrangements, and decisions regarding children and finances.

It requires difficult choices, notably the decision to end a marriage! There’s simply no way Gerry and Theresa had enough time together to accumulate the complexities typically associated with divorce. Even if they had to discuss the possibility of splitting up—deciding to divorce can take some couples years!—how many meaningful conversations could they have had? They tied the knot in January!

It’s conceivable they might have a disagreement over the Golden Bachelor earnings, but I’m skeptical. It seems like the sort of matter that would have been settled through extensive paperwork with ABC long before their split. It’s unlikely they had a joint bank account at the time of their marriage, so they probably received payment individually through direct deposit into their own accounts—no hassle there!

Golden Bachelor

In case it wasn’t evident, I’m speaking from personal experience—I am divorced. And I might just have one of the most unique divorce tales you’ll come across. My ex-husband and I have an incredibly close bond, we’re devoted co-parents, and we consider each other family forever. We even have keys to each other’s homes, and we spend a lot of time together. Last weekend, our daughter stayed with my (second) husband while I went to a concert with my first husband. Sounds confusing, right? It tends to baffle people all the time!

But it wasn’t an easy journey to reach this point. It was tough because divorcing is incredibly challenging! Even if, like us, you don’t have complex assets and matters, the years of shared experiences, belongings, and emotions are difficult to untangle. In the best scenarios, you might end up like us. However, often, the end of a shared life brings forth a flood of emotions and issues we try to push aside. The resulting mess can never be entirely cleaned up. Every divorced individual I know does their utmost. Yet, there’s a specific kind of lingering sadness—and sometimes even more profound struggles—even in the most amicable situations.

Screenshot

I’m not lamenting the fact that Gerry and Theresa won’t have to endure this enduring aftermath. However, let’s be honest about the conclusion of their “marriage”: it’s a breakup. They couldn’t agree on a place to settle down, and things didn’t pan out. Legally, it may be termed a divorce, but essentially, it resembles nothing more than a brief, failed engagement.

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