Sex & Relationships

‘The Golden Bachelor’ divorce highlights the many hardships of geriatric dating

As most of America knows by now, “Golden Bachelor” couple Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist have called off their marriage just three months after their televised wedding.

The duo announced the news during a joint interview on Friday on “Good Morning America,” with Turner noting the couple “looked closely at our situation, our living situation, so forth … and we’ve kind of come to the conclusion mutually that it’s probably time for us to dissolve our marriage.”

Bachelor Nation had been rooting for the success of a more mature couple.

Nicole Sodoma, founder of Sodoma Law in North Carolina and a self-described “marriage-loving” divorce attorney, said she was initially hopeful for the couple’s chances.

Entering a new relationship at an older age, in what is most likely a second or third marriage, can come with unique challenges, Sodoma said.

Some factors that don’t always exist at the start of first marriages include the presence of children and grandchildren, deep community roots and other connections and commitments that potentially might be sacrificed for the sake of a “successful relationship,” the expert noted.

Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist divorced just three months into their relationship. Disney
Theresa Nist won the heart of Gerry Turner on ‘The Golden Bachelor.’ The Walt Disney Company

Sonoma stressed the importance of having the “right conversations” in these more complex relationships.

She also said there are other important factors, such as physical and emotional intimacy and compatibility.

“Where are you in regard to finances?” she asked. “How will your children relate to those of your partner?”

Also, she added, “if you’re going to move into one person’s home, as opposed to buying a new home or moving … how would the children feel about that?”

Experts say the divorce reveals the challenges of dating in your later years. BeautifulSignatureIG/MEGA

She went on, “And then what if that marriage doesn’t work? Is there going to be provision that requires one person to move out? Is that home going to remain an estate? What if there’s a sickness or death?”

These are the conversations, she said, “that more often come up in second and third marriages and in ‘gray divorces’ that we don’t talk about with first marriages,” she said.

Sodoma said that in her opinion, she “can’t imagine” that Turner and Nist had the time between their January marriage and their divorce announcement last week to properly have these conversations.

“Even with the best therapist, it’s going to take some time to see if you’re on the same page,” she said.

“And not everybody agrees that a premarital agreement is the greatest vehicle to resolve those issues.”

She said that “even if people aren’t signing premarital agreements, at least having the conversation and getting on the same page with how you feel about those issues in the event that there is a separation or divorce, or in the event there is a death … is really important.”

Older-aged relationships, she stressed, could come with a lot more baggage that’s “not going to fit in the overhead bin.”

For people who are looking to remarry, Sodoma strongly recommends “knowing the difference between connection and communication.”

As couples age, communicating and having “real conversations” about expectations will also most likely include discussions related to health, she added.

“You are going to have to recognize that there may be a lower tolerance for what you’re willing to compromise on,” she said.

Sodoma advised golden daters to think about aspects of their significant other that they might not have considered the first time around — including understanding love languages.

The attorney also cautioned people not to “set themselves up for failure” when blending families, especially when it comes to beneficiaries of life insurance policies and estates.

Fox News Digital’s Emily Trainham contributed to this report.