'Golden Bachelor' breakup bombshell: Look back at Gerry Turner, Theresa Nist's romance

Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist went from "I do" to "I don't" in just three months.

"The Golden Bachelor" couple surprised fans on Friday, announcing their divorce plans on "Good Morning America."

"Theresa and I have had a number of heart-to-heart conversations, and we've looked closely at our situation, our living situation, so forth and — and we've kind of come to the conclusion mutually that it's probably time for us to dissolve our marriage," Turner told Juju Chang on "GMA."

Turner, 72, and Nist, 70, married on live television in January with the season's other elder contestants in attendance.

Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist have said, "I don't."
Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist have said, "I don't."

Ahead of their wedding, Turner told USA TODAY, "I'm 1000% committed to this; I wouldn't have asked Theresa to marry me if I wasn't. When you're older, the clock ticks faster. If you love someone, say it. If you believe you're with the right person and want to be married forever, do that. You don't wait."

Look back at their romance from meeting on the ABC series to their split.

'The Golden Bachelor' divorce: Couple Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist announce split

Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist fell hard and fast on 'The Golden Bachelor'

Turner and Nist hit it off from the Sept. 28 "Golden Bachelor" premiere, with Nist arriving at the Bachelor Mansion on her 70th birthday with the other 21 contestants. The two kissed that night after Turner smeared birthday cupcake frosting on his lips and asked Nist for clean-up help. "That was the best present ever," Nist said after the smooch.

Feelings grew when the couple went on an Episode 2 solo date. After Nist calmed Turner during a harried Los Angeles highway drive, the two bonded over a diner dinner. They found common ground and solace in discussing the loss of their respective spouses.

Turner was married to his wife Toni Turner for 43 years before she died in 2017 and Nist was married to husband Billy Nist for 42 years before he died in 2017.

By Episode 8, Turner had expressed love and spent a night with each of the show's two finalists, Nist and Leslie Fhima, 65, a Minneapolis-based fitness instructor.

Gerry Turner proposes to Theresa Nist, leaving contestant Leslie Fhima 'blindsided'

On the Nov. 30 finale of the reality dating show's first senior edition, Turner made his final choice from the original group of 22 contestants, dropping down on one knee to propose to Nist, a financial adviser from Shrewsbury, New Jersey.

Theresa giddily exclaimed "Yes! Yes!" in response.

"I had a million things going through my mind: Is he going to ask me to marry him? Is he going to ask Leslie? Will he ask no one?" Nist recalled after the finale. "It was nerve-wracking. So I was completely surprised."

"Golden Bachelor" runner-up Leslie Fhima is pictured at Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist's wedding in Palm Springs, California on Jan. 4, 2024.
"Golden Bachelor" runner-up Leslie Fhima is pictured at Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist's wedding in Palm Springs, California on Jan. 4, 2024.

Turner giddily told Fhima ahead of the finale, "I think you're the one," which later caused controversy.

Fhima tearfully expressed her rightful displeasure to Turner on live TV during the "After the Final Rose" ceremony, telling Turner she was "heartbroken" by the sudden reversal of feelings and expression of love.

"I was blindsided," Fhima said. "Because I wasn't sure how it changed or what happened."

'Golden Bachelor' after that proposal: Gerry and Theresa talk finale drama, 'naughty' outing

Gerry Turner, Theresa Nist solidified their bond during Fantasy Suites week

Turner told USA TODAY in December his feelings for Nist and his decision to propose were cemented after off-camera discussions the two had during the Fantasy Suites week, which aired Nov. 16.

"We were able to talk without the witness of the whole country: No camera, no microphones," said Turner. "I saw the real Theresa. All of a sudden it was like, I thought something was here. Now I know it's here. I told her, 'I'm going to ask you to marry me. I don't know if you will or not. But I'm going to ask.'"

The two even discussed a possible compromise location between Turner's Indiana home and Nist's New Jersey digs. Nist, a widow, has a grown son who lives in Charleston, South Carolina, an appealing location for Turner. "So that's going to make life pretty easy; we'll start looking in that area," he said.

The couple noted on "GMA" Friday that deciding where to settle down contributed to their decision to split.

"We looked at homes in South Carolina, we considered New Jersey, and we just looked at homes after home, but we never got to the point where we made that decision," Nist told Chang.

What you didn’t see on 'Golden Wedding': Gerry Turner actually walked down the aisle twice

Gerry Turner, Theresa Nist tie the knot in front of fellow contestants

"The Golden Wedding" two-hour special aired live on ABC on Jan. 4 and fan favorite Susan Noles officiated.

Both Turner and Nist cried throughout their emotional vows.

More than anything, Nist said she wants "to have fun for the rest of the days we have left on this earth." Laughing about their ages, she added: "Which could be another hour.

"I love you with all my heart," she said, turning serious, "and I cannot wait to be your wife."

Theresa Nist and Gerry Turner of "The Golden Bachelor" got married on Jan. 4, 2024 with former contestant Susan Noles officiating.
Theresa Nist and Gerry Turner of "The Golden Bachelor" got married on Jan. 4, 2024 with former contestant Susan Noles officiating.

Turner then told her that he knows "the hand of God and the winds of fate have ordained this moment."

Turner continued to say that "it wasn't my ear that you whispered in when you said the I love yous, but my very soul." The camera then cut to heartbroken runner-up Fhima, who attended despite being hospitalized in the days before.

Gerry Turner, Theresa Nist never went on their honeymoon

During the "Golden Bachelor" finale, host Jesse Palmer gave Turner and Nist (on behalf of ABC) a trip to Italy to serve as their honeymoon, just as the couple talked about on their first date.

In late January, fans began to question when the duo would go on the trip.

Nist shared a mood board on Instagram on Jan. 28, telling fans she was "having so much fun planning and dreaming about our honeymoon in May to Italy…flying into Rome, spending a few days in Tuscany and then heading down to Sorrento and the Amalfi coast.

"I’ve been to Italy twice, once when I was 18, and again to visit my daughter when she studied abroad there. I can’t wait to experience it with Gerry!" she added.

The Essentials: 'Golden Bachelor' Gerry Turner talks pickleball, secret to youth and his 'fast fix'

Gerry Turner, Theresa Nist tape for 'Family Feud' days before divorce announcement

The couple continued to share bits of their relationship on social media, from supporting their respective step-children and step-grandchildren to appearing on latest "Bachelor" contestant Joey Graziadei's "After the Final Rose" live reunion on March 25 to taping "Celebrity Family Feud" with their blended families days before announcing their divorce.

"Had a GREAT time at Celebrity Family Feud with the blended family," Turner posted on Instagram Sunday.

His daughter Angie also shared photos from the taping on Instagram. "MY LIFELONG DREAM was finally fulfilled! Since I was little I wanted to be on family feud. I would dream about it and assemble my team in my mind," she captioned the post.

"Yesterday…it happened!!!! We played celebrity family feud!!! It was so much fun. Our team was my Dad, Theresa, my sister, me, Tommy and Jen!" she added. "Tune in sometime in August!"

Theresa Nist and Gerry Turner were emotional during their wedding ceremony in Palm Springs, California, on Jan. 4, 2024.
Theresa Nist and Gerry Turner were emotional during their wedding ceremony in Palm Springs, California, on Jan. 4, 2024.

Gerry Turner, Theresa Nist announce divorce

Turner and Nist, while holding hands, emphasized on "GMA" that they had not fallen out of love despite seperating.

"I still love this person," Turner said. "There's no doubt in my mind, I still am in love with her. I root for her every day."

"Yeah, I still love him," Nist added.

The pair also emphasized that claims of Turner being deceitful about his dating history had no bearing on their split. A Nov. 29 Hollywood Reporter expose claimed the widower deceived viewers and other contestants by not revealing romantic relationships that followed.

"Gerry had already discussed that with me," Nist said to Chang. "He had explained it to me before the report was ever released, so we were good with that."

Contributing: Taijuan Moorman, Amanda Lee Myers

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Golden Bachelor' split: Timeline from romance to divorcing