The Golden Bachelor couple announced their divorce today.

The Golden Bachelor couple accounted their divorce today.

Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist announced their divorce today (Friday, April 12, 2024). They were married three months. They were noted because Gerry was 72 years old, and Theresa was 70 years old. He proposed to her on national television.

There is a lot of data about gray divorce. The American Bar Association has an excellent article by Carol R. Huge. She reports that the highest divorce rate in the United States is with people over 50 years old. (The Highest Divorce Rate in History: Gray Divorce: Causes, Consequences, and Serving this Population). One key line in the article is this one: Researchers “found no more "empty shell" marriages than in previous decades, but more older persons are unwilling to stay in them.”

What data most strongly predicts a couple staying together?

In contrast to situations such as the divorce of the Golden Bachelor. Drs. John and Julia Gottman have worked for decades to determine the strongest predictors of divorce, and the strongest predictors of success. For example, in 1998 John Gottman “developed a model to predict which newlywed couples would remain married and which would divorce four to six years later.”

The Gottmans summarize their Cascade Model of Relational Dissolution as having four components:

1. Criticism. This is the type of complaint that “blames or attacks a partner’s personality or character.” One way to reduce the issues around criticism is to use more “I” language, and take personal responsibility for actions and feelings.

2. Defensiveness. The second level of the cascade model is defensiveness. Gottman defines defensiveness as responding to criticism with criticism and/or contempt. The best research I know about addressing defensiveness was published in 1960 (!) by Jack Gibb. He lists six categories, including a defensive and non-defensive response. The six Gibb Categories are:

• Evaluation vs Description

• Control vs Problem Orientation

• Strategy vs Spontaneity

• Neutrality vs Empathy

• Superiority vs Equality

• Certainty vs Provisionalism

3. Contempt. This is indicated by mocking sarcasm, and perceived superiority over the other person. Gottman states this is a response to repeated criticism.

4. Stonewalling. This is when one or both parties create such a large distance that conflict is avoided rather than resolved.

The Gottman’s have published books and research to help couples achieve a healthy relationship. They maintain a website,, which provides a number of resources for couples, parents, singles, and professionals.

While there is no data in counseling that guarantees anything, the data does show that couples who practice the methods described reduce their chances of divorce. Other couples would do well to practice healthy relationship patterns, and work with a mental health professional (such as a counselor or psychologist), to increase the odds of a successful long term outcome.

The Gottmans sell products on their site. I do not have any connection with any web site, and do not receive anything in exchange for recommendations or links.

Welcome to Data In The News!

Hi there!

Welcome to Data In The News. This is a blog that will look at all things data as reported in the most recent news (as of publication date),

The blog will look at a very wide range of topics around data:

Data and books

Data and business

Data and crime

Data and decisions

Data and the economy

Data and education

Data and entertainment

Data and food

Data errors or fraud

Data and government

Data and health

Data and innovation

Data and jobs

Data and law

Data and leadership

Data and money

Data and music

Data in the news

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Data and science

Data and social media

Data and sports

Data and technology

Data and veterans

Trends in data

This is going to be a lot of fun! I look forward to sharing the journey with you!

Best wishes,