On the April 7 episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, viewers watched as Melissa and Joe argued over the state of their marriage and how much things have changed since they tied the knot in 2004. Joe even proclaimed that they’ve “grown apart” at one point as Melissa called him “spoiled.”
The couple’s heated exchange was shocking for some viewers — though some have called it a fake storyline — because their marriage has always appeared solid on-camera. However, according to a source, they’ve been dealing with marital issues for some time, but they just chose to keep it hidden until recently for the sake of the show.
“At the end of the day, they’re like Bonnie and Clyde — they’re a package deal and have to be together to be [on] the show,” an insider told Us Weekly. “They do love each other immensely, but they’re finally just sharing with viewers that they have issues they have to work through. … They’re not a perfect couple.”
The source went to say that Melissa and Joe are completely different people than they were when they initially fell in love.
“They got married when they were in their early 20s and it’s obvious that they’ve both changed,” the insider explained. “He’s certainly not thrilled about all of her extracurricular activities and spending a lot of time working on her store Envy. He’d prefer her cooking, cleaning, taking care of the kids. He takes the traditional approach when it comes to marriage and expects her to be the average housewife.”
Melissa confirmed the source’s sentiment during a February interview before stating that she and Joe are doing their best to keep their marriage on track.
“He likes things to stay the same,” she said. “I’ve been with him since I was 24 years old. So I’ve changed and I feel like this is a scary part of marriage. Either you’re going to grow together or you’re going to grow apart. And I think we’re fighting really hard to grow together.”
Melissa also recently addressed whether they considered divorce while dealing with their latest issues.
“I don’t know how seriously [divorce has] come up,” she said on Access Hollywood’s Housewives Nightcap. “Have we, like, brought it up and gaffed about it? Probably, yeah. But never anything that we – nothing’s ever happened to us other than these highs and lows. I’m probably a little more busy than I’ve ever been, and that affects him, and he admits that there’s insecurities with that.”
As for Joe, hopefully he has changed his tune since 2019 when he claimed sex is what keeps their marriage together.
“I don’t think of her as my wife. I think of her as my girlfriend, and we just keep it real,” he declared. “The key is to have as much sex as you can have. It keeps us together.”
The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Wednesday nights on Bravo at 9/8c.
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