While promoting the 13th season with co-stars Dolores Catania and Margaret Josephs on Sherri Shepherd‘s talk show last week, Melissa shared her marriage secret while also discussing her and Joe’s tense family feud with Teresa Giudice, suggesting the dynamic between them is not only “very sad,” but “super toxic.”
“We’ve made it. It’s crazy that we’ve gotten this far,” Melissa admitted of her and Joe on the February 2 episode of Sherri.
According to Melissa, she and Joe have kept their relationship intact by drowning “out the noise.”
“There’s always a lot of noise out there. There’s social. There’s people that try to bring you down. [But] our priorities are right,” she explained. “We’re about our kids at the end of the day. We’re about our family at the end of the day and we’re both very adamant about that. We keep our feet on the ground.”
“It’s work, it’s fun, but at the end of the day we don’t care about anything but our kids and our relationship,” she added.
As for her years-long drama with Teresa, Melissa said it is “extremely sad.”
“It’s one of those things where you never wish it on anyone,” she continued, noting that “everyone will see why” she and Joe opted out of Teresa and Luis Ruelas‘ August 2022 wedding, which will be featured in a special after RHONJ season 13 concludes.
“I think that was honestly the best thing for my family at that time. There’s sometimes when you have to say, ‘Enough is enough,'” Melissa stated. “It’s sad. It’s a very sad situation. I’ve always put my best foot forward. But you know what? Sometimes when things are super, super toxic, it’s hard to keep fighting that fight, [especially] if you’re fighting it alone and it’s one-sided.”
Melissa went on to say that she’s realized she needs to focus on her husband and her children.
“It can’t be so one-sided and selfish,” she noted. “I need to open my eyes sometimes and say, ‘You know what? What’s going to be good for the quality of our lives? And how toxic can you let something get?’ And so, we had to do what we had to do,” she shared. “[I] never wanted to do it but I do think we made the right decision for our family.”
Also on Sherri, Margaret opened up about her decision to attend Teresa and Luis’ wedding, despite her friendship with Melissa and Joe.
“It was very hard for me, because Melissa’s one of my best friends in the world, to go to the wedding because I had known it was so painful so I did the best for both parties,” she revealed. “I said, ‘I can’t dance the night away knowing my other friends are home in pain.’ So we stayed for a little while [and] paid our respects … I wanted to watch her get married and then I was just like, ‘I can’t dance and feel happy.’”
“It was a bittersweet moment and it was, it was hard. It was emotional. I wanted nothing more than to watch this family heal and mend,” she added.
As for her own relationship with Teresa, Margaret said that the two of them made amends at the start of the season.
“We said we’re going to take baby steps and I wanted to make sure it was sincere,” she explained.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey season 13 airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Bravo.
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