RHONJ: A Deep Dive Into Joe And Melissa Gorga's Marriage Troubles

Melissa and Joe Gorga were one of the tightest couples of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" when they joined the cast in Season 3. Of course, they had to put up a united front against Joe's sister Teresa Giudice and her then-husband Joe Giudice. The Gorgas walked into their debut season with a contentious relationship with the Giudices, and their feud followed them for years to come. Melissa and Joe always presented themselves as a tight family unit with their three kids Antonia, Gino, and Joey Jr. Eventually, though, cracks started to show and threw their marital issues into the spotlight.

Between cheating rumors and Joe being unhappy about Melissa finding a career later in life, the Gorgas have hit some rough patches in their marriage. Although they're still together and seemingly going strong, it's safe to say that they've had their fair share of ups and downs.

She had to fend off multiple cheating allegations

Reality television has a way of making friends turn against each other. During Season 5 of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," Melissa Gorga's former best friend and bridesmaid Jan DeDolce claimed that designer had met up with an ex-boyfriend in a parking lot. Naturally, Melissa denied the accusation, and her husband Joe Gorga had her back. They also both wondered if Teresa Giudice was behind it. "I've never cheated on Joe," Melissa told Us Weekly after the episode aired. "This is all disappointing."

Cheating rumors came up again in "RHONJ" Season 13 when Jennifer Aydin told Danielle Cabral that she had heard Melissa was found in the back seat of a car making out with a man who was definitely not Joe. It turned out that the alleged person in question was actor Nick Barotta, who is close to the Gorgas. "Nick and his wife Liz have been close friends with the Gorgas for years," a source close to Barotta told the Daily Mail. "There is absolutely zero truth to this nasty rumor and it's comical that it even needs to be addressed,"

Fans saw their blow-out fight during RHONJ Season 11

Besides the occasional bickering, Joe and Melissa Gorga's marriage seemed solid. That is, until Season 11 of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey." Amid mounting tension between the two, Melissa walked ahead of Joe after exiting a restaurant, and the contractor got upset. In the van heading back, they got into a screaming match in front of their castmates. "We used to just be so attached, and I'm still like that," Joe stated, per Bravo. "She's just changed. You turned into this different businesswoman." Melissa didn't back down. "If I have a little success in my life, it's not against you," she shot back. She ended up calling him "spoiled," to which he replied, "Be careful what you say because I'll never talk to you again."

During the "RHONJ After Show," Melissa explained that she was working a lot during the five months before the COVID-19 pandemic. "And then COVID hit and then we were together every single day and it was like when he really started to vent," she shared. "He was so happy actually that I was home every night and not working ... and he was like stressing in his own mind I think for when the pandemic was over." Acknowledging the rough season, Melissa told Us Weekly, "There's ups and downs. Nothing's perfect. I know a lot of people always wanted to believe that we were, [but] we are not, we have arguments. We love each other hard, but we also butt heads."

Joe Gorga claimed he wasn't happy on Melissa's podcast

Joe Gorga is a frequent guest on Melissa Gorga's podcast "On Display" and gave listeners insight into how he feels about his husband duties in a July 2023 episode. While discussing couples who drift apart or realize they no longer share the same interests, Joe stated that he would choose to do something he doesn't like to do in order to make Melissa happy. "Then you're not going to be happy," she argued. "I might not be," he responded. "I'm not happy. You think I'm happy? You make me plant this, plant that, build this, you think I'm f****** happy?"

Being a couple on "RHONJ" comes with its challenges as well. "I'm not going to say it strengthened [our relationship], but I will say, like, there's a lot of outside noise, especially on reality television," Melissa shared with ET. The Envy boutique owner later added, "We keep our feet on the ground, we understand the chaos that comes with being on this show but we just keep it very normal in this house."

He didn't support her career

After Joe and Melissa Gorga got married, they welcomed Antonia just a year after their wedding. Within five years, they had two more kids, and Melissa fell into the role of being a stay-at-home wife. When the kids were a little older, the "On Display" singer dipped her feet into the entrepreneurial world by opening up her clothing boutique, Envy. Unfortunately, the brick-and-mortar business took a lot of her time, which left Joe feeling like he had to pick up his wife's slack at home. He also insulted her meager paycheck compared to what he brought home during a Season 7 episode of "RHONJ." "You bring in crumbs!" he said (via Us Weekly). "I bring in the cake! I don't need your money. I need my wife!"

As indicated by their fight in Season 11, it appears Joe still hasn't warmed up to Melissa's busy work schedule. Still, the fashionista has soldiered on and opened up a second store in Huntington, Long Island. In an episode of the "Chanel in the City" podcast, Melissa shared that when she and Joe first got together, they had an agreement that he would be the provider while she would take care of the home. However, over the years she wanted more for herself, which rocked his traditional world. "It was a rough patch we went through but there's love between us," she revealed.

He roasted her during his comedy show

Once upon a time, Joe Gorga had a dream of being a stand-up comedian. Thankfully, he quickly put the kibosh on it, as the things he said during his act were super cringe. As reported by The U.S. Sun, a fan revealed that Joe told the audience he had a recurring dream about a mermaid with big breasts. "When the mermaid touched him, he said he enjoyed it and joked, 'I haven't been touched in 18 years, I haven't been kissed in 18 years,'" the source said. In another bit, Joe allegedly claimed Melissa Gorga avoided having sex with him by feigning a headache or only allowing five minutes to do the deed. According to Joe, his wife calls him a "loser" and once made him take a lie detector test to see if he was cheating on her. "If I were Melissa, I would be completely embarrassed by some of the stuff he spilled on stage, even if things he said weren't true," the viewer declared.

It's unclear if Melissa was in the audience at the time, but she previously saved Joe during his set in 2021, per TMZ. After getting booed by the audience for bombing, Melissa pulled him off the stage. "Joe was sick that day," his manager said. "He had a cold. He took Sudafed and then had a couple of Scotches. It just hit him when he went on stage." Sure, blame it on the cold meds.