“I think their marriage is strong,” Jennifer, 44, exclusively told Us Weekly on Monday, May 10, while promoting her Ultimate Beauty Pillow, which hits stores later this month. “I think their marriage is solid.”
Melissa, 42, and Joe’s relationship woes have been a major story line on season 11 of the Bravo series, which premiered in February. During the show, fans have seen Joe, 41, struggle with his wife’s success outside of the home and increased stardom from the show.
Jennifer said that Joe, who has been married to Melissa since 2004, could be “pouting” because of how “the celebrity may have gotten to her head,” noting that it didn’t appear to be “so detrimental that they were on the verge of divorce.” The TV personality joked that Joe “likes his spot on the show” and at times seems like he “should be the Housewife” instead of Melissa.
Despite the pair’s ups and downs, Jennifer told Us that she thinks they are “both extremely in love with each other.” The mother of five acknowledged that much of the duo’s onscreen drama can be attributed to growing pains, which is normal in a marriage.
“I know they get annoyed with each other left and right, but that’s what marriage is. That’s what true love is when you’re able to love and be annoyed all at the same time,” she explained. “So I think their marriage is fine. They’re a great couple.”
Jennifer isn’t the only Housewife to speak about Melissa and Joe’s rocky relationship. Earlier this month, Dolores Catania exclusively told Us that she thinks Joe is “afraid of losing [his] traditional marriage” as Melissa becomes more independent.
“I think they’re secure. I think that they’re OK. They’ll be fine,” Dolores, 50, told Us of the pair’s future on Thursday, May 6. “It was hard to see, but I always had a lot of faith that they would get through it.”
Despite their complicated dynamic recently, a source told Us exclusively that the pair “love each other immensely” — but they’re “not the perfect couple.”
The insider added: “At the end of the day, they’re like Bonnie and Clyde — they’re a package deal and have to be together for the show.”
When it comes to her own relationship with Melissa, Jennifer told Us on Monday that she “thought we were fine” this season until she saw that her costar — who shares Antonia, 15, Joey, 13, and Gino, 10, with Joe — called her a “wannabe” in the press.
Jennifer added that she understands being on the show means giving “opinions about each other,” even if it isn’t always nice. “I wish her all the best,” she concluded.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs on Bravo Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi