Ahead of the Wednesday, February 17 premiere, the boutique owner, 41, admitted that while their relationship may seem perfect, it’s anything but. She said all that and more will be on display when RHONJ returns.
“This season, it’s very raw. It’s very real. It’s very different this season for Joe and I,” she teased during an exclusive interview with Us Weekly. “We’ve done very good for 11 years. We’re a great couple. We try really hard. We fight really hard for our family and it’s not easy to be on reality TV for 11 years and still stand strong.”
Melissa told Us she and Joe, 41, have changed a lot since they first tied the knot — and her husband isn’t a big fan of change.
“He likes things to stay the same. 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,” she explained.
The New Jersey native continued: “It’s not easy. We’re struggling. I’m not sitting here telling you that, like, I’m moving out of my house today but we were struggling and we show it. … We’re fighting out of it.”
She added that their kids, their history and their love for each other are huge drivers for them when it comes to staying together, noting, “It just takes a little give and take.”
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Melissa and Joe’s marriage won’t be the only one under a microscope in season 11 of RHONJ. Costar Jackie Goldschneider recently opened up to Us about rumors about her marriage that circulated during filming, admitting that they almost pushed her to quit the show.
“I mean, my family and my marriage is beautiful and it’s wonderful and it’s built on a lot of respect and love and nothing is going to get in the way of that. So, I had to really see if there was a way for the show to be a part of my life and still maintain the integrity of my family and my relationship,” the columnist shared. “And you’ll see us figure that out.”
Bravo released the trailer for the upcoming season of RHONJ on January 13, which suggests relationships and infidelity will be a strong focus in season 11.
“Everyone’s marriage can look absolutely perfect on the outside,” Margaret Josephs says as she narrates the trailer.
Melissa adds, “But guess what? Things aren’t always what they seem.”
The Real Housewives of New Jersey returns to Bravo Wednesday, February 17 at 9 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi.
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