Melissa Gorga said her first with her future husband Joe Gorga was a major dud – and her second one was even worse.
“[On] the first date he had me at his home and he made me a fake dinner,” Melissa said. “He put all the food in the pots and pans that he ordered from the Italian restaurant down the street and swore he cooked it all.”
Melissa realized her date was lying to her about his cooking skills when she noticed his “recipes” mirrored those of a local Italian eatery.
But the worst was yet to come. After agreeing to go on another date with Joe — this time at a restaurant — he added insult to injury when he fell asleep at the table while Melissa was talking to him.
“I was sitting there just talking to him and he literally fell asleep,” she said. “I was like, ‘Am I boring you? Or are you on drugs?’ Like, did I meet somebody who does drugs? You’re closing your eyes! I am not used to boring people. What is happening here? And he literally just nodded out while I was talking to him on my second date.
Joe explained to her later that he had been up since 5:30 a.m., so Melissa gave the hardworking construction entrepreneur a third chance – and the rest is history.
Melissa Wrote a Book About Her Spicy Marriage
Melissa and Joe Gorga first met in 2002 when they went on separate trips with friends to Cancun, Mexico, and stayed at the same hotel, per Screenrant. They later reconnected a few months later at a Jersey Shore beach bar, then had those disastrous first two dates.
Despite their early date drama, Melissa and Joe married in 2004 and had three kids together. The “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star even wrote a book about her spicy marriage, titled “Love Italian Style: The Secrets of My Hot and Happy Marriage.” Melissa’s main takeaways in the book are “treat your husband like a king…and in return, you’ll be treated like a queen,” per the book’s synopsis.
Joe told Us Weekly he prefers to treat his wife like a “girlfriend.”
“I don’t think of her as my wife,” he told the outlet. “I think of her as my girlfriend, and we just keep it real. The key is as much sex as you can have. It keeps us together.”
The Gorgas Experienced a Long ‘Rough Patch’ in Their Marriage
Fans have seen the Gorga marriage change over 11 seasons of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.” As Melissa switched from being a stay-at-home wife and mom to a business owner, her husband became upset. Fans saw some of the marital drama play out during the most recent season of “RHONJ.”
“Listen, I’m not gonna deny that we went through a rough, like year-and-a-half, and I would say it started right before the pandemic,” the Envy boutique owner told Page Six in 2021. “I feel like as I become more and more independent in certain ways, it really is a struggle for him. I hate that. It shouldn’t be a struggle and it really is.”
Melissa added that she thinks she and her husband have done a “good job” of keeping their marriage intact after more than a decade on reality TV.
“We’re still going strong,” she said. “We’re still together. We still have our family. But we’ve hit a couple of bumps in the road and we’re honest about it and we’re fighting for it. …And we’re one of the longest-standing ‘Housewives’ couples. So whatever we’re doing, I’m going to pat us on the back. “
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