Strange things about Melissa and Joe Gorga's marriage

Joe and Melissa Gorga just so happened to be at the right place at the right time when they first laid eyes on each other during the Spring Break festivities in Cancun, Mexico. Melissa told the Examiner (via Bustle), "We were both there and he was there with his friends and he says that I went walking by with my girlfriends and my bikini, and he remembers everything that I was wearing like it was yesterday. He pointed to me and said, 'That's going to be my wife.'"

Joe was right because they later reconnected at "a beach club" in New Jersey, and after one year of dating, the couple were married. And soon enough, three children followed, Antonia, Gino, and Joey Gorga. While getting along harmoniously with their in-laws has often led to fisticuffs and a war of words during episodes of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Joe and Melissa have managed to have a relatively scandal-free marriage, though that doesn't mean their relationship has been sans some shady moments.

From their frequent arguments that can only be squelched in the bedroom, to Joe's animosity towards Melissa being a working mom, here are the strange things about Melissa and Joe Gorga's marriage. 

She backtracked on her own marital advice

After having what appeared to be one of the most solid marriages in the Real Housewives franchise, Melissa Gorga decided to compile all of her relationship tips and tricks into a book. Love Italian Style: The Secrets of My Hot and Happy Marriage dropped in 2014 and was described as Melissa showing readers "how to love your man and keep him happy, satisfied, faithful, and devoted to you." Sounds titillating, no?

Well, her traditional views, including the importance she placed on stereotypical gender roles, didn't receive the type of fanfare she was expecting. "When gender roles are confused, sexual roles are, too. [...] In our marriage, Joe is always the man, doing masculine things. I'm the woman, and I do the female things, including housework," she wrote (via Cosmopolitan). But years later, in a November 2018 interview with E! News, Melissa stated she had had a change of heart. "I think I've changed a lot, just as a person ... I'm just coming into my own, and I feel like just the way that [Joe Gorga] and I run our household has changed a lot over the past couple of years," she explained.

Sounds like a new book on Melissa-approved, non-traditional marital tips is now in order.

He's all about domination

Speaking of Melissa Gorga's book, Love Italian Style: The Secrets of My Hot and Happy Marriage, she caught a lot of heat from one particular passage co-written by her husband, Joe Gorga. "Men, I know you think your woman isn't the type who wants to be taken. But trust me, she is. Every girl wants to get her hair pulled once in a while. If your wife says 'no,' turn her around, and rip her clothes off. She wants to be dominated," Joe wrote, in part. Outrage ensued. Shocker. 

Some took Joe's words as a promotion of marital rape, and Melissa attempted to clean things up in her official Bravo blog. She wrote, Fans of Fifty Shades of Grey can attest that there's a difference between racy and 'rapey,'" before adding, "When Joe and I talk about dominance and submission, it's racy. It's about a man being a man, a woman being a woman, a man taking charge and a woman letting it happen — consensually!"

Regardless of the context, the naysayers weren't amused. 

Joe 'always wins'

The same day Melissa Gorga released her book, Love, Italian Style: The Secrets of My Hot and Happy Marriage, she and Joe Gorga appeared on an episode of Bethenny Frankel's talk show (via Huffington Post). The couple talked about some of the tips outlined in the book, and since the book had just been released at the time they appeared on the talk show, they were oblivious as to the backlash some of their advice would receive. 

So, unsurprisingly, Joe was extremely candid when Frankel asked him if Melissa ever turned him down for some bedroom activities. "She fights it. She fights it, but I always win," he said. Melissa must be exhausted! Joe then went on to define their romps by stating: "Daddy needs his sleeping pill," and, suddenly, we can't stop cringing.

But something tells us Melissa's not putting up too much of a fight any way...

The bedroom fixes everything

One highlight in Melissa Gorga's book (via Huffington Post) includes the mantra: "Sex is the glue of the marriage. It fills the little cracks that hold you together. Otherwise those tiny cracks can turn into huge splits." Okay, fair enough. She also admitted it was their wild bedroom antics that also convinced her to stick it out! "There were many times, and many fights, when I wondered if I could stay with our marriage," she wrote. 

Melissa also advised her readers that after a fight, they should head straight to the bedroom. Don't not pass go. Do not collect $200! "It's how we bond emotionally. (It's) the best way to put an argument to rest," she explained.

It's apparent that Melissa and Joe, at least at one point in their marriage, relied heavily on intimacy as the ultimate way to fix their issues. Strange? Yes. But if it works for them, then why not?

Her hot bod comes courtesy of the bedroom

Give him a platform, and Joe Gorga is bound to take the conversation in a raunchy direction. It's just what he's known for. He even spilled the beans and all the intimate details that go down behind closed doors while chatting with Bravo's Daily Dish ahead of the start of Season 9 of RHONJ.

Joe was asked what he and his wife, Melissa Gorga, had been doing during their downtime away from the cameras. And while it was likely that his wifey was running herself ragged at her boutique, Envy by Melissa Gorga, Joe revealed that he kept Melissa preoccupied in other ways. "I'm super, super, super busy in the bedroom," he said. "That's why she looks the way she looks — it's that exercise."

Married couples who get busy is nothing new, but do we really need to hear this much about Melissa and Joe's private moments? 

She's making money moves, and he's fed up

After opening up her trendy women's boutique in Montclair, N.J. Melissa Gorga's life did a complete switcheroo. She went from being a stay-at-home mom of three to being thrusted into the role of a self-proclaimed "Boss B***h." Her newfound role in the business world was a complete 180 from the principals she stood by in her 2014 book, Love Italian Style: The Secrets of My Hot and Happy Marriage, and her hubby, Joe Gorga, wasn't too thrilled that her busy schedule as a businesswoman kept her away from home.

"Sometimes I think [Joe] sits back, and he's like, 'If we could take it all back and just make you come back home and sit on the couch and play with the kids...' And I'm, like, 'The kids got older.' I'm able to go to work. They're at school," Melissa told Cosmopolitan. Melissa also revealed that the shift in their relationship's dynamics "bothers Joe." According to Melissa, her husband would much rather go back to more simple days. "I think if he could trade it all in, he would go back. I wouldn't, but he would," she said.

With such seemingly polar opposite viewpoints on gender roles, it's amazing these two don't have bigger issues... Or do they? 

Just call him 'Mr. Mom'

Melissa Gorga wasn't kidding when she said Joe Gorga wasn't happy that her new business venture was keeping her busy. In a July 2016 episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey (via Radar Online), Joe complained, "I'm like Mr. Mom." And instead of beating around the bush, he gave Melissa a piece of his mind. "I don't want you to work. I want you home. I didn't want a part-time wife," he said.

Though Melissa was offended and called Joe's statements "rude," she promised him that once her boutique was successfully "up and running," she would more available to handle the needs of their three children. But Joe wasn't having it. "It's like I'm a single parent," he said. "Get them dressed, bathe them, clean their butts. ... I might as well start giving them the nipple!"

Granted, it's understandable that Joe got stressed out after suddenly taking on a heavier share of the parenting duties. But, it also seems like he was more fundamentally upset about being a man having to do what he views as the work of a woman in a parenting setting. Sheesh.

They aren't always happy campers

Considering some of their arguments that have aired on RHONJ, it's not too surprising that Melissa and Joe Gorga argue when the cameras are off, too. But the clothing store owner told Entertainment Tonight that their problems go much deeper than most viewers of the reality show suspected. "I always say marriage isn't easy. We argue all the time," she said.

Now, before we start to think the Gorga's marriage will fall victim to the reality TV curse, Melissa made it clear that she and Joe were on the same page. "But we both have the same end goal, I think, and we both love our kids ... love family life," she said. And as much as they may argue on and off camera, this duo is committed to staying together. "We're the same, we're compatible," she said, before adding, "We just want to be with our kids, go on vacation with our kids, and we're partiers. So, we really are. We work hard, play hard. So, it works." 

That's good and all, as long as their arguments don't start to consume their entire marriage!

She keeps secrets

When it comes to the key to a happy marriage and how they've managed to keep their relationship hot and heavy for so many years, Melissa Gorga gave some interesting advice in an interview with Glamour magazine. Referencing her book, she said her advice on "grooming and keeping at yourself" were some of her favorites tips for other wives. She added, "There's a whole section on how women don't poop, which I think is so funny." Yes, Melissa, because poop is so hilarious. 

To finish making her point, the RHONJ star said she still treats her hubby, Joe Gorga, like they're still in the dating phase of their relationship. How does she do that? By being comfortable in front of him, while still retaining "a little bit of a mystery." Mystery is fine, but how long does she plan on keeping her natural bodily functions to herself? This woman deserves a medal for her restraint!