Melissa Gorga Says Filming New Season of 'RHONJ' Took a 'Heavy' Toll on Husband Joe: He 'Couldn't Fake It'

Melissa Gorga tells PEOPLE that she kept "trucking on" during filming for season 13 while husband Joe was "upset for a lot of reasons" and had to take breaks amid the ongoing feud with Teresa Giudice

Melissa and Joe Gorga
Melissa and Joe Gorga. Photo: Arturo Holmes/Getty

Melissa Gorga is getting candid about the impact of filming the newest season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey on her husband Joe Gorga.

The 43-year-old reality star tells PEOPLE that she kept "trucking on" during filming for season 13 while her husband often needed to take a break amid their long-standing feud with his sister Teresa Giudice.

"I think Joe was like, 'I'm out.' Joe was sitting in the corner, couldn't fake it. He is a very heavy mind this season," she explains. "He's upset for a lot of reasons that you really don't hear until the end and so he was not faking it."

She adds, "He couldn't even bring himself to a lot of the events. He was like, 'I'm good.'"

Melissa Gorga, Joe Gorga, Teresa Giudice
Joe and Melissa Gorga (left) with Teresa Giudice. Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty (2)

Melissa also shares how it was "not easy" to deal with their ongoing family drama in front of cameras.

"We don't wish this on anyone. This is not the fun part, if I'm being honest. It's just not," she says. "I don't know why it has to be this way, I always say that."

"I feel like it could have gone completely a different way, but we don't control everything," She continued. "There's two sides."

The reality star notes that she's been watching RHONJ since she joined in season 3, but the current season is "one of the tougher ones" for her to watch.

"It's equal to probably season three, which was the toughest," she explains. "I feel like we've gone backwards, unfortunately and for family reasons as far as that goes, so it always makes it a little bit tougher because that's where it gets sad and nobody wants to do sad."

Teresa Giudice, Joe Gorga and Melissa Gorga
Teresa Giudice, Joe Gorga and Melissa Gorga. Paul Zimmerman/Getty

Over the years, Joe and Melissa have hit some rocky patches in their relationship with Teresa, 50. Some of the tension stemmed from the legal troubles that Teresa and her ex-husband Joe Giudice faced years ago, while more recent drama was centered around Teresa's treatment of the couple.

In May, Teresa and her younger brother got into an explosive fight during RHONJ's season 12 reunion after Teresa called Joe a "bitch boy" and dismissively compared him to a Housewife.

The argument got so intense between the two siblings that Joe walked off stage, threatening to "quit" the Bravo franchise. Tensions only intensified between the siblings backstage as they continued to go back and forth, prompting reunion host and franchise executive producer Andy Cohen to step in.

Teresa later claimed she had apologized and mended things with her brother, but that was only the start of what was to come between them.

RELATED VIDEO: Melissa Gorga, Joe Gorga Skipped Teresa Giudice's Wedding After 'Unforgivable' Betrayal: Sources

In August, PEOPLE confirmed that the Gorgas wouldn't be at Teresa and Luis "Louie" Ruelas' wedding. (By that point, Teresa had already confirmed that Melissa would not be a bridesmaid in her wedding.)

Two sources said Melissa and Joe backed out of attending two days before the ceremony when false rumors about their marriage surfaced amid filming. Both Teresa and Luis' actions at the time ultimately influenced the Gorgas' decision.

"Teresa betrayed them in a way that's unforgivable," one source said. "They're not going to celebrate Teresa's new marriage when all she does is try to tear apart theirs."

For the Gorgas part, they haven't directly addressed the rumors but have spoken publicly about skipping the wedding, with Melissa telling PEOPLE at BravoCon 2022 in October that "it's unfortunate" they had to miss the nuptials and she "didn't choose it."

The couple also addressed their decision to skip the nuptials on the Melissa Gorga On Display podcast, confirming that "the full entire story" leading to tension amongst the family was not public knowledge at the time, but "drips and drabs" of it had surfaced.

Joe added that it was "so, so hard" for him to not attend Teresa's wedding, especially since she's his only close family that's still alive.

"To me, it was devastating. It really was. It was one of the hardest days of my life. It was bad," he said. "But listen: let's go back to the reunion. She did this, you know? This was all on her. This is what she really wanted. She didn't want [Melissa] in the wedding, she didn't want any of my children in the wedding, she barely wanted me."

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The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.

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