Margaret Josephs has been a ball of confidence during her short time on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. But on Wednesday’s all-new episode, the 50-year-old fashion designer let her guard down and got emotional about the private turmoil she’s been living with since the breakup of her first marriage– revealing that two of her three stepchildren haven’t spoken to her in the past six years.
“It’s devastating,” a tearful Margaret told fellow New Jersey Housewife Dolores Catania during a candid sit-down. “I think of them all the time, I look at their pictures on Facebook. It’s a sad, rough go of it.”
“You know when they say time heals all wounds? It doesn’t,” she continued. “There’s always that piece missing.”
The news was especially tough to hear considering Margaret had helped raise her stepchildren since she was 24, when she met and married her ex-husband Jan Josephs. She alleges her split from Jan contributed to the estrangement between her and her kids.
“I was madly in love with him. I can still say getting married to him is one of the top five best days of my life,” Margaret said of Jan, whom she wed in 1994 and was with for 19 years before their divorce in 2013.
Being 20 years older than Margaret, Jan had three children from a previous marriage — ages 8, 14 and 16. “He was a great father. He had custody of his children, they needed someone to love them and I was completely obsessed with them,” Margaret recalled of her kids, who are now 31, 37 and 39. “And then we had my son [now 21] and they were my entire life.”
That’s when the tears began. “When everybody got older, they moved out. And you know, my marriage started falling apart — it was very tumultuous. And I met [new husband Joe Benigno] and fell in love with Joe. I realized I have to be happy too.”
Margaret had previously talked about her relationship with the Harley-riding, tattoo-wearing Benigno (or “Super Joe,” as she affectionately calls him). The pair first met when Margaret and Jan were still married and eloped to Las Vegas in 2013, shortly after her divorce was finalized.
“When I met my husband, Joe, we were both married to separate people,” Margaret had explained. “He’d come into my life because he was a contractor and came to do our molding. My marriage was going down the drains, and we had this unbelievable chemistry, and we fell in love. Leaving my first husband was a big scandal in our town, but this is my f—— life, and you know what, take me for who I am!”
Though they divorced, Margaret maintains a close relationship with Jan — who RHONJ viewers will recognize from his previous appearances on the show. “I’m very close with my ex-husband,” she said on Wednesday’s episode. “I don’t have a conventional relationship whatsoever.”
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And while the Macbeth Collection owner also still talks to one of her stepchildren (she didn’t specify which one) and to her son, she said she’s still haunted by the silence from the kids she helped raise.
“Everybody had a hard time being a stepmother. It was never hard for me. I loved it,” Margaret confessed to viewers. “So not having them is just, that’s an ache that never gets easier.”
As for those hoping to see Margaret in mother mode, they’ll have to wait at least another season. Margaret told The Daily Dish in an interview published Nov. 1 that none will appear on RHONJ.
“My kids are very private people, because I am not a private person, obviously,” Margaret said. “I think I’m humiliating to them on every level on me being on the show and my career. But they just don’t want anything to do with it.”
The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.