Melissa, who along with Joe, did not get an invite to her sister-in-law's lavish wedding to Louie Ruelas over the weekend said she "never said" she or her husband were leaving the show.
"People are taking pieces from my podcast and assuming I'm leaving the show," Melissa began. "This is how rumors get started. I never said I was leaving the show. I was just clarifying how we felt after a difficult weekend. We have no plans on leaving. #RHONJ."
"Obviously, we did not attend your sister’s wedding. We have a laundry list of reasons in our heads," Melissa said. "Obviously there was something that went down at the finale of filming the Real Housewives of New Jersey."
While Melissa could not go into details on what transpired while filming, she did say that, given what happened, it would have been weird for her and Joe to be at the wedding. "There was plenty of reason for Joe and I to say it would be very strange -- including everyone in that room, by the way -- to look at Joe and I to say, like, 'Yes, it would be very strange for you guys to just be sitting in the pews tomorrow, wishing them well on their wedding day.' It would be strange."
And judging by what the husband and wife had to say, it seems like their decision to join the show more than a decade ago remains an issue with Teresa. "What you can be upset with is that we actually accepted... the invitation, that we accepted the proposal," Melissa said, referring to the opportunity to audition. "Yes, we did. Did we do that? 100 percent. Did she, deep down, not want us to do that? I’m sure. I’m sure that’s what’s irked her, but guess what? I can take an opportunity just like anyone else."
Despite their issues, it was still a difficult decision for Joe not to be at his only sibling's wedding. "We lost our parents and, to me, it was devastating. It really was. It was one of the hardest days of my life," Joe said. "It was bad."
But it seems whatever unfolded at the reunion has left a permanent stain on their relationship. "Let’s go back to the reunion. She did this. This was all on her. This is what she really wanted. She didn’t want you in the wedding. She didn’t want any of my children in the wedding. She barely wanted me," Joe said, noting he was never asked to walk his sister down the aisle.
"She hates us," he accused. "She really didn’t want us there."
Though the two were sad about the unfortunate circumstances, it seems like they've had enough.
"Sometimes when things are too toxic and you try over and over and over again," Melissa said, "and it just keeps coming back around to the same thing, that it’s just sometimes -- even if it's family -- you have to let it go."
As Joe added, "Everybody has seen us for 13 years try to make this family work. We’ve tried, but then you get to a point when you get tired. When is it too much? I have to think about my life now. I don’t want to be depressed. I want to go to someone’s home or go into the same room and feel loved and feel like I’m wanted. I don’t want to feel this hate and, you know, in going around and saying, 'Does she really want me there?' or 'Do the kids really want me there?' or 'Do they really hate us and we’re faking this relationship?' so, you know, I had to make a decision: what’s important to me? Which is my wife, my children. I have to make them happy. I have to put them in a healthy environment, so is it time to let go?... I decided yes, because she forced all this. She did all this."