Last night, instead of making progress toward reconciliation, here’s how things ended up between Teresa and and her brother Joe. How, you might ask, did it come to this?
The other day, a good friend of mine, (she also happens to be a fellow Real Housewives fan who was catching up on the current season of RHONJ), asked me this question: “Can you remember why Teresa and her brother Joe started fighting?”
My answer? Teresa never got along with Joe’s wife, Melissa. That’s the short answer. But, it got me to thinking.
The first time Bravo audiences met Melissa and Joe Gorga it was at their son’s Christening which turned into a huge family brawl after Teresa seemingly tried to make nice with the proud parents. Since then, there have been countless times over the last 3 seasons that Teresa and Joe have declared their kinship OVER, only to continue to try and resurrect some semblance of the sibling bond they once shared. And, if last night’s episode is any indication, the drama still stems from Teresa’s resentment of Melissa.
As a viewer, we only get a well-edited glimpse into the true issues this family faces but to me it seems that, ironically, it’s because Teresa and Joe were once so close that they have these problems today. Teresa and Joe were supposedly as tight as siblings could be growing up and Joe was quite close to Teresa’s young family when she started having kids. Particularly, “Zio Joe” and Gia seemed to have a very close bond. Who could forget the heartbreaking moment when Gia wrote and sang a song about wishing her mom and uncle could get along?
Teresa loved being #1 in her brother’s eyes. He probably had relationships with women that came and went and never lasted long. Then, everything changed. Joe met and married Melissa. All of a sudden, Teresa was runner up in her brother’s affections. Teresa probably maintained a similar attitude toward Melissa that she’d had toward Joe’s ex girlfriends: you’re a nice distraction but don’t get comfortable because family comes first for the Gorga’s. Clearly this did not go over well with Melissa. It also seems likely that Melissa felt a little bit of jealousy toward Teresa during the early days of her relationship with Joe, too. Here was this beautiful, successful woman who was already so close to the man she loved.
So, with that much resentment on both sides, it was never likely that things were going to go well. The sad thing is that, since those early days, no one seems to have moved past their old mindsets that got them into this mess. Teresa still seems upset that Joe puts his wife first. Melissa, despite saying otherwise, still seems to feel her marriage would somehow be threatened if Joe were to be close with his sister again. And Joe is somewhere stuck in the middle. He wants to be loyal to his wife but probably wishes he didn’t have to choose. Throw into the mix that they’re all a bunch of hot-heads and you’ve got a recipe for lasting disaster.
It’s clear that it would be preferable for everyone if they could make things better but somehow they’ve got to figure out a way to break the cycle. Do you think they can do it?
Here are just a few of the past attempts Teresa and Joe made over the course of the previous 2 seasons: