Way before she joined the cast of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Margaret Josephs married her first husband, Jan Josephs, in 1994, giving up on a lucrative career in fashion design to become a devoted home-maker. During their 17 years together, she helped raise his three children, alongside her first son, whom she gave birth to in 1996.
Their marriage fell apart in 2013, and Margaret lost touch with her kids. She threw herself into a new affair with a heavily tattooed, motorcycle-riding plumber, Joe Benigno, starting a new chapter in life.
So, what happened with Margaret Josephs's kids?
Margaret started dating 'Super Joe' in 2013, and they have been happily together ever since. Instead of more traditional, quaint activities, they prefer to live adventurously. It's not that unusual for the couple to embark on motorcycle trips together — or stir up a good, old-fashioned social media frenzy by going camping at the infamous Burning Man festival. The empty-nesters would be living life to the fullest — if it wasn't for just one setback.
As Margaret explained in a previous interview with People, she still regrets letting her divorce from Jan sour her relationship with her step-children.
"They’re holding a grudge. And it doesn’t make it any easier. But I know in my heart we’ll find a way back to one another. I’d die over them," Margaret explained.
"It’s an ache no one can fill. It’s heart-wrenching [...] They were my whole life. We had every Sunday dinner, bar mitzvahs. [...] Not knowing what they’re up to, it’s so weird. I pray every day and I write to them constantly. It’s not like they don’t acknowledge me with thank yous. But it’s just not the same," the celeb added.
Margaret has never managed to resuscitate her once-perfect relationship with her three step-children, who have been holding grudges against her ever since the divorce. As she explained in a previous interview with People, she maintains a close friendship with Jan, but her step-kids haven't quite forgiven her for the affair she pursued with Joe behind her ex-husband's back.
In addition, she had to negotiate with fully-grown, independent adults with their own livelihood and families during the divorce — and the lack of interdependence didn't help. The circumstances made it easier for the separate parties to turn their back on each other — which is something Margaret is struggling to accept until this day.
Margaret is on speaking terms with one of her stepchildren, Bret.
"I think a lot of families stay together for the kids, but my kids [...] were grown adults when we got divorced. Like, grown adults, living separately. They were in their 30s, my stepchildren, and I was with them, like I said, from a young girl. And my biological son was 15 when it happened and he’s now 21. So, everybody really was up and out. But it didn’t make a difference how old everybody was, we were all so close and spent so much time together, I think it cut very deeply," she explained.
According to The Daily Dish, Margaret's children lead a private life, and some of them actively disapprove of her blossoming career in the entertainment industry. However, she did receive enormous support from her step-son, Bret, who reached out to her after the divorce.
Catch new episodes of Real Housewives of New Jersey every Wednesday at 8 p.m. on Bravo.