'RHONJ' Star Margaret Josephs' Divorce From Jan Josephs Was a Casualty of Her Affair

Margaret said she had "unbelievable chemistry" with her current husband, Joe Benigno, while married to Jan Josephs.

Elizabeth Randolph - Author

Mar. 7 2024, Published 11:35 a.m. ET

On March 6, 2024, The Real Housewives of New Jersey Season 14 trailer aired, giving Bravo fans a glimpse of what to expect besides the required trip to the Jersey Shore. Among rumblings of Teresa Giudice's marriage and the beginning of some salacious feuds, there was a brief moment when we, as fans, received an update about Margaret Josephs' marriage to Joe Benigno.

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In the trailer, the Jersey couple hung out on the golf course as Melissa Gorga asked Margaret, "How are you and Joe doing?" In another scene, Melissa's other half, Joe Gorga, made a shocking revelation about how Margaret and Joe have struggled since the death of her ex-husband, Jan Josephs.

"Your marriage was better when Jan was alive," Joe said.

Before Jan died in 2022, he and Margaret divorced for almost a decade. The reason behind the split has plenty to do with Marge's current marriage.

Margaret Josephs
Source: Getty Images
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Why did Margaret Josephs divorce Jan Josephs?

Margaret and her pigtails became known to RHONJ fans in 2017. On the show, she discussed her divorce from Jan, which was the result of an affair with her new husband at the time, Joe. But according to the MacBeth Collection owner, the situation wasn't as messy as it sounds.

In the show's debut season, Margaret explained that she and Jan were in a dark place in their marriage when Joe came into her life. Joe worked as a contractor for Margaret and Jan's house, resulting in what Margaret described as "unbelievable chemistry."

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“When I met my husband Joe we were both married to separate people," she said on RHONJ. "He had come into my life because he was a contractor and he came in to do our molding. My marriage was going down the tubes, and we had this unbelievable chemistry, and we fell in love."

(l-r): Margaret Josephs and Joe Benigno
Source: Getty Images
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Margaret said she knew she couldn't remain married to Jan due to her feelings for Joe. She and Jan eventually divorced in 2013, and she married Joe in Las Vegas, Nev., days after the divorce was finalized, per RadarOnline. Though Margaret's affair, divorce, and marriage caused a stir within her community, she said she couldn't imagine being without Joe — no matter how it made her look.

"Leaving my first husband was a very big scandal in our town," she admitted. "But this is my f---ng life, and you know what, take me for who I am!”

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Margaret said Jan Josephs remained one of her "closest friends" after their divorce.

Margaret has said on RHONJ that her and Jan's divorce initially took a toll on her and their family. The pair married on November 19, 1994, and were together for nearly two decades before splitting. Together, they raised Margaret's son from a previous relationship and Jan's three kids from another relationship.

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Due to Margaret's yearning to stay active in her stepchildren's lives, she and Jan remained close after their breakup. When Jan died of a heart attack in September 2022, Margaret posted a tribute to him on Instagram, stating she and her family were "heartbroken." She also opened up about their relationship, stating they "spoke every day" and reflected on their lives together during their final conversation.

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"The night before he left us, we shared a beautiful conversation of how blessed we are, our children all successful and happy and that we could only brag to each other," Margaret shared in her post. "We spoke every day; he was my family."

"Jan was an amazing father, grandfather, friend, and partner to his girlfriend," she continued. "He loved everyone unconditionally; he loved Motown, working out, and Italian food, but most of all, he loved his family."

Although Margaret can admit her and Jan's marriage wasn't what she ultimately needed, it's great that they could move past their pain to keep the peace in their family. Rest well, Jan.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey is available to stream on Peacock.

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