"I have a sense of failure, and I hate to fail," the Bravo star tells PEOPLE exclusively of her marriage to Tom D'Agostino

Luann de Lesseps is getting candid about life after her split from Tom D’Agostino.

Sitting down exclusively with PEOPLE in this week’s issue, the Real Housewives of New York City star reflects on her divorce after seven months of marriage.

“This has been one of the toughest times of my life — that, and getting divorced the first time,” says de Lesseps, 52, who was previously married to Count Alexandre de Lesseps for 16 years.

“I have a sense of failure, and I hate to fail,” she adds. “I wake up at night, and my bed feels empty now that he’s gone.”

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Luann de Lesseps
| Credit: Allison Michael Orenstein
  • For more of Luann’s emotional interview, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

De Lesseps says she’s remaining “optimistic” with the help of her children, Victoria, 22, and Noel, 20.

“They’ve really been there for me,” she says. “Victoria goes to yoga with me; my son comes home just to be with me. They’ve been very understanding and supportive and just have my back.”

FROM PEN: Luann de Lesseps & Tom D’Agostino Jr.’s Wedding Highlights

These days, de Lesseps says she’s working on “reconnecting” with herself, “focusing on my family and my business.”

She’s been keeping herself busy. “I have a new bedding line coming out, new Countess products,” she explains. “I want to pour my heart into music again, and I’ve been working on a book about resilience, about how I bounce back no matter what life throws at me. I don’t regret this marriage. I have learned from it.”

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Luann de Lesseps and Tom D’Agostino in January 2016
| Credit: Chance Yeh/FilmMagic

And the Bravo star “absolutely” still believes in love.

“I choose to see the good in people, not the negative,” she says. “I’m shamelessly optimistic. As for getting married again? Never say never. But I’d definitely be more cautious next time.”

De Lesseps’ Watch What Happens Live one-on-one with Andy Cohen airs at 11 p.m. ET on Bravo.