"The person Mario is right now standing in front of me is not the person he was three years ago"

By Jodi Guglielmi and Emily Strohm
Updated July 10, 2015 03:00 PM
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Ramona Singer thought she had it all: the perfect husband, the perfect daughter and the perfect career.

But when she learned that her husband of 22 years was having an affair, everything changed – drastically.

In her new book, Life on the Ramona Coaster (out July 28), The Real Housewives of New York star opens up about her divorce and what went wrong in her marriage.

Looking back, Singer, 58, tells PEOPLE that she can now see the gradual change in her husband’s behavior that eventually led to his well-documented affair.

She says she started to notice Mario slowly slipping into the background. He wasn’t as involved in the RHONY craze as he once was, and when Singer started preparing their daughter, Avery, for college, he didn’t get involved. Around the time he turned 60, Singer says she barely recognized the man she married.

“The person Mario is right now standing in front of me is not the person he was three years ago,” she told PEOPLE.

At first, Singer thought he might just be having a midlife crisis, but when Mario’s actions came to light, she realized his troubles ran much deeper.

“Hes always had sometimes this negative energy and I would push him to be more positive, but after a certain point how much can I push him?” says Singer. “I couldn’t fix him.”

“He’s not happy. He’s just not happy as a person.”

For more on Ramona and Mario Singer’s divorce and how she is coping, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now