Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire
October 11, 2015 11:05 PM

Though Joe Giudice said the last year was “the worst” of his life – with wife Teresa Giudice in prison and his father’s unexpected death on June 18, 2014 – it hasn’t broken his marriage.

How are the Giudices – who have weathered many storms in their 15-year marriage – coping? All of the usual marital ways: communication, empathy, jokes about – and actual – sex.

Joe and Teresa Giudice
Alo Ceballos/Getty

Though Joe revealed in an episode of Watch What Happens Live immediately after Sunday’s The Real Housewives of New Jersey: Teresa Checks In that he and Teresa, both 43, do not get conjugal visits, he told host Andy Cohen: “I get to feel her a little bit here and there. I get yelled at by the guards.”

And the frisky behavior isn’t limited to in-person contact. On Sunday’s episode, during a romantic call from Teresa (yes, she proposed having phone sex with him when the kids weren’t around and yes she’s pictured him with the body of a Magic Mike hunk) turned sweet.

Said Teresa, “When I come out, I’m going to be all over you.” When Joe promised her Channing Tatum-worthy abs, she added, “When you come out, I’m going to be all over you even more … like, we’re just going to be married forever.”

Joe responded with an surprisingly sweet response: “I hope that we grow old together.”

But these moments are admittedly bittersweet for Joe, who told Cohen, 47, on WWHL: “Every day’s a tough day without [Teresa] around.”

He also said in an on-camera interview six months after Teresa went away that he had stopped sleeping the bed they shared: “Since she’s been gone, I don’t even think I’ve been in my bedroom. I just don’t have any desire to sleep in my bed.”

On Sunday’s episode, Joe – who is limited to seeing Teresa twice a month (her children can visit every weekend) because of a previous felony conviction – estimated he cries up to 30 times a day during his wife’s absence.

“When I get out, I definitely want to spend lot more quality time with my wife, and grow old with her, God willing,” he said to the camera. “It’s all up to the man upstairs.”

RELATED VIDEO: Joe Giudice Reveals Post-Prison Plans with Wife Teresa

But in all the months of turbulence, there has been one certainty between the couple: “She must be proud of me,” Joe said. “Otherwise she would have sent me divorce papers from in there.”

He added in another interview: “We’re just doing the best we can, minute by minute, hour by hour.”

The Real Housewives of New Jersey: Teresa Checks In airs Sundays (8 p.m. ET) on Bravo.

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