June 22, 2016 04:05 PM

Countess LuAnn de Lesseps has been giddily vocal about her new-found love with fiancé Tom D’Agostino, but she wasn’t always so keen to share the truly intimate details of her private life with the world.

Sitting down with PEOPLE Now, the Real Housewives of New York City star reveals that “divorcing and having to live that on a reality show” has been one of the most difficult aspects of being a Housewife.

And on Wednesday’s Before They Were Housewives, de Lesseps reveals many previously unknown details about her elopement to – and 2009 split from – Count Alexandre de Lesseps.

“I never brought my private family life onto the show because, you know, the show lives on – a moment is gone forever, but film lives forever,” she says.

“I wanted to protect my kids, really, and my husband. I didn’t think it was necessary, so I kind of cut around it … living in reality and doing my life but just not bringing out my dirty laundry.”

Though she wouldn’t change anything about her “magical” romance with the Count, she doesn’t mince words either: “Would I have liked the marriage to last? Absolutely. But, you know, I have two great children.”

She adds, “And I’m getting married again, so phase 2! Life goes on for you girls out there who are 50. I’m thrilled to have a second chance. There are second chances and second times around.”

But second chances also come with first meetings between her two great loves.

The Countess, 51, insists that Alex – who will meet D’Agostino when they travel to a family member’s wedding in Switzerland next month – is “a gentleman” and is “thrilled for me that I’ve found love again – and I think he’s a little jealous. [Laughs] He’s not jealous of the man, he’s jealous of the fact that I’ve found love again. He hasn’t quite done that yet.”

She adds, “We were always very competitive.”

Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York City airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET), with this week’s episode directly followed by Before They Were Housewives at 10 p.m. ET.

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