Wednesday's Real Housewives of New Jersey revealed that six months prior to Teresa Giuidice and Joe Giudice's separation, a split was looming
On Wednesday’s episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Teresa recalled a tense conversation she and her husband of 20 years had back in May, during her first visit to see Joe at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainment center where he was living.
“Today, Joe said the craziest s— to me,” Teresa told her brother, Joe Gorga. “He said to me, ‘I just want you to know, I feel nothing for you.’ He told me, ‘Go find someone else. I won’t even be mad.’ “
His words left Teresa spinning, unsure what she wanted to do next — even after Gorga asked Teresa why she just wouldn’t move on with her life.
“Oh, okay,” she said, shrugging the suggestion off.
Teresa was thinking about their four daughters: Gia, 18, Gabriella, 15, Milania, 14, and Audriana, 10. “I don’t want the kids to live through that, you know?” Teresa said, after admitting her daughters can “feel” the tension. “We bicker.”
Gorga took the opportunity to share his true feelings about his brother-in-law.
“You want to know the truth? I never really thought you guys had a good relationship. I just didn’t see him treating you the way you should have been treated,” he said. “I’m not getting involved in your marriage ever. I’m just telling you now because you’re in this situation. You gotta get happy in life. I don’t know what you’re doing.”
“Joe’s always going to be arrogant. He’s rough and he’s tough. He doesn’t know how to open up and be a man,” Gorga added in a confessional. “You know what a man is? When he can look at you and say, ‘I love you. You’re amazing. You’re beautiful.’ That’s a f—ng man.’ “
This isn’t the first time Teresa has opened up about some of the harsher things Joe has said to her since his release from prison in March 2016.
In an earlier RHONJ episode this season, Teresa revealed that Joe had told her, “‘Imagine we get divorced. Who would want you? You’ve got a lot of baggage.’ “
Viewers have also heard Joe ask Housewife Dolores Catania to set Teresa up with a rich man who could financially take care of her.
“My wife is always complaining about me,” Joe said, telling Teresa, “I’m just trying to make you happy.”
He also revealed, in another call, that he was reluctant about walking down the aisle with Teresa before they got married. “Like I even wanted to get married? No,” he told her.
Teresa hasn’t held back her own frustrations. In that same scene, she revealed that she tried to call off their wedding when he forced her to sign a prenup.
Teresa and Joe were childhood sweethearts and have been married since 1999. But they have been living apart since March 2016, when Joe began his 41-month prison sentence for mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud. (Teresa had served a little over 11 months in prison for the same crimes and was released on Dec. 23, 2015.).
Joe had hoped to go home after his release in March 2019 but was ordered to be deported instead — having never obtained American citizenship after moving to the U.S. as a young child. Though he’s fought the court’s ruling, he’s been unsuccessful, with two deportation appeals denied so far. A third is still pending, which his family lawyer James J. Leonard Jr. has said appears to be a long shot.
“The problem is, this is his last chance. And you’re not bringing forward new information, so I think the odds are against Joe at this stage,” Leonard said, in a December episode of RHONJ. “Immigration is the hottest topic on the planet and I think Joe is caught in the crossfire of that.”
In December, a source close to the family exclusively told PEOPLE Joe and Teresa were splitting.
“They agreed that each had to move on,” the insider said. “They are doing so amicably and very slowly. Joe has been out on a few dates, Teresa has not. She has been too busy with the girls, with work obligations and taking care of her father. She is happy for Joe. They have been very friendly with one another and are very supportive of each other’s happiness. They still love one another, but … neither is interested in a long-distance relationship.”
That love for their family has been apparent on social media, where Teresa and Joe have both stayed active, praising their kids and even sending supportive messages to one another.
“Whatever happens in our future, remember we were friends to begin with,” Joe recently wrote. “We will always stay strong. It’s not distance that breaks a couple, it’s actions!.’
The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Wednesdays (8 p.m. ET) on Bravo.