He was nervous about us being home alone, says Giudice

By Emily Strohm
June 30, 2016 06:15 PM

Before Joe Giudice went to turn himself in for a 41-month prison sentence, the father of four made sure his wife Teresa and their family would be safe.

“That was one of the biggest things that weighed on him,” Teresa, 44, tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s issue. “He was nervous about us being home alone.”

Joe, also 44, is currently incarcerated at Federal Correction Institute in Fort Dix, New Jersey, for mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud, and he isn’t due to be released until 2019. His sentence comes just three months after Teresa spent nearly a year in jail for the same crimes.

Teresa and Joe Giudice's home

“Before he left he got a heavy-duty security system added to the one that we already had, so I’m totally safe and he made sure of that,” says Giudice. “It’s like Fort Knox.”

For more on Teresa Giudice’s life without her husband Joe, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

While the Real Housewives of New Jersey star is still adjusting to life without her husband, Giudice is doing her best to stay positive for the couple’s daughters Gia, 15, Gabriella, 11, Milania, 10, and Audriana, 6.

Teresa and Joe Giudice
Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images for Mount Airy Casino Resort

“We all miss Joe tremendously. But I just try to remind them, ‘Now that mommy is home, didn’t it go by fast? That’s how it’s going to be for daddy too.’ ”

The Real Housewives of New Jersey returns July 10 at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.