It was a big weekend in the Bravo universe, as Joe Giudice was finally released from ICE custody and returned to Italy. Before he even got off the plane, his eldest daughter Gia posted a FaceTime selfie, which was the first photo we’ve seen of Joe since 2016, and no one could stop talking about his dramatic weight loss transformation. Joe is now in Italy with his brother and other family members, and Gia has been posting excitedly about going to visit in a few weeks.
But with Joe in Italy, likely permanently, fans are wondering what this means for his marriage to Teresa. Are they going to split, or stick it out? Will Teresa move to Italy and start an international Real Housewives franchise?
Over the weekend, Radar Online reported that Teresa will travel to Italy with her daughters in the first week of November, and they’ll be bringing the RHONJ production crew along. Teresa is reportedly getting a large bonus for filming these extra scenes, and as a fan of the show, I’m definitely glad that we’ll get to see the family reunion. But after Teresa does the big reunion and collects her Bravo check, I think it’s time for her and Joe to seriously reevaluate things. I’m glad that he’s free from ICE custody and will get to see his daughters, but that doesn’t mean I’m rooting for Joe and Teresa to pull through as a couple.
We’ve watched Joe and Teresa’s story unfold for over a decade on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, and a lot has happened in that time. We’ve seen it all, from the birth of their youngest daughter, to financial ups and downs, and of course, the legal troubles that led to both of them spending time behind bars. But even in their better times, their marriage has been far from perfect. During the show’s fourth season, the cast was on a trip to Napa Valley when Joe left the table to take a phone call. We still don’t know who the call was from, but it really seems like it was another woman. On the phone, he called Teresa bitch and a c*nt, which is obviously not okay.
After the infamous phone call, Teresa threatened to leave him if the behavior continued, but she also made excuses for him, telling In Touch magazine that Joe was “stressed after a crazy week.” Yeah, that’s not a good enough reason to call your wife the C-word, buddy. Over the next few years, we watched as Teresa was dragged into Joe’s legal issues, which ultimately caused her to serve 11 months in prison. On RHONJ, Teresa acknowledged that her husband’s mistakes had put the family in a bad place, but she always stood by him. That is, until last season.
While Joe was away serving his prison sentence, a couple of things happened. First, rumors started swirling that Teresa was living a new life, dating a younger man and focused on moving on from Joe. But more importantly, it started to look more and more likely that Joe wouldn’t be coming home once he had done his time. On last season’s reunion, though she denied the rumors of a new boyfriend, Teresa told Andy Cohen for the first time that she “is not doing a long-distance relationship,” and that the only way she would move to Italy is if her daughters told her they wanted to go.
This was a major development at the time, because it represented a shift in the way Teresa talked about her marriage. Before, she had always brushed off the issues, and maintained that she and Joe were going to make things work no matter what. But as the threat of deportation became more real, she started to sound more realistic about the way things were actually going to happen. After watching Teresa for nine seasons, it’s not a stretch to say that Teresa can be a little delusional about things in her life, but she finally was saying things that made perfect sense given the situation.
But now that Joe is actually free, I have to wonder how things will actually shake out. Conveniently, the new season of RHONJ premieres in just a few weeks, so we won’t have to wait long to see how Teresa has handled the last year of waiting to find out Joe’s fate. Has she been living like a single woman, or holding on to the possibility that Joe might be coming home? Leaving a marriage is a major decision, but for Teresa’s sake, I hope that she has the strength to move forward with her best life, and I don’t think that includes a husband who is 4,000 miles away (and also might not be that great of a guy). Teresa and Joe have been through a lot on this crazy journey, but there’s no shame in calling it quits, especially given the circumstances.
Images: Shutterstock; _giagiudice / Instagram; Giphy