It’s been nearly a week since Teresa Giudice returned from Italy, where she and her daughters finally reunited with her husband Joe Giudice. Now, the Real Housewives of New Jersey star is opening up about her trip, the fate of her 20-year marriage and the family’s future.
“It was really great to reunite with Joe and see how happy the girls were to see their dad,” Teresa tells PEOPLE. “It was all about the girls, and we just had the best time with them, and that’s it. I mean, we’re just going to take day by day and see what happens. That’s basically it.”
While the Teresa, 47, says the long-awaited reunion with Joe, 49, and her daughters Gia, 18, Gabriella, 15, Milania, 13, and Audriana, 10, was “perfect” and filled with “joy and happiness,” the future of her marriage is still up in the air. (During the couple’s recent Watch What Happens Live interview, they said they still loved each other, but she indicated she’d have no choice but to split if he loses his deportation appeal and cannot return to the United States. She also said she was waiting until the trip to see how she felt.)
“I mean, I can’t predict the future, but as of now, it was two and a half days. It was too short to decide,” she tells PEOPLE. “But our daughters are the most important thing. We’ll see what happens. I mean, he lives in Italy, I live in America. I don’t know if that’s going to work.”
Although the reality stars have been married for two decades, they’ve been living apart for nearly four years.
Joe was released from prison last year but was held in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Clinton County Correctional Center in Pennsylvania, awaiting a decision on his deportation ruling.
Though Joe has lived in the United States since he was a child, he never obtained American citizenship, and immigrants can be deported if they are convicted of “a crime of moral turpitude” or an “aggravated felony,” according to U.S. law.
That ruling was made last October. He’s appealed twice so far and has been denied both times. A final ruling is expected next year.
A petition to be released back to his home wasn’t granted, but a request to go to Italy was. This October, he was released from ICE custody and flew to Italy, where he has been ever since.
“I cried a lot,” Teresa tells PEOPLE of last week’s trip. “Because just seeing my daughters with him and I was just very, very emotional. At the end of the day I just want Joe to be happy. I’m just happy that he was free.”