"Gia was 3. And I was like, 'What am I gonna do?' I should've left then."
While the cast and their husbands were in the Jersey Shore for a wild weekend getaway, Teresa started opening up about her difficult situation. At the time, Joe was still in ICE custody following his 41-month prison sentence, and they were still unsure about the future of their marriage.
During a conversation about prenups, Teresa vented about a phone call Bravo cameras captured earlier this season, during which Joe angrily told her he had her sign a prenup one week before their wedding because he "didn't want to get married."
"I have a lot of resentment," she told the group, which was listening intently. "I felt like I didn't deserve that 'cause I was like the perfect, perfect f--king wife!" By this point, it looked like she was fighting back tears.
After Dolores Catania's ex-husband-turned-best friend, Frank, called Joe "an ass" for those prenup and marriage comments, he asked Tre if she thought Joe was as good a spouse to her as she was to him.
"No, because there was rumors out there," she said, prompting Margaret Josephs' husband, Joe Benigno, to ask, "You think he ever fooled around behind your back?"
"Listen," Teresa replied, "he had a separate cell phone with one girl." Everyone was stunned. "You know that for a fact?" Jennifer Aydin asked.
"I found it!" Teresa shouted. "It was his ex-girlfriend's sister. He said she was going through her divorce. He was helping her, trying to sell her house. Like, I quit my job. Gia was 3. And I was like, 'What am I gonna do?' I should've left then, right? I didn't because he denied it to me. I believed him."
Jennifer said she felt Tre wanted to believe him, prompting Joe Gorga to ask his sister directly, "Today, do you believe he cheated on you?"
"Yeah, now I do!" she fired back. There was an audible gasp.
"Listen, I don't think it's news to anybody's ears that Joe was cheating on Teresa," Melissa Gorga said in a later confessional, before Bravo showed two incriminating clips from over the years: The first was the time Joe referred to Teresa as his "bitch wife" and a "c--t" while he was making a mysterious phone call in Napa Valley in 2013; the second was in 2015, when "RHONJ" alum Jacqueline Laurita told Tre at a reunion taping, "Honey, you walked in on your husband when he had someone on the desk in his office! You told me that!" Joe denied infidelity in both instances.
"But the news here is that Teresa's finally admitting it," Melissa added.
"I'm just saying, sometimes you're blind," Teresa told the group, as her brother interrupted, "Listen, alls I'm saying -- you're looking at phones and you gotta worry about that -- that's not marriage."
Poor Teresa added in a later confessional, "It took a long time, and it still is really hard for me to admit, but I owe it to myself to open my eyes to it."
At dinner that night, Joe started talking about how he met Melissa on the Jersey Shore, which prompted a group-wide trip down memory lane. Teresa and Dolores apparently used to hit up a club called Temptation -- "Temps" -- where Dolores said Teresa "beat up two girls and a guy."
"That was my boyfriend," Tre defended. "He was holding some girl's hand!"
"Her boyfriend's," Joe interjected, "if they ever looked at other girls, she abused them!" Dolores concurred, calling Teresa an "animal."
"That's why I'm shocked with her [now] 'cause she was like, 'I need proof [of Joe cheating on me]. Oh, I see pictures of him, but she never told me!'" Joe joked. Melissa joined in, adding, "'He didn't tell me he had intercourse, so I don't believe it!'" Teresa laughed it off in the moment, but it did bother her.
"I know my brother's joking about Joe cheating on me, but it's really not funny," she later admitted. "I mean, this is my life, and I really don't think it's something to laugh about."
The next morning, Melissa made a comment about how "maybe Teresa can find a boy" at the bar they were heading to that day, prompting Tre to say she felt bad about everything she had revealed about Joe. "Like, my daughters adore their dad," she said, but as Dolores explained, "That's testament to you, so you know, because with all you know and all you've been through, you've never bad-mouthed their father. All f--king day long, lawyers, lawyers, money, money. You never said no once for him."
"No, and I guess I have resentment for that, too," Teresa said. "It's like, I should be so much further in life. All my business. I built up a lot! And then everything came crashing down 'cause of the legal stuff. I'll be honest with you, I stress about money all the time."
Margaret shared with Teresa that she understood what it was like being dragged through the legal system and having to constantly worry about money because she was facing a lawsuit herself. Jennifer then reprimanded Margaret for comparing apples to oranges because at least Margaret had a partner to lean on.
"I didn't know Jen worked," Marge fired back, prompting an angry Jennifer to tell the camera, "Excuse me? Raising five kids isn't work? My job is 10 times harder than what she does, so check that, bitch!"
And that will be the topic of next week's drama -- along with a heated conversation between Melissa and Danielle Staub.
"The Real Housewives of New Jersey" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on Bravo.
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