The Real Housewives of New Jersey star married Joe in October 1999, and the pair went on to welcome four daughters: Gia in January 2001, Gabriella in October 2004, Milania in February 2006 and Audriana in September 2009.
The reality stars hit a roadblock in March 2014 when they pleaded guilty to 41 counts of fraud. She subsequently served 11 months in federal prison in 2015, while Joe completed his 41-month sentence in March 2019.
Prior to his release, a judge ordered in October 2018 that the businessman be deported to his native country of Italy. He relocated there in October 2019 after spending months in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Teresa revealed during the March 2019 season 9 Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion that she and Joe would end their marriage if he was forced to leave the country. “I’m not doing a long-distance relationship. I’m not doing it,” she explained. “You know, I want somebody with me every day. I know exactly what happens. You know, I’m sure he’ll be with other women. It happens. We do the long-distance thing, it’s not going to work. I’d be like, ‘Bye-bye.’”
Us Weekly confirmed their split in December 2019. “Teresa and Joe talked about their future when she and the girls were in Italy and decided it was best for them to separate,” a source told Us at the time. “Neither of them wanted to be in a long-distance relationship. Joe has been dating in Italy, Teresa is busy taking care of their girls right now. They harbor no ill will toward each other and will continue to coparent their kids.”
News broke in September 2020 that Teresa and Joe finalized their divorce.
Us confirmed one month later that the Standing Strong author is dating Ruelas. Her costars later weighed in on the relationship.
“I wish them happiness, and I hope everything’s great,” Melissa Gorga exclusively told Us in February 2021. “But it’s new. It’s the beginning, so you never know. He seems like a nice guy, so we’ll see what happens. … It’s been nice to be able to, like, double date with her again because we haven’t done that in forever.”
Dolores Catania, meanwhile, hinted that an engagement could be on the horizon for the couple. “I see a marriage there,” she told Us in May 2021. “I see potential for so much and a life together, and I see a lot of love between them. So, I’m really hopeful and really optimistic about what’s going on there.”
Scroll through the gallery below to revisit Teresa and Ruelas’ relationship timeline!