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Joe Giudice says a teary goodbye to family before heading to prison on 'Real Housewives'

by Ree Hines / / Source: TODAY

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Joe Giudice started serving his 41-month prison sentence on fraud charges back in March, but due to the time delay of reality TV, viewers watched his tearful farewell take place on Sunday's "Real Housewives of New Jersey."

The emotional episode saw Joe prepare to face what lies ahead, just as wife Teresa had done months before.

WATCH: Joe and Teresa Giudice spend their final evening together before he leaves to serve his prison sentence

The cameras kept their distance as the couple shared a quiet and sad embrace just before Joe was driven away, but they were up close as Joe shared his thoughts the day before.

RELATED: 'Real Housewives' of NJ alum zings Teresa Giudice over jail time

“You learn two things in there,” he said of prison. “You either learn how to become a criminal or a better person."

So before departing for Fort Dix Correctional Institution, he made a vow.

Joe and Teresa spend their final evening together before he leaves to serve his prison sentence.
Joe and Teresa spend their final evening together before he leaves to serve his prison sentence.Bravo TV

"I’m gonna try to become a better person," he told Teresa. "I’ve accepted what I have to do, so I’m ready to go in and get it over with."

And then, with Teresa sitting on lap, he assured her, "We'll get over this."

As for his goodbyes to their four daughters, those happened off-screen.

RELATED: Teresa Giudice reveals photos, craziest experiences from her 11 months in prison

“I’m not really scared of too many things,” he explained in the episode. "Every day you live for the time that you’re here. You can’t predict what’s going to happen tomorrow. You can’t even predict what’s going to happen in a few minutes. Nobody’s really prepared and mentally ready to go in. But it’s really happening. I’m going in.”

Follow Ree Hines on Twitter.

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