"You know what I mean when you have four kids you have to stay strong," said in an interview with Extra airing Wednesday. "Her being away definitely makes me appreciate her way more, a lot more, and you know everything she did."
But in case RHONJ fans worry that prison might altogether change Teresa's ways, Joe also confirms that his wife has kept up her beauty regimen.
"She made us wait an hour to make her hair, to do her hair," he says of going to visit her in prison. "That was a little annoying.”
She also has a new circle of friends behind bars, Joe explains. "She's got a little group she hangs out with and does her thing with everyday and who she goes to the gym with and who she hangs out with and who does her hair and who does her nails, they have their little thing going every day."
Joe said he and the couple's four daughters – Gia, 13; Milania, 9; Gabriella, 8; and Audriana, 3 – try to visit every weekend, and that Teresa is in regular email contact with the family.
While Teresa was initially sentenced to 15 months in prison, PEOPLE reported in January that she may get out sooner. After she is released, her husband will start his own 41-month sentence.