She’s got the secret ingredient — both in the kitchen and in her marriage. Real Housewives of New Jersey alum Kathy Wakile dished to Life & Style exclusively about her marriage to husband Richie, and needless to say, the beloved couple is totally thriving. In fact, the 54-year-old opened up about exactly what keeps things exciting between these two sweet Jersey Italians.

“Oh, it’s great. We like to go to a little out of the way places,” Kathy exclusively dished at NYC Wine and Food Festival’s Aperitivo, presented by Fratelli Beretta, hosted by Katie Lee and sponsored by “Sometimes date nights are just he and I home and I cook a really great meal and it’s just quiet time.”

Kathy Wakile Kissing Husband Richie
Charles Sykes/Shutterstock

Another secret to a long-lasting marriage, in Kathy’s eyes, is a little sense of humor. “Ohhh laugh! Don’t take everything so serious. Laugh,” she explained. “Laugh when you’re really not expected to laugh — laugh, have a good time.”

Plus, being a rock for your partner in both difficult times and abundance is totally key. “Absolutely. And respect one another! Respect one another and support each other’s dreams really,” she explained. Clearly, the brunette beauty has being doing just that with her sweet hubby, who dealt with the untimely passing of his mother back in December 2018.

“I’m Richie’s partner for life, his best friend,” the former RHONJ star told Us Weekly about being there for her man amid the family tragedy. “I know what he needs before he knows himself. My job is to take care of the one who takes care of everyone else.”

Just in case you forgot, Kathy is Bravo TV OG Teresa Giudice‘s cousin — but don’t expect too much familial love between the ladies right now. Since their blowout feud back in 2013, the chef hasn’t tried to make amends. “No. She made her position quite clear,” Kathy revealed to HollywoodLife back in August. “I’ve made my position quite clear, that I’d try and, my life is very full, and so I’m not going to waste my time with trying to make something work that isn’t going to work.”

Considering she knows a thing or two about how to make things work, we trust her judgement here.