Nikki Bella is opening up about the work she's putting into her relationship with her fiancé Artem Chigvintsev. The Total Bellas star shared on the new episode of Kaitlyn Bristowe's Off the Vine podcast that she and the Dancing With the Stars pro, with whom she shares 5-month-old son Matteo, are in couples therapy, explaining that when Chigvintsev "gets really stressed, he doesn't realize his tone."
Bristowe had firsthand experience with Chigvintsev's communication style, having won the Mirror Ball trophy with the dancer on Season 29 of DWTS last year, and told Bella that the two would butt heads at times. The Bachelorette alum even asked Bella if she had experienced something similar when she competed with Chigvintsev on Season 25 before their relationship turned romantic the next year. "Did you feel like he hated your guts during the season, or did you guys have a flirty thing?" Bristowe asked the former WWE Superstar.
Bella revealed that her now-fiancé was "super strict" with her during rehearsals, which could get fiery at times. "He kind of made a comment about my jive and got really mad at me," she recalled. "And I was like 'You know what, dude? J. Lo and Beyoncé don't jive. I don't have time for this.' And I walked out and I got in my car." She then called then-fiancé John Cena on the phone and remembered telling him she was quitting due to her partner: "I am not going to stand for this. He is a d—!" she remembered saying.
"I remember during dress rehearsals sometimes I'd be like, 'Is he mad at me?'" Bella also recalled of her time on the show. "It would make me feel really off. It would just be his tone. It was hard; it was hard on me a lot." Bristowe chimed in that she was glad to hear the two had a similar experience, as she worried "maybe he just didn't like me as a person," but also that she heard "all the dancers are like that."
Bella and Chigvintsev's Dancing With the Stars season in 2017 didn't initially spark flames between the two. But when the E! star's relationship with Cena dissolved in 2018, the two reconnected as friends and made their relationship official in July 2019. That November, the pair got engaged during a trip to France and quickly learned they were expecting their first child together. On July 31, 2020, the couple welcomed son Matteo, less than 24 hours before Bella's twin sister, Brie Bella, welcomed son Buddy with husband, Daniel Bryan.