The Total Bellas star, 37, told Kaitlyn Bristowe on the Tuesday, January 26, episode of the “Off the Vine” podcast that the 38-year-old dancer’s tendency to get in a “really serious mode” no matter what the situation is one of the reasons they are seeing a professional.
“When he gets really stressed, he doesn’t realize his tone,” Bella said. “We’re actually in therapy for this.”
Bristowe, who won season 29 of Dancing With the Stars as Chigvintsev’s partner in November 2020, then asked Bella about the pair’s dynamic when she was partnered with the Russia native for season 25 in 2017.
The former wrestler, who shares 5-month-old son Matteo with Chigvintsev, recalled butting heads with the DWTS pro based on his “super strict” approach to practicing.
“He kind of made a comment about my jive and got really mad at me,” Bella recalled, noting the jive was her least favorite dance. “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 added: “I remember at the time calling [then-fiancé] John [Cena] going, like, ‘I am quitting. Like, I am not going to stand for this. He is a dick!’”
The California native, who got engaged to Chigvintsev in November 2019, noted that sometimes during dress rehearsals, she would think he was mad at her based on his tone.
“It would make me feel really off. And it would just be his tone,” she said. “It was hard.”
Bella’s comments made Bristowe realize that Chigvintsev’s seriousness wasn’t only directed at her.
“I’m glad because I was, like, ‘Maybe he just didn’t like me at all as a person,’” the Canada native said. “Because I’ve heard all the dancers are like that — very strict, that’s kind of how they grew up in their world of dancing, that’s how they were taught — and Artem even said to me, ‘I don’t want to use Russia as an excuse, but I’m Russian.’”
“I would be lying to say, ‘Oh, it’s great.’ It has definitely been a struggle for us,” she said of being away from the dancer shortly after welcoming their son in July 2020. “It’s hard. We have so many ups and downs. It’s been so difficult on our relationship because I need so much from him, but he’s, like, torn between his job that requires so much from him and then us at home.”
The former WWE star noted that the couple realized that they wanted to see a professional after feeling like “we’re not listening to each other.”
Bella acknowledged that she initially kept her emotions to herself after becoming a new mom, but once she opened up to Chigvintsev things shifted for the better.
“I just told him, like, ‘I need more attention from you,’ and that is something we’ve worked on, and that’s gotten better,” she told Us. “Artem and I have great communication, but it’s been lacking, but that’s something that we’ve been so strong about in our relationship [in the past].”