Nikki Bella Opens Up About 'Rocky' Period with Fiancé Artem Chigvintsev: 'Now We're Stronger'

The couple, who has been together since 2019, shares 1-year-old son Matteo

Nikki Bella is opening up about the hardships she has faced with fiancé Artem Chigvintsev.

On Wednesday's episode of The Bellas podcast, Nikki, 37, spoke with twin sister Brie Bella about how being long-distance has impacted the couple's relationship.

"What's crazy is this is the longest we haven't seen each other," Nikki said. "We went six or seven weeks [apart] because I got [a judging gig on] AGT: Extreme … Artem and I both discussed, [our son] Teo goes everywhere with mama. That's where he's comfortable, that's where he does best. And, you know, it's been hard on [Artem], and it's been hard on me too not to have my man in my bed for over six, seven weeks."

"It's been really hard on us, but we've had some sexy FaceTimes. And we're actually in a good spot. We were doing a little rocky for a bit," she continued, noting how she'd love to have Chigvintsev on the podcast to discuss how to "get back into therapy."

Nikki also explained how being raised in a different country from Chigvintsev — who is from Russia — had an "effect" on the pair's communication. But she insisted the couple is currently in a good place.

"Now we're stronger than ever," she added.

According to Nikki, part of what allowed things to become "rocky" is her being left to do the heavy lifting.

"When you're away from each other, there's different time zones. Myself having Matteo and working long hours, I need Artem to check in in ways of like, 'How are you? How are you doing? How's Matteo doing? What can I do?'" Nikki said. "Sometimes I feel like the other person, mainly the dads, they get into this [mindset of] they FaceTimed and that's great, and they get on the phone and that's where it ends for them. And it's just hard when the involvement beyond that isn't there."

"... I'm doing the whole [family's] to-do lists, Matteo's to-do lists, the house we're building's to-do list," she continued. "All the to-do lists are going in my head."

Artem Chigvintsev; Nikki Bella
Artem Chigvintsev and Nikki Bella. Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Nikki said this "causes ... a little bit of tension in the relationship," but the issues are "always innocent things that the other person doesn't realize so you communicate with them, [but] sometimes you want them to guess" what's wrong.

Nikki and Chigvintsev, 39, met while partnered on Dancing with the Stars in 2017. At the time, the Total Bellas star was engaged to John Cena, but they split for good the following year.

Nikki and Chigvintsev began dating in early 2019 and got engaged later that year. They welcomed their son Matteo in July 2020.

Last year, Nikki revealed the pair were going to start going to couple's therapy.

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"It's mainly just to be amazing parents and knowing how to balance parent life out and also our own relationship," she said on The Tamron Hall Show. "Because Artem and I don't ever want to have a struggle. You know, we plan on being married.

On Kaitlyn Bristowe's Off the Vine podcast in January, Nikki said that when Chigvintsev "gets really stressed, he doesn't realize his tone."

"We're actually in therapy for this," she added.

Nikki previously opened up the pair's wedding being put on hold, saying their "busy" schedules are partly to blame.

"We'd love it to be in the fall and a few of the venues were like, 'We're available.' And what we just started saying is, 'We're so busy every day and we completely remodeled the inside of our home,'" she told Entertainment Tonight in June. "We haven't even lived in it yet and we're doing the outside and that takes so much work. We're still not even done designing. And so he and I both were just like, 'Let's get through the house. If it happens, it happens.'"

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