Nikki Bella was thrilled when Artem Chigvintsev was asked back for season 29 of Dancing With the Stars, but behind the scenes, she struggled with her fiance’s new job. On the Jan. 21 episode of Total Bellas, Artem got the call that he was headed back to DWTS, leaving Nikki at home with a three-week-old baby (their son, Matteo). It didn’t take long for Nikki to become exhausted as she struggled to figure out the whole parenting thing on her own.
On top of the obvious struggles of raising a newborn alone, Nikki also had to watch from miles away in Phoenix, Arizona as Artem spent countless hours with his DWTS partner, Kaitlyn Bristowe, in Los Angeles. On Total Bellas, Nikki invited some family members over for a DWTS watch party, and couldn’t hide her frustration as she watched Artem dance on live television. Of course, it didn’t help that Brie Bella kept pointing out how amazing Artem and Kaitlyn’s chemistry was, and how intimate the dance they performed was.
“I’m super happy that Artem’s pretty much back on his home on the dance floor, but when he missed last season on Dancing With the Stars, I did everything I could do to make him smile and make him happy, and nothing worked,” Nikki explained. “When I see him on Monday nights live, he smiles so big, his face is about to crack in half. It just kind of sucks because that’s the Artem I wish I could have.”
After the dance, Nikki got up and left the room because she didn’t want to watch the show anymore. “We don’t want to watch that,” she cooed to Matteo. “We don’t want to watch daddy dance with other women like that.” When Brie tried to talk her down, Nikki explained what was getting her so upset. “I have such a hard time and, like, I’m not that type of girl,” she admitted. “The thing is…it doesn’t stop. You guys see it live, but I have to live it every day. I have to hear about the rehearsals, I have to see all the practices. It’s hard.”
The tension in Nikki and Artem’s relationship built as he and Kaitlyn continued on the show, which meant he spent more time away from home. Meanwhile, Nikki closed on a house in Napa, California without consulting Artem first, which upset him. By the end of the episode, Nikki was in tears as she struggled to deal with it all.
“I pushed him to dance, and I can’t give him a hard time with what I pushed him to do,” she told Brie. “I need him. He’s busy and I’m here, moving by myself. I don’t sleep ever. I’m so tired. Then I have to deal with Artem’s partner, and when I see all that stuff…I can’t help it. It triggers me. It’s not about her and him. I don’t have a fear of Artem [cheating]. It’s wanting what she’s getting from him. Can he come home and laugh with me? Can he come home and ask me how I’m doing? I want to feel wanted and sexy.”
Brie and her husband, Bryan Danielson, urged Nikki to be open with Artem about what she was feeling and told her not to be afraid to ask for help from him. “It was nice to hear that what I’m going through is normal and it’s okay,” Nikki concluded. “But I think it’s so hard for me to ask Artem when I need him because I pushed him to fight for his dreams, and now he’s doing that, and I don’t want to be that nagging woman where I’m b***ing and complaining about everything. I also don’t think he could handle dancing and everything I’m going through, which kind of sucks. I kind of want him to be done, but it’s his dream, so it’s not my decision.”