While Brie Bella loves her sister Nikki Bella’s relationship with boyfriend Artem Chigvintsev now, that wasn’t always the case. As a result, it was very difficult for Artem to accept that his girlfriend’s sis wasn’t too fond of him. On the bright side, he knew Brie, 35, was coming from a good place.

“She was very mean to me,” the Dancing with the Stars alum, 37, told Entertainment Tonight in an interview published on Wednesday, September 25. “It was very tough in the beginning because I had to prove himself in a sense. But I appreciated it from her because she’s a sister who’s looking after another sister and I feel like she wanted to have her back. I respect that.”

Because of this, Nikki, 35, had doubts about being with him. “It would make me hesitant to be with him and want to take it to the next level,” she told the outlet, adding that “it was very hard on him.”

Nikki Bella in Pink Swimsuit and Brie Bella in Black Bikini Selfie in Bikinis
Courtesy of Nikki Bella/ Instagram

“It’s one thing when your family doesn’t like the person that you’re with, but when it’s your twin sister who you do business with, who you’re around all the time … I was like, ‘OK, this is really hard,'” she continued. “Like, I’d be on FaceTime and Brie would be in with [her daughter] Birdie, and she’d be like, ‘Artem is not allowed to look into the camera.’ He couldn’t even be on FaceTime, even in the background.” Yikes!

In April, the twins admitted that part of why Brie gave Artem a hard time was because the mom of one was still all about Nikki’s ex John Cena. “My sister was like, ‘No,’ for Artem in the beginning because she was so in love with John. Now she absolutely adores [Artem],” Nikki told Us Weekly at the time.

Thankfully, that’s not the case anymore. “Yeah. I mean, now I’m more like, ‘Whatever my sister wants,'” Brie told the publication. “I was Team John for so long because, you know, he was my brother … But now … now I’ve finally given Artem a chance and he’s super sweet.”

Nikki and Artem sparked dating rumors in January, and by July, they were official. They’ve been going strong ever since. We couldn’t be happier for them!