After a whirlwind engagement and a secret wedding that shocked everyone, Justin and Hailey Bieber are opening up about the realities of married life.
The first thing newlywed Hailey Bieber (formerly Hailey Baldwin) wants people to take away is this:
"The thing is, marriage is very hard. That is the sentence you should lead with. It's really effing hard."
It's a sentiment that most married people might agree with, but coming from newlyweds sitting on top of the world, it tends to ring hollow, until you know their story.
In their first joint interview since getting married, Justin and Hailey Bieber sat down for a very candid talk with Vogue's Rob Haskell.
"It's hard for me to do just one thing at a time," Justin says as he bounces around the Los Angeles hotel room he so often calls home. Haskell describe an almost manic energy from Bieber.
Bieber mentions that Haskell is catching him at a particularly vulnerable time.
These days Bieber has been owning up to the mistakes of his past. From the Brazilian brothel, to egging his neighbor's house, to the DUI charge—at the time it looked like the pop star was unraveling, and the media was there to magnify every mistake. Bieber quickly developed a healthy distrust of the press. Haskell's is the first lengthy interview he has done in more than two years.
"I've struggled with the feeling that people are using me or aren't really there for me, and that writers are looking to get something out of me and then use it against me.
Now a newlywed, Bieber is nervous about opening the doors on his marriage to Hailey.
Which is understandable as the couple might be the only ones who think their marriage will last.
And it's certainly easy to laugh when a young newlywed couple talks about marriage being "hard."
From the outside, Hailey understands that many think they rushed into marriage. Their hurricane romance lasted all of twelve weeks before they were married in a Manhattan courthouse last September, but Hailey says she didn't come to the decision lightly.
"I prayed to feel peace about the decision, and that's where I landed. I love him very much. I have loved him for a long time."
Before their highly publicized courtship Hailey, 22, and Justin, 25, had been friends for 10 years and had even dated at one point. The couple both hinted that their previous relationship ended due to a "betrayal," but now things are different.
When the couple meet again years later Justin had been celibate for over a year because of what he called his "legitimate problem with sex."
"I found myself doing things that I was so ashamed of, being super-promiscuous and stuff. My mom always said to treat women with respect. For me that was always in my head while I was doing it, so I could never enjoy it."
"I think sex can cause a lot of pain." Bieber says. "Sometimes people have sex because they don't feel good enough. Because they lack self-worth."
Justin had also stopped abusing Xanax. "Drugs put a screen between me and what I was doing. It got pretty dark. I think there were times when my security was coming in late at night to check my pulse and see if I was still breathing."
These days Justin and Hailey follow in the footsteps of their parents, who are both born-again Christians, attending services at Churchome, the Seattle ministry of Judah Smith, their friend and pastor. But Justin doesn't consider himself religious. "That confuses a lot of people because they're like, Well, you go to church. I believe in the story of Jesus—that's the simplicity of what I believe. But I don't believe in all the religious elitism and pretentiousness."
As a couple, Justin and Hailey have found anchor points in each other and believe their differences are what strengthens their relationship.
"I'm the emotionally unstable one," says Justin. "I struggle with finding peace. I just feel like I care so much and I want things to be so good and I want people to like me. Hailey's very logical and structured, which I need." And together they have committed to making their marriage last.
"I'm fighting to do this the right way, to build a healthy relationship," says Hailey. "I want people to know that. We're coming from a really genuine place. But we're two young people who are learning as we go. We're really young, and that's a scary aspect. We're going to change a lot. But we're committed to growing together and supporting each other in those changes."
Marriage may be "hard," as the couple puts it, but they insist they are willing to put in the work, and fans couldn't be happier for them.