Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are laying it all out on the table.
Five months since news of their shocking courthouse nuptials, the pop crooner and supermodel Mr. and Mrs. have pulled back the curtain on their marriage—and they’re not mincing words in the process. “The thing is, marriage is very hard,” Baldwin said in an interview for Vogue‘s March 2019 issue. “That is the sentence you should lead with. It’s really effing hard.”
Hard on many levels, according to the deeply candid interview. To start, Mr. and Mrs. Bieber operate and express themselves differently. “He’ll say, ‘I feel,’ and I’ll say, ‘I think,'” she told the magazine. “I have to really dive deep and struggle to be in touch with my emotions. He gets there immediately.”
As for the Grammy-winning pop star, “I’m the emotionally unstable one,” he acknowledged, noting that he cares a lot and wants others to like him.
“Hailey’s very logical and structured, which I need,” he continued. “I’ve always wanted security—with my dad being gone sometimes when I was a kid, with being on the road. With the lifestyle I live, everything is so uncertain. I need one thing that’s certain. And that…is my baby boo.”
Of course, as fans well know, their future together wasn’t always certain. While they met a decade ago thanks to a Today run-in, their friendship didn’t take shape until several years later after crossing paths at Hillsong. “Over time he became my best guy friend,” Baldwin said. “I was running around with him as his homie, but we weren’t hanging out [romantically].”
There is something else the runway star wanted to clear up: “I was never a superfan, of him or of anyone…It was never that crazed, screaming thing. I didn’t think about it in any kind of way except for the fact that he was cute.”
By 2016, their friendship turned romantic, though it didn’t last long thanks to an inplied “betrayal,” according to Vogue. In the words of Baldwin,”It was more like a very dramatic excommunication.” Two years later, in June 2018, they saw each other again at a Miami conference and were engaged by the next month.
As for their unexpectedly speedy road to tying the knot, a desire to break Bieber’s celibacy at the time played a role. “I think sex can cause a lot of pain. Sometimes people have sex because they don’t feel good enough. Because they lack self-worth. Women do that, and guys do that,” the singer told Vogue, also acknowledging his promiscuous past in the interview. “I wanted to rededicate myself to God in that way because I really felt it was better for the condition of my soul. And I believe that God blessed me with Hailey as a result. There are perks. You get rewarded for good behavior.”
Seeing the star last summer also jogged Bieber’s heart. “I just forgot how much I loved her and how much I missed her and how much of a positive impact she made on my life. I was like, Holy cow, this is what I’ve been looking for,” he told Vogue.
Now, they’re adjusting to both the good and bad of what their new life together has brought. For Baldwin, it was initially a bout of homesickness and loneliness paired with overwhelming digital backlash over their decision. But, as fans misunderstood, it wasn’t a choice she made lightly.
“I prayed to feel peace about the decision, and that’s where I landed,” she told the magazine. “I love him very much. I have loved him for a long time.”
With love already in the picture, Bieber is working on trusting his judgment, they go to therapy and they’re figuring out how to fight the right way and express how they’re feeling as they live in their first house together. Ultimately, they’re giving it their best.
“It’s just that I’m fighting to do this the right way, to build a healthy relationship,” Baldwin said. “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. I’m not going to sit here and lie and say it’s all a magical fantasy. It’s always going to be hard. It’s a choice…But there’s something beautiful about it anyway—about wanting to fight for something, commit to building with someone.”
The March 2019 issue of Vogue hits newsstands nationwide on Feb. 19.