The Biebers are here now that ü need them.
Newlyweds Justin and Hailey Bieber (née Baldwin, for the trolls living under their bridges) are the stars of Vogue’s March issue, cradling each other in matching designer silks (though it’s important to note Bieber is largely shirtless in this spread.)
For those looking for a closer look at their marriage, or just a closer look at Justin, who in the past few years since releasing his last album has grown closer to God, posted erratically on social media, and has been photographed by paparazzi crying often in public, I can assure you now that this profile has the goods. And now I feel even more worried for these two!
So how is Hailey and Justin’s marriage so far? It’s not perfect, I’ll just say that.
The couple settled into it in September, and they agree that real cohabitation—the kind that doesn’t take place in hotel rooms, on vacations—has been a test. They are squabbling over decorating decisions. Healthy communication is a constant challenge, and in therapy they are working on developing an ebb and flow so that their personalities don’t lock horns. Sometimes they tiptoe around each other, and at others they practice arguing without being unkind. “Fighting is good,” Justin says. “Doesn’t the Bible talk about righteous anger? We don’t want to lose each other.
And they are what appears to be intensely serious about making this work. They have visited a marriage counselor, and I’ll remind you they’ve been married for a little under six months nows. God, I’ve never heard two young twenty-somethings talk about making a relationship work this way. Hailey says:
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. You don’t feel it every single day. You don’t wake up every day saying, ‘I’m absolutely so in love and you are perfect.’ That’s not what being married is. But there’s something beautiful about it anyway—about wanting to fight for something, commit to building with someone. We’re really young, and that’s a scary aspect.
Beyond their “scary” marriage it’s clear that Justin has faced some demons; anyone paying casual attention to his career might have felt waves of troubled child star déjà vu from the beginning. All those screaming fans at such a young age are going to fuck with your head.
“I was real at first,” Justin says, “and then I was manufactured as, slowly, they just took more and more control.” It felt fantastic to be famous, to be adored by girls. At sixteen, he blindly believed the hype. “I started really feeling myself too much. People love me, I’m the shit—that’s honestly what I thought. I got very arrogant and cocky. I was wearing sunglasses inside.” (Inside at night, says Hailey.)
Cocky indeed. Who could forget Justin was peeing in buckets backstage or tending to his pet monkey? But, he says, you can’t really blame him for having the pet monkey, right?
A lot of the douchey things I was doing gave people the right to be like, Man, that’s frickin’ douchey, bro. But a lot of the stuff was like—me peeing in a bucket, people made such a big deal of that. Or me owning a monkey. It’s like, if you had the money that I had, why wouldn’t you get a monkey? You would get a monkey!
No bro, I wouldn’t.
Beyond Justin’s crazy shenanigans it sounds like he struggled seriously with addiction to both drugs like Xanax (“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,” he says) and, maybe a bit more surprisingly, sex. It was an addiction that drove him to be celibate for over a year before he met Hailey.
He had what he calls “a legitimate problem with sex.” It was his remaining vice, an addiction that had long since ceased to provide him any pleasure. Not having sex, he decided, was a way for him to feel closer to God. “He doesn’t ask us not to have sex for him because he wants rules and stuff,” Justin explains. “He’s like, I’m trying to protect you from hurt and pain. 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. 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.”
Okay I get it, I get it, God gave you Hailey Baldwin. You want to be the perfect husband, and she the perfect wife. I have no doubt that these two are seriously in love and serious about making their marriage work, but might they be a little too serious?