The 25-year-old singer got candid about his mistakes and how wife Hailey Bieber has changed him for the better in a new interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music.
When talking about his new album, Changes, and a song that's about true love, Zane asked Justin about knowing he needed time to work on himself before he took things further with Hailey. Justin dated Selena Gomez on-and-off for years before getting married to Hailey, and touched on how he knew he was "crazy" and "went wild" during his previous relationship.
"I'd let her know prior to the tour when we were hanging a lot. I said, 'Listen, I'm still really hurt and still trying to figure out my way, and I'm not ready to make a commitment to you in a way that... I just don't want to say something and do the opposite,'" he recalled telling Hailey. "Because I was at the point where I'd done that in the past. And I just was honest with her, I was like, 'I'm not in a place to be faithful,' and all this sort of stuff, that I wanted to be, but I just wasn't there yet."
When Zane asked what was hurting Justin at the time, he replied, "I think I was just hurt from my previous relationship," without naming Gomez.
"I think I still was dealing with a lot of unforgiveness and all that sort of stuff. To be honest, I don't think I even knew what I was really struggling with at the time," he explained. "I don't think I knew I was dealing with unforgiveness. I was just in a place where I knew I didn't want to tell [Hailey] one thing and... I felt like she respected me at the time and I had a lot of respect for her, and so I just didn't want to say something and then she'd see me off doing some other thing."
"But either way, she loved me and seeing me with other people hurt her," Justin continued. "And so with that being said, she went out and did things that hurt me. And so just this hurt, I've hurt her, she hurt me. And then before tour we just really stopped talking, I was really upset."
He then confessed to perhaps not being the best boyfriend in the past. "Before that, in my previous relationship, I went off and just went crazy and went wild, just was being reckless," he said. "This time I took the time to really build myself and focus on me, and try to make the right decisions and all that sort of stuff. And yeah, I got better."
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Watch Justin and Hailey Bieber Exchange Vows in Wedding Video
Justin and Hailey secretly tied the knot at a courthouse in New York City in September 2018 and had a second wedding in South Carolina a year later. During the interview, Justin shared that when he was working on himself, and when they weren't talking, he and Hailey had a rough time, but it was all out of love.
"You'd hear like, 'Oh, he's doing so well,' and she would be so pissed off because she's like, 'He's not doing well without me,'" Justin explained. Hailey, who was off to the side, then chimed in clarifying that,"You want to think you're happy for someone, it sucks to hear that they're happy without you."
Justin admitted to not really knowing what he was doing, and then took a deep dive into his faith. If he hadn't gotten closer to Jesus, he said, he would have self-destructed. "Yeah, I would have for sure. One hundred percent, yeah... It would have been no bueno. It was bad…I don't know if I'd be alive. It was dark, really dark."
"So I'm very, very grateful to have influences in my life that have played a huge part in me seeing their relationship with Jesus and their relationship with their wives, and their relationship with their kids, and saying, 'That's what I want,' and I'm striving after that," he expressed.
Above all, he credited Hailey as a big reason as to why he's a better man, and wanted to get back into the studio. "She is definitely the reason, there'd be no story without her," Justin stated. "She just ties it all together. She's giving me substance to talk about, she's the person that I'm learning to love unconditionally, start a family with. So regardless if I sell another record, I mean, I have a lot of peace just knowing that I have the rest of my life to build a relationship with a solid foundation of trust and patience, and all the things that go into building a healthy relationship."