Jon Bon Jovi, His Wife Share the Secret to a 31-Year Marriage That Survives Fame

Photo from Jon Bon Jovi Instagram

Jon Bon Jovi, His Wife Share the Secret to a 31-Year Marriage That Survives Fame

By Cooper Dowd, Staff Writer

Famous rockstar Jon Bon Jovi recently shared with PEOPLE about his 40-year long relationship with his high school sweetheart, Dorothea Bongiovi. 

Longevity in celebrity marriages is increasingly rare.  However, Bon Jovi said that they managed to avoid the traps that come with fame and developed an authentic relationship. He also shared the secret ingredient to such a long-lasting marriage.

“Mutual respect,” Bon Jovi told PEOPLE. “Having grown up together and grown together. And we really like each other. We want to hang out.”

The “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “Wanted Dead or Alive” singer said that his relationship with his family always comes before his music career.  

“We work hard at it, but we enjoy each other and we never fell for the trappings of what celebrity can do,” Bon Jovi continued. “We’ve witnessed that happen over the years to people that were close to us and people that we knew from afar. It’s just what I do; it’s not who I am. I write songs. I happen to be very good at performing them. That’s it.”

The couple, both 58, have been married 31 years and have had four children: Stephanie, 27; Jesse, 25; Jacob, 18; and Romeo, 16.  

Together, they launched the Soul Foundation in 2006. The nonprofit organization aims to tackle the issues of hunger and homelessness in the United States.

“It’s a partnership,” Dorothea said. “When we see injustice or people suffering, [we] want to help. We’re very blessed, and we have the ability to do that.”

“I’m happiest if I like what I do for a living. I’m doing right by my family and I’m making the world just a little bit better,” Bon Jovi added.

The couple recalled eloping and getting married in 1989, which was at the height of Bon Jovi’s rock ‘n’ roll career.  Although their marriage is healthy, the couple did recognize that they had to work through rough patches. Working through those low points together made their relationship stronger.  

“She’s the glue,” Bon Jovi said. “I’m the crazy visionary with all kinds of things flying, and the seams are all splitting. She’s the one following me with the glue and the thread and needle, keeping it all together.”

“Somehow I became the poster boy for a long-married rock star,” Bon Jovi added. “But I’ll accept the mantle because I’m so happy.”