With a new album out and a tour on the horizon, Jon Bon Jovi (and the rest of the band that bears his name) is still a rock star. The band’s sheer statistics are impressive – 13 studio albums and 2 live albums, more than 130 million records sold across the world, and more than 2,700 concerts in over 50 countries.
Through it all, though, Jon has remained faithfully married to his wife Dorothea. The couple met in high school, and remained together through the early stages of Jon’s music career, on through his rise to stardom. They married in 1989, at the height of the band’s success, running off to Las Vegas on a short break after a Los Angeles tour stop.
27 years later, the couple – both 54 years old – has raised 4 children, contributed (and worked for) numerous charitable causes, and kept their marriage together through Jon’s multitude of tours, film appearances, and otherwise demanding public life.
So, what’s their secret? How can an internationally renowned rock star stay happily married to his high school sweetheart?
In a recent interview with People magazine, Jon opened up about what has helped keep his marriage intact all these years, despite the pressures of Hollywood, fame, and the road. Jon says that he “got it right the first time,” and that the long-standing marriage is the result of a true partnership.
He says, “It’s, you know, mutual respect. It starts with that, right? …And listening. And knowing when to speak up or shut up.”
He makes a good point about respect and listening, making sure his wife has a say in the marriage and that she can always voice her concerns (and so can he). Knowing when to “speak or shut up” is also valuable advice – know when a problem is worth addressing, but also recognize if you’re being moody or getting too worked about something minor.
The couple also enjoys a dynamic that allows each of them to employ their strongest traits. Jon calls Dorothea “the glue” in the marriage. He says, “I’m the crazy visionary with all kinds of things flying, and all the seams are all splitting. She’s the one following me with the glue and the thread and needle, keeping it all together.”
Dorothea also says that keeping their marriage and family somewhat separated from the stardom has helped keep them grounded. They both have to recognize the difference between “Bon Jovi the rock star” and “Jon the husband and father.”
By recognizing their individual strengths, making time to communicate, and keeping their family life separate from the glitz and glamor, Jon and Dorothea have managed to keep their marriage happy and healthy for 27 years. Even if you aren’t a rock star, these are principles you can employ in your own marriage as well.
Know your strengths, focus on each other, and always communicate!